Circe is the daughter of Titan Helios. She lives in her father’s palace with many of the other gods. The Titans are in constant conflict with the Olympians, so an air of peace is sought to keep Zeus’s wrath at bay.
Circe is one of three children by their mother. Her other siblings have developed unusual abilities. Named for her sharp features and mortal sounding voice, Circe only wishes to seek her father’s favor.
One day, Circe meets a mortal man and falls in love. Out of desperation she seeks her grandmother’s wisdom on turning him into an immortal. With love in her heart, she turns her lover into a god. Of course this does not turn out in Circe‘s favor. Her lover now desires her cousin. In her anger, Circe turns her cousin into a sea monster.
Now facing the wrath of both the Titans and Olympians, Circe is banished to the island of Aeaea. There she hones and develops her witchcraft. Circe has many visitors throughout her exile, including Hermes who brings her news from the world.
Throughout her exile, Circe becomes a force to be reckoned with. But her main concern is keeping her mortal son safe from Athena, the goddess of war.
Circe is a very well crafted history of Greek mythology. This book really surprised me. I wasn’t expecting a whole novel to be devoted to one Titan’s life. And Circe is one that I’ve never heard of. (I got out of reading The Iliad and the Odyssey in school, don’t ask me how.)
I really enjoyed reading this novel. It has everything a Greek mythology lover wants. Background and extensive family history, power and desire, punishment and glory, sexiness and adventure. It all comes together in a great work.
Circe by Madeline Miller receives 4 stars.
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