“It is a common saying that women are delicate creatures, flowers, eggs, anything that may be crushed in a moment’s carelessness. If I had ever believed it, I no longer did,” (Miller 315).
I knew I would love Circe before I even picked it up. I loved Miller’s debut, Son of Achilles and as a fan of Greek mythology I knew I was going to devour Miller’s telling of Circe’s story. As someone who has long been drawn to magic and witchcraft I knew the basics of Circe’s story, and I am so glad Miller shows readers how large her story is. Circe’s story doesn’t start and end with Odysseus, she has a life and story that is purely her own.
Circe is the least favourite of her siblings. The daughter of the son god Helios and an ocean nymph Perse, Circe doesn’t share her parents powers or charms and is mocked for this by her siblings. In her loneliness Circe watches the mortals and grows curious of their strange life. But Circe soon discovers she has the power of witchcraft and is sent to a deserted island because she is seen as a threat, because Circe can transform those she wishes into her will, whether it be a god or a monster. On her island Circe meets and crosses paths with a number of people and creatures: the Minotaur, Medea, Daedalus, and naturally Odysseus. But there are threats too, threats from the Olympian gods who visit her island, and from many unwanted guests, and Circe has the power to do it.
I don’t know how Miller does it. It probably has something to do with her Masters in Classics, but she is a master in mythology stories. She keeps the truth of the myth while adding layers that feel so right. And I absolutely adore how much of Circe’s story Miller tells. She could have just kept it at Odysseus, as so many people do when talking about Circe, but Miller tells readers what happens after Odysseus and how she continues in her life. I also loved the addition of Pasiphae, Medea, and Penelope. It made me wish that Miller will write a novel for each of these women. But whoever she chooses to write about next I know I’ll enjoy it.
Fierce and fantastic, Circe is a must-read for mythology fans, anyone looking for an introduction into reading about Greek mythology, and anyone who loves magic and strong female characters.
“Witches are not so delicate,” (Miller 202).
“Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep,” (Miller 206.)
Publication: April 10th 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
Pages: 393 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Gift (Thanks Meg!)
Genre: Fiction, Mythology, Feminism, Fantasy
My 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.”