The daring, dazzling and highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller The Song of Achilles

About the Book

 

"An epic spanning thousands of years that's also a keep-you-up-all-night page turner." - Ann Patchett

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.

Find it at your local bookstore, or online: Amazon  Barnes and Noble  IndieBound

Love for Circe

Number 1 New York Times Bestseller

Number 1 Indie Bestseller

Publisher's Weekly Starred* Review

Kirkus Starred* Review

Library Journal Starred* Review 

NPR’s “Weekend Edition Saturday,”Books to Look Forward to in 2018

Esquire: The 27 Most Anticipated Books of 2018

Boston Globe: 25 books we can’t wait to read in 2018

The Millions: The Most Anticipated: The Great 2018 Book Preview

Cosmopolitan: 33 Books to Get Excited About in 2018

Vox Magazine: Five New Books to Purchase This Spring”

Guardian’s (UK)  Fiction: Unmissable culture of 2018

Southern LivingBest New Books Coming in Spring 2018

Book Riot: Most Anticipated Books of 2018

TOR’s The Books We’re Looking Forward to in 2018

Reviews for Circe

“A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess’s story that manages to be both epic and intimate in its scope, recasting the most infamous female figure from the Odyssey as a hero in her own right.”―The New York Times

“Miller's lush, gold-lit novel — told from the perspective of the witch whose name in Greek has echoes of a hawk and a weaver's shuttle — paints another picture: of a fierce goddess who, yes, turns men into pigs, but only because they deserve it…. The character of Circe only occupies a few dozen lines of [The Odyssey], but Miller extracts worlds of meaning from Homer's short phrases.”  NPR.org

“This summer’s must-read novel … Circe is poised to become the literary sensation of the summer, as much for the quality of its writing as its timeliness”  -- Sunday Times 

“Circe back as superwoman … Bestowing modern feminist mores on classical texts may seem unwise, but its marvelous to see this Circe emerge through the haze, sympathetic and ringing true to 21st-century motivations… … Blisteringly modern”- The Times

“Luminous … Deft and compassionate … A compelling and engagingly feminist piece of ancient fantasy … Readers who know the source stories already will delight in the craft of Miller’s quietly revisionist amendments to these well-worn tales … But Circe is also a brilliantly strange work of mythic science fiction, as effortlessly expressive within the palaces of gods as it is about the world below … This is both a fabulous novel and a fascinating retelling; the best compliment, perhaps, that any myth could hope for”-  Daily Telegraph

“Think a novel based on Greek mythology isn’t for you?  Just wait.  Miller’s spell builds slowly, but by the last page you’ll be in awe.  In prose of dreamlike simplicity, she reimagines the myth of Circe, the sun god’s unloved daughter who went on to invent witchcraft and enchant Homer’s Odysseus.  The ancient stories and characters are reshaped by truths that modern women can finally speak about sisterhood and sexism, rape and rage, and most exquisitely, motherhood.” ―People 

“Absorbing …. One of the most amazing qualities of this novel [is]: We know how everything here turns out — we’ve known it for thousands of years — and yet in Miller’s lush reimagining, the story feels harrowing and unexpected. The feminist light she shines on these events never distorts their original shape; it only illuminates details we hadn’t noticed before…. In the story that dawns from Miller’s rosy fingers, the fate that awaits Circe is at once divine and mortal, impossibility strange and yet entirely human.”―Washington Post

“Spellbinding…. in Miller’s conception, Circe is the hero of her own epic…. Miller has created a daring feminist take on a classic narrative; although the setting is a mystical world of gods, monsters, and nymphs, the protagonist at its heart is like any of us. A free woman, the author seems to be saying, must be willing to forsake the trappings of birthright and rank in order to claim her destiny, whether thousands of years ago or today.” ―O Magazine

“Circe brilliantly recasts a Greek goddess in a modern light….Miller, with her academic bona fides and born instinct for storytelling, seamlessly grafts modern concepts of selfhood and independence to her mystical reveries of smoke and silver, nectar and bones.” ―Entertainment Weekly

“Miller gives voice to a previously muted perspective in the classics, forging a great romance from the scraps left to us by the ancients….Circe is, instead, a romp, an airy delight, a novel to be gobbled greedily in a single sitting.” ―The Guardian

