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Madeline Miller Books In Order

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xo Orpheus(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Writer's Library(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Madeline Miller is the author of the best-selling historical fiction classic, Songs of Achilles and Circe. Born on 24 July 1978 in Boston, Massachusetts, Miller and her family lived in different cities including Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. After completing her high-school education, Madeline Miller joined the world-renowned Brown University to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Classics and a Master’s degree in Classics as well. Immediately after completing her Master’s education, Miller began to teach Greek, Shakespeare, and Latin to high school students. It was during this period that Miller began to work on a manuscript that would later on, become the bestselling novel, Songs of Achilles.

Madeline Miller Best Books
Songs of Achilles
The Songs of Achilles is Madeline Miller’s debut book, which introduces the readers to two Greek legends, Achilles, and Patroclus. In the Songs of Achilles, author Madeline Miller retells the story of two of Greece’s greatest heroes. However, what makes the Song of Achilles quite different from the works of Homer and other classic writers is that Madeline Miller explores the romance story between Patroclus and Achilles, something that all these authors avoided in their works. As expected, Miller convincingly and creatively fills in the blanks and in the process giving the Greek legend a backstory that makes sense. Furthermore, she also traces the friendship and romance between two Greek warriors in a manner that sheds light on the human side of the famous Trojan war.

Many Greek historical works portray Achilles as an unsympathetic individual, who apart from being a brut is also a big headed jerk and a bully, who knows that he is the star player on his team. Despite the fact that Madeline Miller portrays Achilles unattractive side, she also takes her time to show that Achilles is human and also capable of loving. Apart from having a gentle side and a sense of humor, the readers also get to learn that Achilles is deeply conflicted. Through Patroclus eyes, the readers get to see Achilles grow from an underprivileged child to a teenager and eventually to a young warrior, who tries to balance between his personal feelings and the expectations of his country. Readers who have read Iliad at any one point or are conversant with Greek mythologies, clearly understand that the narrative will have a tragic end.

Many readers will grab the Songs of Achilles believing that they know how the narrative will end, also to discover that they only know a fraction of the full narrative. The Songs of Achilles is ideal for young readers and adults as well. It is important also to note that not all readers will appreciate the Songs of Achilles mainly because the book deals with various inhumane acts, which were the order of the day. Apart from misogyny, Songs of Achilles also has rape, sexism, and bloodshed as well. Author Madeline Miller mentions all these actions offhand mainly because this type of behavior is commonplace to these characters.

Just like in Songs of Achilles, author Madeline Miller explores another controversial relationship in Greek mythology. While in Songs of Achilles, Miller gives the readers a deep insight into the relationship of Patroclus and Achilles, in Galatea, in Galatea she looks at the troubled relationship between Galatea and her controlling creator and husband, Pygmalion. Galatea is a retelling of the famous Pygmalion mythology, a story of how a statue is brought to life by Aphrodite out of sympathy. The book begins 11 years after Aphrodite brings Galatea to life for only one reason, to become Pygmalion’s companion. After Aphrodite turns Galatea into flesh and blood, she gets married to Pygmalion, with whom she has a daughter with. When Aphrodite brought Galatea to life, she gifted her with a free will and a voice, which eventually began to clash with her Pygmalion’s controlling and overprotective ways.

The problem with Pygmalion is that he has never seen Galatea as anything else apart from a beautiful stone statue to be admired. According to Pygmalion, Galatea was an object of desire and an ideal figure to be lasted and revered upon. In the end, Pygmalion’s over-assertiveness and obsession eventually became costly. In Galatea author, Madeline Miller portrays a picture that is vivid, troubling and startling. Madeline Miller narrates a much darker tale that is both mysterious and thought-provoking. Apart from being insightful, Galatea is also tragic, deserving of praise and hauntingly beautiful.

Circe is a retelling of the historical-classic Odyssey, by renowned author Homer. In Odyssey, readers first meet with Circe, after King Odysseus accidentally stumbles upon Circe’s island. Angered by King Odysseus unwarranted visit, Circe decided to use her magical powers and turned all the men in King Odysseus army into pigs. As the second book by author Madeline Miller, Circe follows the young goddess from the period when she was wandering in her father’s hall to her ultimate rise to power. Author Madeline Miller presents the readers with the opportunity of seeing Circe grow, something that author Homer did not offer in his classic tale Odyssey. If you are an avid reader of Greek Mythology, then you are going to enjoy the references to the various characters in Greek mythology.

For readers who do not know a lot about Greek mythologies, then it is highly advisable to Google some of these references to fully understand the narrative. However, readers who may not have time to research about some of these characters, author Madeline Miller has done a fantastic job of ensuring that the reader fully understands the narrative. As expected, the writing has been brilliantly done. Madeline Miller has a unique talent, and she shows it in Circe. Her choice of words are a source of comfort and at the same time offer motivation to the readers. Apart from being soothing, the narrative is also heartbreaking. In the process it allows the readers to float for a while. Nonetheless, individuals who may be looking for a soul destroying and a heart-wrenching tale, similar to her debut novel, then Circe may not be what you are looking for.

Despite the fact that Circe is not plot driven or fast-paced like Miller’s debut novel, The Song of Achilles, author Madeline Miller delivers another entertaining and superbly written narrative. The character and plot development have been exceptionally done, while the setting, the empowerment, and the characters will touch the reader’s heart in numerous ways. By weaving together Homer’s classic tale with other sources, author Miller presents the readers with a classic tale of female empowerment.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Madeline Miller

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