Review| Circe by Madeline Miller

Did you love Percy Jackson growing up? Are you dreaming of a trip to the Greek Islands? Then this book is for you.

In the house of Helios, god of the sun, 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.

It’s a coming-of-age tale that spans centuries. Circe’s progression is masterfully handled as she remains in-character while her morals and desires are in constant flux. She grows from a weak, but defiant, child sitting at her father’s feet to a strong woman, a powerful witch, and a mother that would do anything to protect her son.

Let’s talk setting. Circe captures the very essence of Greece. The prose has me dreaming of the sea and the islands. Being alone on my own private Mediterranean island sounds pretty good right now (it’s still cold in Ohio, but at least it’s not snowing).

Different myths are woven together expertly as Circe plays a role in many of them: Prometheus, Daedalus and the Minotaur, Scylla and Charybdis, and Odysseus. She mingles amongst the Gods (Athena and Hermes make the most notable appearances). And of course, she is myth and legend on her own: the great witch of Aiaia who turns men into pigs when the attempt to sexually assault her. Circe is in a word badass.

This book was a great read to start off my summer reading season where I attempt to read the majority of my Goodreads book goal (100 book this year). I highly recommend it to all.

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