Circe

Circe

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
0316556343
Characteristics: 393 pages

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DanniOcean Apr 17, 2018

An absolute gem of a book.


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liljables Jun 12, 2018

The ultimate challenge of a re-telling or re-imagining of such a well-known story is, of course, that we all know how the story ends (unless the author chooses to take some MAJOR liberties). This would certainly be the case with Circe - I'm sure a lot of readers, and all you mythology buffs out there, will recall her role in The Odyssey, in which she turns Odysseus' crew into pigs but is convinced to return them to human form by the man himself.

So, to write a re-imagining of such a well-known story, the author has to work with what WASN'T included in the original text - in this case, Madeline Miller has created a rich backstory and inner life for Circe. This is how Miller manages to make a fundamentally feminist story out of a series of myths in which women are (for the most part) either sexual objects or...nothing. We get to meet the real, three-dimensional Circe who, despite her immortality, experiences very human disappointments, longing, sorrow, and joy.

Nicr Jun 11, 2018

The Titan witch Circe, nymph with an edge, tells her tale. Triumphant portrait of a fierce, complex immortal whose sorcery is a function of her "will," and an impressive re-imagining of Greek myth. (The Olympians put in striking, charismatic appearances--Apollo, Athena and especially the trickster god Hermes.)

KCLSRacheal Jun 04, 2018

This would be an incredibly satisfying and moving read for anyone who loves deeply insightful books, rich character development, precious cinnamon rolls overcoming adversity, concise yet beautiful language, and compelling explorations of the true weight of immortality and divinity.

k
kaharrison
May 25, 2018

A compelling "autobiography" of a lesser goddess from 'The Odyssey' . She is very like us, but not. The author brings her to life as though she were someone we had met - and either liked, or maybe not. Recommended to aficionados of Greek mythology.

n
Needlz
May 23, 2018

Oh man, where do I even begin? I'm in the minority here, seeing how everyone is showering Circe with love and praise.

First off, I loooovveee Greek Mythology but this book had no viciousness, no passion, no catalyst, no pressure or desire, nothing! Circe was a bland, dispassionate protagonist who made me feel nothing for her. Second, there were far too many character introductions that did nothing to move the story forward, a few name drops here, a banishment there, the most engaging character was the pet lioness.

I'm so entirely disappointed. This reads like the author had a checklist and as long as each box was ticked off, the story didn't matter. Over all, this book is slow, has no definite plot and is just... well, boring. I was expecting so much more. At the middle of the book I found myself wanting to scream "Where's the powerful greek witch who scorns anyone who wrongs her that I've been dreaming of?!" And she just never arrived.

t
talymarie
May 19, 2018

I read the book in two days! It is that riveting and page-turner. I truly recommend the book if you like Greek mythology, if you enjoyed the percy jackson series. Definitely recommend this book!

l
lola_jane
May 10, 2018

This book has it all: multi-dimensional characters, engaging plot, beautiful writing, and evocative setting. I have only a basic knowledge of Greek myth so you don't need to be familiar with the subject to enjoy. Highly recommended.

DBRL_BriannaD May 08, 2018

I finished this book about a week ago, and yet it feels like it's been one of my favorite books for so much longer than that. There are some books that you feel you've known all your life, and "Circe" is one of those for me. As a Classics and mythology lover, I happily fell into Miller's world. It is unbelievably refreshing to hear Homer's familiar stories told from the perspective of Circe. Miller treats her characters with a great respect for the classical tradition, even as she delves into a study of their humanity and complexity that Homer and other ancient authors only hinted at. I don't want to give anything away, but I can assure you that even if you're very familiar with mythology and "The Odyssey," Miller will still manage to surprise you. "Circe" is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it!

TechLibrarian May 07, 2018

What a treat! I heard a few other folks mention this book, and I love Greek and Roman mythology, so I figured it would be up my alley. The nice surprise was the author's ability to make these ancient stories new again. This book would be an excellent book club pick or beach read, as it's smart but engaging. I am now going to have to read the author's previous book, Song of Achilles, though I doubt I will like it as much!

a
Activevoice
May 07, 2018

This book was so much fun to read. The Author, Madeline Miller, is a classics scholar and is clever enough to view the whole pantheon of Gods through the eyes of her protagonist, Circe. And what an interesting pair of eyes. I turned to my Edith Hamilton, “Mythology” a couple of time to get the characters and stories straight but then at the end of Miller’s book is a “Cast of Characters.” If you don’t know your Gods and Goddesses then this is helpful but, of course, gives many of the plot developments away.

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