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Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Each month our staff picks additional recommendations based on our Dandy Roll Book Club pick. We're recommending House on the Cerulean Sea for those of our members who would like to read a novel about historic queer romances based on our March pick, A Tip for the Hangman by Allison Epstein.

Dominic, the other half of Dandy Roll Book Club, chose The Song of Achilles, by Madeleine Miller. This best-selling novel tells the story of Achilles and Patroclus as they grow up together, fall in love, and go off to war. This one is punch-in-the-gut sad, but is ultimately a gorgeous story of friendship and love in the face of chaos and devastation. It’s a personal favorite of Emily's, too!

Achilles, "the best of all the Greeks," son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful— irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods' wrath.

They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes 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, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

  • Paperback, 416
  • Ecco, 2012