Book Review : Circe by Madeline Miller

About the Book:

Circe

From the Orange Prize-winning, internationally bestselling author of The Song of Achilles comes the powerful story of the mythological witch Circe, inspired by Homer’s Odyssey

Chosen as must-read book of 2018 by the Guardian, Independent, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Express and Stylist


In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.

There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Breathing life into the ancient world, Madeline Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation.

My Thoughts:

This is one of the most talked about books at the moment, trending on every social media site possible. I found out about this book on Instagram and decided to give it a shot. I must say that I was not disappointed.

Circe by Madeline Miller gives us a peek into the lives of the Titans and Olympians as well as that of man. A beautifully written book, the story is told from Circe’s point of view, following her life from birth. In the beginning, the story focuses on the life of the Titans, the pact they have with the Olympians and Circe’s yearning to be accepted and understood. She seems to always be apart from the rest of the household, an enigma.

As time passes, she starts to discover a latent power, sleeping somewhere within her, the power of witchcraft and magic. She discovers that though she is different from her family, she has her own set of strengths. this is a story of self-discovery and along the way we meet a lot of people who help shape how Circe sees herself.

The story is masterfully crafted, introducing us to a number of familiar names at each stage, thus making this story even more enjoyable. It is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time forcing us to experience the journey with Circe. We are not just reading about her, there are many times when the descriptions are so well done that the reader becomes a part of the story, another character. We meet a whole array of people, most of whom you would have heard before, but who are shown through Circe’s eyes in this book, portraying them in a different light. Many incidents and situations are achingly familiar and we do know how it all ends, but we do not know how Circe fits into the sequence and her reactions to it. This book brings out those connections, including a wonderful introduction to Odysseus and the lasting impression he has on Circe’s life.

The beauty of the plot lies in the simplicity with which the story is written and the complexity of the characters involved. The author passes on to us the message that to love oneself is most important and to understand one’s worth. With a lot of emotions involved, the author captures Circe’s thoughts very well, giving us vivid descriptions and glimpses into the worlds beyond. This book is about Circe’s journey as she searches for love, acceptance and deals with motherhood, the challenges she faces and the joy she finds in small things.

I cannot begin to explain how much this book had me hooked, turning page after page just to see where Circe goes and how she deals with her life. I learnt a lot from her, the way she treated people, the way she interacted with them, and in the end, her understanding of her position in the world and in life.

In conclusion, I strongly recommend this book to all those who enjoy fiction and fantasy steeped in mythology.

Guest Post by Mike Phillips, author of Hazard of Shadows: Chronicles of the Goblin King

Hazard of Shadows: Chronicles of the Goblin King Book Two

General Information:

Author Website:                                   http://mikephillipsfantasy.com

Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Mike-Phillips/e/B001KISG7U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Hazard of Shadows: Chronicles of the Goblin King Book Two

Trailer:                   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3OTx7QB_eI

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hazard-Shadows-Goblin-King-Book-ebook/dp/B012BQ0S98/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

The World Below: Chronicles of the Goblin King Book One

Trailer:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8o6lq1ieLk

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/World-Below-Mike-Phillips-ebook/dp/B00BODP3YU/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Dawn of Ages

Trailer:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLB3A6yHlQ4

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Ages-Mike-Phillips-ebook/dp/B00GLGCKUK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Reign of the Nightmare Prince

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Reign-Nightmare-Prince-Mike-Phillips-ebook/dp/B0058ORFLK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Synopsis: Hazard of Shadows, Chronicles of the Goblin King Book Two 

The enchanted creatures of legend still exist, hidden away in the secret places of the world. They take refuge from an age of camera phones and government labs, from people who won’t let them live in peace. One of these last places of safety is known as the World Below.

Ancient powers are at work. The Lords of Faerie seek to revenge the death of Baron Finkbeiner and recover the mysterious Blade of Caro. Hidden in the shadows, they await a chance to strike. The chance arises when an old enemy escapes the splinter realm in which he is imprisoned. Anxious to settle the debt, the Faerie Lords send him to finish the Lady Elizabeth and her Champion once and for all.

After leading the revolution against the despotic ruler of the World Below, Mitch Hardy has taken the throne. He never wanted to be king. The whole idea of a government by right of combat sits poorly with him. Growing evermore uneasy with his new position, he begins laying the framework for self-rule. The enchanted peoples have known nothing but kings, but are adapting quickly to this new idea of governing their own affairs. It goes well, but Mitch’s plans are interrupted by the arrival of old enemies. Soon he is fighting for his life against a hellish enemy, the likes of which he never imagined.

Synopsis: The World Below, Chronicles of the Goblin King Book One

In ancient times, magical creatures inhabited the earth. They lived on mountaintops, in fields, at the bottom of lakes and rivers. But that was long ago, before the human race declared war on the creatures they feared and hated. Now the enchanted peoples are all but gone. The only place they can hide from the ever increasing number of satellites and smart phones is in the World Below.

Mitch Hardy is going through a hard time in his life. In his early twenties, he was working his way through college when he suffered an accident that left him flat broke and physically deformed. When Mitch decides to make a fresh start in a new town, things start looking up. He finds a place to live, a decent job, good friends. He even meets a nice girl. Unknown to Mitch, his new girlfriend is one of the Elder Race, what some call the Faerie Folk. Mitch doesn’t know that Elizabeth is looking for a father she never knew. The key to finding him is somehow tied up with the mysterious Blade of Caro. Desperate, she steals the Blade from its protector, the despotic ruler of the World Below, the Dragon of Worms, Baron Finkbeiner. When Elizabeth is kidnapped by the Baron, Mitch is pulled into a world or magic and monsters he never imagined.

