Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
"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."
Circe, a standalone fantasy novel by Madeline Miller, retells stories from Greek mythology.
For me, this book was good but not great. I think what made me like the story was the fact that I knew most of the myths being told and knew all of the characters prior to reading this (perks of majoring in classical studies). The format of the book suffers a bit pre-Odysseus, as the story is just a mixture of various myths seen through Circe's perspective. While I did not enjoy this as much as other people seem to, I like and know Greek mythology enough to make this an enjoyable read.
Another thing that hindered my enjoyment of the book a bit was Circe herself. I went from not liking her, to liking her, and then back to not liking her again. In the beginning, she was naive but then she finally grew a backbone but then I started losing sympathy for her when her son grew up. She had that controlling thought that she had to protect him from everything and would do so even by force. Not okay in my books.
If you like mythology retellings, Madeline Miller seems to be the way to go.