The Song of Achilles

Hardcover, 416 pages

English language

Published Nov. 7, 2012 by Ecco Press.

ISBN:
9780062060617
OCLC Number:
773303923

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (60 reviews)

Achilles, "the best of all the Greeks," son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods' wrath.

They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

26 editions

Review of 'The Song of Achilles' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This probably isn't a book I would've read on my own but my queer/fantasy book club was reading it so I gave it a whirl and found it enjoyable. It was a quick read and, having not been assigned The Illiad for required reading in school (we read The Odyssey), I realized I wasn't actually that familiar with the source material beyond flashback to the atrocious film Troy.

The love story is the root of everything and it's handled very well. I'm particularly fond of the subtleties in how the characters change over time from their youth into young adulthood and how the main character has to reckon with his love for Achilles even as watches him become someone he probably wouldn't be in love with if he wasn't already.

The sticky wicket for me is, as with any historical story that hews to the brutality of the times, especially …

Review of 'La canzone di Achille' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

La storia tra Patroclo e Achille, raccontata dal punto di vista del primo e non dell'eroe greco.
Una storia toccante e delicata, con la guerra e i combattimenti in secondo piano, e in primo piano invece i sentimenti di Achille, il più grande tra i greci, e Patroclo, il più grande di animo.
Libro bellissimo, anzi di più.
"Non sono riuscita a far di lui un dio"
"Ma hai fatto lui"

Review of 'The Song of Achilles' on 'Storygraph'

4 stars

THE SONG OF ACHILLES is the story of Achilles’s boyhood and (most of) the Trojan War, as told by his lover, Patroclus. Patroclus’ focus is ever on Achilles, for Achilles is Patroclus’ love and it’s so moving to tell this story through the warm glow of that adoration and desire. 

I like how it handles the very high number of sexual assaults and consent violations which are, in many ways, the backbone of Greek mythology (or at least the family trees). Just giving proper context to this story and to events in Patroclus' and Achilles' lives requires some discussion of these themes, and I think it did as well as it could without feeling very anachronistic. This is a beautiful retelling of a tragic story, it makes me wish that Achilles, Patroclus, and Breisis could have been happy together, but it wasn't meant to be.

This retelling takes the stance …

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Subjects

  • Trojan War
  • Greek mythology
  • Fiction
  • History
  • Trojan War
  • Achilles
  • Patrocles
  • LGBT+
  • Romance
  • Fantasy
  • Mythology

Places

  • Turkey
  • Troy (Extinct city)
  • Greece