Circe by Madeline Miller tells the story of a minor god, Circe. She is the daughter of Helios, god of the sun and one of the most powerful of the Titans. However, Circe is not born powerful like her father, or attractive like her mother, and she does not care for the drama and flirtations of the gods. As she grows up she realizes she posses the power of witchcraft, which could even pose a threat to the gods on Mount Olympus. Because of this power, she is banished to an island alone. On this island she hones her craft and lives a solitary life, until famous figures in Greek mythology start arrive at her island’s shores – the Minotaur, Daedalus, Icarus, Medea and Odysseus. But there is always danger for a woman who dares to live and thrive alone. Circe still finds herself drawn into the worlds of men and gods, even as she tries to avoid it. These worlds soon come to a head, asking Circe to choose between the gods and mortals, and causing her to find strength she did not know she had. At its core, Circe is a novel about one woman’s strength and the choices she has to make.
Even if you do not remember all your Greek mythology, this book is still incredibly accessible. There is a key in the back if you need a reminder of who is who, but even if you do not use the back of the book, Miller writes such flushed out characters, you still can enjoy this story. While Circe is not the most action packed book, there is always something new happening and the book moves forward at a good pace.
I would suggest Circe to readers of all types – Fiction and Non-Fiction lovers. Literary and Fantasy lovers. Lovers of Mythology or Historical Fiction.