The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Song of Achilles
by Madeline Miller

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Date: 2011
Pages: 352
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre:  Historical
Days to Read: 1
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD Scribd

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

If you are just stumbling upon my blog with this review, first of all, Hi, my name is Kate. If there is something to know about its that I love all things mythology but what began my passion was Greek Myth, Legend and History. This is a relatively new thing that I have discovered about myself as I recently (in the last couple of years) visited Greece and went on a classical Greece tour which was utterly amazing and taught me so much about the incredible myths of the country. I also married a greek – opa! – which has not only made me an honorary greek but introduced me to a wealth of knowledge through his family.

After I read Circe also by Madeline Miller I knew that I would be picking up Song of Achilles. To be brief Song of Achilles follows Patroclus through his life and journey which finds him at the battle of Troy with the hero Achilles. The intricacies of this story are incredibly woven with the depth of the characters and a plot rich in history. I loved every minute of it. I felt as though I was sitting by a fireside drinking in the knowledge of a legendary story.

Patroclus really makes readers feel something. He is a character with great empathy for others and a desire to help people. He wishes to learn more about the people he encounters and not only teach them but also learn as much as he can from then. I felt his giving nature in all of his interactions with people.

The descriptions of both Pthia and Troy were incredibly rich in detail and as a reader I really felt as though I was in the story experiencing things along with our characters.

Song of Achilles is a story I cannot wait to revisit in the future and experience these amazing characters over and over again. If you are someone who enjoys Historical Fiction or Greek myth this book will definitely give you one incredible story.

Plot: 9/10
Ease of reading: 6/10
Character Development: 9/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Overall:5/5

Completing 3 Rick Riordan Quizzes

So Classic Sunday… I’ve just finished my latest read, yes I’m hella proud of myself, and I want to spend some time relaxing before getting organised for the week ahead. I’ve watched all my YouTube subscriptions and my fiancee is playing an utterly terrifying video game….

Next best option quizzes!

I stumbled upon some quizzes on Rick Riordan’s Website and decided why not.

The First one I completed was ‘Which Greek Hero are you?’

my results…..

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Which I totally love because I strive to be dedicated honourable and brave (although that ones a bit harder haha)

Next up I did the ‘What’s Your Magical Object?’ Quiz

I got….

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I honestly love this! It made me laugh so much!

The last quiz I did – because lets face it I really need to get organised for work – was the ‘Who’s Your Godly Parent?’ Quiz and I was so ready…

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Definitely not complaining about that!!

What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon…

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Let me know what you get if you take any of these quizzes

Review: ‘The Hidden Oracle’ By Rick Riordan

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‘The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle’
By Rick Riordan
Book #1 in the Trials of Apollo Series

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publish Date: May 2016
Pages: 361
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

‘Wait. I’m mortal. Murder would kill me. Never mind.’

Synopsis

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

‘Check your spam folder
The Prophecies might be there
No? Well, I’m Stumped. Bye’

Thoughts

This has to be one of the most well written books by Rick Riordan (and if you know me at all you know I love Rick Riordan’s writing) It really incorporates an amazing amount of humour which is perfect for a book narrated by Apollo.

After reading ‘The Heroes of Olympus’ series, I’d kind of gotten used to reading multiple perspectives but this book brought me back to my Percy Jackson reading days – I know I made that sound like a long time ago even though it was literally last year – and really got me feeling the Rick Riordan books again.

Reading another book in the same Percy Jackson universe really increased my ease of reading. I already knew about demigods, camp half blood and that strange things always happen when demigods and Gods are involved.

I found the plot completely engaging from the first page I wanted to see where the story was going to go. The development of the plot really goes at the appropriate pace and I never felt like the story was moving to fast or to slow.

‘The Hidden Oracle’ has really encapsulated the Apollo myth and taken his attitude and self appreciation to an amazingly comical level.

‘Kayla muttered an ancient Greek curse. If I had been a proper godly father, I would have washed her mouth out with olive oil.’ 

Rating

Plot: 8.5/10
Ease of reading: 9/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 7/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Stars:  5/5

Review: ‘The Mark of Athena’ By Rick Riordan

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‘The Mark of Athena’
By Rick Riordan
Book #3 in the Heroes of Olympus Series

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publish Date: October 2012
Pages: 586
Fiction/Non-Fiction: Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Amazon and Kindle Audible Book Depository Booktopia Dymocks QBD

 

Synopsis

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket, Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving command: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader—but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brian by her side

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare.

