The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller (Review)

I picked up this book partly on the recommendation of a friend and partly because I was oddly charmed by all the negative reviews. While overall, reviews of this book are fantastic, there is a constant thread of negative reviews from people who are both astounded and enraged at the very idea that Achilles might have been anything other than a 100% heterosexual all-American hero.

I struggle to picture these reviewers; who are these people with a deep knowledge of Greek mythology, storied pedigrees in literary analysis/classics/history, and no awareness whatsoever of not just any subtext but also the past few millennia of discourse? They are so very, very angry and I would love to meet one.

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The Falcon of Sparta – Conn Iggulden (Review)

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Ataxerxes, newly-crowned king of Persia, seeks to secure his throne. Following his father’s advice and example, he seeks to eliminate the threat posed by his younger brother, Cyrus.

Incensed by his brother’s betrayal, the formerly-loyal Prince Cyrus gathers an army to depose his tyrant brother. Against the vast might of theĀ Achaemenid Empire, he brings an army composed of Persian troops and Greek mercenaries, spearheaded by Spartans, soldiers who are famed the world over for their discipline and prowess.

Xenophon, an Athenian no longer welcome in his own city, joins Cyrus’s army. As the two brothers war over the fate of an empire, he looks for a new purpose and sense of identity.
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