Ancient Greece Revisited

My love for Greek mythology retellings started with the Percy Jackson series, but really accelerated when I went to college and became a Classical Studies major. These books created somewhat of a symbiotic relationship with my mythology and ancient Greek religion courses: I had a lot of fun reading them, but they also helped me understand the myths I was learning about in classes (and sometimes the classes helped me understand the more complicated aspects of the mythology!). Since graduating, my hunger for more of this “genre” has only grown as more and more retellings have been published, and I never hesitate to order a copy each time a new one is released!

One thing I love about the recent explosion of retellings is that there’s something for everyone, across all ages. Whether you prefer historical fiction, literature, science fiction, graphic novels, or fantasy, there’s a retelling for you!

Many of these books take place during the Iliad and/or the Odyssey by Homer, which makes sense considering the fact that these two epic poems have given authors a wide variety of content and a huge cast of characters to write about. Some of my favorite retellings of the Iliad and Odyssey are Madeline Miller’s Circe and Song of Achilles, Jennifer Saint’s Elektra, and Natalie Haynes’s A Thousand Ships. But recently, retellings have diversified in myth! Jennifer Saint released Ariadne in 2021, a retelling of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur from Ariadne’s perspective. Earlier this year, she also released Atalanta, a retelling of the myth of Jason and his quest for the Golden Fleece, including the life story of the Amazonian princess Atalanta. Rebecca Caprara wrote Spin, which retells the myth of Arachne; Natalie Haynes wrote Children of Jocasta retelling Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex tragedies; and one of my recent favorites is a children’s book called Amber & Clay by Laura Amy Schlitz, which is a story featuring an ancient Greek festival called the Brauron, where young girls are chosen to be priestesses of Artemis, dress up like little bears, and perform a series of rituals.

One pattern I’ve noticed recently is that authors tend to write books about certain myths around the same time as one another. Daughters of Sparta, Clytemnestra, and Elektra all feature Clytemnestra as a narrator and detail her life during the Trojan War. Shadow of Perseus, Stone Blind, and Medusa’s Sisters all came out in 2023 and feature Medusa as a protagonist, telling the story of her life outside of the myth of Perseus. Regardless, I’ll still be reading each and every one! 

I’ve made a list below of some wonderful Greek mythology retellings that you should definitely check out!  And don’t hesitate to stop by in the bookstore to ask me about them, I’d love to chat about them with you!


Literary Fiction

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Hayes The Song of Achilles by Madeline MillerElektra AtalantaThe Children of Jocasta AriadneCirce The Women of TroyThe Silence of the Girls The Penelopiad

 

 


 

Kids' and YA Titles

Amber and Clay SpinWrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane Bull

 

 


 

Historical Fiction

Daughters of Sparta Horses of FireClytemnestra PandoraStone BlindIthacaThe Shadow of Perseus

 

 


 

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Horror

Phaedra Medusa's SistersA Touch of Darknes PsycheThessalyHideIlium by Dan Simmons

 

 


 

Other Formats

Galatea Lore OlympusFit for the Gods Mythos