 

Thoughts

I ended up listening to ‘The Mark of Athena’ on Audible. I got 24 pages into my copy and discovered it had been a misprint and I was missing pages 24-57. Wonderfully Booktopia are sending me a replacement copy. (They were so amazing about it) But I was already 100% in the story so I knew I needed to keep going straight away.

I mean that says a lot about the book for me, that I was only 24 pages in and I needed to know what happened straight away, I couldn’t wait. It began on such I high with the Roman and Greek camps finally becoming as intertwined as I felt they needed to be and all these characters thats I’d grown to love over the first 2 books (and for some in the Percy Jackson series before that) were finally going to be in one book, all together.

The plot continued on perfectly from the second instalment in the series, even with a different characters point on view beginning this story.

The world is being built spectacularly with with an amazing incorporation of the myths of the Ancient Greek world and the Ancient Roman world with the modern world. This book really dives into the difference between the gods in the Greek Myths and the Roman myths and has characters grappling with their different identities. We also get a look at what the gods may be feeling about how they are portrayed in each myth.

During this book the characters are developed really well, while we also learn more about Annabeth and what she faces being the daughter of Athena.

This series is definitely a recommend! Although it is a series that you need to read in order.

Rating

Plot: 8.5/10
Ease of reading: 6/10
Character Development: 7/10
World Building: 9/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
Stars:  4/5

Review: ‘Percy Jackson & the Last Olympian’ By Rick Riordan

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Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
By Rick Riordan
(Book #5 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series) 

Publisher: Puffin Random House
Publish Date: 2009
Pages: 361
Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Book #5); Camp Half-Blood Chronicles (Book #5)
Fiction/Non-Fiction:  Fiction
Genre: Fantasy
Purchase Locations: Book Depository Booktopia Audible Amazon & Kindle Dymocks QBD

Synopsis

All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows. While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.
In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilisation rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.

My Thoughts

I ended up taking a small break from the Percy Jackson series after demolishing the first 4 books one after the other. I had picked up more books and was excited to get into some of them. At the start of June I decided to jump back on the Percy Jackson train in preparation for my trip to Greece at the end of this month.

I am so glad that I read this book. It was incredible. I never wanted to put it down. It was action from the get go. This story – as you know if you’ve read the synopsis or heard of any Percy Jackson book – follows Percy as he works with his fellow demigods to prevent Kronos from reclaiming Olympus. I mean based only on that information you can tell that the story is going to be INSANE!

The development of the characters throughout the series has been well written and realistic. I’m not a fan of when a character does a complete 360 in their personality by the end of the book or series. The characters in this series age and develop fantastically and are still the same relate able, lovable characters they were at the beginning, with new experiences and stronger back stories.

Rick Riordan’s writing is as always fantastic. The world’s he builds are amazingly accurate in their mythology as well as being utterly engaging. I have a great interesting in mythology – particularly Greek mythology – and love how these stories are adapted to this series. I am excited to continue the Camp Half-Blood Chronicles and have already purchased the books in the Trials of Apollo Series, all of which I am keen to start.

I could not recommend this series more! This is a series I will continue to go back too.

Rating

Plot: 9.5/10
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 9/10
World Building: 10/10
Quality of Writing: 9.5/10
Stars:  5/5

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Thoughts on this series?

 

Atlantis Book Store, Oia, Santorini

I stumbled upon this bookstore in a facebook video listing the top 6 bookstores to visit around the world. Perfectly I saw it before I went to Greece, but after we’d already planned to go to Santorini. So on our second day in Santorini, off we went.

For we personally we were staying in Thira, so we jumped on the public bus which in near the centre of town and only costs €1.30. You can also drive if you hire a car, quad bike or a scooter or hike which I believe takes about 4 hours. I did consider hiking there BUT it had only been a few days since we’d completed the Somaria Gorge hike (which is 16km of rocky terrain) so I couldn’t convince George to hike there, although I’ve heard its incredible with amazing scenery.

Image result for Map of santorini Thira to oia

After a bus ride that took about 30-40 minutes, we walked around Oia with an idea of where the bookshop was but also looking around the other stores. Oia is such a beautiful town. There are amazing views of the Caldera – incredible at sunset – and everything is open quiet late, for example the bookstore was open until 12am!

The store front is BEAUTIFUL. Classic Santorini colours with a dash oh book lover. The vibrant yellow and blue really fits in with the vibe of Oia, although the addition of the books painted on the wall as well as books displayed at street level really draw any bibliophile in.

Inside is no exception. After walking down the stairs it feels as though you are entering a bookshop in the world of Harry Potter. There are sections for different languages including English, Spanish and Greek. Books are stacked to the ceiling in some places and there is even a ‘Philosophy Tower’. Honestly I was in heaven!

The store has a wide variety as well as a Young adult section, which I was really happy about but did not expect. They really are able use the small space they have well, and give most readers something they will enjoy.

Throughout the store we spotted first editions left, right and centre! Including first editions such as The Game of Thrones series, Peter Pan, To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye to name a few.

Overall it was an amazing bookstore to visit. I could of spent hours upon hours wandering the shelves. This is a bookstore I would recommend to anyone. From someone who isn’t an avid reader – my fiancee loved seeing all the first editions even though he doesn’t read as much as I do – to someone who loves books and reading.

One thing to note, would be to go early in the day. We got there just after opening – in July that was 10am –  and it was perfect, there were a few people but it wasn’t crowded. When we left – around 11:30am – it had started to fill out a little bit.

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Are there any bookstores you would recommend visiting? I would love to hear your bookstore suggestions in the comments!

Book Haul: Greece

While I was in Greece there was a bookstore that I REALLY wanted to go to – Atlantis Bookstore in Santorini – where I was limited in the books I could buy, but I still purchased some.

IMG_2118‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ By J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first instalment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come. 

IMG_2103‘The Great Gatsby’ By F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. First published in 1925, this quintessential novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

 

 

IMG_2109‘The Odyssey’ By Homer
If the Iliad is the world’s greatest war epic, then the Odyssey is literature’s grandest evocation of everyman’s journey though life. Odysseus’ reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces, during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance. 

In the myths and legends that are retold here, Fagles has captured the energy and poetry of Homer’s original in a bold, contemporary idiom, and given us an Odyssey to read aloud, to savor, and to treasure for its sheer lyrical mastery.

Renowned classicist Bernard Knox’s superb Introduction and textual commentary provide new insights and background information for the general reader and scholar alike, intensifying the strength of Fagles’ translation.

This is an Odyssey to delight both the classicist and the public at large, and to captivate a new generation of Homer’s students.

IMG_2111 2‘Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes’ By Rick Riordan
In this gripping follow-up to Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods, demigod Percy Jackson tells the stories of twelve of the original Greek heroes in all their gory, bloodthirsty glory. Want to know who cut off Medusa’s head? Which hero was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus, the winged horse? Percy has all the answers. About the Author Rick Riordan is an award-winning mystery writer. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Rick’s first novel featuring the heroic young demigod, was the overall winner of the Red House Children’s Book Award in 2006 and is now a blockbuster film franchise, starring Logan Lerman. Rick lives in Boston with his wife and two sons.

IMG_2123‘The Gods of Olympus’ By Menelaos Stephanides
special pocket-book version of the Greek mythology which has achieved worldwide recognition. Designed exclusively for adults and young readers.

The reader will re-live all the magic of Greek mythology on a journey of the imagination which will take him deep into an era separated from our own by more than three millenia.

This series of books received the 1989 Pier Paolo Vergerio prizes of the University of Padua for its outstanding text and illustrations.

 

just for a cute addition, I got this bag!

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Not as many books as I COULD of purchased, but I’m happy with what I felt with. There will be a post coming about the bookstore in general because it was AMAZING!

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Does anyone else struggle to not buy books when they are travelling?!

 

 

 

June: TBR

For June, I’ve kind of decided NOT to stick to a To Be Read list. There are a few reasons for this.

  1. We are getting very close to the end of the school term and that means there is a lot, a lot to do.
  2. This also means that I am completely exhausted when I was finish work.
  3. I’m going to Greece in 16 Days! Which means I have a lot to organise for that and I also want to start thinking about books that I want to take to Greece to read while I’m relaxing on the beach.
  4. I just can’t choose which books to read ahead of time at the moment.

I do feel as though for most of the month I want to read some GREEK MYTHOLOGY based books to prepare myself for the mythological tour of Greece I’m going to be taking part in.

Currently Reading

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So, this month – and probably for July as well – instead of a TBR post were I decide ahead of time what books I want to read and having a list to work on, I will do a quick post when I start a new book. A ‘What I’m currently reading’ type of thing.