by Madeline Miller


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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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316556347
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 04/10/2018
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 346
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Madeline Miller was born in Boston and attended Brown University where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. She lives in Narbeth, PA with her husband and two children. The Song of Achilles was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction and has been translated into twenty-five languages.

What People are Saying About This

Author-The Woman in the Window - A.J. Finn

“Rapture. Utter rapture. Exquisite, live-wire prose; a wave of a story, surging and ebbing and surging afresh; and above all, Circe herself — once inscrutable, now indelible. Miller has shaken the dust from Homer’s tapestry, blasted it with air and light, and exposed glorious new colors, new textures. A magnificent novel. A privilege to read.”

Customer Reviews

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Circe 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you love Mythology and the mystery of language, then read this fine book. You will be richly rewarded. —. G. L. River
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly thorough and melodic with the stir.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Circe works hard for her powers, sometimes fails and sometimes succeeds. She makes the best of every situation and grows as a character. Loved the ending!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading about the Titans, Olympians, Heroes and Mortals of the ancient Greece, through the eyes of Circe, daughter of Helios. One of my new favs!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This puts a whole new spin on characters I grew up with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This artistic retelling makes an ancient story come alive as Ms Miller fills its nooks and crannies with the hopes, motivations, jealousies, and loves of the mythological characters - drawing in the reader to identify with and care about the fate of Circe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a fun read and beautifully written. Characters were imagined and drawn just the way I felt they should be in my head. I found myself saying, YES, that’s how he or she would talk. That would be their reaction. It was wonderful. A book I was sad to get to the end of.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding book so happy she wrote another after the song of Achilles and hope she continues writing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written. Interesting read.
Millie_Hennessy More than 1 year ago
This book was excellent! Miller’s writing is captivating and I loved how she wrote Circe’s character. I really enjoy Greek (and Roman) mythology, but it tends to be a subject/genre I forget about. Like fairytales, myths can be sparse when it comes to character development and setting. I usually find myself wanting more details and Circe hits the spot. Circe is stubbornly ignorant, determined and altogether too kind-hearted for her brethren. She’s scorned by her family for her “mortal” voice, which sounds shrill compared to the booming, commanding voices of the other gods. She doesn’t seek to scheme or gain power and most of her family looks down on her or flat-out ignores her. But when she meets a mortal on the beach, she finds companionship for the first time. It’s easy to see why she would fall in love, given how she was raised. Her refusal to see how things truly are persists throughout much of the novel, causing her grief – but I loved that. Yes, sometimes I wanted to smack her, but it made her relatable…human even! Considering the book is told from her POV and centers around her life, I’m glad I found her an enjoyable character. I really cared for her. Despite Circe’s banishment, we do get to see more than just her island. Familiar tales weave their way around her life, including Troy, the isle where the Minotaur lives (totally forget the name and I’m not looking it up, deal with it) and of course, the halls of Helios. There’s a wide cast of characters too and they all felt so real! I loved seeing the gods and the myths fleshed out. I’m no pro when it comes to mythology, but it felt like Miller added realistic details to the old tales and stayed true to their roots. I don’t care how much she’s embellished; it’s clear she’s done research and is passionate about mythology. If you like Greek mythology, character journeys, magic, romance, drama, feels and female leads then I highly recommend you pick up Circe! I, for one, can’t wait to read more of Miller’s work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt such a connection with Circe. It just goes to show that even a godess an feel alone and go through difficult times! Worth a read for sure.
taramichelle More than 1 year ago
