Review Round Up: Circe by Madeline Miller

The author has written a retelling of the Greek myth, following on from her acclaimed novel The Song of Achilles. Here’s what critics have had to say about her latest novel…


The Guardian: “Some will consider her prose too purple, her plotting too neat, but others will find it supple, pitched in a register that bridges man and myth.”

The Independent: **** “Miller has effected a transformation just as impressive as any of her heroine’s own: she’s turned an ancient tale of female subjugation into one of empowerment and courage full of contemporary resonances.”

The Times:  “This novel has none of her previous book’s pace or magic” “This book will surely become a classic; a feminist retelling that turns a tale of suppression into one of empowerment and one that truly deserves a place on your bookshelf.”

Irish Times: “A complex, compelling portrait of one of the most intriguing women in western literature.” “A few passages coil toward melodrama, and one inelegant line after a rape seems jarringly modern, but the spell holds fast. Expect Miller’s readership to mushroom like one of Circe’s spells.” “Through her elegant, psychologically acute prose, Miller gives us a rich female character who inhabits the spaces in between.”

Pop Matters: “In the end, what’s most interesting about Circe is that the recreation of the various Odyssey myths throughout is a kind of subversion of the above perennial philosophy.”

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.

There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Circe is available to buy now

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