December 5th, 2020

Book 23 - 2019

Book 23: Circe by Madeline Miller - 333 pages

Description from
Woman. Witch. Myth. Mortal. Outcast. Lover. Destroyer. Survivor. CIRCE.

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is a strange child - not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. Scorned and rejected, Circe grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of gods or mortals. But Circe has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When her gift threatens the gods, she is banished to the island of Aiaia where she hones her occult craft, casting spells, gathering strange herbs and taming wild beasts. Yet a woman who stands alone will never be left in peace for long - and among her island's guests is an unexpected visitor: the mortal Odysseus, for whom Circe will risk everything.

So Circe sets forth her tale, a vivid, mesmerizing epic of family rivalry, love and loss - the defiant, inextinguishable song of woman burning hot and bright through the darkness of a man's world.

I love everything Greek mythology, so when this book kept popping up on bestseller and Top Ten lists, I thought I needed to get on board. It tells the story of Circe, the daughter of the Titan Helios, who appears in Homer's The Odyssey. Miller has fleshed out the Circe character, giving her definition, motives and morals not often seen in mythology. Her defining attribute in mythology, being the transformation of men into animals, is given a justifiable purpose here that made me go 'yeah, probably would have done the same'. And while her relationships with two male characters feels a little weird, it works in line with the Greek tradition and the notion of Circe's mortality. I will say that the first 80 or so pages move rather slowly, and I struggled to get interested, but something changed at the 80 page point and after that, I flew through it. A worthy addition to the score of books retelling the myths.

23 / 50 books. 46% done!

6126 / 15000 pages. 41% done!

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