The Song of Achilles by Madlina Miller is a historical fiction novel which retells the story of the Iliad. The plot follows Prince Achilles and Patroclus as they grow up, and grow into the fate the gods have planned for the two of them. Miller’s writing will transport you to ancient Greece, to the grand palaces and deadly battle fides that this story takes place. The book came out in 2012, but has recently gained popularity on the app Tiktok, with readers raving about the novel, and it’s heartbreaking ending.
I read The Song of Achilles this past february and it has become one of my favorite books. It’s a historical fiction that won’t bore you to depth. The characters are lovable, and at the same time tragically flawed. The most important part of this book in my opinion was centering the story on Achillies and Patroclus romantic relationship. There is substantial evidence to show that Achilles and Patroclus were lovers, not just friends in the story. Highltying this piece of gay histroy gives more repersetnation to current generation that LGBTQ+ people have existed since the begging of time. In a system that constantly erasers history that is not centered on the white cis male, Millers retelling of Homers poem is refreshing. The novel provides hope that more stories buried by the white washing of will soon come to light.
While the ending to the story is heartbreaking, this is still one of my favorite books of all time. I can’t recommend it enough, the stories of fate, love, magic, and chosen family all wrapped up in one, what more could you ask of a book? Just in case you aren’t convinced to read it yet, I’ll end with my favorite quote from the novel. “Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun” (Miller).