I’m not the kind of girl who falls for the hype, but nowadays I’m just so curious about these books. They get so much attention, people swear their lives that you will love these books and I can’t scroll through bookstagram without seeing one hyped book everyday.
So my curiosity got the best of me and I had to throw myself into the war of Troy, the story of Iliad: The Song of Achilles.
This book is a unique and beautiful retelling of The Iliad for the newer generations to easily understand this story that was written with an insanely heavy language. (Trust me, I was so in the Greek mood after this story that I started to read the Iliad… didn’t make it too far yet, but I will continue.)
The main protagonist is Patroclus who is an exiled prince, who’s father is rather happy to get rid of him, because he is definitely not that super masculine Greek warrior every king expects to have as their heir.
So Patroclus wanders off until he finds Phthia, where the king provides a home for exiled kids and educates them. That’s how Patroclus meets with the prince of Phthia, Achilles and their fate is bound together forever.
I can understand why people love this book and become obsessed with it, but it still didn’t make it to 5 moons (stars) for me.
Let me start with the things I actually liked.
The language is beautiful. As a foreigner whose native language is not English, it was a great book to learn from. So I found value in both the story and the written side.
I’m a big fan of Greek mythology and I was stunned about the descriptions using these myths. I also love Greece and Madeline managed to capture this country’s aura perfectly. I felt like I’m back on my summer vacations I had in Greece, only a couple of thousands of years earlier.
The story was mostly engaging, I expected a little more action though. If you are down for all kinds of descriptions and the beautiful sentences and quotes this book holds, it’s definitely for you, but I’m more into action-packed, quick-paced scenes.
I still loved it.
Now the characters didn’t really make it for me, nor did the romance. I found it a little flat and while sometimes I could see some color in Achilles and Patroclus, it faded away really soon.
As I mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of descriptions, so for my taste some parts were unnecessary and they I got bored.
SPOILER ALART! SKIP THE NEXT PART UNTIL YOU SEE THE SIGN SPOILER OFF
I hated Patroclus’ death. It was the silliest thing ever and the most unnecessary thing in the whole book.
Hear me out:
The point for Achilles is that people know that he is not battling, because of the crimes Agamemnon did to him, right?
But both the Greeks and the Trojans need to be tricked into thinking Achilles is actually fighting so the Greeks can be more confident and the Trojans will be more fearful.
Okay, but if the Greeks think it’s Achilles they will also think that he forgave Agamemnon (which is what Achilles doesn’t want them to believe) so in the end it doesn’t matter if Achilles or Patroclus goes out on the battlefield!
One of the most awkward deaths ever in my opinion.
I would have loved it way more if Patroclus just stole Achilles’ armor and went out in secret. But the fact that Achilles actually agrees to this plan is just ruining the whole thing.
So yeah. I still enjoyed this book a lot and I’m grateful that I went on this adventure because it is truly beautiful. I know that I only rated this four and a half moons cause it wasn’t really my taste at times. I can still recommend it to anyone!