If you’ve read The Odyssey before you may remember that Circe’s island is where Odysseus’ crew is turned into pigs but using his charm,
Odysseus is able to undo the charm and ultimately gain aid from Circe. In the abridged version I teach in my freshman English class, Circe’s island is one of the few events that survived the abridging process.
Circe, the book, provides a complete picture of who the character is from birth to death. Her parentage is divine as her father is the Titan Helios and her mother the nymph Perse. Even thorough Circe is a goddess, it does seem that she’s more well known as a witch than for her divinity. The book does a great job at explaining her struggles with her divinity and her ties to the mortal world.
I have to admit that apart from The Odyssey, my knowledge of the Greek gods is limited to the Percy Jackson series. Surprisingly, the Olympians aren’t front and center but are mentioned throughout. Instead we get more in depth views of the Titans who survived the war and some of the lesser gods. As had always been my impression, the Greek gods are nothing to envy. They are just as petty and capricious as the mortals they rule over. Except that for the gods, they have way more power and immortality.
Even if you aren’t familiar with Greek mythology the storytelling in the book is worth it. This book was one of those that I had to make myself stop reading in order to get some sleep. Maybe because of how much the book drew me in I was very disappointed in the ending. Not so much the content but the rapid manner of tying everything together. It didn’t do the plot or the characters any favors.
I highly recommend this book whether for personal or book club reads.