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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Author Interview: Michael Mullin

Today I have the opportunity to introduce Michael Mullin of Geminknight Press. I first met Michael several years ago when I read and reviewed 8: The Previously Untold Story of the Previously Unknown 8th Dwarf, which was a funny and clever retelling (click here to read my Goodreads review).

michael mWhat book are you promoting right now? What is it about?

Simon is a YA/NA retelling of Hamlet, set in the modern day. Simon is a 19-yr-old film student who learns that is uncle (and new stepfather) murdered his dad. And yes, the ghost of his dad gives him this unfortunate news.

Tell us about your writing process. How do you fuel your writing?

I spend a lot of time in the concept/outline phase. Even with the retelling, it was important to make the story and the characters my own. I usually start with character (“who”) and develop the plot (“what” and “how”) around that. The all-important meaning (“why”) comes to light and evolves for me as those things come together.

What’s the best part of being a writer?

The truckloads of money that keep getting delivered to my house. Ok, kidding. I particularly like the idea of creating something that has a positive impact on others and that will outlive me. Legacy, I guess. Read more

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Book Review: The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer

The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1)The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1) by Chris Colfer, Brandon Dorman (Illustrator)

Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.
“The Land of Stories” tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.
But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
Read more

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