17 Brilliant Greek Mythology Retellings Worth Reading

17 Greek Mythology Retellings Worth Reading
17 Brilliant Greek Mythology Retellings Worth Reading 21

The Odyssey is one of my top 10 favorite books. The Gods, Goddesses, and monsters captivated me and ever since reading it, I’ve been obsessed with Greek mythology retellings.

I had been wanting to do this post for so long that I knew I could easily find the best Greek mythology retellings and put them all in one place, after all, I love these books!

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Greek Mythology Retellings about Women

the shadow of perseus

The Shadow of Perseus by Claire Heywood

Shadow of Perseus is a multi-narrator Greek mythology retelling told from the perspective of the women in Perseus’s story. 

Heywood examines how facts can be manipulated into folklore, making everyday stories into monster-filled legends. Ultimately, the females in the story cast Perseus in a much different, and darker, light than traditional mythological depictions.

I love when mythology retellings turn a well-known story on its head – and this one does it exquisitely! I was riveted by Medusa, Andromeda, and Danae’s version of events and the setting of this boat book. We needed to include it in our ultimate list of beach reads 2023.

Circe

Circe by Madeline Miller

The Odyssey is one of my all-time favorite books and I think I read Du’Laires Book of Greek Myths more than any other book when I was in middle school. Which means I ADORED Circe!

Circe, the nymph who is but a footnote in Du’Laires and gets overshadowed in The Odyssey was a fascinating goddess I can’t believe I knew so little about. I’m desperate to read Madeline Miller’s first book – The Song of Achilles now that I read this adult fantasy book.

Ariadne

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

I’m such a huge fan of historical fantasy stories about the Greek Gods. I find the mythology to be captivating, so it’s not a surprise that I loved Saint’s take on Ariadne’s story.

Ariadne is the child of the king of Crete who goes on to become the wife of the god, Dionysus. The story tells her story, as well as the stories of Theseus, the Minotaur, and Phaedra, all big names in mythology.

If you loved The Odyssey or A Thousand Ships, pick up this pick from adult fantasy novels!

Greek Mythology Retellings

Psyche and Eros

Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara

Eros, the god of desire, is cursed to fall for the mortal woman, Psyche, but the minute she looks directly at his face, they will be cursed to be apart forever. As they fall in love, they trigger the curse.

Instead of ending the story there, we are taken on their journey as they try to reconnect. I love the way Psyche was portrayed as a fearless woman, fierce in her quest to reunite with her love.

McNamara succeeded in centering Psyche in this Greek mythology retelling while creating a compelling love story. I adored it!

Stone Blind

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes

While the story of Troy captured authors for many years, it seems that Perseus and his travels have taken over in popularity. This is the second book published in 2023 that deals with Perseus.

This Greek mythology retelling is centered on Medusa’s life and how it ultimately related to Perseus’s tale. I adore the way Natalie Haynes frames her stories to show the darker side of famous Greek heroes. The ending of this one created such a stunning visual that I haven’t stopped thinking about it.

the song of achilles

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

This retelling of Homer’s the Iliad is filled with adventure and an epic love story that will not soon be forgotten.  This winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction is not to be missed.

We adored Miller’s other book, Circe, as well. It made our list of best magical historical fiction books and is an absolute must-read if you love greek mythology retellings.

Ithaca

Ithaca by Claire North

Many of us are familiar with the story of Odysseus’s journey in the Odyssey, but I love that this book looks at what happened in Ithaca while he was away.

Told by Hera, this story looks at Penelope as a woman and ruler in the years her husband was missing. I love this trend of greek mythology retellings focusing on the females in the stories.

Modern Greek Mythology Retellings

neon gods

Neon Gods by Katee Robert

I was expecting a modern retelling of Hades and Persephone’s love story from the description – I was not expecting a book like Fifty Shades of Grey!

WHEW… this was one STEAMY story! I wasn’t quite prepared for how devious Hades was in this version. I did love seeing Olympus in a modern setting and I really enjoyed how Hades and Persephone outwitted the rest of the 13 in this grumpy sunshine romance.

While I liked the story a great deal, if you aren’t into erotica, you won’t want to pick up this adult fantasy novel. This is the first in a series of Greek mythology retellings and is a great urban fantasy romance book.

