The Song of Achilles

The Song of Achilles

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:

"At once a scholar's homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist....A book I could not put down."
--Ann Patchett

"Mary Renault lives again!" declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller's thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer's enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Miller's monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction's brightest lights--and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed. --
ISBN: 9780062060617
Branch Call Number: FIC Mille
Characteristics: 378 p.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nicr May 12, 2018

Patroclus, the favorite of Achilles, narrates the story of the god-like man of destiny's rise as Greece's greatest warrior. Vividly and powerfully imagined.

May 01, 2018

I borrowed this book upon recomendation from the library, and it was amazing. The characters were perfectly written and Patrocles' devotion to Achilles was heartbreaking.

Apr 26, 2018

Enjoyable ro read. I like the author's style of writing.

DanniOcean Apr 23, 2018

I liked her second novel Circe better, but this one was pretty engaging as well.

kobrien3 Apr 03, 2018

This book has been on my list for years, and I'm so glad I finally read it. Miller has written a beautiful and gripping story that manages to stay true to the source material while thoughtfully focusing on the human aspects of the story. Her depiction of Patroclus and Achilles' relationship (something that too often seems to be minimized in modern adaptations of the Iliad) is both lovely and heartbreaking. While I knew where the story was going, I was still drawn into the narrative, and was in tears of both sadness and joy by the end. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Ancient Greek history and myth, or just enjoys well written epic love stories!

Vibe97 Mar 29, 2018

A truly epic read which brought me to tears. The joyful days of boyhood which are challenged by the expectations of war and prophecy is a truly moving tale. This book offers the delightful perspective of unsung heroes motivated by love and loyalty. I am already eager to read this author's next story which once again takes the point-of-view of an overlooked character in a classic sequel.

Sep 27, 2017

When unremarkable, ten-year-old prince Patroclus unintentionally kills another boy following an argument, he is exiled from family and kingdom to Phthia, where he fosters with King Peleus. Over the years he and Peleus' son Prince Achilles, both of an age, form a close friendship. Achilles is the star, a confident warrior with seemingly supernatural abilities (no surprise, as his mother is the water goddess Thetis), while Patroclus is the commensurate sidekick, of no great martial skill but humble, compassionate and loyal. When the Trojan War beckons and prophecy threatens, both young men are resigned to their duty as Greeks.

This was a beautiful, vivid, tragic tale, fleshing out more fully a relationship given only brief mention in The Iliad. Surprisingly (and yet, unsurprisingly), mythology taught in grade school is sanitized. I was completely unaware that many classical sources from antiquity regarded Achilles and Patroclus' relationship as a romantic one. I found it meaningful and refreshing, if heartbreaking.

Jun 30, 2017

A fresh take on the tale of Patroclus and Achilles. Bold, fantastic and utterly engrossing.

Apr 15, 2017

I cried during the last 50 pages of the book, and my heart was breaking even before that. Beautiful retelling, absolute poetry.

Mar 29, 2017

An excellent retelling of the Iliad from the pov of Patroclus. I couldn't put it down and read it all in one sitting. The story flowed organically and was very true to the original.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

Mar 19, 2017

christieqiu1 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Dec 30, 2015

wickedivine thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Aug 21, 2015

VV12 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 26, 2015

mariajgaitan1 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jan 05, 2014

algerich thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 69 and 96

wonderlands Apr 24, 2013

wonderlands thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 22, 2012

becker thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


Add a Quote

Dec 08, 2017

"Our man liked conquest, they did not trust a man who was conquered himself" (pg 176)

Aug 27, 2016

"Go, he waits for you."

Aug 27, 2016

"This and this and this."

Jun 07, 2015

We were like gods at the dawning of the world, and our joy was so bright we could see nothing else but the other.

Aug 23, 2012

"She used to be known as the most beautiful woman in our kingdoms. Now they say she's the most beautiful woman in the world.....A thousand ships have sailed for her"


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at APL

To Top