Greek mythology retellings
Raven Kennedy Flatiron Books Katherine Tegen Books | HarperCollins Balzer + Bray Pan MacMillan Bloomsbury YA Canongate Books Cerulean Books Little, Brown and Company

Greek Mythology Retellings That Aren’t ‘Percy Jackson’

Everyone knows about 'Percy Jackson', but what about the numerous other Greek mythology retellings? It's time they get a little spotlight, too.
Article Tags
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on pinterest
The Latest
Tonic Topics
Join the Convo on Facebook!

With Disney’s Percy Jackson series getting closer to becoming a reality, I’ve gone down the Greek mythology rabbit hole again. And that deep-dive lead me to tons of retellings and modern takes on the gods. From children’s series to adult romance, there are hundreds of books that any fans of Percy Jackson will love. Here are just a few of my favorite books inspired by Greek myths.

‘Gods Behaving Badly’ by Marie Phillips

Gods Behaving Badly cover
Little, Brown and Company

What would happen if the Greek gods lived amongst humans in the twenty-first century? Marie Phillips shows us a glimpse of what that world would look like. Apollo and Aphrodite are at the forefront of the story, along with two humans are caught in the middle of a brewing war.

All of the Big Twelve of Olympus live in a tiny London flat (and no, they’re not happy about it). When the Goddess of love and god of the sun clash, it’s up to Alice and Neil, two normal humans, to save the world like the Greek heroes of the past.

‘Lore Olympus’ by Rachel Smythe

Lore Olympus series
Del Rey Books

What started as an online comic series quickly became a sensation for Greek mythology buffs. With the third bind-up coming out later this year, we get a glimpse into another version of Olympus and the Greek gods.

Each character in the comics is colored specifically to discern them from each other. The cosplays that have come out of this fandom are always breathtaking. It follows Persephone and Hades’ love story, as well as the other Greek gods’ lives around them.

‘Circe’ and ‘The Song of Achilles’ by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles and Circe covers
Little, Brown and Company | Bloomsbury

Madeline Miller’s bibliography is full of Greek mythology retellings, but Circe and The Song of Achilles are by far the most popular. I can’t watch a TikTok video about retellings without at least one–usually both–showing up. And while I’m tired of them being recommended, they are amazing.

Circe tells the story of the Greek enchantress. After her birth, Zeus sends Circe, daughter of Helios, to an island where she sharpens her magic skills. While on the island, she comes across several Greek heroes and monsters. It’s also currently in the works to be an HBO Max show.

The Song of Achilles recaps the story of Achilles and Patroclus. Patroclus was nothing but a mortal prince living under the rule of King Peleus. One day, Achilles takes him in, and they form a deep bond. But life isn’t so easy for the two when Helen of Troy is kidnapped. The rest is history (or at least a myth).

‘The Deep End of the Sea’ by Heather Lyons

The Deep End of the Sea cover
Cerulean Books

Heather Lyons tells the story of Medusa and the Gorgons, but gives us a new side to the story. Instead of the monster she’s usually depicted as, Medusa is a victim who was punished wrongfully. Before you pick this book up, check the trigger warnings because there are heavy topics.

In addition to making Medusa likable and relatable, we also get modernized versions of the gods. We get a different take on them than what Rick Riordan portrayed them as; Hades is likable, and Hermes is a gentleman. And the writing flows beautifully.

See related: Greek Mythology in Video Games: Why is it so Prevalent?

‘The Penelopiad’ by Margaret Atwood

The Penelopiad cover
Canongate Books

We all know Homer’s story of The Odyssey and Odysseus, but what about Penelope and her twenty years alone in Ithaca. Homer portrayed her as the perfect wife who was able to do so much for the kingdom. But what actually happened in those two decades?

Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad lets Penelope tell her story as Odysseus travels home. It also answers the question as to why her twelve maids were killed when her husband returned. And if you’re like me, you’ve been asking that since you first read the epic.

‘Never Look Back’ by Lilliam Rivera

Never Look Back cover
Bloomsbury YA

Do you also love the story of Orpheus and Eurydice? Then you’re going to love Never Look Back. Lilliam Rivera retells the story in modern New York with two Afro-Latinx protagonists. It’s considered a #OwnVoices story, so you know the author did an excellent job with representation of her culture.

Eury is new to the Bronx and wants to escape from the trauma she’s leaving behind in Puerto Rico following a hurricane. Pheus is a teenage singer who plans to spend the season with friends and his on-and-off girlfriend. But things change when they run into each other one fateful day.

