Cover page for Madeline Miller's Circe

Hailey and I fully intended to do a buddy read and review for Madeline Miller’s Circe. Unfortunately, we hated it. After a long and cathartic ranting session, neither of us felt much like getting into it all over again in a written format. Well, it’s been some time since then, and I am ready to discuss this book in a calm and rational manner. Mostly.

 

Content Warning: this review discusses violence against women and sexual assault. We have to address these topics, as they are present within the book.

 

Circe is an amalgamation and retelling of the Greek myths around the mysterious witch-nymph Circe, famously prominent in Homer’s Odyssey. Miller follows Circe’s life from her early childhood to the end of her days, as she encounters heroes, fights monsters, and comes into her magical powers as a witch whom even the other gods fear.

 

I will not be like a bird bred in a cage, I thought, too dull to fly even when the door stands open.

– Madeline Miller

Dear readers, she was exactly that dull.

 

 

 

Hello, readers!

Over the past month, Hailey and I have made a lot of additions to the Page and Prose website, and what better way to keep track of them than in our blog? Mind you, this post is not meant to be a formal, structured log of activities. Instead, consider it a kind of news report/summary of things that you might want to explore.

 

First off, we finished our first monthly buddy read on T. Kingfisher’s A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, and our respective thoughts on the book can be found here.

 

Hailey and I also plan to complete the 52 Book Club’s 2021 reading challenge over the course of this year. You can follow our progress as we meet the various reading goals here. Feel free to join the reading challenge, and let us know of your progress!

 

Hailey set up our Instagram account, and you can check out her beautiful photography  and bookshelf compositions here. Our handle is @pageandprosereviews. We would love to chat with you on Instagram, so feel free to jump into our comments sections or send us a message!

 

June is Pride Month, and I really wanted to do something special to honour LGBTQIA+ stories and literature. As such, I have compiled a (short!) list of book recommendations across various genres, featuring LGBTQIA+ relationships and characters:

 

 

  • The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller: A beautiful retelling of the Trojan War cycle through the eyes of Patroclus, and centering on his love story with Achilles. (Greek mythology; YA literary fiction)

 

  • Red, White and Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston: An own-voices new adult story about a grudging friendship that turns into something more, between the son of the American president and the grandson of the British queen. (New adult; coming-of-age)

 

  • A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine: A deeply philosophical and also thrillingly adventurous story about a young woman who is sent to a foreign planet as an ambassador, only to find mysteries and intrigue at every turn. (Science fiction)

 

  • The Will Darling Adventures, by K. J. Charles: A (now completed!) trilogy set in post-WWI era England, wherein former soldier Will Darling must deal with danger, secret societies, conspiracies, and murder. (Mystery; thriller) ***Note: contains explicit content!

 

  • Banner of the Damned, by Sherwood Smith: A young scribe travels from her peaceful, art-loving home to a brusque warrior society, where she must decide whether to break her vows and interfere in political events or sit by and watch the world plunge toward destruction. (High fantasy; political intrigue)

 

  • Starless, by Jacqueline Carey: A gender-fluid young warrior, soul-bound to a differently-abled princess, navigates assassination attempts and machinations as the two seek a a way to defeat an ancient evil. (High fantasy; adventure/quest)

Cover of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Cover page of Red, White & Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston

Cover page of A Memory Called Empire, by Arkady Martine

Cover page of Slippery Creatures, by K. J. Charles

Cover page of Banner of the Damned, by Sherwood Smith

Cover page of Starless, by Jacqueline Carey

 

 

Have I sold you on any of them?

 

By the way, I am by no means an expert on LGBTQIA+ literature. If you want a more informed selection, I’d refer you to some curated lists by the CNN (here), CBC (here), The Guardian (here), and Penguin Random House (here).

 

I’ll end June’s post with a piece of book-related news: one of my favourite authors, Sherwood Smith is releasing a new book through her brand-new Patreon account (here). Sherwood has been through some exceptionally difficult times lately, what with perfidious agents, publication delays, and unpleasant vaccination side effects, so if you are a fan of her works, you may want to send some support her way.

 

We wish you well, in all your bookish endeavours!