Greek mythology books fiction sounds contradictory. Greek mythology usually involves stories of the origins of stories and the real people that created them. However, these tales are so captivating and long-lasting that people still rewrite them today. Greek mythology continues to capture the imagination of children and adults alike.
From famous classics to hidden gems, these 5 books retell or rearranged Greek mythology into stories modern readers can enjoy.
The Iliad by Homer
Here’s a big way to start! The Iliad is an ancient text, written sometime around 730 B.C. It tells the story of how the Greeks invaded Troy, the battles of Achilles, and the ensuing wars between champions and heroes. This is one of the stories of Greek mythology.
While not for everyone, The Iliad remains surprisingly accessible, as well as available in multiple translations depending on your preferences. It represents the Bible of Greek mythology, the story that gives tons of context to the rest of them, including those listed below.
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
After The Iliad, you can also experience this modern retelling from the eyes of young Creusa as Troy goes up in flames. Reframed around the female perspective, this retelling of the classic war and the fictional or embellished heroes who fought it, this story of mortal (and immortal) goddesses is sure to rekindle your interest in classic tales.
Circe by Madeline Miller
The mythological Circe has never gotten much of an empathetic treatment until Miller wrote her into a child. At the mercy of her parents and desperate for power, companions, and a story of her own, she lives on a deserted island where she becomes the well-known witch.
Thus, as heroes journey to hunt her, she learns about the world she desperately wanted to be included in. If you like villainous reassessments like Wicked, you’ll love Circe.
The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
If you thought Greek myths were too patriarchal, here’s a satire of The Iliad to keep you going. Atwood wrestles the myth from its male heroes and thus gives it to Penelope and a female chorus of fiercely satirical maids. A modern twist on a classic tale.
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
The famous British scholar C.S. Lewis may be most known for The Chronicles of Narnia but he was a fierce mythologist as well. This story retells the myth of Cupid and Psyche from a new perspective. The classic story of betrayal and grief becomes a brilliant modern novel in Lewis’ hands. It not only recounts the ancient myth but reassesses it in terms of modern beliefs, as well.
The Takeaway from Modern Mythology
Greek mythology books fiction retell fiction as new fiction, even if the books are also centuries old. Modern writers enjoy reassessing classic tales from new perspectives and modern readers also love experiencing them. Consider these classic and modern stories as your tiny Bible to the huge world of Greek mythology. When you’re done, there are hundreds of other faces to add to your collection of perspectives, from a hundred new authors hungry to challenge the old world.