The Song of Achilles is a marvelous novel written by Madeline Miller. The story follows the life of Patroclus since he was a child to the deeply tragic events during the Trojan War. We meet Patroclus as a child on his father’s court where he is an outsider and an outcast. His life there is brief and he soon goes away to a land ruled by Achilles’ father. Soon after meeting, they become inseparable.
There are no right words to describe my feelings for this book. My heart is at the same time broken in thousands of pieces and fully whole but missing. I haven’t been this touched and in love with a book in a very, very long time (two years and seven months to be exact when I read The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George).
The main character and narrator Patroclus is very relatable, he is neither physically perfect nor raised in good conditions to be mentally completely stable. He is very intelligent but unaware of it. He is very moral and simply a good person. When he meets Achilles for the first time he feels anger, as anyone would if he was raised to believe he was worthless and then would be confronted with a person as perfect as Achilles. With time he realizes it was not hate he was feeling for Achilles, but admiration. And in that moment he knows he would die for that perfect half-god in a moment.
“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”
This is one of the most beautiful love stories I have read, maybe actually the most beautiful one. My heart aches for them, for the moments they had and for those they could have had but did not get the chance. I wept as I read the last five chapters of this book, but I would not have it any other way. They deserve to be remembered and loved. I feel as if this book was a wondrous homage to this pair of people so deeply in love.