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Circe – Madeline Miller

Title: Circe

Author: Madeline Miller

Genre: Mythology, Historical Fiction

Plot: Circe is a daughter of the Titan, Helios (Greek sun god). While she doesn’t have any of his talent, she tries her hardest to please him. Thanks to her brother, Aeëtes, she starts to learn about magic. Her first spell is to turn her mortal crush into his true form. Then when he loves another, Circe turns the other girl into a monster, called Scylla. Circe feels some guilt and begs Helios and the other Greek gods, the Olympians, for forgiveness. The Olympian gods, especially Zeus, want Circe banished. To keep the peace, Helios banishes Circe to the island of Aiaia. There, Circe hones her witchcraft. Circe is summoned to her sister and husband, Minos, court to help her sister who’s about to give birth. While there, Circe’s sister gives birth to the Minotaur. She also falls in love with Daedalus, Icarus’ father, who builds the labyrinth for the Minotaur. Circe is forced to return to her island where she later learns of Daedalus and Icarus’ fate. Circe is devastated. As mortal sailors find her island, Circe’s heart is hardened more and more. That is until, Odysseus finds her island. He finds his way into her heart. After he sets sail to Ithaca, Circe realizes she’s pregnant with his child. When her child is born, she calls him Telegonus. But Athena wants him. To kill him, or keep him. Circe refuses. Athena promises to return for him some day. Circe sets up protections for her son over the island. Telegonus grows up loving the sea and longing to explore. When he’s old enough, he begs Circe to let some sailors on the island. Circe finally relents. That starts Telegonus on his journey to want to see more. After setting up numerous protection spells, she agrees to let Telegonus visit Odysseus on Ithaca. But he returns too soon and brings more trouble with him. Will Circe ever be free of trouble? Or will she overcome it as she always has? Will she ever be free of her island? Of her past? How will Circe ever be free?

Rating: 4.3 – a interesting tale of mythology

Opinion: I was unsure of this book when I started it. It’s a pretty descriptive book and started out really slow. After a while it picked up and I started to enjoy it more and more. By the end, I really enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down. While it’s a very descriptive narrative, I found myself wanting to know how Circe got through her troubles on the island and how she learned of the outside world. I enjoyed more about a different side of Greek mythology. There are plenty of common mythology stories, I’ve heard before. This book puts a new spin on those classic tales. There were different sides to those classic tales that I hadn’t heard before. That made this story even more enjoyable. While this story had its romances and affairs, there was very scant details about them. That’s really enjoyable in a book like this. It focuses more on how they fell in love, or about their conversations, instead of the bedroom scenes. It was a nice change for romance in a book. This was a great book for those who love Greek mythology and want to see a different side of the classic Greek mythology stories.

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