- Author: Madeline Miller
- Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
- Published: April 2018
- ISBN-10: 0316556343
- ISBN-13: 9780316556347
- Format: Hardcover
- Size: 9.3X6.3X1.3
- Weight: 1.3
- Copyright: 2018
- Subject: Historical - General
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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.
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The Race of WitchesMs. Miller’s previous book about Achilles focused mainly on the world of men—a world of warriors, princes, kings, heroes and male lovers. This novel brings us into the domain of women, the females who must stand and wave goodbye to their sons and husbands, the ones who work at loom and hearth, the ones who wait. Except not all of them do. This is a story of female agency, of women who take action or patient inaction, women who are strong, clever, not always wise, devoted, passionate, vengeful and fierce. Born of one of the mightiest Titans and a seductive nymph, Circe is strange and unlike all other eternal beings. She’s not quite a goddess but definitely not human. Like her siblings she proves to have a touch of magic about her. Unlike them, she has compassion, curiosity and the all-too-human yearning to be loved, admired and respected. The book crafts the picture of an alluring but tortured immortal. She learns through exile and painstaking effort how to craft her abilities of magic. She has the gift of transformation, shielding from gods, taming wild beasts, casting illusions and she learns to wield them with potent effect. But of greater importance than her magic is her heart, her very character that she strives through centuries to understand. She accepts her exile while wondering about the rest of the world. She takes a god to her bed but can’t feel anything for him, not even distant affection. She loves infrequently but, when she does, it is with all the depths of her nature. The author surrounds her with the various names we know from Greek mythology. Greek gods and heroic figures walk through these pages, each impacting on her. They come alive, even the unchanging deities who toy with humans for sport. Circe listens and she learns and we the readers learn too even if the lessons are horrible ones. Circe is a wondrous literary creation, unfathomable, complicated, difficult, eldritch and powerful. Beset by gods and goddesses and yet defying them, I found myself falling for her and wondering what I would do if I had power like hers. Read this novel and fall under the spell of one of myth’s most powerful sorceresses.