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Circe Book Review: The Forgotten Greek Goddess

by Pallavi Narang
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Circe book review

The Circe book will land you in the ancient Greek world, where Gods meddle in the lives of humans and heroes still exist. For most of us, Circe was just a love affair of Odysseus, a small side story in the massive tales of The Odyssey. With the excellent writing of Miller, we are introduced to the true Circe. A badass witch who has nothing to lose and everything to win!

Overview of Circe

In the house of the great Titan God Helios, a baby girl is born. Her mother is the bewitching and alluring Perse. One would believe the child was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but nothing can be farther from the truth. The child, Circe, is not as powerful as a Titan’s child should be. She is not beautiful, as one would expect from a nymph’s offspring. In front of her shining siblings, Circe pales. She is forced to live a life of solitude and shame. Shunned by the Gods, she turns to humans for love. But will she get any companionship? Will she realize her true worth? As the story moves, we accompany Circe on her journey to become someone greater than the greatest heroes that we sing songs about.

Circe Book Review

When life gives you citrus limon ( read lemon ) – you make lemonade OR use it for your potion. Circe was dealt a bad hand. She did not find the acceptance that she craved for in either world, the world of the Gods and that of humans. Alone on the deserted island of Aiaia, with animals and plants as her only company, we see Circe grow into a powerful witch that can make almost anything happen with her craft. From the neglected, useless child, she transforms into something that Titans are afraid of.

You will find the lives of various other popular Greek mythology characters entwined in the world of Circe. These include Odysseus, of course, and along with him the Minotaur, Daedalus and his son, Icarus, Medea, and many more.

The growth in this book is phenomenal, but it is not unbelievable. Madeline Miller keeps it organic, reaching the zenith one step at a time. The book will make you question – why does history only remember the deeds of heroes like Jason, Hercules, Odysseus, and others? Why not the great Goddesses and heroines? Why not Circe? The book sets in stone the idea that even a powerful man will turn to a woman in times of need, but a powerful woman is enough to fight the world by herself – go girl power!

TRB Dreamcast 

HBO is set to turn this masterpiece into a sure shot 8-episode series. The news has been in the air since 2019, but we are not graced with the name of the stars signed for the colorful role of Circe. We think Efi Kiouki with her piercing gaze will slay as Circe. And Theo James, as our beloved hero Odysseus, will surely leave a lot of hearts pounding. Let us know your favorite cast that would perfectly fit the characters!

TRB Dreamcast for Circe
TRB Dreamcast for Circe

Final Verdict

I will not stop recommending this book until the day I die. You might think that Rick Riordan holds the best books featuring Greek gods, but Circe is not just a Greek mythology book; it is about love and growth, self and blood, power, and aloofness. If given the permission to be a bit bold, I will call Circe the light-bearer of feminism in the Greek mythology world.

What’s Next?

Cannot have enough of Madeline Miller? Read The Song of Achilles, another book in which she reimagines the story of Achilles and Patroclus – another underdog lost in the brightness of heroes.

Here are some other book recommendations by the TRB team that you should check out. Or you know what? Just read Circe and its beautiful lyrical lines again.

 

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