Book Reviews

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller | Book Review

Genre: Greek Mythology, Retelling, LGBTQIA+
Publication: Bloomsbury Publication
No. of Pages: 352
Book Type: Standalone
My Rating: 3/5
Trigger Warning: War, Abduction, Mature Content, Death, Human Sacrifice


Greece in the age of heroes, Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince and as they grow into young men skilled in the art of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But, when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Patroclus: Achilles’ Companion
Achilles: Son of King Peleus and God Thetis
Thetis: Achilles’ Mother

On the Plot:

The plot of the book was smooth and filled with adventure. There are too many surprising elements in the book that you will never see coming. The war scenes were phenomenal even though the ending was obvious and predictable.

Writing & Theme

The book had many promising characters and was rich with details. I was quite excited and hooked to know more, even though I knew the ending will tear me apart.
There were certain things about the writing style that did not work for me:

  • The book started with a third person’s narrative and to my dismay continued that way till the end. I liked Patroclus describing everything, but as the story proceeded I craved to know the side of the other characters involved especially Achilles’.
  • There were some limited no. of pages where I could see dialogues, but the rest of the time it was a very monotonous monologue.
  • As the title has Achilles’ in it, I presumed it was Achilles who will the main character, only to find myself disappointed in later chapters.
  • The entire book described how Patroclus was victimized and also, Achilles’ was portrayed as someone who did not have a mind of his own.
  • It was pitiful what happened in the end.


I really liked Achilles’ and Paroclus as characters, even though there was not much about Achilles’. The growth of Patroclus as a character was huge. I liked the character Briseis: she was brave and I really wanted to know more about her.


With all the great story telling abilities of the author, I felt this book lacked dialogues and perspective of Achilles on all the events.
Read if you love: Greek Mythology, Re-tellings and War Themed books.

  • And perhaps it is the greater grief, after all, to be left on earth when another is gone.
  • He is half of my soul, as the poets say.
  • He is a weapon, a killer. Do not forget it. You can use a spear as a walking stick, but that will not change its nature.
  • Name one hero who was happy.
  • I will never leave him. It will be this, always, for as long as he will let me.

2 thoughts on “The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller | Book Review

    1. Thank you so much Surbhi. It was a great buddy read session. I wish I could like the book more.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s