Author Bio:

Mike Phillips is author of Hazard of Shadows, The World Below, Dawn of Ages, and Reign of the Nightmare Prince. His short stories have appeared in ParAbnormal Digest, Cemetery Moon, Sinister Tales, Beyond Centauri, the World of Myth, Mystic Signals and many others. Online, his work has appeared in Lorelei Signal, Kzine, Bewildering Stories, Midnight Times, and Fringe. He is best known for his Crow Witch and Patrick Donegal series. Please visit Mike at mikephillipsfantasy.com.

Guest Post: Modern Monsters

Hello everyone, and thank you for reading my guest post. My name is Mike Phillips and my new book is Hazard of Shadows. For this guest post, I was asked to talk a little about the magical creatures in the book. One of the more unique aspects of the story is my use of goblins, so I thought it might be interesting to explore that.

In folklore and literature, goblins have always been evil creatures. To this day, goblins are hiding in our closets and under our beds. They are wicked monsters that are no happier than when they are burning fields or robbing cradles. In The World Below, Mitch Hardy unknowingly rescues a goblin from getting hurt in a storm. Living on the fringes of society as they must to avoid camera phones and governmental laboratories, goblins lead harsh lives. By a small act of kindness, Mitch makes a true friend. Later on, this kindness is returned. I don’t want to spoil the fun, so let’s just say a pan-dimensional, man-eating garbage dumpster is involved. Friends like that are hard to find! Once they have been won over, goblins are the best sort of friends. They may have terrible manners, they may say awful things, they may smell bad, but we can all be that way sometimes. In the end, my use of goblins helps us see the best in humanity.

Writing about goblins was a riot! Goblins live on the fringes of human society. They make their homes in junk yards, abandoned buildings, sewer systems, and anywhere else people try to avoid. Once they find a likely spot, the get to work. Goblins are clever with tools and machinery. They will use and repurpose anything they can get their hands on, so many of their dwellings look like they were designed by frat-boys. Not always the best of neighbors, goblins have to take security seriously. They construct elaborate pitfalls to keep themselves safe from enemies like collapsing tunnels, pongee pits, and mechanical traps.

Goblins, like their human counterparts, each have a unique personality. They live in what they call crews, a sort of family, a lot like college dorm-mates. Each goblin has a special skill. One might be a bully (a most desirable skill in the goblin world). Another might be crafty at making traps. Some use sorcery or poison. Others are good at machinery. Some just eat a lot (another desirable skill). Goblins, in general, have a loose sense of morality. If it doesn’t hurt another member of the crew, with the obvious exception of fighting, then it’s usually okay. Fighting is always acceptable behavior, though if an enemy is around, a goblin is expected to stop fighting the other crew member and start fighting the enemy. Common sense rules like that are the cornerstone of goblin society.

That brings us to the topic of goblin social structure. Goblin society is feudal. They organize in crews, bound by familial ties or friendship. These associations are loosely formed, and if a goblin wants to go it alone, no one holds a grudge. A crew may have two or three leaders at a time. It is not unusual for goblins to disagree, so sometimes they have no real leader at all. Though they fight with each other like crazy, but they are deeply loyal in times of trouble and would do anything for the other members of their crew. No female goblins appear in Hazard of Shadows or The World Below, but that is a topic for another time.

Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you enjoy Hazard of Shadows and The World Below.

Please visit me at mikephillipsfantasy.com.

Press Release: The Code of Magic

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Release of David D. Hammons’ third novel THE CODE OF MAGIC

Springfield, MO

Magic has risen from ancient Babylon all the way to Chicago as Curiosity Quills Press announces the publication of David D. Hammons’ third novel, a Middle-Grade Fantasy full of monster-hunting adventure. The book will be released February 29, 2016 in the US.

There’s a monster in Alex’s backyard. He doesn’t know how it got there, but with his parents refusing to help, Alex must capture it on his own. When he does, a monster hunting Keeper comes to claim it. Alex follows the Keeper to the world of Edin, a preserve for monsters run by magic-wielders. Aboard the Keeper’s airship, and with his giant socket wrench-wielding monster companion, Alex must learn the art of magic if he hopes to stay in this wondrous world. But as he trains with the other children in the fortress of Babili, rumors begin that the Heretic Pharaoh has returned, and Alex’s new home is in danger.

THE CODE OF MAGIC will be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, Smashwords, and local retailers. You can find Hammons’ earlier books, ALICE TAKES BACK WONDERLAND and DON’T EAT THE GLOWING BANANAS at these retailers as well.

David D. Hammons has started working as a full-time author and editor after traveling the world learning about ancient cultures and modern myths. He is an adjunct professor of Logistics at Missouri State University and lives in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri.

For further information, please contact David D. Hammons at daviddhammons@gmail.com or Clare Dugmore of Curiosity Quills Press at clare@curiosityquills.com.

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ISBN: 9781620071151

Note: Watch out for my review of the book which will be coming up real soon. In the mean time, please share this information and let us help spread the magic!