Greek Mythology: YA Edition

Greek relief carving on funerary monument, courtesy The Walters Art Museum

 

Recently, bookseller Carissa shared her love for Greek Mythology and all its many retellings.  She highlighted a number of her favorites, including a selection of books geared toward young adult readers.  There wasn't room to include them all, however, so here are a few more to expand your collection!  

 


 

Book coverSpin by Rebecca Caprara

Arachne is a homely girl with no claims to divinity or fortune, ostracized by all but her family and closest friend, Celandine. Turning to her loom for solace, Arachne learns to weave, finding her voice and her strength through the craft. After a devastating loss, Arachne and Celandine flee to the city of Colophon, where Arachne’s skills are put to the test. Word of her talent spreads quickly, leading to a confrontation with the goddess Athena, who demands that Arachne repent for her insolence and pride.

But Arachne will not be silenced. She challenges Athena, and a fateful weaving contest ensues, resulting in an exposé of divine misdeeds, a shocking transformation, and unexpected redemption.

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Book coverWrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane

Drawing on ancient texts and modern archeology to reveal the trans woman’s story hidden underneath the well-known myths of The Iliad, Maya Deane weaves a compelling, pitilessly beautiful vision of Achilles’ vanished world, perfect for fans of Song of Achilles, The Witch’s Heart, and the Inheritance trilogy.

Achilles has fled her home and her vicious Myrmidon clan to live as a woman with the kallai, the transgender priestesses of Great Mother Aphrodite. When Odysseus comes to recruit the “prince” Achilles for a war against the Hittites, she prepares to die rather than fight as a man. However, her divine mother, Athena, intervenes, transforming her body into the woman’s body she always longed for, and promises her everything: glory, power, fame, victory in war, and, most importantly, a child born of her own body. Reunited with her beloved cousin, Patroklos, and his brilliant wife, the sorceress Meryapi, Achilles sets out to war with a vengeance. 

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Book coverBull by David Elliott

David Elliott turns a classic on its head: this rough and rowdy retelling of the Minotaur myth in verse will have readers reevaluating one of mythology's most infamous monsters. 

THE MYTH OF THE MINOTAUR? THAT'S BULL.

Resurrected from the dark depths of the labyrinth, this fresh, deliciously shocking, and darkly comedic novel-in-verse takes on the Theseus and Minotaur myth and shines a light on one of history's most infamous monsters.

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Book coverLore by Alexandra Bracken

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals. They are hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality. 

Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world, turning her back on the hunt's promises of eternal glory after her family was murdered by a rival line. For years she's pushed away any thought of revenge against the man--now a god--responsible for their deaths.  Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek her out: Castor, a childhood friend Lore believed to be dead, and Athena, one of the last of the original gods, now gravely wounded.  The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and a way to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore's decision to rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost....

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Book coverThreads That Bind by Kika Hatzopoulou

Descendants of the Fates are always born in threes: one to weave, one to draw, and one to cut the threads that connect people to the things they love and to life itself. The Ora sisters are no exception. Io, the youngest, uses her Fate-born abilities as a private investigator in the half-sunken city of Alante.

But her latest job leads her to a horrific discovery: somebody is abducting women, maiming their life-threads, and setting the resulting wraiths loose in the city to kill. To find the culprit, she must work alongside Edei Rhuna, the right hand of the infamous Mob Queen—and the boy with whom she shares a rare fate-thread linking them as soul mates before they’ve even met.

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Book coverThe Odyssey by Gareth Hinds

Fresh from his triumphs in the Trojan War, Odysseus, King of Ithaca, wants nothing more than to return home to his family. Instead, he offends the sea god, Poseidon, who dooms him to years of shipwreck and wandering. Battling man-eating monsters, violent storms, and the supernatural seductions of sirens and sorceresses, Odysseus will need all his strength and cunning—and a little help from Mount Olympus—to make his way home and seize his kingdom from the schemers who seek to wed his queen and usurp his throne. Award-winning graphic artist Gareth Hinds masterfully reinterprets a story of heroism, adventure, and high action that has been told and retold for more than 2,500 years—though never quite like this.

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Book coverThe Lovely War by Julie Berry

They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette. A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect-turned-soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the U.S. Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story, as told by goddess Aphrodite, who must spin the tale or face judgment on Mount Olympus, is filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, and reveals that, though War is a formidable force, it's no match for the transcendent power of Love.

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Book coverDaughter of Sparta by Claire M. Andrews

Seventeen-year-old Daphne has spent her entire life honing her body and mind into that of a warrior, hoping to be accepted by the unyielding people of ancient Sparta. But an unexpected encounter with the goddess Artemis, who holds Daphne's brother's fate in her hands, upends the life she's worked so hard to build. Nine mysterious items have been stolen from Mount Olympus and if Daphne cannot find them, the gods' waning powers will fade away, the mortal world will descend into chaos, and her brother's life will be forfeit.

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Want more?  Check out Carissa's article, featuring her full list of favorite retellings!

See Them All