At last, I can say that I have read Circe. It was a long journey and I have some uncertainties, but perhaps only getting in touch with my emotions through writing will clear them up – here are my thoughts!
Circe, daughter of Helios and a nymph, is born different than her siblings. She is neither cruel like her father, nor pretty and intriguing like her mother. Feeling alone all her life, she one day discovers flowers that have magic in them, which change her life. Scared of witchcraft, her father Helios excels her to the island of Aiaia, where she is bound to life for all eternity. But on the island she learns more than just spells and witchcraft, for there are many visitors, among them the warrior Odysseus who might change her life for good.
Circe’s tale is a vivid epic of family rivalry, love and loss – the inextinguishable song of a woman being hot and bright in the darkness of a man’s world.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars
To be fair, I am torn apart here. On the one side, this read was just plain magic. On the other, it didn’t really have a ground story – no concrete plot line – more like a biography.
Let me start with the writing: the writing was the best I have ever witnessed. This book was beautifully written – I have never read any author who had the power to put word next to word next to word and create such a powerful read.
The atmosphere was strongly linked to the writing for me. I could perfectly picture the island of Aiaia, Circe’s house and world of the gods. That was truly astonishing and for this experience, I am utterly grateful. Madeline Miller truly is an outstanding writer.
The plot is where it gets difficult. From what I knew this book would be about from reading the spine, I thought it would be about Circe exiled and then meeting Odysseus and then their story. However, it was much more. It was Circe’s whole life story, with every small period of her life, all her meetings and everything. And I believe other people would enjoy this, however I am not made for this. I need a concrete story line and the book simply lacked this – therefore only 4/5 stars.
The characters portrayed in this book, mostly the gods were simply mind blowing. Circe was the perfect protagonist – that is, not perfect but perfectly human with all her flaws and regrets of her doings in the past. And that was great. Most of the YA characters are too much – too perfect. And it simply wasn’t like that here and it was refreshing. The gods were on a whole different level – I shuddered when Athena spoke and feared for Circe when Helios declared her exiled. And that’s what books should be – they should make you feel and forget your surroundings and this book did exactly that.
Recommendable: Yes – for those who don’t need a concrete plotline
That is true – this book took me extremely long because it lacked focus on one aspect. And I need that. But I have talked enough of its one flaw. All in all: this book was magic, but you will only ever experience its true beauty and its astonishing end once you’ve read it – so be sure to do that.