Circe by Madeline Miller
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.
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. –Little, Brown, and Company, 2018
Madeline Miller does a great job humanizing the gods. Despite their immortality and power, they are vain, petty, and catty. Circe’s kindness and honesty result from her determination to be nothing like the titans who shunned her. Unfortunately, the lack of companionship and guidance of her upbringing make her naïve and lack forethought into the consequences of her honesty about her growing powers, which gets her exile to the island of Aeaea. While Circe’s gullibility and ignorant innocence lead her to several hair-pullingly frustrating choices, they are not out of place for her character based on how her world shaped her.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with the gods, monsters, and heroes of Greek mythology, such as the Athena, The Minotaur, or Odysseus, you will still find their cameos riveting. Miller gives every character a stunning complexity of personality and effortlessly seams Circe’s life with theirs, making their every appearance leave an impact.
As Miller did with The Songs of Achilles, her mesmerizing language gives Circe’s life and the society of gods and titans dimension and depth that will enthrall you throughout the entire story. —Buy It!