Love song: A romantic reimagining of Greece’s greatest warrior

By Heidi van Schie

From the mind of Madeline Miller, who famously writes modern retellings of classic Greek tales, comes the story of Achilles.

The character Achilles is famous for many things: His involvement in the Trojan War and his signature weakness, his own heel, that copped the phrase, “Achilles heel”.

The Song of Achilles touches on both of these events, but the thing that Madeline Miller thought most interesting to expand on was his relationship with his companion Patroclus.

The relationship between Achilles and Patroclus has been used fluidly throughout the tellings and retellings of their story. In The Song of Achilles, Miller writes them exclusively as romantic partners.

The novel touches on subjects like the cost of fame, morals and what makes a hero, which becomes the theme that ties everything together by the end.

The core of this story, though, is love. Despite its intense setting, Miller manages to capture the love between them in its purest form.

The book is marketed and sold as a romantic tragedy, it’s the type of story that will make you smile in public and cry in private.

If you like Greek myths, romance and tragedy, then this book is for you.

Featured image: Achilles, Madeline Miller. Photos: Jona Lendering, Biswarup Ganguly/CC/Wikimedia Commons

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