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.
**** Huge thank you to Little Brown for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review****
****Trigger Warnings: Rape & Brief Scenes of Violence****
Buddy Read with the amazing Destiny @ Howling Libraries, go check out her blog!
How do I even begin to describe the wonderful experience I had with this book? If I could rate it a million stars I would, it’s honestly one of the best books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I read and adored “Song of Achilles” as well but I have to say that I thought “Circe” was even better.
I cannot praise it enough and I’m going to try and do my best to review it and convince you, readers, just why you should go and pre-order this amazing book!
Be warned though…..it’s mostly gushing!
This is very much a character driven story as we follow Circe throughout her childhood and then her exile on the island of Aiaia, spanning the course of thousands of years. I would not say this is a slow story whatsoever though, watching Circe’s growth as a character and the trials she endures are more than enough to keep you turning pages. There’s never a dull moment and the writing is absolutely gorgeous and creates a beautiful atmosphere overall.
Although this is being marketed as a follow up to “Song of Achilles” and I don’t think it’s necessary to read that book first at all, “Circe” can be read as a standalone and you won’t miss anything. It’s very easy to follow as well, even if you aren’t very familiar with Greek mythology or Circe’s story specifically I don’t think you’d be lost at all. I found that not knowing a whole ton about Circe made the story that much more enjoyable, because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next or how her story ends unlike I did with “Song of Achilles”.
I had assumed apart from a bit of Circe’s origin that most of the story would cover Odysseus’s time on her island but I have never been happier to be wrong about a book. We see so many bits and pieces of other Greek myths throughout reading and being a fan of such myths it was so much fun to see them included! Some of the myths are Theseus and the Minotaur, Daedalus and Icarus, Prometheus, and Jason and the Argonauts. There are a few more as well but overall I had so much fun seeing so many other myths within the story!
I really enjoyed Circe as a character she was incredibly smart, witty, and determined. She works hard at whatever she does and just develops so much over the course of the story it was amazing to see her growth. I think being able to notice how much a character has grown like this is another sign of fantastic writing!
Seeing as Circe is immortal we see many different mortals come and go throughout the story and we do see some other gods/goddesses/nymphs etc. Many of the mortals were very endearing when they had their spotlight such as Daedalus, Princess Ariadne, Queen Penelope, Telemachus, and Telegonus. As for the gods….well they’re not exactly known for being very likable are they?
Since “Circe” spans over many thousands of years there are a few romances to be seen. I won’t go into much detail on them since one of my other favorite pairings is kind of a spoiler. BUT! I will say one of the cutest, most adorable, most endearing couples was Circe and Daedalus. Just everything about those two’s brief time together was well written, my heart!
What I Loved:
- Can I say literally everything? Literally everything.
- Character driven story
- Many other myths included
- Gorgeous writing and atmospheric
- Never a dull moment, keeps you turning pages
- Fantastic character development
What I Didn’t Love:
- Nothing! Everything was perfection!
I know this is a bit of a shorter review but I honestly cannot think of what else to say, this book is truly worth picking up and I feel like even if I wrote pages upon pages of words for this review they still wouldn’t be able to do “Circe” justice.
It’s one of those books I can see myself reading over and over again and that I could also see easily becoming a classic in the future. Everything about it was amazing and I cannot recommend it enough so please, please do yourself a favor and pick up this book!
Here! Links! Go pre-order!