Miller most deservedly won the 2012 Orange Prize for this reimaging of Homer’s Iliad. The old tale gets personal as we see Patroclus and Achilles as children. Miller returns Achilles to his godlike status while also giving us a human portrait of Homer’s dynamic, often cruel hero. When the still innocent Achilles asks, “What is Hector to me?” those familiar with the poem receive chills and those new to this world sense the impending doom. Patroclus too is given new depth, moving from a barbaric youth, to the unexpected favorite of a goddess’s son, to a loyal and loving companion. Miller masterfully ages the characters and the narrative, causing all of us to mourn the slaughtered innocence in the wake of war.
The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller
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Published: Ecco - March 6th, 2012
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Published: Ecco - August 28th, 2012