Circe

Circe

A Novel

Book - 2018
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Follows Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings before a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals.
Circe is not powerful like her father Helios, nor viciously alluring like her mother Perse. 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. Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many figures in mythology. When Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, she ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians.
Topical Term: Magic
Gods
Paranormal fiction
Fantasy fiction
Historical fiction
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316556347
0316556343
Branch Call Number: F
F
Characteristics: 393 pages : color map ; 25 cm

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From Library Staff

The minute I finished CIRCE (weeping, in a crowded Starbucks) I needed to talk to someone about it and have not stopped since. This is a gorgeously written, deeply feminist retelling of the myth of Circe, who you may remember as the witch who turned men into pigs in THE ODYSSEY (for good reason, ... Read More »

November 16, 2019

Miller’s work is audacious in the most thrilling sense of the word. She’s reimagining ancient myths — stories we have been telling ourselves for millennia — in bold and inclusive ways. Miller’s version of Circe, the goddess/witch, actively reclaims her story from the men who have told it before.

List - Classics Retold
LVCCLD_SaharaWest Feb 25, 2019

The Odyssey

May 17, 2019


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c
cassilynneee
Oct 29, 2019

I am somewhat unfamiliar with mythology in a casual sense. I recall briefly what I learned in high school, but outside of that, not much else. While Circe is a slow started, boy does it finish well. I fell head over heels for Circe's character. A sarcastic, empowering, and vengeful witch that any female in today's world can empathize with. A powerful read, and an even more powerful perspective of a Greek goddess. Loved it.

s
swathikilingaru
Oct 28, 2019

I like mythology. I am always hesitant to read because of of so many names .This book is written in a way one does not get confused with names. Each chapter is different stories. Worth reading. Thank you Surrey library for keeping thee wonderful books.

ArapahoeTina Oct 26, 2019

This was my favorite book of the year! A modern masterpiece.

k
kate_se
Sep 28, 2019

The episodic story style kept me hooked all the way through, and Miller's descriptions of Circe's surroundings are vivid, poetic, and beautiful.

c
carolwu96
Sep 28, 2019

This book is so sharply divided into two sections that I feel compelled to give two scores:⁣
First half: 2.5
Second half: 4.5
Here’s why. (spoiler alert!! )⁣

The first part of Circe is boring. Miller tries to give her a story before Odysseus’ arrival, with Prometheus, Daedalus, the Minotaur, but her characterization is static and the episodes are disconnected. For those who have already read Homer, Hesiod, Euripides and everyone else, there’s little new information. ⁣

Now onto the second part. Chapter 18. Circe becomes pregnant with Odysseus’ child.⁣

Suddenly we are in uncharted waters because this does not happen in previous works. She turns from a passive figure into this fiercely protective mother. We even get the endings of Odysseus, Penelope and Telemachus, which flow super well with the Odyssey. I think Miller uses some of her literary training here, in that she used Odysseus’ death to point him out as the unreliable narrator and selfish liar he is. ⁣

Now here‘s a conspiracy theory: I think Miller might have deliberately done this two-section structure. Just as the Odyssey is divided into Coming Home and Fighting the War, Circe goes through Following Fate and Fighting Fate as a mirror to the epic, the work that most people would know Circe from.⁣

Miller has also mixed some contemporary themes in this story: free will and more importantly, feminism. Greek mythology is so full of misogyny, but the more positive women figures (Circe, Penelope, Ariadne) are all strong-willed and do not fight over the man. I really appreciate this touch. ⁣

Overall, an easy and entertaining read! And if you know Greek mythology well, just skim the first 17 chapters!⁣

For more book reviews, visit me on Instagram @ RandomStuffIRead !

