Unless you find the tale of Odysseus interesting or are a fan of Greek Mythology in general, this might not be the book for you.
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.
This was voted to be my July book pick for my #EnchantedReadsBookClub and I’m so happy it was! It finally got me to pick up this entrancing retelling! I really enjoyed being able to discuss this one.
I’ll be honest though it was hard for me to decide what to rate this one. While I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, it was much denser and slower paced than I anticipated. There were parts that I struggled to get through. I found Miller’s writing style to be very unique but also wordy and over descriptive at times. It caused this to feel glacier paced for the most part. I felt like I took forever to get through this story. And for all of this, I can see this may not be an enjoyable book for everyone.
While I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, it was much denser and slower paced than I anticipated it.
That being said, I did enjoy reading this one. I loved following Circe in this retelling of the tales around her and her immortal family, especially the tale Odysseus. I would say I know a fair amount about Greek Mythology, but I was not very familiar with Odysseus. Though, I didn’t find not knowing this tale to be hindering my understanding or enjoyment of Circe. In fact, I loved learning about his tale and all the other tales that were woven into this book. I especially loved seeing it all told from Circe’s perspective.
I truly felt for Circe. She was almost never treated fairly right from the start. I loved watching her grow and become more sure of herself. Her confidence levels were sky high by the end compared to where she was at in the beginning. It was interesting seeing her as a goddess but seeing how she saw the world differently as compared to the other immortals. And it was endearing to see how Circe felt about mortals. For the most part…
And it was endearing to see how Circe felt about mortals. For the most part…
This book touches on so many topics and themes. From pride to love to death to grief and practically everything in between. It truly made for a remarkable read. I especially enjoyed seeing this a feminist retelling with the character Circe grows into being.
As I mentioned, I learned about so many more myths that I was unfamiliar with. More so than just Odysseus. It reminds me just how messed up the Greeks were. Some of the myths were laughable while others were more disturbing. Leading me to think, who could have thought up all of this? But, it definitely made the book interesting to read.
Overall, I found this to be a beautiful read. Though, it’s definitely a slow burn. I don’t expect everyone to love this one. Unless you find the tale of Odysseus interesting or are a fan of Greek Mythology in general, this might not be the book for you.