The legend of Achilles has always been one of the favorite since the time when the Iliad was written by Homer. The story though presents action in bulk but there are sentiments as well. The human bond and the power of the gods are surely tested in a big way. Madeline Miller has not added any complex plots in the novel because this would have damaged the one strong plot that revolves around the great Achilles.
Greece is revisited by the writer as we see Achilles starting a new friendship with Patroclus, the exiled prince of Phthia. Both of them do not share the same blood or strength but again our youth plays different games because we think from the heart in our youth. We see a pure relation of friendship developing between the two as they grow up learning the arts of war together. Thetis the mother of Achilles however dislikes the bond of his son with the mortals and tries to get rid of the filthy prince on a number of occasions.
The twist in the novel is the kidnap of Helen that brings all of Greece to the battle field against Troy. The oath and the blood relations are tested as Achilles and Patroclus join the battle not for Helen but for the grace of the land to which they belong. For the first time we feel fear in the heart of the demigod as he fears for the lives of those he loves. Circe another story by the same writer also narrates the tale of a demigod but the two stories are different as there is no sword fighting in Circe.
While in this novel the wars are fought in the battlefield without the use of magic. Frazer Douglas narrates in the matchless voice that was dully needed for this one of a kind myth brought to life again.