Growing up, I devoured as many books of Greek mythology as I could find. My copy of D’Aulaires Book Of Greek Mythology is literally falling apart due to repeated readings. Because of that, reading Circe felt like coming home. However, Miller’s stunning prose and insightful characterization elevated the familiar to the extraordinary. As with The Song of Achilles, Miller brings her characters to vibrant life. They are not perfect, but they are perfectly flawed. Circe was such a complex character. She was strong but humble, fierce yet impetuous, and determined but lost. She was relatable at an entirely different level than most literary protagonists. Although this story has monsters, heroes, and magic, it’s ultimately about figuring out who you want to be and creating a place for yourself in the world. While some readers may not like the slower pace of the writing, I felt liked it allowed me to truly immerse myself in the world. Miller explores a wide variety of themes in the various myths she chose to incorporate. Although they seemed a tad disjointed at first, I absolutely loved how seamlessly everything came together at the end. Circe is one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read. If you’re looking for excellent characters, an immersive world, and remarkable prose, definitely pick this one up. *Disclaimer: I received a free eARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting twist on the legend of Circe fast read and very entertaining highly recommend
queenivanka More than 1 year ago
My synopsis: Circe, daughter of Perse and Helios, was born “less than pleasing” and thus was neglected by her mother, father, and siblings. In her desire to love and be loved, she discovered a hidden talent: witchcraft. Threatened by her power – for Helios was a proud god, and Zeus, even more so – Circe was banished to the island of Aiaia. Isolated from everyone, she cultivated her art, cursed insolent mortals, raised her child, and stood against the gods. Madeline Miller proves once again that she is a master weaver of words – she gives us Circe – a tale of a fierce woman, a daughter and a sister spurned, a goddess who is incredibly human, a formidable witch, a mother. It is a tale of self-discovery, of love lost, of motherhood, and of the power of love. The underlying sensuality of Miller’s prose is deeply captivating, and ultimately, it left me bewitched, charmed, and enchanted – as if Circe herself has put a spell on me. Another thing I really appreciated were Miller’s apt characterizations: even with just one or two appearances within the text, told only in Circe’s point of view, in a couple of sentences here and there, the characters are complete. It is admirable and very difficult to achieve; I’ve read books where the author isn’t able to present a coherent or sound main character within the span of the entire work, let alone its secondary characters. Ultimately, what made Miller’s version of Circe so interesting, is that instead of exploring the goddess side of Circe, Miller presented a very human account of Circe’s tale: even in her immortality and formidable power, Circe is compassionate, she craved companionship, and she admitted her weaknesses. Circe is for lovers of mythology, of strong female protagonists, and simply, it is for lovers of beautiful prose. If you liked The Song of Achilles, I can’t imagine you not liking Circe – I really liked The Song of Achilles, but I loved Circe!
Anonymous 18 days ago
Always drawn to stories with strong female protagonists, this book was everything I'd hoped it would be. Filled with trials and tribulations, love, loss and revenge, and redemption, the author connected the emotions of Circe to women from any period in time and age. Circe, a goddess with the heart of a mortal. This book is the August selection for my book club and I expect a great discussion.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 3 months ago
Wonderful! Recommend
Anonymous 3 months ago
I ordered Circe for my Nook. It’s NOT in English. Now what should I do?!help!!!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
Powerful depiction of Circe and this part of the Odyssey.
bamcooks 10 months ago
What an excellent retelling of the mythological story of the goddess Circe! She is a daughter of Helios, the god of the sun, who, knowing herself to be unloved and unwanted, uses a bit of knowledge of herbs to weave spells to get what she desires with disastrous results. She is then exiled to the island of Aiaia where she further develops her skills of witchcraft and where she still manages to meet some of the great heroes of legend, including Odysseus. I enjoyed that Circe seemed to grow in wisdom. 'My whole life, I had waited for tragedy to find me. I never doubted that it would, for I had desires and defiance and powers more than others thought I deserved, all the things that draw the thunderstroke.' One thing I noticed is that the gods and goddesses of old were pretty tyrannical, judgmental, nasty, angry and petty, even towards their own children, and were certainly not models of the best behavior; whereas today, we like to think of our God as being loving and just, one who expects us to behave in similar ways towards each other. Some people of today still believe in fate and destiny however, as did Circe. She said it was the Fates bitter joke: 'Those who fight against prophecy only draw it more tightly around their throats.' Highly recommend this book!
MistyIL 11 months ago
I loved this! Circe's life story and how she interacted with Odysseus. She is a strong female lead!
NeverToLose More than 1 year ago
This book is a masterpiece. You don't have to know anything about Greek mythology to appreciate Circe. Madeline Miller's Circe exudes "El Duende" spirit.