Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

La Ciudad de las Bestias (City of the Beasts) by Isabel Allende (♦♦♦♦)

The Cold family is having problems due to the grave illness affecting the mother/wife. Alexander, the fifteen-year-old son, must travel to New York City to live with his paternal grandmother while his mother endures chemotherapy treatments. Kate, Alexander’s grandmother, and Alexander embark on a trip to the Amazon jungle courtesy of International Geographic, to discover and document the existence of a giant creature known as The Beast.

During the trip Alexander finds a friend in Nadia, the guide’s daughter, and together they unleash the power of magic and their own to help an endangered tribe; also they are forced to grow up by overcoming the trials they encounter along the way.

La Ciudad de las Bestias (City of the Beasts) by Isabel Allende is a passionate narrative for young adults in which reality and fiction, myth and fantasy coexist. The intricate and little known Amazonian jungle and the legendary city of El Dorado are the lush scenarios in which this magnificent and mysterious story unfolds.

The reader immerses in the story and is able to feel it intensely despite a few flaws. In the passages in which Allende lets her imagination fly, the result is breathtaking, not so in the passages in which the children encounter and visit the tribe, for Allende emphasizes anthropology and natural history as if it were a lecture; in other words, the flow and freshness of the plot up to that point are interrupted.

In my opinion, the narrative would have benefited more if conservationist messages had been avoided, but the story is very good regardless.

La Ciudad de las Bestias (City of the Beasts) is the first novel written by Isabel Allende that I read, though I’m sure it won’t be the last. I had hesitated in tackling one of her books because her fame precedes her and I thought I could be disappointed; fortunately that wasn’t the case at all. She deserves all the accolades.


  1. Sounds sad. Chemo isn't anything I would wish on anyone.

    THANKS for sharing. Nice the red.

    Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved July/August Edition. I am in the list as #43.

    My book entry is below.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Entry

  2. Thanks for visiting, Elizabeth.
    City of the Beasts isn't sad at all, it's an adventure and a very good one.


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