Everyone knows the famous Achilles, the greatest warrior of all time. But only a few know Achilles the son, Achilles the pupil, or Achilles the lover. And so, in this stunningly beautiful book Madeline Miller retells his story from a new point of view and tells us about the man behind the famous hero.
When I started reading this book, I was incredibly excited but also slightly scared as a fan of myths who has a thing for accuracy. Luckily, there was no place for my concerns. After only five pages or so (I’m not even exaggerating) I already loved the book. The writing is poetic and picturesque, but still very easy to read. I had to force myself not to read it all in one sitting to properly enjoy the book.
The characters were brilliant too. None of them was perfect, especially not Achilles, which was what made him human and therefore loveable. We got to know a different side of Achilles than the one usually depicted, and I cannot deny how much I fell in love with this side.
The story itself though was told from Patroclus’ point of view. This enabled the reader to see the other side of the Trojan war, which I personally found incredibly interesting as well. The relationship between Achilles and Patroclus was an absolute highlight of queer stories. I loved them so much and really didn’t want the story to end, knowing how it would turn out. In my mind when I think of them together, I will always think of their time in Chiron’s cave rather than what came after.
The only thing to keep in mind while reading is, that this is a retelling and therefore some details differ from the stories we might know. But this doesn’t lessen the stunning beauty of this book, which I would recommend for everyone to read.