October 15, 2020 7:54 AM EDT

As the unwanted daughter of the titan sun god Helios and beautiful but cold nymph Perse, Circe is no stranger to cruelty or loneliness. But it’s not until she’s banished for all eternity to the remote island of Aiaia that she must learn to carve out a life for herself, relying only on her unique talent for witchcraft. In her sophomore novel, an international bestseller, Madeline Miller offers a fresh take on the sorceress known for turning men into pigs in Homer’s Odyssey that lends multitudes to Circe, something not generally afforded to women of Greek mythology. Over the course of thousands of years, Circe evolves from a young naïf who takes pity on the eternally doomed Prometheus to a jealous lover who turns a fellow nymph into a horrible sea monster to a formidable, yet compassionate, goddess of magic who must choose, once and for all: the immortal life she was born into, or humanity. —Megan McCluskey

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