A Novel

Book - 2018
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#1 New York Times Bestseller
" A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story, Circe manages to be both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right." --- Alexandra Alter, New York Times
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.

Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316556347
Characteristics: 393 pages


From Library Staff

Another top book of 2018, this epic stretches over the life of Circe, a famous mythological figure from ancient Greece. This a great book for readers looking to move from the YA section to adult fiction

DanniOcean Apr 17, 2018

An absolute gem of a book.

From the critics

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Dec 09, 2018

Recommended by a New York Times comment maker regarding the Top 10 Best Books of 2018.

ArapahoeBeverly Dec 05, 2018

Although I haven't finished Circe, I am enjoying it immensely. i like the pacing, the prose and the main character's point of view.

DPL_Graham Dec 04, 2018

Let’s face it – Greek Myths and the pantheon of gods involved can be hard to digest and understand. If you have a lingering hangover from high-school and college readings and think you’ve just about had it with dense Greek mythology, think again! This book is a masterpiece and I would recommend it to any adult reader.

Madeline Miller takes the story of Circe, the witch and goddess who transformed men into pigs when they visited her island, into a delightful and thought provoking read. The story is told from Circe’s perspective and we learn to understand and care for a character who in many tales is a one-off witch defeated by heroes and abandoned. The Greek Gods are both horrifying and intensely interesting and Miller easily takes us through their complicated world filled with emotions and adventures foreign to our daily life.

I’m continually impressed by Miller’s writing style. Easy to read, flowing off the page, transforming and delightful yet packed with so much depth. The 400 pages fly by and I was ready for her next book right away. Very few authors can write and this level and I’m so excited that I found her works.

Dec 04, 2018

Goodreads "best book 2018"

I am not a Greek mythology buff by any stretch of the imagination, so you can understand my reluctance to pick up this book about the Greek goddess Circe, daughter of Helios (the Sun God). Much to my surprise however, Madeline Miller’s Circe was completely accessible. I thought, oh boy I’m going to get confused with all the long Greek mythology names and places, but I did not have any issues at all with it. In fact, I could not put the book down and would rush home just so I could keep reading it. I wanted to keep going but at the same time, I didn’t want it to end! This is a fantastic epic about a forgotten Goddess, who truly deserves this homage. Circe is the Goddess of magic who turns men into pigs. What more do you need to know? This book delves into a wonderfully constructed backstory with cameos by some of your favourite Greek gods and goddesses. Without a doubt, Circe is a spellbinding read! (Submitted by Alan)

Nov 01, 2018

I loved this book, I started it knowing nothing about the goddess Circe and now she's one of my favorites. Much like The Song of Achilles the story follows her lifetime and the characters in it are very relatable and realistic. I liked how the heroes were flawed and human and that she was able to take control of her own life.

SnoIsleLib_LindseyA Oct 31, 2018

I treasure "The Song of Achilles" so I was prepared to love this book, and I was not disappointed. It was so deliciously good! Miller's language is musical. It's elevated. It's my catnip. There's just something about her writing that speaks to me. Her retellings are rich with magic, myth, and ancient history.

This tale of Circe, the misunderstood witch from Homer's Odyssey, reinforces what I've always known: The Greek gods are jerks, and their mortal heroes (e.g., Odysseus) aren't much better. I always felt that Circe had a raw deal (like most women in Greek mythology and literature), but the intimacy of this book transforms her into a fully fleshed character. I'm aching to read whatever Madeline Miller publishes next.

As I often do when I can, I switched back and forth between text and audio when reading this book. Perdita Weeks' smooth narration bolsters what is already a vibrant story

Oct 25, 2018

Amongst whom Circe “crossed the hollow of each other’s skin” with, no surprise though, Telemachus turned out to be the most successfully created role and pivotal to elevate the book above classical legend.
The fate of Odysseus narrated is one possibility though, and more than convincing, I cannot think of a better one, it at least mitigated my disgust felt at the end of reading my hero’s Odyssey.

Graphically vivid, penned words could triumph over brush strokes where imagery can easily dominate.

Human have more weaknesses than follies, but Gods are more dead than anything. With open ending, I salute Circe’s beautiful life.

Stare into the seam of sea and sky,
Helios' chariot rushing by
embraced under his wings
imagine Circe in the world of this book, where my body would lie.

ArapahoeKara Oct 16, 2018

Circe is a feminist account of the famous goddess from Greek mythology in The Odyssey. I loved every page, scene and chapter of this novel, because ultimately it's the story of a woman trying to carve her own path and survive in a world ruled by men, with a heroine all women can relate to and root for. Though an adult book, mature teen readers who grew up on Percy Jackson may find Miller's story enthralling as well.

JCLJessicaW Oct 10, 2018

Circe, the infamous sea witch from Homer's Odyssey, finally gets to tell her side of the story. The result is a moving journey of self-realization that is certain to captivate readers.

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