On My TBR: Greek Myth Retelling Edition

stack of books

We have the beginning of a new series on this blog of mine! And it comes with a story.

Basically, for the longest time I’ve wanted to do a video/blog post recommending greek myth retellings…but so far, I actually haven’t read that many. I just really love the ones I have read, and have accumulated a lot that sound super interesting to me. But it’s going to take me a looooong time to get through all the greek myth retellings I’ve accumulated to do said list..but hey, why not show you the books I’m really excited to get to from my TBR?

So here’s the beginning of a blog series, in which I show you 5 books on my TBR that I’m really excited to get to! Each post will claim a genre, some upcoming ones being female fantasy and nonfiction. But since the original idea came from all the myth retellings I want to read – that’s what this post is dedicated to! Here are 5 greek myth retellings that are high priority on my TBR!

The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes

The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes - greek myth retelling of Oedipus and Antigone

Now this one had to be on the list simply because it’s one of the TBR veterans. This poor book has been sat on my shelves waiting for me to read for way too long now. This is a retelling of Oedipus and Antigone’s stories – Oedipus being a figure destined to murder his father and marry his mother, Antigone being his daughter. I’d been putting it off because I hadn’t read the original version of the story (The Three Theban Plays), but after reading them last month, I really don’t have an excuse any more. I’m thinking of holding it off a tad longer though, until July, as there’s a few readathons I’m eyeing up that include challenges along the lines of “book that’s been on your shelves way too long” and figured they could be the boost I need to finally get this one read. I’m so so intrigued as to what this story includes. Just from the brief outline I gave you two seconds ago about who Oedipus and Antigone are, you can probably tell that their stories cover every drama and taboo possible. How much of it will be included in here?

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes

ARC of A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes - greek myth retelling of the Iliad

Natalie Haynes strikes again. I feel especially bad about this one because my friend Matthew sent this ARC my way after receiving it at work, having little interest in it himself and knowing this was on my most anticipated list for this year. And yet here we are, with it still on my TBR list. Initially, I was saving it for when I finished uni because it will go towards my dissertation research, but uni ended a month ago and…whoops. I think maybe I wanted a break from any work before jumping into dissertation stuff. Anyway, this book is a retelling of The Iliad from the women’s perspective, a current trend I am loving. It’s going to be interesting seeing what’s picked out from the war story…

The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason

The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason - greek myth retelling of the odyssey

Next up we have one that I’m so, so excited about because this one is retelling of my fave, The Odyssey. Actually no, not just one retelling – 44 retellings. Yep. FOURTY FOUR. In this tiny book, Zachary Mason reimagines the ending of The Odyssey if certain things along the way happened differently and my god, am I excited to see them all. It’s so fascinating thinking back on everyday life and how things might be completely different had that one thing not happened, so to apply that to one of my favourite stories multiple times over has me giddy.

Song of Sacrifice by Janell Rhiannon

Song of Sacrifice by Janell Rhiannon - greek myth retelling of the Iliad

This is one I literally haven’t seen anyone talk about, but I came across it in some research of mine and just had to have it. This is another retelling of The Iliad from the women’s perspective, but it’s the women involved that caught my attention. The back lists off Clytemnestra of Mycenae, Leda of Sparta, Penelope of Ithica, Hecuba of Troy, Shavash of Pedasus and Thetis the sea nymph. WHAT A LINE UP OF WOMEN. Honestly that’s all I needed to see to buy this book, and I cannot wait to see how their stories intersect to form one.

The King Must Die by Mary Renault

The King Must Die by Mary Renault - greek myth retelling of Theseus and the Minotaur

And to end with a classic, we have Mary Renault, an author renowned for her myth retellings. I’ve been wanting to try her books for a couple of years now, and it was The King Must Die that first caught my attention, mainly because it’s a retelling of Theseus and the Minotaur. I’ve not come across any other books that retell the story of the Minotaur (besides Rick Riordan but y’know, he told every story), and I can’t wait to see what’s done with it. This is definitely one I need to get to – I feel like I see Mary Renault’s books everywhere since discovering them. She’s haunting me, guys.

So those are some of the greek myth retellings on my shelves!

Let me know if you’ve read any of these, or if you have any recommendations for more greek myth retellings I should add to the list!

Until next time,

sign off handle saying "Ashleigh" for A Frolic Through Fiction blog

18 thoughts on “On My TBR: Greek Myth Retelling Edition

    1. A smart compromise, you won’t end up in my situation aha! I’m hoping to read Jocasta in the next couple of months too (maybe next month?) so hopefully that’ll at least be one off the list!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am really getting into myth retellings. I studied The Iliad, The Odyssey and The Aeneid at uni and whilst they weren’t the most enjoyable to read (oh the repetition and the lists and the repetition) I really enjoyed the tales themselves. I can’t wait to see your thoughts on these books!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually just finished reading Antigone in a class at school, and while I didn’t like having to memorize every single thing for tests and exams, the story was definitely interesting and Oedipus’ background is filled with drama as well! I would love to read Children of Jocasta.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Who knew there were so many retellings. I like those retold from a woman’s perspective ones….may have to check those ones out!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All of those sound really interesting and fascinating. I haven’t read a lot of original stories though.. Which books would you recommend to get into Greek mythology in general and get hyped for their retellings as well?

    Liked by 1 person

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