Publish Date : 4/10/18
Author: Madeline Miller
Finished: 11/23/18 (My November Buddy Read assigned this into chapters during the month or I would have finished this overnight!!!) Thanks for organizing bookbuddyreads
Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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.
I enjoyed this book right from the start. I read this as a buddy read in which certain chapters were talked about every week. Although I wanted to finish the story in one setting, I dragged it out so that I would remember relevant information to talk about on a weekly basis. Had I finished it quickly, I’m sure I would have given spoilers during discussions and did not want to be that person. This is the only reason why I read this book within an entire month. I had been dying to pick this book up since the moment it was announced and I wish I would have sooner as I got it into my TBR shelf the second I was able to.
The mythology intrigued me. What I loved right from the beginning is the harsh upbringing Circe endured as a child. I did not know much about Circe other than a tiny bit from The Odyssey. What I thought of her then was more evil than what I gathered from this book. I liked seeing that she had compassion in her. I also liked that I understood where her harshness actually did come from. I felt so bad for her being so misjudged and really felt awful for her punishment in which introduces itself into what I and readers of The Oddessey know of Circe and her island. I must be a little honest, I was a little jealous of Circe’s punishment. Being banished to an island with not a single soul to bother her, with a house that was immaculate that no dust or dirt could come by (a self-cleaning house!) that had abundances of cheese and grains with a self-lighting nightly fireplace. I mean, c’mon! Punish me! I could totally get used to that. I barely enjoy being with the people I love for long periods of time, haha! This is an only child’s dream, I’m telling ya’!
Everything about this book was great for me. I enjoyed Circe as a more dynamic character and thoroughly enjoyed learning about her. There were so many great points brought up during my buddy read that I didn’t think of as her exile to Aeaea was honestly the best and worst thing that ever happened to her. Although some parts were rough to get through, the truthfullness and accuracy that Miller put into the book was important. I really did not want the read to be over and wish that there was more to the book. Without giving away the ending, I wish there was more that Miller would do to possibly bring upon a sequel highlighting Circe, Telegonus, or even Telemachus.