THe lovely war and more greek mythology retellings

Lovely War by Julie Berryir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=3d6ee39d2b5d0e26bc7f578d95ac9cb4& cb=1601478566491

This book’s premise had me a little skeptical, Greek Gods telling a love story set in WWI? I didn’t think it was up my alley. I must have had it recommended to me almost a dozen times now, and now I’m the one recommending this young adult fantasy novel.

It was two, sort of three, love stories in one historical romance book, but it touched on racism, PTSD, and the sacrifices of war. It was so well handled that I was sad to see it end.

The Lost Sisterhood

The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier

Anne Fortier did it again with this feminist retelling of the Amazon legend. This dual timeline story has a modern-day Amazon expert on a hunt to find the treasure left behind by the Amazons she’s sure existed.

It flashes back to the time of the Trojan war as we learn about the origins of the Amazons and what caused the female warriors to become involved with the Trojans.

Multi-Narrator Greek Mythology Retellings

Phaedra by Laura Shepperson

Phaedra by Laura Shepperson

I’ve been binge-reading greek mythology retellings recently, particularly those stories that reimagine the roles of women. Phaedra’s tale is one that is traditionally told to make the woman out to be the evil seductress, ultimately responsible for destroying the stepson she seduced and being murdered for it.

Instead, Shepperson takes a look at the more likely scenario – that Phaedra was manipulated by her family, her husband, and her new city – ending in her pregnancy and a trial for her life. I was captivated by this greek tragedy until the last page.

a thousand ships

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

I absolutely loved this take on the traditional Greek stories surrounding the Trojan War. They are all told by the women in the mythology which is certainly a perspective that doesn’t get much play.

Penelope’s chapters in particular had me laughing out loud. I highly recommend this classic retelling to Greek mythology lovers and lovers of adult fantasy books.

Elektra

Elektra by Jennifer Saint

It’s official. I will read anything that Jennifer Saint writes because she nails it every time!

Elektra is told from the perspective of three women linked to the famed ruler Agamemnon. His wife, Clytemnestra, his daughter, Elektra, and the Troy princess, Cassandra.

Starting with the Agamemnon sacrificing one of his daughters to the gods of war, we see how these three women’s lives are impacted by his involvement in the Trojan War and how trauma can have a profound impact on those that experience it.

In Elektra, Saint once again weaves a masterful tale. She’s the modern-day Homer and I can’t wait to read whatever greek mythology retellings she writes next!

Greek Mythology Retellings for Tweens

percy jackson

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I don’t think there is a boy (or girl) out there who has read this middle grade fantasy series and not loved it. It is the only series that can compare to Harry Potter in terms of how much my son LOVES it.  

This first Percy Jackson book is about our beloved Percy, who discovers he is a demi-god and must recover Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt. He travels into the underworld to locate the lightning bolt and, at the same time, try to save his mother.

His amazing adventures with Annabeth and Grover along the way create the foundation for all the books that follow in this amazing and epic series. This show has been adapted to TV on Disney and is fantastic!

Find this book in Books like Percy Jackson / Epic Guide to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson Books

Perfect for fans of Harry Potter / Keeper of the Lost Cities / Tween & Teen Fantasy Books

The Trials of Apollo and more books like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan

This is one of the books like Percy Jackson that Percy actually shows up in! The Greek god Apollo, transformed into a mortal, is sent on a quest to regain his immortality. He sets off with his Demi-god master to free the Oracles from the Triumvirate.

Along the way, they battle Roman emperors, make new friends, and get stuck in many deadly situations. The first in a 5-part series, this is one Greek mythology retelling you won’t have read before. And while this is technically middle grade, if you love YA fantasy novels, you will love this book at any age.

The OG Greek Stories You Have to Read

The Odyssey 1

The Odyssey by Homer

There is a reason this boat book is one of my favorite books of all time. I find this classic tale to be so entertaining. This is one of the OG adult fantasy novels.

  It’s a classic for a reason. Odysseus’s struggle to get home to his family is truly epic. Those Greeks sure knew what they were doing.

I’m constantly picking up something new and reading it along with A Thousand Ships and The Lost Sisterhood gave me so much to think about.

Find this book in Literary Classics / Long Books / Boat Books

Daulaires book of greek myth

D’aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire 

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths introduced so many kids to Greek Mythology. I discovered my love of the myths from this book as a child and my own children love this classic now.

Each myth is only a page or two and has gorgeous illustrations to accompany it. It’s worth reading if you want to get a broad knowledge of the famous myths.

More Greek Mythology Retellings

Have you read any of these Greek mythology retellings?

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