Circe by Madeline Miller
Updated: Feb 8
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.
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.
This book both bored me and surprised me.
I admit that i was not expecting to like this novel, mostly because I had tried to read historic fiction before and had failed at it .
I thought that it was going to be difficult to read and utterly boring.
Instead the writing is fluid and very approachable, it is easy to follow the plot and the characters due to the simple writing. Otherwise it would be really difficult.
I am so divided. I don't know if i liked the experience or if i didn't. Mostly because I feel like the story and how it is written is interest but also how it is just an empty myth and following of a single MC.
SPOILERS ahead, be warned that this is a spoilery review.
Circe, our main character ( obviously) is not a perfect persona. I like her but for a whole chunk of the book I was bored with her wrong decisions and how she never did anything for herself.
I mean just get it together, you had thousands of years to do so.
I believe that it is hard for the story to improve the aspect that drove crazy about Circe which is her changing into herself. It was jagged and although she always ended up alone I felt like she never learned. Not even in the end.
I think the book is good in its way that portraits time passing but the story passes in such a huge block of time that it is almost impossible to feel it really. But this is also a good point if the novel because it capture how immortals really feel and how they are not aquatinted with the idea if death and time.
"Gods are the opposite of death"
Apart from our MC all the character were a little flat for my liking. And although we do get a big cast most of them are completely forgettable or completely useless. Some even feel like they are only there so that circe could finally grow up and learn to live.
For me this is a mistake. Characters should be their own person. Not used only to an ending and they discarded by the author and never heard of again.
The importance of this book, from what I got from it, is the discovery of what a person is and what a person can become.
This is why we have contrasting characters both mortals and goddess that are never-changing.
But I think that in the end Circe had no closure. No learning. She ended up sleeping with a man that she only knew for a month. So little just like Glaucus.
It is true that this one ended up being the real deal and good dude but she didn’t know and she proved that she is still reckless and trust easily. I am by no means saying that she didn’t improve. I was shocked when she dared her father openly.
But that is because I didn't believe that she had actually changed much. THere were no signs.
And I must say the ending was...bitter-sweet. I think that is was well done and beautifully written. Entertaining even but I couldn’t shake the feeling that she could just turned and be human the first time Hermes told her about her human voice.
I mean that was a giver no?
I jus found unnecessary most of her story. It was not necessary for that ending for sure. But i know that this is myth re-telling and I am not sure how much is author and how much is history.
“Witches are not so delicate,” I said.
Overall I enjoyed myself and I departed the book with the feeling that I had learned
something. But there was boring parts that dropped the pacing to zero and made me want to put the novel down. And weirdly that happen in the last part of the book, so I can say that I enjoyed the first chapters way more.
It was a bit repetitive and a lot of things were just mentioned and left untied all around the plot.
But it was fun to read about a witch that was a god and a titan and that was the child of the sun and how she turned herself human.
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