Circe by Madeline Miller Review

Circe by Madeline Miller was a book that I gobbled up in a few days. I tried to pace myself but I just couldn’t. The magnificent writing, the story, the characters and settings all just flowed so beautifully and made this such a pleasant reading experience.

Circe by Madeline Miller book review
Circe by Madeline Miller, ISBN 9781408890073, 336pp, Pub April 2018

Without giving too much away, Circe tells the story of the nymph Circe (fancy that), daughter to the sun god, Helios. She is one of his many children and is considered ugly and weak-voiced compared to all the other gods. She is laughed at and ignored by her family, until the day she discovers an ability to transform gods and people using herb lore and witchcraft.

Circe is punished after one such incident and sent away for an eternity of exile on an island. But it’s here that Circe comes into her powers. It’s here that she dares to be more than just another nymph to be used by a father, lover or brother. She learns more about humans and that even a goddess alone can be at the mercy of mortal men.

I loved the feminist slant in this retelling of Circe’s story. At one stage the Olympian Hermes makes some comment about nymphs being only good for one thing and terrible at getting away. Circe rejects this life of subservience to males and forges her own path.

“When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist. They called me nymph assuming I would be like my mother and aunts and thousand cousins.”

I enjoyed this book because I love Greek mythology. But even though I went into this book with knowledge of who’s who when it comes to the Olympians, I knew little about the goddess Circe and the Titan family she is a member of. She was a small part of Odysseus’s story in The Odyssey by Homer. So it was great to learn a bit more through Madeline Miller’s poetic writing. The author seamlessly weaved together quite a few myths and legends while telling her version of Circe’s story in such a clever way.

This is definitely a book that I will read again down the track.

Verdict: If you love great writing, myths and strong female characters then this is the book for you!

Have you read Circe? What did you think?


7 thoughts on “Circe by Madeline Miller Review

  1. Siobhan @ Novelties May 23, 2018 / 12:48 am

    Fantastic review! I’d love to read this book. It sounds wonderful.


  2. Emma May 23, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    This has been on my TBR list since it came out. Must get on and actually read it. Great review, definitely makes me want to read it even more than I did

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads May 23, 2018 / 12:07 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to read my review. I really hope you like it as much as I do once you get around to reading it.


  3. Ashley @ Book Tales May 23, 2018 / 12:39 pm

    This is probably my favorite read so far this year! Really happy you enjoyed it as well! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads May 23, 2018 / 1:11 pm

      That’s great that you loved it too. It was such a great piece of writing.


  4. Sheree Strange May 24, 2018 / 3:49 pm

    I feel like I have seen this one *everywhere* lately – all across bookstagram, in bookstore windows, on posters, everywhere! It sounds like it lives up to the hype, too, which is a pleasant surprise! I’ve never really been into the whole mythology thing, but I think I could totally get behind the whole feminist aspect if the writing is as good as you say 😉 thanks for sharing another fantastic review, Jane! You’re really helping me narrow down my new release TBR for when I knock out all these older reads and classics…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads May 24, 2018 / 4:22 pm

      Thanks Sheree. I’m not sure if you will like this if you’re not into Greek mythology but it reads like a classic so it might just be something you will like. Your reviews make me want and need to read more classics. I have a whole bunch on my TBR list.


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