GREEK mythology has long since captivated the minds of people, from scholars with a passion for classics or children picking up their first adaptation of these ideas by Rick Riordan after school.

Given how many times these stories have been told, one might expect there to be no new angle – particularly not one that is overwhelmingly dazzling and emotionally impactful.

This assumption would be wrong, however, and there is no author better to prove it than Madeline Miller.

With the success of her debut, The Song Of Achilles, the praise she has received for her take on The Odyssey should come as no real surprise.

One notable difference between this book and all those previous is the central character and perspective from which it is told. It is to be expected – but nonetheless disappointing – that almost every hero we hear from in great myths is a man, defeating some monster or braving a treacherous journey and saving a helpless woman along the way.

The refusal to adhere to this is what makes Miller’s concept so refreshing and exciting, as despite all the heroes and gods around her, Circe stands out and becomes the furthest thing from helpless.

Born to a nymph by the name of Perse and the widely respected and feared titan and sun god Helios, Circe has much to live up to.

Unfortunately, she is born different to her incredibly powerful and beautiful siblings, as while she is also immortal, it seems they are her better in every way and make no effort to conceal this over the years.

Circe lives in a state of idle misery, taking the cruelty as normal until she finds something unusual within herself that gods do not tend to have – kindness.

When the titan Prometheus is whipped in front of a vast audience for taking pity on the humans and bringing them fire, she feels an understanding for his actions, brings him nectar to drink and speaks with him briefly before he is sent away to his eternal punishment.

She carries this secret with her as she develops a friendship with her youngest brother and a romance with a mortal fisherman named Glaucos.

It is with the sheer intensity of this first love and the hope of not all in her life being terrible and monotonous that she discovers she is not quite as powerless as she once thought.

In the sap from flowers, she discovers the practice for which she was born that did not have a name yet but would become known as witchcraft. Out of naivety, she uses this to transform Glaucos into a god and her romantic rival into a monster.

Circe is mocked and exiled to the island of Aiaia. It is from here that she begins to hone her craft, finding a love for true and hard work that – despite all her magic – could only be described as human.

This is, of course, a story about gods, monsters, heroes and magic but at its core it’s a coming-of-age story – and one that every young woman will be able to relate to.