“[Miller] transforms [CIRCE] into a thrilling feminist parable.” ―Newsday

“Vivid, transporting… [explores] fascinating questions about gender and power.” ―Entertainment Weekly

“Greek mythology is in expert hands in Madeline Miller’s second novel. Miller weaves powerful imagery and emotion into a rich tapestry, depicting the agonies and ecstasies of the mighty forces and figures of the classical world…an epic page turner.” Christian Science Monitor

“But ultimately it’s as a character that Circe stands apart…. Through her elegant, psychologically acute prose, Miller gives us a rich female character who inhabits the spaces in between.” ―Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“This mesmerizing novel is a moving tale of a woman finding herself and struggling with family loyalties.” Real Simple

“A stunning epic of a book.” Bustle

“An especially gorgeous novel.” ―Redbook

“Madeline Miller's re-imagining of the witch Circe from The Odyssey makes for an intriguing, feminist adventure novel that is perfectly suited for the #TimesUp moment. Circe is also a smart read that has much to say about the long-term consequences of war and a culture that values violence and conquest over compassion and learning.” ―Dallas News

“Madeline Miller’s ‘Circe’ — the gorgeous and gimlet-eyed follow-up to her Orange Prize-winning first novel, ‘The Song of Achilles.’” ―Boston Globe

“It’s so vivid, it’s so layered, you could get lost in it. Whether or not you think you like Greek Mythology it’s just great story telling.” WBUR’s “Here & Now”

“Miller follows her impressive debut (The Song of Achilles) with a spirited novel about Circe’s evolution from insignificant nymph to formidable witch best known for turning Odysseus’s sailors into swine…. Weaving together Homer’s tale with other sources, Miller crafts a classic story of female empowerment. She paints an uncompromising portrait of a superheroine who learns to wield divine power while coming to understand what it means to be mortal.” — Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

 “In her stirring follow-up to the Orange Prize–winning The Song of Achilles (2011), Miller beautifully voices the experiences of the legendary sorceress Circe…This immersive blend of literary fiction and mythological fantasy demonstrates that the Greek myths are still very relevant today.” — Booklist

 A retelling of ancient Greek lore gives exhilarating voice to a witch… [Circe is] a sly, petulant, and finally commanding voice that narrates the entirety of Miller's dazzling second novel….Readers will relish following the puzzle of this unpromising daughter of the sun god Helios and his wife, Perse, who had negligible use for their child….Expect Miller's readership to mushroom like one of Circe's spells. Miller makes Homer pertinent to women facing 21st-century monsters.” — Kirkus, Starred Review 

“This beautifully written and absorbing tale of gods and mortals will delight Miller’s many fans and have them reaching for Edith Hamilton’s Mythology.” —Library Journal, Starred Review

Circe is the utterly captivating, exquisitely written, story of an ordinary, and extraordinary, woman's life” --Eimear McBride, author of A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing

“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.” --A.J Finn, bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

"Madeline Miller, master storyteller, conjures Circe glowing and alive - and makes the Gods, nymphs and heroes of ancient Greece walk forth in all their armored splendor.  Richly detailed and written with such breathtaking command of story, you will be held enchanted. A breathtaking novel." --- Helen Simonson, author of The Summer Before the War and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

“With lyric beauty of language and melancholy evocative of Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, CIRCE asks all the big questions of existence while framing them in the life story of the famous goddess who had the magic of transformations.  A veritable Who’s Who of the gods of Olympus and the heroes of ancient Greece, Circe knows them all and we see them through her perceptive eyes. This is as close as you will ever come to entering the world of mythology as a participant.  Stunning, touching, and unique.” Margaret George, author of The Confessions of Young Nero

"Written with power and grace, this enchanting, startling, gripping story casts a spell as strong and magical as any created by the sorceress Circe." -- Mary Doria Russell, author of Epitaph

"Circe bears its own transformative magic, a power enabled by Miller's keen eye for beauty, adventure, and reinvention. Through the charms of a misfit heroine, the world of gods becomes stunningly alive, and the world of our own humanity--its questions, loves, and bonds--is illuminated. This book is an immense gift to anyone who reads to find their own bravery and quest." --Affinity Konar, author of Mischling

Explore the World of Circe

Glossary

The cast of characters from Circe

Photo Essay

By Madeline Miller

Video

Watch the videos for Circe