It’s been longer than usual since I last posted a review, I am sorry this one took me longer than usual to read. But I have done it! This week I have another book that was from my massive pile of books that I got gifted for Christmas. I had seen it on a lot of blogs and heard a lot of good stuff. It is Circe by Madeline Miller. This International Number One Bestseller was published 10/4/2018 by Little, Brown and Company Hardback and consists of 393 pages. It has been awarded many awards such as Myothopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature in 2019, Women’s Prize for Fiction, 2019 and Goodreads Choice Award for Fantasy 2018.
As always, here’s the unedited synopsis as seen on the back cover of the book…
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe is strange – not powerful and terrible, like her father, nor gorgeous and mercenary like her mother. But she has a dark power of her own: witchcraft. When Circe’s gift threatens the gods, she is banished to the island of Aiaia where she hones her occult craft, casting spells, gathering strange herbs and taming wild beasts. Yet a woman who stands alone cannot live in peace for long – and among her island’s guests is an unexpected visitor: the mortal Odysseus, for whom Circe will risk everything.
Circe’s tale is a vivd epic of family rivalry, love and loss – the inextinguishable song of woman burning hot and bright in the darkness of a man’s world.
This story follows young Circe as she tries to come to terms with the ways of her kind and we see her make a lot of choices that makes her family and fellow immortals not so fond of her. She makes some poor mistakes as she discovers the breadth of her magical abilities of which she regrets for many lifetimes and she experiences hurt, loss, anger, happiness and love. The book follows a lot of Greek Mythology which I like the idea of, I’ve always been interested in Greek Mythology and all of the stories about the gods and Demigods.
I will start with the positive of this book that I found first, I think that the book is well researched when it comes to the Greek mythology, everything is very detailed and tied up nice. The language of the book is very well written. It reads nice the way Miller has set up her sentences. The cover is absolutely stunning too I love the black and gold colours and the way they contrast and also the gold drawings of animals and plants that create a very intricate filagree effect. I also liked how everyone seemed to get their happy ending.
However, I didn’t love this book overall. And if you follow me on instagram, you will probably already know this. I struggled to read it so much and to stay interested. It just felt very slow and two dimensional. There was no suspense or urgency. It just kind of plodded on. I can’t even say it was just slow to get to its penultimate moment, I felt like it didn’t have one. Even when they face the Goddess of War, there is no big confrontation full of emotion. It feels like a conversation about a mundane everyday occurrence.
I have seen so many people love this book. I wanted to love it too, but I just don’t think it was a bit of me. I couldn’t for the life of me get into this book. I found it so difficult to get excited about, it was missing something for me. However, I don’t think this is a bad book at all, and the numerous good reviews on Goodreads support this, I just don’t think it was for me.
All in all, a well researched premise, just not gripping enough for my attention span so I will probably be donating this book instead of keeping it.
Star Rating /5