Today’s review is one I’m very excited about. I went into Circe by Madeline Miller with no expectations- I avoided reviews from Booktube/Bookstagram in order to have a fresh perspective of the novel. I couldn’t thank my past self more once I finished it. This book was made of myths that are not unknown to me, yet Circe’s story held so much more passion and determination. I never thought to look deeper into her story when I heard it in school, and I’m glad Miller choose to highlight it.
Circe’s story is both tragic and beautiful, and each chapter allows a close look into how she personally dealt with the legends bearing her name. One of my favorite parts of this novel is when Circe discovers she is a witch. Miller does a fantastic job of capturing the simultaneous feelings of hope and despair as she finally comes to know herself for who she truly is.
The novel focuses primarily on Circe’s narrative, but I enjoyed how the other mythical characters were described as well. They were mentioned in order of importance, but not in a way that took away from Circe’s story. I personally didn’t remember several of the characters mentioned, one of the most notable being Scylla. Thankfully there was a glossary at the end that explained everyone’s role in depth, but Scylla’s story stuck with me as I reached the end of the novel. I won’t spoil what happens of course but it was interesting to say the least!
The dialogue in this novel was timeless yet modern, something I enjoy in retellings. The plot felt distant enough for me to read it as a fantasy, and at the same time oddly relatable. Obviously, I am not a mythical creature by any means(although wouldn’t that be cool!) but Circe’s struggles as a woman were something I’m sure women like myself can relate to. Beyond that, anyone who has ever felt small with no purpose or power in this huge world can relate to her story of redemption.
Overall, this novel was an amazing read. I read it on my kindle as a loan from my local library, but perhaps it deserves a place on my shelf of physical copies. I usually only buy a physical copy of a book if I really love it or if it intrigues me enough to place it on my shelf. I highly recommend reading this when it’s storming, although I obviously can’t control the weather. It gives a mystical ambiance when reading if I say so myself. I hope you all enjoyed this review and I will see you soon for another one!