DBRL_IdaF Sep 10, 2019

Wow! This book lives up to the hype. A look at what it means to be a god from an insider who doesn't like a lot of what she sees, and also has a number of her own flaws. More than that, it's the story of a woman finding her true self, which is as heroic as it gets.

t
tamun
Sep 06, 2019

I read this book very quickly because I was enchanted. I think I loved Miller's writing voice more than anything else. This book is so poetic and quiet in nature, and I loved the long, meandering telling of a solitary life.

sjpl_DanaLibrariana Sep 03, 2019

I love Greek mythology, so I was not surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. Miller's writing style was lush and descriptive. I appreciated how she presented the gods and demi-gods with all their pettiness and imperfections, including the main character, Circe. I look forward to reading The Song of Achilles.

sjpl_EmLow Aug 27, 2019

I recently broke up with a SciFi series. Let’s say we’re on a break. I needed to explore other things. I was in the mood for something new; some high drama. So, I turned to the Greeks. I had seen the title Circe by Madeline Miller on many book lists. Everyone was suddenly interested in Circe. I thought to myself, who the heck is Circe? In reading the description I recognized several characters: Zeus, Prometheus, Odysseus. Could it be possible that a powerful, albeit female, lesser god had been overlooked in the timeless texts of Western literature? Times haven’t changed, sister, I thought to myself. Once I started, I could not stop. Never before had I been riveted by the cool back stories of Greek gods. Partly because, I think it takes an exceptionally good storyteller to make a god’s story relatable to humans. And partly because gods don’t really have back stories. Regardless, how does one write a compelling origin story of a minotaur to a level-headed lady such as I? Mother of minotaur. Miller wrote it; I read it and blushed. That is just one such example of Miller’s craftiness. Throughout nearly 400 pages, Miller chronicles Circe’s life, starting in her father Helios’ halls and throughout an awakening of her own powers in witchcraft. Miller fleshes out a connection between Circe and her uncle Prometheus, that is based on a shared act of compassion -- a virtue distinctly human. And none of it gets boring in the least bit! I mean, if one finds themselves bored, I recommend the audiobook. It is equally fabulous, and taught me how to say Aeaea. There are no consonants in that word. None! In summary, if you are thinking to yourself, she did not do a good job reading her assigned texts in high school, that would be a fair assessment of me. But, regardless of your own experiences with the Odyssey, I say to give Miller’s version of a little ol' lesser god a try. You might thank me.

LibraryRosanna Aug 22, 2019

Madeline Miller's Circe is an incredible read, filled with luscious prose and unforgettable characters. I didn't just read this book; I gobbled it up. It's a wonderful take on the myth of Circe, the witch of Greek legend. I'll remember this one for a long time, and look forward to reading more by this author.

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Quotes

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ArapahoeTina Nov 03, 2019

Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep.

ArapahoeTina Nov 03, 2019

He showed me his scars, and in return he Let me pretend that I had none.

a
ambdizzle
Sep 26, 2019

But most of all my father’s voice, speaking those words like trash he dropped. Such as you. Any other day in all my years of life I would have curled upon myself and wept. But that day his scorn was like a spark falling on dry tinder.

t
tamun
Sep 06, 2019

“Witches are not so delicate.”

t
tamun
Sep 06, 2019

“You have always been the worst of my children,” he said. “Be sure to not dishonor me.”
“I have a better idea. I will do as I please, and when you count your children, leave me out.”

t
tamun
Sep 06, 2019

“Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep.”

t
tamun
Sep 06, 2019

“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.”

m
m0mmyl00
Aug 12, 2019

Pg. 273 of the hardcover, “It is youth’s gift not to feel its debts.”
Pg. 311 of the hardcover, “But perhaps no parent can truly see their child. When we look we see only the mirror of our own faults.”

q
queensthief
Feb 12, 2019

But perhaps no parent can truly see their child. When we look we see only the mirror of our own faults.

j
jimg2000
Jan 26, 2019

WHEN I WAS BORN, the name for what I was did not exist. They called me nymph, assuming I would be like my mother and aunts and thousand cousins. Least of the lesser goddesses, our powers were so modest they could scarcely ensure our eternities. We spoke to fish and nurtured flowers, coaxed drops from the clouds or salt from the waves. That word, nymph, paced out the length and breadth of our futures. In our language, it means not just goddess, but bride.
===
See her arrange her dress so it drapes just so over her shoulders. I see her dab her fingers, glinting, in the water. I have seen her do a thousand such tricks a thousand times. My father always fell for them. He believed the world’s natural order was to please him.
===

Once when I was young I asked what mortals looked like. My father said, “You may say they are shaped like us, but only as the worm is shaped like the whale.” My mother had been simpler: like savage bags of rotten flesh.

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muchai
May 20, 2019

muchai thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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mperian_GRPL
Oct 26, 2019

Other: Sexual assault

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