Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller


In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–neither 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 with the mortals she has come to love.


Circe has been sitting on my Kindle since 2019 and I’m on a real mission to make it through every book I have on it. Oh should I have read this sooner. I absolutely loved this book. 

It was definitely a slow moving story and there wasn’t really a narrative to follow, but I love Greek mythology and the way in which these stories were woven together was absolutely incredible. This book is utterly poetic and even the most violent of moments are beautifully written.

I didn’t know a lot about Circe before reading this and (assuming this is true to the myths) I had no idea that she was related to the Minotaur. That was one of my favourite myths as a kid and learning about its origin was great. 

I’ve once again finished a book without making any review notes. Circe really drew me in and just couldn’t put it down. The story was so immersive and I actually quite liked that it spanned such a long amount of time. Her entire life story was told over 350 pages but not a single moment felt rushed, the pacing was slow, but moved at a good rate and I loved the open ending. 

I’m terrible at explaining why I loved a book and that’s what’s happening here. Circe was incredible and it’s a five star read for me. If you’re interested in mythology, you absolutely need to read this.

I’m now going to buy the Song of Achilles because I heard it’s just as good, if not better than Circe and I need that in my life.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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