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The Song of Achilles

THE SONG OF ACHILLES - Madeline Miller

“The Song of Achilles” is a novel written by Madeline Miller, published in 2011. It retells the story of the Greek hero Achilles and his companion Patroclus, focusing on their relationship and its role in the events leading up to and during the Trojan War.

Narrated by Patroclus, the novel begins with his childhood as a prince in Phthia, where he is exiled from his family after accidentally killing another boy. He is taken in by King Peleus, where he forms a close bond with Achilles, the son of the king. Despite their differences in temperament and background, Achilles and Patroclus develop a deep and enduring friendship that eventually blossoms into a romantic relationship.

As they grow older, Achilles and Patroclus are sent to train with the legendary centaur Chiron, where Achilles learns of his destiny as a great warrior and the prophecy surrounding his life. When Helen of Sparta is abducted by Paris of Troy, Achilles and Patroclus are drawn into the conflict, leading to the beginning of the Trojan War.

Throughout the novel, Miller explores themes of love, friendship, honor, and destiny. She presents a nuanced and human portrayal of Achilles and Patroclus, depicting their strengths and flaws as they navigate the challenges of war and the pressures of fate.

“The Song of Achilles” is praised for its lyrical prose, rich character development, and emotional depth. It offers a fresh and compelling retelling of an ancient myth, focusing on the intimate relationship between two iconic characters while also capturing the grandeur and tragedy of the Trojan War.

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