Standalone Sunday: The Song of Achilles


Standalone Sunday is a weekly feature created by Megan at Bookslayer Reads which aims to showcase standalone books which you loved or would recommend.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their difference, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeperβ€”despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.Β 

But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfil his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Compared to fantasy and sci-fi books I don’t read a lot of historical fiction. After seeing some amazing reviews for The Song of Achilles though, and adding to that the fact that it is a book that retells the story of the Trojan War, I knew I had to read it for myself. I finished this book in August and I’m still not over the way it ended. I haven’t read The Iliad myself, maybe one day I’ll get around to it, but I still knew going into The Song of Achilles how this story would end for both Achilles and Patroclus. That doesn’t mean the last part of the book didn’t rip my heart out, stamp all over it, and burn the remains to a crisp.

“Name one hero who was happy.”

I considered. Heracles went mad and killed his family; Theseus lost his bride and father; Jason’s children and new wife were murdered by his old; Bellerophon killed the Chimera but was crippled by the fall from Pegasus’ back.

“You can’t.” He was sitting up now, leaning forward.

“I can’t.”

“I know. They never let you be famous and happy.”

You can check out my review for The Song of Achilles here.

What did you think of The Song of Achilles? Have you read it yet or is it still on your to-read list? Let me know in the comments and let me know if you took part in this week’s Standalone Sunday as well.

38 thoughts on “Standalone Sunday: The Song of Achilles

      1. Gah Beth but there are so many books on my TBR before the end of the year comes round *panics*

        No seriously I will probably shun all my poor other books that need to be read because I’m in the mood for some historical fiction and you’ve made me want to pick it up even more now XD

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Same here, I know I’m not going to get around to them all but anything I don’t will be moved onto my 2017 to-read list! πŸ˜€
        Hey go with whatever you’re in the mood for. That’s normally how I pick what I want to read. πŸ™‚ Plus anything to get you to pick up this book as well! πŸ˜€


  1. If it hadn’t been for Patroclus being such a great character I would not have finished it. The writing was not bad but the war bored me and I had a hard time not giving up for the last 30%!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I think I remember us talking about this book before. I agree Patroclus was an amazing character, but other than that it’s a shame the war part of the story was boring for you. That’s pretty much the bulk of the book isn’t it? πŸ™‚


  2. I keep hearing so many amazing things about this book lately. I picked it up from a second had stall on a whim and since then it’s just been jumping at me from all corners. I did a unit studying greek mythology at uni so I definitely think I would appreciate and enjoy this one. I can’t wait until I get around to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is an amazing book. I read it on my Kindle and then just had to go out and buy it in paperback so I had a copy for my bookshelves! If you like Greek mythology then this is definitely the book for you. It’s such an amazing story with such amazing characters, in my opinion! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeez beth! it scares me how eerily close our reading taste lie LOL! The Song Of Achilles is one of those books that has Lilly written all over it, as a matter of fact my husband gifted this one to me. Which saddens me even more because I haven’t started it yet *peeks behind massive book mountain* lol. I know that I’m going to love it & at the same time it will probably break me but I cannot turn down any book based off of Greek or Roman mythology. Simply cannot LOL. My 2017 list of books I MUST read is already underway πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great minds think alike and all that! πŸ˜€ Or I guess in this case it would be great minds read alike.
      Oh I’d definitely recommend starting it ASAP, it was a book that had me written all over it as well and I just loved it. Yes it tore my heart to pieces but it was still an amazing story. But I also know what you mean about the mountains of books waiting for you as well! πŸ˜€
      I can’t turn down any mythology related book either.It’s a favourite topic of mine!
      I should probably get started on a 2017 to-read list as well now you mention it! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! I know, I’ve heard from some close blogger friends that this book seriously breaks your heart but I’m so ready for it. I’m def making a list & sticking to it like good ol’ Saint Nick for the new year lol. Mythology has always been a subject of interest & was one of the reasons I started reading heavily. Lists are great Beth! I don’t wanna miss any of the new books in 2017 while I’m reading my TBR so I have 2 running lists lol. One for my TBR must reads & the other for highly anticipated 2017 new releases πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m still not over it, even not months after reading and finishing it I still can’t get over that ending! Mythology has always been an interest of mine as well and this book was just the perfect one to pick up for me! I’ll make a list but I won’t stick to it! πŸ˜€ I never do.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, I’ve only read this book once in comparison but I need to let my heart recover a little before picking it up and putting myself through it all again! πŸ˜€
      I wouldn’t say I’m a massive fan of historical fiction either. I have my favourites from the genre though and this book is definitely one of them, plus one I will re-read a lot as well! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember reading your review for this one and automatically adding it to my TBR. I’m saving it for when I’m in the mood for something that is going to rip my heart out πŸ™ˆ. It sounds like such a fantastic book though and I love anything that deals with Greek mythology. Great pick, Beth! 😊β™₯

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh that is good, and yeah a good idea to wait until you’re in the mood for a book like this because it will rip your heart out. Have some YA contemporaries on standby for when you’ve finished because you will need them. I did. πŸ™‚
      Definitely a fantastic book,and a great way to add more Greek mythology stories to your to-read list as well.
      Thanks Melissa, I hope you enjoy this book! πŸ˜€ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Honestly, I’m not sure that I’ve heard of this book before. But I love Historical Fiction and it sounds like something I’d be interested in! So thank you for introducing me to this book. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for introducing me to Stand-Alone Sunday. This is a meme I’ll have to seek out. I’m always looking for a quick read that’s not a series. I’ve heard about Song of Achilles, but I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not (idk why since I love mythology and fantasy). I’ll have to check this one out though. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s all right, I’d definitely recommend taking part in this meme just because it’s a great way to highlight some amazing standalone books that never get as much love as series do they?
      If you love mythology and fantasy then I’d highly recommend this book to you. It’s an amazing read and a favourite of mine! πŸ˜€


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