Madeline Miller is quickly making herself the present-day star of rewriting ancient mythology, and in Circe she tackles the age-old conundrum of the gods' preoccupation with mortals. Focusing in on the lesser goddess Circe, Miller paints an epic portrait of a sorceress who tries to understand humankind. Written in engaging and approachable prose, readers aren't required to be fans of mythology to enjoy the book. Nevertheless, the story will appeal to those avid about mythology as well. Recommended By Alex Y., Powells.com
Yes, I'm a giant mythology fangirl, so I was excited to dive into Circe by Madeline Miller, author of the excellent and unbelievably passionate Song of Achilles. Circe is a lesser goddess, more of a witch really, and although it causes her plenty of trouble, she's more than a little drawn to mortals. Miller has an amazing way of bringing these mythologies to life, and it's kind of funny how human the gods really are. Examining themes of family, home, estrangement, and parenthood, don't miss Miller's gorgeous story of the witch goddess who was smart, brave, and more than a little human. Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Circe is wondrously lush and lyrical, and the depth and carefulness with which her story is drawn is breathtaking. It comes so freshly alive that I found myself completely caught up in what would happen next, even already knowing the Greek myths. After finishing, I immediately went out and bought a copy of Madeline Miller's first book, The Song of Achilles, in order to be able to reenter the tapestry of world that she so elegantly weaves. Recommended By Aubrey W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
#1 New York Times Bestseller — named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, the Washington Post, People, Time, Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Newsweek, the A.V. Club, Christian Science Monitor, Refinery 29, Buzzfeed, Paste, Audible, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Thrillist, NYPL, Self, Real Simple, Goodreads, Boston Globe, Electric Literature, BookPage, the Guardian, Book Riot, Seattle Times, and Business Insider.
"A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story," this #1 New York Times bestseller is "both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right" (Alexandra Alter, The New York Times).
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child — not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power — the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.
"This is as close as you will ever come to entering the world of mythology as a participant. Stunning, touching, and unique." Margaret George, author of The Confessions of Young Nero
"Ambitious in scope, Circe is above all the chronicle of an outsider woman who uses her power and wits to protect herself and the people she loves, ultimately looking within to define herself. Readers will savor the message of standing against a hostile world and forging a new way." Shelf Awareness
"Miller, with her academic bona fides and born instinct for storytelling, seamlessly grafts modern concepts of selfhood and independence to her mystical reveries of smoke and silver, nectar and bones." Entertainment Weekly
"One of the most amazing qualities of this novel [is]: We know how everything here turns out - we've known it for thousands of years - and yet in Miller's lush reimagining, the story feels harrowing and unexpected. The feminist light she shines on these events never distorts their original shape; it only illuminates details we hadn't noticed before." Washington Post
About the Author
Madeline Miller was born in Boston and attended Brown University where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. She lives in Narbeth, PA with her husband and two children. The Song of Achilles was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction and has been translated into twenty-five languages.