Circe

Circe

A Novel

Book - 2018
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#1 New York Times Bestseller
" A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story, Circe manages to be both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right." --- Alexandra Alter, New York Times
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.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.

Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316556347
0316556343
Characteristics: 393 pages

Opinion

From Library Staff

Another top book of 2018, this epic stretches over the life of Circe, a famous mythological figure from ancient Greece. This a great book for readers looking to move from the YA section to adult fiction

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DanniOcean Apr 17, 2018

An absolute gem of a book.


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a
ApollosRaven
Jan 15, 2019

In clean, simple and powerful language the immortal Circe tells her story. The gods & heroes of Greek mythology come to Circle's island across a period of centuries -- but we see their stories through her eyes. Miller's knowledge of Greek mythology is enviable. Her interpretation of Circe's character and struggles, in terms meaningful to 21st-Century women, is nothing less than breath-taking.

b
bairdbrain
Jan 13, 2019

Circe, daughter of the sun god Helios, is exiled to an island for years and uses much of her time by honing her skills as a witch. This novel is a glittering dive into a world of magic and cutthroat actions. The writing is spellbinding and magnificent, and reflects the burden of immortality.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jan 09, 2019

Fascinating beyond the simple retelling of a Greek myth. It’s an inverted Odyssey, with Circe staying in place while the stories come to her. At its core it’s really about how stories vary with perspective. Fascinating and well structured. Those who enjoyed OSF’s 2017 production of The Oddyssey should definitely check this one out!

k
ksilkett
Jan 03, 2019

This is an incredible story that stays true to the mythologies its based off of by presenting flawed heroes and fantasies in a world of stories. The main character, Circe, slowly comes to appreciate humanity and mortality as she grows and learns over the centuries of her immortal life. The book reads much like a coming of age story despite taking place over a period of centuries. I highly recommend it if you are a fan of Greek Mythology, especially since you get to meet some of the most famous characters from it.

l
lesliegay
Jan 03, 2019

An extraordinary book for anyone who ever loved their mythology (or a great jump in the deep end for newcomers) - with a very different perspective on the lives of gods, demigods, and the mortals in their orbit. Though there is pettiness, cruelness and power struggles galore, the deep strength of Circe and her knowledge of her unending existence is such a unique perspective and provides the backbone of the novel. Each of the many interactions Circe has with the other characters, both men and women, divine and mortal, has an insight or thoughtful outcome. My suggestion is to not read any book club reading questions until after completing the book - and then the author has excellent questions on her own site. A very good book that definitely lives up to the hype and one that you will recommend to friends!

DCLadults Jan 02, 2019

New & Noteworthy Best of 2018 Pick. This book reads like a soap opera of the gods and goddesses. So much power, envy, vanity and pride results in one mesmerizing story.

c
cheadlebeagle
Jan 02, 2019

This is a wonderful book and I found myself totally drawn into the story. If you have no interest in Greek mythology or love it this is the book for you. Can't wait to read the author's other novel now.

ArapahoeTiegan Jan 02, 2019

After reading this book, I can see how it ended up on so many "Best of" lists in 2018. The research that Madeline Miller put into this story was amazing. It was really cool to see how many different stories she knew of when looking at the "Cast of Characters" list and then recognizing which versions she decided to include in her own story. This was beautifully done - I honestly felt seamlessly transported into this story, into history. One of the most well-written novels I have read in a little while.

a
alex4884
Dec 19, 2018

I don't know what to say other than I love love love this book. I am going to purchase it to have, so I can read it again and again.

Chapel_Hill_MarthaW Dec 19, 2018

​I'm not certain what to say about this that hasn't already been said by countless other reviewers, by the mere fact of its presence on so many year-end best-of lists, but I'll attempt it: this is the best book I read all year. It takes a character that many readers are passingly familiar with from Greek mythology and gives her her own voice, to tell her own story, and the results are magical. Miller's writing is so beautiful and lyrical that it seems astonishing that she should be able to also make her pacing so quick, and yet she accomplishes this combination somehow. I originally listened to this on audio (before buying myself a print copy -- see how much I loved this?!), and if you love audiobooks, I hiiiiiighly recommend listening to this one, because it is divine. But no matter how you experience it, read this book -- if for no other reason than that the last few pages are themselves a master class in how to end a book. Absolutely stunning from start to (especially!) finish.

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