‘A Thousand Ships’ and ‘The Children of Jocasta’ by Natalie Haynes

The Children of Jocasta, A Thousand Ships covers
Pan MacMillan | Harper

Natalie Haynes, much like Madeline Miller, has done amazing with her retellings of Greek myths. While she has many books following the stories of these heroes and gods, my favorites are A Thousand Ships and The Children of Jocasta.

A Thousand Ships has the women telling the story of the Trojan War. Instead of focusing on just one character, she includes Helen, Penelope, and Calliope (Goddess of epic poetry). It tells the story of the war without feeling like a textbook.

The Children of Jocasta follows suit by putting the women of Antigone and Oedipus’s stories in the spotlight. We see more of Jocasta and Ismene’s life and trauma while adding to the story we all know so well. Each women’s story will have you crying throughout.

‘Muse Squad’ Duology by Chantel Acevedo

Muse Squad duology covers
Balzer + Bray

Do you remember the singing Muses from Disney’s Hercules? In the original myths, there weren’t five muses – there were nine. While they were iconic, and I wish they could narrate my life, Chantel Acevedo brings a fantastic story with modern-day Muses.

The Muse Squad duology follows the nine new Muses, including Callie Martinez-Silva, as they embrace their fates and assignments from the gods themselves. In The Cassandra Curse, we meet four of the junior Muses, but we get another new muse in The Mystery of the Tenth.

‘Medusa Girls’ Series by Tera Lynn Childs

Medusa Girls series
Katherine Tegen Books | HarperCollins

Unlike The Deep End of the Sea, we get a modern-day Gorgon tale following Medusa’s descendants, not the monster herself. Grace, Gretchen, and Greer are descendants of the gorgon, but they don’t know they’re triplets until fate thrusts them together.

Throughout the trilogy, the long-lost sisters learn to work together and trust each other while a war is brewing between gods and monsters. Each girl has her own unique powers, and together, they can turn the tide of the war and save those they care about.

Want more mythology-inspired retellings but not Greek? Check out our Asian Mythology Retellings You Need to Read Now.

‘Ariadne’ by Jennifer Saint

Ariadne cover
Flatiron Books

Jennifer Saint’s Ariadne did this myth justice by focusing on Princess Ariadne and her defiant acts. Much like other books on this list, instead of focusing on the “heroes” of Greek myths, we focus on the less-talked-about women.

Ariadne has grown up in Crete, always following the rules and feeling trapped in the palace. When she meets Theseus, she decides he is the only way to escape. Ariadne helps him kill her brother (the Minotaur) and leaves all she knows behind. But is escaping everything she could hope for?

‘The Plated Prisoner’ Series by Raven Kennedy

The Plated Prisoner series
Raven Kennedy

When I first heard of Gild, I constantly got it mixed up with Gilt. Just so you don’t have to go through the same confusion as me, let me talk about the adult series starting with Raven Kennedy’s Gild. And warning, it’s pretty graphic in some scenes, so check for trigger warnings before picking it up.

Kennedy combines fae with the story of King Midas and his golden touch. The series follows Auren, the woman King Midas touched and turned into living gold. While the first book is a bit slow, the rest of the series is very entertaining, and you’ll barely be able to put it down. A fourth book, Glow, is set to release later this year.

‘Dark Olympus’ Series by Katee Robert

Dark Olympus series
Sourcebooks Casablanca

Katee Robert’s Dark Olympus series puts a modern twist on Greek myths. In addition to the novels out right now, there are two novellas out (Hades and Hades and Stone Heart), and two more books are planned. The third book, Wicked Beauty, is a Trojan War-inspired tale, and it will be out later this year.

Neon Gods tells the love story of Persephone Dimitriou and Hades in modern-day Olympus and the Underworld. If you love any version of their myth, you will love this dark and sexy retelling that has been all over social media since it was released.

The second book, Electric Idol, follows the story of Psyche and Eros. Set in the same world, Eros is sent to kill Psyche for his mother, Aphrodite. But he can’t bring himself to kill the mortal and marries her to keep her safe.

‘Starcrossed’ Trilogy by Josephine Angelini

Starcrossed trilogy

I read Josephine Angelini’s trilogy inspired by Helen of Troy’s story in high school and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. The three books following Helen of Troy’s reincarnated soul were terrific. And I’m so excited that a prequel is set to release later this year.

Starcrossed is the first book and introduces Helen, Lucas, and the other reincarnated characters from the original story. Dreamless and Goddess are the following two books in the series and follow Helen as she delves farther into the life she never knew about. We meet gods and other Greek heroes and travel into the Underworld.