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Circe -- Free Preview -- The First 3 Chapters

by Madeline Miller

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976246,908 (4.17)None
"A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story," this #1 New York Times bestseller is "both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right" (Alexandra Alter, The New York Times). 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. #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER--NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR, The Washington Post, People, Time, Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Newsweek, the A.V. Club, Christian Science Monitor and Refinery 29, Buzzfeed, Paste, Audible, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Thrillist, NYPL, Self Real Simple, Goodreads, Boston Globe, Electric Literature, BookPage, the Guardian, Book Riot, Seattle Times, and Business Insider… (more)
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the first half was kinda slow but it really took off from there ( )
  ireneattolia | Feb 8, 2019 |
Circe is pure magic.

Madeline Miller takes a woman who most of us know solely as the sorceress who turned Odysseus' men into pigs, and bewitched him into staying on her island for a year, and gives her a story. In this novel, we meet not only Odysseus, but Medea (Circe's niece!), Jason, Helios (her father!), Prometheus, the Minotaur, Dedalus, and many others.

Circe, a beautiful nymph with golden eyes, is born to Titans, who, while immortal, are lesser gods than the Olympians. From early on, Circe is different from the other immortals in her father's hall, although she does not recognize her differences at first. We follow Circe from her first love, to her first heartbreak, and to her discovery of magic, or pharmaka, where she is able to rise above the lesser gods and grows into a powerful sorceress.

Miller's extensive knowledge of mythology is a solid foundation for her reimagined goddess. She draws from the existing source material familiar to her readers to answer questions not answered in the original texts (for example, we learn where Scylla, the hideous multi-headed sea monster, might have come from). Most stunning, however, is Miller's treatment of the gods -- Circe grows to think of herself as separate from the gods, who are arrogant and hedonistic, and sees herself as more like a mortal, whom she admires for their passions and despairs. Their short lives are more meaningful then the gods' endless years of feasting and otherwise indulging. The conclusion to the novel is breathtaking as Circe makes a final choice.

Please read this book. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
I read this on the plane on my phone and couldn't put it down. I've ordered a hard copy for home so I can shelve it properly, and I'm going back and re-reading favorite passages to the people on my writers retreat. It is wonderful. ( )
  sussura | Sep 29, 2018 |
I can't. I'm sorry I just can't with this book. Maybe it's because the author seems to channel Homer in her writing a little bit too much for me. Maybe it's because I find the story a little disorienting as I know too much about Greek mythology. Maybe it's because I don't find the characters interesting. I honestly don't know but I just can't do it I'm bailing. ( )
  SumisBooks | Jul 25, 2018 |
This book is SO in my wheelhouse, so I’m not surprised I loved it. Give me all the heartbreak and bloodshed! Give me all the powerful, vengeful goddesses!!! So freaking good. ( )
  captainmander | Jul 19, 2018 |
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"A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story," this #1 New York Times bestseller is "both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right" (Alexandra Alter, The New York Times). 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. #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER--NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR, The Washington Post, People, Time, Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Newsweek, the A.V. Club, Christian Science Monitor and Refinery 29, Buzzfeed, Paste, Audible, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Thrillist, NYPL, Self Real Simple, Goodreads, Boston Globe, Electric Literature, BookPage, the Guardian, Book Riot, Seattle Times, and Business Insider

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