Exploring YA Books Inspired by Greek Mythology

Grace Lapointe

Grace Lapointe’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including Kaleidoscope and Deaf Poets Society. Her fiction and essays have been cited in academic courses and dissertations. Discover more of her work on WordPress, Medium, and Ao3.

Greek mythology continues to captivate readers across generations, offering timeless themes of fate, destiny, and heroism. Exploring these ancient stories through modern lenses can breathe new life into mythical tales and make them more relatable. The following YA (Young Adult) books are inspired by Greek mythology and reinvent classic stories for contemporary readers.

This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

In This Poison Heart, Briseis, a young girl helping out in her mom’s nursery, discovers she can make plants bloom magically. This ability leads her to inherit a mysterious estate from her aunt, unveiling secrets that are both Gothic and modern. The narrative subtly intertwines elements of Greek mythology, with Briseis' name stemming from a character in Homer's The Iliad. Unlike the ancient Briseis who was a powerless prisoner of war, Bayron's Briseis is a powerful, independent character.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken

Lore brings Greek gods into a contemporary setting, imagining how they would navigate the modern world. Bracken’s novel is a thrilling blend of mythology and urban fantasy, perfect for readers who are intrigued by the idea of gods living among humans. This narrative re-imagines the ancient pantheon, making age-old stories accessible and exciting to new audiences.

The Threads That Bind by Kika Hatzopoulou

Set in a world where the descendants of Greek gods inherit unique powers, Io, the youngest of the Ora sisters, uses her abilities as a private investigator. The Threads That Bind takes the concept of the Greek Fates and spins it into a modern mystery, where Io must solve a series of murders linked to her divine heritage. This book merges mythological elements with detective fiction, crafting a compelling read.

Circe by Madeline Miller

Madeline Miller’s Circe re-examines the life of one of Greek mythology’s most infamous witches. The novel delves into Circe’s perspective, offering a fresh take on her story and exploring themes of transformation and identity. Fans of mythology will appreciate how Miller’s rendition humanizes Circe, making her struggles and triumphs deeply relatable.

Lovely War by Julie Berry

Lovely War by Julie Berry is a gripping historical romance framed by the gods of Olympus. Set during World War I, the book tells the love stories of four young individuals, narrated by Aphrodite. The divine narrators, including Ares and Apollo, add a mythological twist to the beautiful and tragic human experiences. This novel is perfect for readers who enjoy romantic tales with a mythical backdrop.

A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond

A Song for Ella Grey reimagines the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice in a modern-day setting. David Almond’s poetic language breathes new life into this ancient myth, focusing on themes of love, loss, and the power of music. The story elegantly intertwines contemporary elements with the timeless allure of Greek mythology.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

While it draws inspiration from Indian folklore, The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi also incorporates themes reminiscent of Greek myths. The protagonist, Maya, finds herself entangled in a destiny filled with political intrigue and divine influence. Chokshi’s lyrical storytelling and rich world-building make this book an enchanting read for mythology enthusiasts.

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi

Outrun the Wind presents a feminist retelling of the Atalanta myth. Elizabeth Tammi centers the narrative around Kahina, a huntress of Artemis, and Atalanta, a princess famed for her speed. These strong female characters challenge traditional gender roles and embark on a journey that defies expectations. This novel is a great pick for readers looking for empowering stories inspired by myth.

For more insights and readings on Greek mythology, you can visit this original article on Book Riot. Additionally, if you enjoy exploring diverse mythological retellings, check out this article about Madeline Miller's works.

“Fate, irony, arrogance, and courage are universal concepts, and ancient Greek literature explored them in ways that still resonate today.”

Fans of mythological tales can also find exciting bookish merchandise that resonates with these themes at Liam and Lore. From custom bookmarks to mythology-themed apparel, their collection is perfect for avid readers who want to showcase their literary passions.

May 30, 2024 — Kristin James