This book has everything I like. Mythology, war and a love story in the midst of the war. Also the prophecies, in a sense you know what’s gonna happen and the protagonist try to avoid it, and doing so they somehow end up fulfilling the prophecy eventually. This book is a perfect amalgamation of love, pride, sacrifice and pain.
Also not just talking this book but many of the ancient civilizations were so above the heteronomy. Why and when did we go from ‘whoever one chose to love was one’s own business’ to ‘it’s a sin and crime’
Now coming to the book ; This book is a wonderful retelling of the story from the original lliad focussed on Greek hero Achilles & Patroclus, his lover and companion.
The original Iliad is quite homoerotic to say the least, but as it’s been remade or retold through history, the queerness of the epic was often erased, but this book hones in on it and beautifully reclaims it.
The book takes us through the lives of Achilles and Patroclus as they grow up.. Usually in movies and Trojan mythology he is depicted as a ultra masculine war machine but here because we get to see a young boy. Ofcourse he is a perfect golden child who aces at everything. But he is also funny and friendly, loves to play harp, tries to please his mother, fulfill his princely duties at his father’s kingdom. Especially his interactions with Patroclus humanise Achilles in a beautiful way, he opens up to Patroclus, he shares his fears and dreams.
Patroclus stands as a contrast, not just in a sense that Achilles is a demigod and he is a mortal but in so many. He starts as a disgraced exiled prince but with Achilles he is happy, he feels welcomed and valued. He thrives with Achilles as he struggled with the idea of not being good enough many times during his life and all this is before, they are romantically involved or go through the Trojan war.
This is beautiful story of growing up, companionship, pride, prophecies, heartbreaks and war.