I was very late to the party on this one, but I’m sure glad I was invited. I heard how good this book was for a few years, but for one reason or another, I never got around to it. I did read The Song of Achilles last year and loved it, but I didn’t want to dive into Circe immediately afterwards. Achilles is HEARTBREAKING and I needed a breather.
When I was a kid, I was OBSESSED with Greek Mythology, so the story of Odysseus and Circe was already very familiar to me. However, I didn’t know anything about Circe before or after Odysseus. Circe tells her story from her early childhood, where she was born to the Titan Helios. She was beloved of neither of her parents, and mostly left to fend for herself. Eventually she falls in love with a mortal fisherman, and accidentally uses her witchcraft to turn him immortal. Of course, he falls in love with a Naiiad instead, so out of jealousy, Circe curses her to become a sea monster. Because witchcraft is forbidden, Zeus sentences her to exile on the island of Aiaia.
In exile, Circe has more freedom than ever, but has to camoflage her island in order to stay free from random male soldiers. That doesn’t stop her from being visited by other deities, and she has a bit of a romantic entanglement with Hermes.
I am an absolute sucker for any kind of mythology/fairy tale retelling, especially one with a feminist perspective, and this one definitely did not disappoint. It lived up to all the hype and more. I have heard that Madeline Miller is currently working on a Hades/Persephone retelling, and since that is my favorite story in Greek Mythololgy, I could not possibly be more excited.
CBR 15 Bingo – Relation”ship”. There is a LOT of shipbuilding, ship voyages, and romance in this book.