Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe

The daring, dazzling and highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Song of Achilles

One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018“An epic spanning thousands of years that’s also a keep-you-up-all-night page turner.” – Ann Patchett


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.

Review:
I was so excited when I saw this book — I absolutely love Greek mythology, the Odyssey is one of my favourite books of all time, and I was fascinated to read about Circe, who has only been presented as a minor character in Greek myth.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
Miller did an amazing job of bringing this goddess to life, to telling her story in an empowering way, and even to staying true to the myths. I love taking a character from myth or history and presenting them with a backstory and motivations and seeing where that all leads.
The book has the richness and history of someone who understands Greek myth–the story is peppered with details that add to this authenticity and enhance its scope. There are some lovely descriptions and writing.
But, most of all, there is Circe, the witch from the Odyssey who turns men into swine. We get to understand how she got there, her childhood and history, her point of view of events. We get to see this amazing woman grow and become formidable, all entwined with Classical Greek themes of gods and mortals, fate and choices, and being a hero versus living a long, quiet life.
If you love Greek myth or strong heroines, I highly recommend this book.
Note: I received a copy of this book on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Free Prophecy Colouring Pages

I was playing around on my computer and figured out how to make the cover of my book, Prophecy, into a colouring page. In fact, several colouring pages. Here they are, so feel free to download. The reason that there are several is because of Antigone’s hair — in most of my attempts to make a colouring page, her hair just turns into a big white area. So I had an idea. I ran the cover through several different filters on a free app called Dreamscope (completely addictive, by the way), until I found some likely results. Then I took that image and ran it through another free program called Rapid Resizer that has a Free Picture Stencil Maker. This is what I came up with!

 

And, just for fun, I found a few images related to my book and made those into colouring pages too.

Here is King Oedipus contemplating the Sphinx’s riddle:

Here is Antigone and her sister, Ismene:

And here is Antigone with her father, Oedipus:

If anyone else tries this, I’d love to see the results, along with any completed colouring projects.

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Spring Writing Newsletter & Free Ebook

Hello Everyone,

I am sorry for my long absence, but I am happy to be back now. As many of you know, I experience mental illness and this last year has been a bit rough; however things are looking up.

International Woman’s Day & Free Book
March 8th is International Woman’s Day!!! How great is that? I was trying to find a way to celebrate and wanted to offer my book, Prophecy, for free that day. In the synchronicity of the universe, I received an email yesterday from Smashwords about an opportunity to enroll my book in a one week sale from March 5-March 11 for Read an Ebook Week! So, now, to receive a FREE ecopy of Prophecy in the format of your choice, all you have to do is go to Smashwords and use this coupon code: SFREE and it’s yours — and Prophecy has a fun, strong, stand up for herself heroine, perfect for International Woman’s Day. There are also hundreds of other books on sale or free this week, so it’s a good time to check them out. If you don’t have a Smashwords account, it’s easy and free to get one. And, if do get a book, please pay it forward and leave a review. Also, feel free to share this with friends.

What I’m Working on Now & Kickstarter Campaign
Currently, I’m working on my historical/mythological fiction called Betrayed, which is the story of Clytemnestra (Helen of Troy’s twin sister). Clytemnestra has been villianized throughout history, so I am telling her side of the story, getting behind her famous murder of her husband. This book is definitely not YA oriented and I’m enjoying the change of pace.

I’ve decided to do a Kickstarter for Betrayed in the upcoming months and am planning to publish it this fall — I am finalizing the details and am working on some fun rewards, and will let you all know when it’s ready. I need a bit of help for editing and production costs. Wait until you see the cover that a friend of mine designed. It is simply stunning, I mean, really beautiful. I have no other word for it. It’s not quite finished, but I’ll reveal it when it’s ready. The image above isn’t the cover, but isn’t it an amazing painting of Clytemnestra with her knife after murdering her husband?

What I’m Reading
Right now, I’m immersed in the short stories of Ray Bradbury. I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to read them! I knew he was a master storyteller, but these are timeless. I’m being whisked away to the future and other worlds and am loving it.

However, I’m always on the lookout for new books to read. In the spirit of International Woman’s Day, does anyone have any recommendations for books with amazing heroines? I can easily recommend the Graceling series by Kristin Cashore.

The snow is melting in my corner of the world and it looks like the tulips might even come up soon. I hope everyone is enjoying some nice sunshine and spring weather.

Coreena

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Summer Newsletter & Sale

Hello Everyone,

I know it’s been a little while, but the end of the school year caught up with me. I was also getting ready to sell my book and some felting I’ve been working on at our local Art in the Park — an annual event here in Kamloops on Canada Day. It was super fun. Here’s a picture from my booth.

Working on Betrayed

As much as I love Antigone, I am finding that I need a break from her, so I am going to spend the next little while working on another novel I have in the works called Betrayed (working title). This one is most definitely aimed at adults and is about Clytemnestra, who is the sister of Helen of Troy and was married to Agamemnon (the leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War). She’s an interesting character who is villianized in most of ancient literature because she took a consort while her husband was away at the Trojan War, then killed him upon his return. But, she does have her reasons… Her story has a lot of fantastic avenues to explore. Read more

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