This one goes out to those of us who have been captivated by Greek Mythology since we first learned about Zues and the Gods of Olympus in elementary school and ripped through the Percy Jackson series in our early teens. Check out these reimagining of classic Greek tales, their key figures, and flawed deities. For fans of Madeline Miller and Rick Roidan who are ready to keep exploring alternative histories and modern retellings of greco roman tragedies- we’ve got you covered. 

  • A daring and timely feminist retelling of The Iliad from the perspective of the women of Troy who endured it. oy has fallen and the victorious Greeks are eager to return home with the spoils of an endless war—including the women of Troy themselves. They await a fair wind for the Aegean. It does not come, because the gods are offended. Old feuds resurface and new suspicions and rivalries begin to fester. Largely unnoticed by her captors, the one time Trojan queen Briseis, formerly Achilles’s slave, now belonging to his companion Alcimus, quietly takes in these developments. She forges alliances when she can, with Priam’s aged wife the defiant Hecuba and with the disgraced soothsayer Calchas, all the while shrewdly seeking her path to revenge.
  • Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse by Chantel Acevede
  • The first in an action-packed debut middle grade fantasy duology about a Cuban American girl who discovers that she’s one of the nine muses of Greek mythology. Whisked away to Muse Headquarters, she joins three recruits her age, who call themselves the Muse Squad. Together, the junior muses are tasked with using their magic to inspire and empower—not an easy feat when you’re eleven and still figuring out the goddess within.
  • Tiny by Mairead Case
  • Tiny is a contemporary, poetic retelling of Sophocles’ Antigone, set in the mossy greens and foggy grays of the Pacific Northwest. Instead of two brothers who kill each other in a civil war, Tiny has a brother who kills himself after coming home from a far-away war. Tiny is a teenage girl, and so is understandably messed up by death, she also understands it in a way that her dad and the government just can’t. Tiny misses her brother, forever, but—with the help of her best friend Izzy, boyfriend Hank, and a collective dance night held in an old artificial limb store—she escapes freezing herself in grief, too. Using different perspectives and desires, facts from plants and history, and brass knuckles and Frankie Knuckles, Tiny wonders how we mourn and move, in time.
  • Ariadne: A Novel by Jennifer Saint
  • For fans of Madeline Miller’s Circe, an epic feminist retelling of the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, from the perspective of Ariadne and her sister Phaedra. Ariadne, Princess of Crete, grows up greeting the dawn from her beautiful dancing floor and listening to her nursemaid’s stories of gods and heroes. But beneath her golden palace echo the ever-present hoofbeats of her brother, the Minotaur, a monster who demands blood sacrifice every year. When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives to vanquish the beast, Ariadne sees in his green eyes not a threat but an escape. Defying the gods, betraying her family and country, and risking everything for love, Ariadne helps Theseus kill the Minotaur. But will Ariadne’s decision ensure her happy ending? And what of Phaedra, the beloved little sister she leaves behind?
  • Antigone Rising: The Subversive Power of the Ancient Myths by Helen Morales
  • Antigone Rising, classicist Helen Morales reminds us that the myths have subversive power because they are told — and read — in different ways. Through these stories, whether it’s Antigone’s courageous stand against tyranny or the indestructible Caeneus, who inspires trans and gender queer people today, Morales uncovers hidden truths about solidarity, empowerment, and catharsis. Antigone Rising offers a fresh understanding of the stories we take for granted, showing how we can reclaim them to challenge the status quo, spark resistance, and rail against unjust regimes.
  • Women and Other Monsters: Building a New Mythology by Jess Zimmerman
  • Through fresh analysis of eleven female monsters, including Medusa, the Harpies, the Furies, and the Sphinx, Jess Zimmerman takes us on an illuminating feminist journey through mythology. She guides women (and others) to reexamine their relationships with traits like hunger, anger, ugliness, and ambition, teaching readers to embrace a new image of the female hero: one that looks a lot like a monster, with the agency and power to match.
  • Venus and Aphrodite: A Biography of Desire by Bettany Hughes
  • Aphrodite was said to have been born from the sea, rising out of a froth of white foam. But long before the Ancient Greeks conceived of this voluptuous blonde, she existed as an early spirit of fertility on the shores of Cyprus — and thousands of years before that, as a ferocious warrior-goddess in the Middle East. Proving that this fabled figure is so much more than an avatar of commercialized romance, historian Bettany Hughes reveals the remarkable lifestory of one of antiquity’s most potent myths.
  • A Thousand Ships: A Novel by Natalie Haynes
  • In the middle of the night, a woman wakes to find her beloved city engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over. Troy has fallen. From the Trojan women whose fates now lie in the hands of the Greeks, to the Amazon princess who fought Achilles on their behalf, to Penelope awaiting the return of Odysseus, to the three goddesses whose feud started it all, these are the stories of the women whose lives, loves, and rivalries were forever altered by this long and tragic war. A woman’s epic, powerfully imbued with new life, A Thousand Ships puts the women, girls and goddesses at the center of the Western world’s great tale ever told.
  • Lore 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, binding her fate to Athena’s, will come at a deadly cost—and it may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.
  • Ithaca Forever: Penelope Speaks, A Novel by Luigi Malerba, Translated by Douglas Grant Heise
  • After twenty years, Odysseus finally returns to Ithaca, but instead of receiving the homecoming he had hoped for finds himself caught in an intense battle of wills with his faithful and long-suffering wife Penelope. When Penelope recognizes him under the guise of a beggar, she becomes furious with him for not trusting her enough to include her in his plans for ridding the palace of the Suitors. As a result, she plays her own game of fictions to make him suffer for this lack of faith, inspiring jealousy, self-doubt, and misgivings in her husband, the legendary Homeric hero. In this captivating retelling of the Odyssey, Penelope rises as a major force with whom to be reckoned. Shifting between first-person reflections, Ithaca Forever reveals the deeply personal and powerful perspectives of both wife and husband as they struggle for respect and supremacy within a marriage that has been on hold for twenty years.
  • The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus by Margaret Atwood
  • Margaret Atwood returns with a shrewd, funny, and insightful retelling of the myth of Odysseus from the point of view of Penelope. Describing her own remarkable vision, the author writes in the foreword, “I’ve chosen to give the telling of the story to Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids. The maids form a chanting and singing Chorus, which focuses on two questions that must pose themselves after any close reading of the Odyssey: What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to? The story as told in the Odyssey doesn’t hold water: there are too many inconsistencies. I’ve always been haunted by the hanged maids and, in The Penelopiad, so is Penelope herself.” One of the high points of literary fiction in 2005, this critically acclaimed story found a vast audience and is finally available in paperback.
  • Persephone’s Garden by Glynnis Fawkes
  • A children’s song inspires a love of Greek mythology in a young girl. A young woman finds a career in archeology and illustration. A young mother sees her daughter become a woman, as her own mother’s memories are lost. Persephone’s Garden is a deeply personal story and an inventive study of girlhood, womanhood and motherhood, through memory, history and mythology.
Greek Mythology for the 21st Century

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