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Circe (2018)

by Madeline Miller

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,211391882 (4.28)532
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.… (more)
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» See also 532 mentions

English (371)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Hungarian (2)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (382)
Showing 1-5 of 371 (next | show all)
*edit on 12/3/2022* I rarely come back to edit my reviews, but honestly, even though it seemed like it wasn't a book I enjoyed immediately in the moment, it is a book I have never stopped thinking about. It's also one of the few books where I remember a lot of details, so I'm bumping up my rating to 5 stars just because I really didn't know how impactful it would be for me.

This book wasn’t particularly bad, but I didn’t love it as much as a lot of people have. It started slow to me, and I was pretty bored in the beginning. Then it got weird, but it’s about Greek mythology so of course it’s weird. I finally started to be interested in the plot once Circe was exiled. It was a book that made me think at times, but at the same time, I feel like if I had never read the book, I would never have missed out on anything. ( )
  TimeLord10SPW | Dec 3, 2022 |
Odotin jotenkin, että tämä olisi ollut viiden tähden kirja. Mutta ylsikin vain vahvaan kolmoseen. Kirja oli ensinnäkin aivan liian pitkä tarinan sisältöön nähden. Toisekseen, jokin tässä kerronnassa tökki. Ymmärrän tämän pohjautuvan Kreikan mytologiaan, mutta siitä huolimatta kerronta oli makuuni liian sadunomaista. Tarina oli kuitenkin koostettu kuin romaani, joten odotin kerronnan tuntuvan paljon henkilökohtaisemmalta. Etenkin kun ottaa huomioon kaiken sen, minkä Kirke kirjassa koki. Loppujen lopuksi mikään ei tuntunut miltään niin hyvässä kuin pahassakaan, ja mitä pitkäpiimäisemmäksi kerronta muuttui, sitä vähemmän yleensäkään kiinnosti mitä kenellekin tapahtui. Aikamoinen lässähdys. ( )
  tuusannuuska | Dec 1, 2022 |
I love mythology in the first place and this book is so beautifully written! Wonderful book. ( )
  Anniik | Nov 26, 2022 |
I think overall that this book was simply good. I don’t think it needs more or less than that, it was just a good read. I liked the beginning a lot, for I did not expect how timid Circe was and how she started out. For one, I didn’t know she was a titan, or that she was the daughter of Helios. I didn’t know that Helios had any children for that matter. Anyway, I really liked walking through the beginning of Circe’s tale; I liked watching her grow into her witchcraft and I liked how she started to become independent and brave. I wouldn’t say I loved Circe, but I recognized her character in comparison with my own and I found that I appreciated how Madeline Miller crafted Circe as a person. I was very surprised at the end when I learned of Odysseus’ death and how Telegonus brought Penelope and Telemachus to Aiaia. I was also surprised when Circe decided she no longer wanted her immortality. Well, I knew she was not found of having to live forever, but I didn’t think she would want to change herself either. But anyway, another wonderful retelling by the lovey Madeline Miller; I can’t wait to see what else she has in store in the future! ( )
  EvelynNygren | Nov 17, 2022 |
I found the majority of reviews spot-on, so I just want to add my male perspective of this book as "a feminist retelling..." Circe, indeed, is portrayed as a very strong character, but I didn't find this to be a one-dimensional women-are-good, men-are-bad story. I don't give a lot of five-star reviews; this book earned one. ( )
  MikeMcGuire | Nov 12, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 371 (next | show all)
“Circe” will surely delight readers new to the witch’s stories as it will many who remember her role in the Greek myths of their childhood: Like a good children’s book, it engrosses and races along at a clip, eliciting excitement and emotion along the way.
 
Miller has taken the familiar materials of character, and wrought some satisfying turns of her own.
 
[W]hat elevates Circe is Miller’s luminous prose, which is both enormously readable and evocative, and the way in which she depicts the gulf between gods and mortals.
 
Written in prose that ripples with a gleaming hyperbole befitting the epic nature of the source material, there is nothing inaccessible or antiquated about either Circe or her adventures.
 
The character of Circe only occupies a few dozen lines of [the Odyssey], but Miller extracts worlds of meaning from Homer's short phrases.
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Madeline Millerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ciani, Maria GraziaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magrì, MarinellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staehle, WillCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weeks, PerditaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Nathaniel
νόστος
First words
When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist.
Quotations
“A happy man is too occupied with his life. He thinks he is beholden to no one. But make him shiver, kill his wife, cripple his child, then you will hear from him. He will starve his family for a month to buy you a pure-white yearling calf. If he can afford it, he will buy you a hundred.” “But surely,” I said, “you have to reward him eventually. Otherwise, he will stop offering.” “Oh, you would be surprised how long he will go on. But yes, in the end, it’s best to give him something. Then he will be happy again. And you can start over.”
This was how mortals found fame, I thought. Through practice and diligence, tending their skills like gardens until they glowed beneath the sun. But gods are born of ichor and nectar, their excellences already bursting from their fingertips. So they find their fame by proving what they can mar: destroying cities, starting wars, breeding plagues and monsters. All that smoke and savor rising so delicately from our altars. It leaves only ash behind.
Timidity creates nothing.
But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.
As it turned out, I did kill pigs that night after all.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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Book description
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. Amazon
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