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The Song of Achilles

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


“At once a scholar’s homage to The Iliad and startlingly original work of art by an incredibly talented new novelist….A book I could not put down.”
—Ann Patchett

“Mary Renault lives again!” declares Emma Donoghue, author of Room, referring to The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Miller’s monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction’s brightest lights—and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 14, 2011 – Following in Mary Renault s footsteps and adding some surefooted steps of her own, Miller debuts with a novel that combines the poetic drama of The Iliad with a 21st-century understanding of war, sex, sexual politics, and Trojan War heroism. Miller s tale begins with Patroclus unhappy childhood as the disappointing son of an ambitious king. Exiled to Phthia, the 10-year-old is befriended by confident Prince Achilles. Over time their friendship blooms into love, while Achilles mother, the sea nymph Thetis, grows jealously resentful. Patroclus and Achilles follow Agamemnon to recapture Helen from Troy, but the siege wears heavily on Achilles, who awaits the destiny his mother has foretold and his mentor, the centaur Master Chiron, has forewarned: to become the greatest of Greek warriors. In addition to the central story of Achilles and Patroclus, Miller offers a complex study of Briseis, the trophy beauty who inspires a rift between Achilles and Agamemnon; evokes Iphigenia s sacrifice at Aulis in one quick, brutal image; and probes relationships Homer only hinted at. With language both evocative of her predecessors and fresh, and through familiar scenes that explore new territory, this first-time novelist masterfully brings to life an imaginative yet informed vision of ancient Greece featuring divinely human gods and larger-than-life mortals. She breaks new ground retelling one of the world s oldest stories about men in love and war, but it is the extraordinary women Iphigenia, Briseis, and Thetis who promise readers remarkable things to come as Miller carves out a custom-made niche in historical fiction.

Customer Reviews

Amazing, engaging, warm, compelling

I've never taken the time to review a book on iTunes before but this is a must-read. It's breathtakingly beautiful and emotionally compelling as well as being an engaging story. Wow. Wish I could read it for the first time again.

Amazing read

Having read a majority of Greek classics Including The Iliad , The Odyssey , Thucydides, and Aeneid to name a few and being a huge fan of the character Achilles, I was skeptical at first of this modern re telling of a classic myth. A few chapters in and you find yourself learning who Achilles truly was through the eyes of someone that he loved. You must be accepting of ancient Greek culture and their ways to get past some of miss miller's detailed encounters between Patroclus and Achilles. A beautifully written story, to call it a love story would be like taking its glory away. This is definitely a modern epic.

What a lovely surprise!

This almost makes me want to re-read the Iliad! This was a great twist on a classic story. While it isn't my usual genre I decided to take a chance and I most certainly was not let down. I couldn't put it down. I hope there are more novels to follow.

The Song of Achilles
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Mar 06, 2012
  • Publisher: Ecco
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings