published by: Bloomsbury Publishing
publish date: September 20, 2011
Achilles, 'best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper — despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.
Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.
I was amazed by how much I loved this book. I went in without too many expectations and came out blown away. We all sort of get a vague education about Achilles in grade school and might pick up a few things here or there, but after reading this book it was like, WOW! I kept looking stuff up to see if it was historically accurate and everything I looked up was, so this was an exceptionally well researched book.
Song of Achilles is told from the viewpoint of Patroclus, Achilles' sworn companion. Patroclus begins his life as a disappointment to his father and is eventually exiled to Peleus' kingdom. This is where Patroclus and young Prince Achilles become fast friends. The book chronicles Achilles and Patroclus being educated by the centaur Chiron. In this telling of the story, Achilles and Patroclus become lovers during this period of their lives. As history tells us, Achilles joins in with the Battle of Troy and eventually becomes a great hero of that war. The book describes his fight and death in beautiful detail.
I loved the fact that this book was told from the stand point of Patroclus. That put everything that happened throughout the book through a lens of love. All the actions that took place were understandable because they loved each other so much.
This is one of my top 3 favorite books I've read so far this year. I can't recommend it highly enough. If you're a fan of historical fiction, it's a must read!