The Best Mythology Retellings to Read Right Now

Mythological retellings are all the rage. Mostly thanks to TikTok, but also to some brilliant reimagining of epic tales that for too long have been told from a very singular viewpoint. These fresh takes on the classics offer a bit of redemption. Helen, Circe, Penelope, Briseis, Ariadne and Lavinia — names you’ve heard, but voices that were silenced. These are the stories we want to hear! Those that breathe new life (and often humor) into tired tales. Whether you’re looking for a recommendation or just want to make sure you haven’t missed anything, here are our picks for the best mythological retellings to read right now.

Lore Olympus: Volume One 
Rachel Smythe 

Scandal, gossip, forbidden love — just another day in Olympus! This insanely popular Webtoon phenomenon is a stylish retelling of Persephone and Hades set in a modern and very glamourous world of the gods. The art is stunning and the story is compelling, so it’s not surprising this romantic webcomic has a cult following. This first volume (and first time in print) collects episodes 1–25.

Circe 
Madeline Miller 

A journey to self-discovery of epic proportions, Circe is a retelling from the queen of mythology herself: Madeline Miller. A lyrical, action-packed dive into the origin of an unforgettable and unparalleled woman, Circe cements herself in the pantheon of stories that must not be missed. Circe shares her scars, her broken parts, and in doing so, speaks to the humanity we all share: “That is one thing gods and mortals share: when we are young, we think ourselves the first to have each feeling in the world.”

Ariadne: A Novel 
Jennifer Saint  

Ariadne is another exciting new addition to the genre of mythological retellings. Based on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur and told from the perspective of two sisters, Ariadne and Phaedra, this is a masterful debut about love, betrayal, and sisterhood. “Saint breathes new life into the forgotten women of Greek mythology with a novel that’s both incredibly absorbing, and full of heart.” —Katie Lowe, author of The Furies 

A Thousand Ships 
Natalie Haynes 

In A Thousand Ships, Calliope, goddess of poetry, takes us through the Trojan War — where women become the deserving center of the most epic story ever told. A fresh entry into a burgeoning category of modern retellings, this story collection is a beautiful doorway to the inimitable ancient works. “Natalie Haynes gives a much-needed voice to the silenced women of the Trojan War.”—Madeline Miller, author of Circe

Lore  
Alexandra Bracken 

After Lore Perseous’s family is brutally murdered, she does everything she can to protect herself from the same fate, even if it means hiding in plain sight in New York City. However, she is soon tracked down by two participants of the Agon — a traditional hunt of the Greek gods that occurs every seven years — who both desperately need her help. Will Lore decide to rejoin the Agon and avenge her family’s death with so much at risk? Fraught with epic world-building and high-stakes action, Lore is a rich tale of Greek mythology meets The Hunger Games.

The Witch’s Heart 
Genevieve Gornichec 

What Madeline Miller did for Circe, Genevieve Gornichec now does for the mother of monsters, Angrboda. In this reimagined Norse myth, Gornichec takes up the mantle with a beautifully wrought feminist retelling of the prophetic witch. Her journey is a heartbreaking, epic and beautiful tribute to the power of love and hope. Both a love story and a war epic, The Witch’s Heart gives a ringing voice to the oft-silent women of myth and legend.

Daughter of Sparta 
Claire Andrews 

This enthralling reinterpretation of the classic Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo is a page-turning adventure from start to finish. With her brother’s fate in the hands of goddess Artemis, 17-year-old Daphne embarks on a journey with Artemis’ twin, Apollo, to save both Olympus and her brother. Lush world-building and a gripping plot give Daughter of Sparta a cinematic quality that begs to be adapted to the screen.

Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined 
Stephen Fry  

Stephen Fry brings his legendary wit to the world of Greek mythology with Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined. Here are the gods and heroes like you’ve never seen them before: brimming with humor, wonder and humanity. Readers of the classics and newcomers alike will be delighted by Fry’s warmhearted and rich retellings of the Clash of the Titans, Cupid and Psyche, Persephone, the Olympians, and so much more

Heroes: The Greek Myths Reimagined 
Stephen Fry  

The second in Fry’s Mythos trilogy, this fun, and eye-popping book turns its attention to the deeds of the mortal heroes. Perseus, Heracles, Bellerophon, Orpheus, Jason, Atalanta, Oedipus and Theseus. They’re all here! All the thrills, scandalous love affairs, prophecies and triumphs told with an extra dose of Fry-esque humor. It’s perfect for mythology buffs as well as those looking for a fresh take on the classics.

Troy: The Greek Myths Reimagined 
Stephen Fry 

The brilliant conclusion to Stephen Fry’s bestselling Mythos trilogy. And if you’ve read the first two, you know you’re in for a treat — who wouldn’t want to read Fry’s reimagining of the oldest and greatest story ever told? This story has everything: a beautiful queen kidnapped, gods and heroes seeking vengeance, love and loss, a raging war’s epic battles … all told with Fry’s trademark wit and vibrance. It’s sure to launch a thousand ships.

The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus 
Margaret Atwood 

Told from the viewpoint of Penelope, Margaret Atwood delivers an insightful retelling of the Odyssey. In this modern twist, Atwood chooses to center her story around Penelope and to the twelve hanged maids, asking two important questions: “What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?”

 

Lavinia
Ursula K. Le Guin

As one of science fiction’s most critically acclaimed authors, Ursula K. Le Guin brings her heart and meticulous detail to Virgil’s The Aeneid. Le Guin was largely influenced by mythology, so it seems only natural she would turn her sights on giving a voice to Lavinia — the daughter of King Latinus and destined wife of Trojan hero Aeneas, that speaks not a single word in The AeneidLe Guin tells the story that Virgil did not, one of a sublime heroine.

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