Circe - book cover
  • Publisher : Little, Brown and Company; 1st Edition
  • Published : 10 Apr 2018
  • Pages : 400
  • ISBN-10 : 0316556343
  • ISBN-13 : 9780316556347
  • Language : English


"A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story," this #1 New York Times bestseller is "both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right" (Alexandra Alter, The New York Times).

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.

#1 New York Times Bestseller -- named one of the Best Books of the Year by NPR, the Washington Post, People, Time, Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Newsweek, the A.V. Club, Christian Science Monitor, Refinery 29, Buzzfeed, Paste, Audible, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Thrillist, NYPL, Self, Real Simple, Goodreads, Boston Globe, Electric Literature, BookPage, the Guardian, Book Riot, Seattle Times, and Business Insider.

Editorial Reviews

Winner of the 2019 Indie Choice Award

Readers Top Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: CIRCE by MADELINE MILLER TITLE: CIRCE AUTHOR: MADELINE MILLER PAGES: 352 PUBLISHER: BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING ISBN: 978-1526603333 GENRE: MYTHOLOGY IF I COULD REVIEW IT IN A SINGLE LINE: The best money you’d ever spend THE BLURB: In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft. When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe's place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home. There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe's independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. Breathing life into the ancient world, Madeline Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation. THE REVIEW: I am not usually a fan of mythology reads but this particular book was so talked about on bookstagram that I knew I had to get my hands on it; and obviously was practically squeaking when I father gave it to me as one of my birthday presents. It is one of those reads that collectively makes the fam agree on a stellar rating. The Circe has been read and re read over the past couple of months by as many people as possible out there and has been reviewed by oh so many of us but none of the reviewing including this one can do justice entirely to the book because it has the most epic and novel and yet enticing background with plotlines that there ever has been. Circe is the daughter of Helios, the Sun God and Perse, a naiad and thus a goddess herself but with a catch that she is a nymph with no powers of her own in the initial years or so everyone thought, she suffered at the hands of her siblings. What no one knows is the that she is a powerful witch with a supreme power lying dormant in her. When situation asks for it she rises beyond and shows her true colors. She is a witch so powerful she turns a mortal into God out of her endearing affection and sheer will. Pharmaka or witchcraft is frowned upon by gods and hence Circe is exiled into the land of Aiaia to lead a solitary life and we go on a journey through her immortality. The true power of the book you may say is in the fact that Circe doesn’t just lead ...
Micheala McClelland
Trigger Warning for violence, rape and loss. Madeline Miller has now been added to my auto-buy author list as her books are amazing. This was a masterpiece and when I think about it the one word that comes to mind is beautiful. Utterly and stunningly beautiful and one of my favourite reads of the year. This book is a retelling of The Odyssey and follows the story of the witch Goddess Circe from her life living within halls of her father the Sun God and Titan Helios to her life of exile on Aiaia. This book is very character driven which is what I loved about it and I adored Circe as a character. As the book is so character driven we get a really deep insight in to Circe’s life, her thoughts and feelings, her relationships with her family and the other Gods, the mortals who come upon her island Daedalus, Odysseus. Her experiences of love, loss and loneliness and I loved every second of it. I also loved watching Circe learn what it means to be immortal and what it means to be a mother. Madeline Miller’s writing is phenomenal, it is so poetic and lyrical and I could have easily the whole book as it is so beautiful. Overall, this book is a complete masterpiece that I highly recommend and I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.
Tim BBook Bonkers
I loved the idea behind this book as I delved into the classics from an early age, and truly appreciated the myths and legends of ancient cultures. The author has obviously done much research, and there are parts of the story that are pure poetry. However, I found it jarring, to say the least, when phrases such as ' go get' and 'go fix' - were constantly repeated throughout the book. These are just two examples of the 'Americanisms' that have crept in, albeit under the noses of the seemingly vast number of advisers and publishers who got the book published. Did they read the text? Details like this may seem unimportant, but to me they undermine the authenticity of the story and for that reason I can only award three stars. Olivia
Joy V Spicer
Having read ‘The Odyssey’ ages ago, I admit all I remembered of Circe was that she’d used her witchcraft to turn Odysseus’ men into swine and the speed with which she submitted to Odysseus when her magic didn’t work on him. I liked how she surrounded herself with wild animals but wasn’t impressed with how quickly she invited Odysseus to her bed and allowed him and his men to spend a year on her island. I’m not usually a fan of stories told in first person, but this was, without doubt, the best way to tell this story. Ms Miller has taken someone who was a minor character in ‘The Odyssey’ and given her a larger-than-life story. I think what makes this book such a riveting read is the total focus on Circe. There are no unnecessary side stories. We’re drawn into Circe’s life; we’re privy to her thoughts… nothing is hidden from us. She’s far from perfect; she can be unreasonable, and gives in to her negative emotions, but I found her very easy to like. Although the focus of the story is all on Circe, we’re still treated to an astounding cast of characters – Scylla; Daedalus; Circe’s sister, Pasiphae, mother of the Minotaur; Medea; not to mention the Titans, gods and goddesses. And, last but by no means least, Penelope – another well-written woman, she quickly became my second favourite character. Ms Miller uses straightforward, simple words, yet her descriptions are lyrical and evocative, like her description of Helios’ halls, which also conveys something of the sun god’s nature… ‘My father’s halls were dark and silent. His palace was… buried in the earth’s rock, and its walls were made of polished obsidian. Why not? They could have been anything in the world, blood-red marble from Egypt or balsam from Araby, my father had only to wish it so. But he liked the way the obsidian reflected his light, the way its slick surfaces caught fire as he passed. Of course, he did not consider how black it would be when he was gone. My father has never been able to imagine the world without himself in it.’ I liked that her witch powers don’t appear to her in an instant; she has to put in the work and practice, practice, practice. Circe’s interactions with the other characters, especially Daedalus, Odysseus, her son, Telegonus, even Penelope and Telemachus are all richly told. In Ms Miller’s hands, they become real people, each one a distinct character, strong and memorable in their own way. The gods are portrayed as illogical and capricious, which is how the Ancient Greeks saw them, but they don’t come across as stereotypical or two-dimensional. Although a minor deity, Circe isn’t portrayed as an unattainable goddess. We get to know this remarkable woman extremely well because we’re allowed to share her most personal thoughts. For me, that’s what makes this book – we’re shown Circe as a woman, with the same needs, hopes,...
K. WilkinsonSusie |
DNF. Stopped at page 126. I love mythology, I do not, however, love the F word or other crude language.