Guide to Greek Myth Retellings

Grew up loving Percy Jackson but don't know where to find Greek myth retellings now?


Having grown up reading Percy Jackson, we are of course incredibly excited for the TV adaptation. But while we are waiting for the post-production (yes, Season 1 has wrapped filming!), we decided to look for the newest Greek myth retellings. There are quite a number of them in recent years but we will focus on the newest here.

Children’s and YA


Gender-Swapped Greek Myths by Karrie Fransman And Jonathan Plackett

We start our list with an anthology. Karrie Fransman and Jonathan Plackett have used an algorithm to gender swap fairy tales previously, as an experiment to understand how our perceptions would change to read about princes being rescued by princesses. They have created another volume, this time on Greek myths such as Perseus and Medusa’s story, though here they are called Persea and Medus after the gender-swap. We chatted with Karrie and Jonathan about the idea and execution behind Gender Swapped Greek Myths.


Lore Olympus 1


Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe

Here at United by Pop, we love Lore Olympus. We have recommended it in our graphic novel listicle, and our gorgeous editions listicle. Just as a recap, Lore Olympus is a retelling of Hades and Persephone’s love story. Aside from this particular story, Rachel Smythe also wove in other Greek mythologies, making Lore Olympus a great starting point for beginners. The visuals are gorgeous and we can’t wait for volume 4 to release in June, and volume 5 in October.



Her Dark Wings


Her Dark Wings by Melinda Salisbury

Her Dark Wings is another retelling of Hades and Persephone’s love story, but instead of in the graphic novel format, this is a YA novel. The focus is less on the romance, but more on female rage and Persephone’s journey to becoming Queen of the Underworld. Her Dark Wings is set in the modern age, which makes an incredibly interesting setup, and we have actually chatted with Melinda about imagining Greek gods in the modern world.






Medusa by Jessie Burton

Jessie Burton, author of best-selling The Miniaturist, penned a YA retelling of Medusa’s story. While this is a heavy story with themes of rape and male dominance, Jessie Burton adapted it perfectly for the YA audience by molding it into a coming-of-age story. She also graced the pages with her beautiful writing style that Miniaturist readers are familiar with. The paperback edition of this book recently got released, with a completely different cover, so it’s the perfect time to get your/another copy if you haven’t already.



Adult fiction

Stone Blind Stone Blind by Natalie Hayes

Turning to adult retellings, we first start with the latest Medusa retelling written by Natalie Hayes. Natalie Hayes has written other Greek myth retellings before, such as A Thousand Ships, which retells the Trojan War from women’s POV, and Pandora’s Jar, which explores 10 female mythological figures. Stone Blind‘s exploration of Medusa’s childhood years leaves an impactful mark but Natalie Hayes uses her usual humour and wit to elevate the story, relying on gods, demigods, and even a talkative crow to tell the story.





The Shadow of Perseus

The Shadow of Perseus by Claire Heywood

Another retelling involving Medusa, but this time Claire Heywood chose to focus on not just Medusa, but three important women in Perseus’s life – his mother Danae, his wife Andromeda, and Medusa. What’s special in The Shadow of Perseus is that Claire Heywood made the bold choice of stripping this story of all the mythical elements, hence gods and ‘magic’ are removed. This thus makes the dark story even darker and Perseus even more insufferable.





PandoraPandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman

This is an incredibly interesting and creative retelling. Unlike many other retellings on this list, Susan Stokes-Chapman did not set her retelling in the original ancient Greek era, nor the modern day era. Instead, the tale is set in Georgian London and centres around Dora, who lives in a once-famed antique shop, and Edward, an antiquarian scholar, who stumble upon a mysterious rare jar. The unique setting definitely sets Pandora apart from the rest of the books here and with the lyrically writing plus fascinating details about antiquarian trade, Pandora is a must read. The paperback just got released earlier this year so now is the perfect time to pick this up.





AriadneAriadne by Jennifer Saint

First of all, let’s take a second to admire the beautiful cover. Back to the book itself — if you are uncertain who Ariadne is, she is the daughter of king Minos and is known for helping Athenian hero Theseus escape the Labyrinth after he slew the Minotaur. Jennifer Saint did a detailed recount of Ariadne’s life story, casting an important light on the role women play in the ancient world, making this book a great entry point for those who are unfamiliar with Ariadne’s story. Ariadne is Jennifer Saint’s debut title and she has since written Elektra, which focuses on the origins of the Trojan War and is now out in paperback. Atalanta will be released in April.



The Heroines

The Heroines by Laura Shepperson

Turning to Ariadne’s sister, Phaedra, we have the story of this young bride of King Theseus accusing her stepson, Hippolytus, of rape. This is a story less known and explored in retellings. The Heroines does a great job in highlighting the different expectations put upon men and women, and gives a voice to women often overlooked in the palace. There is also an emotional scene between Phaedra and Theseus as she recounts the assault, which certainly tugs at our heartstrings.





The Wolf Den The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper

And finally, while not technically a Greek myth retelling but a historical fiction, there are elements of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses woven in subtly in The Wolf Den. Following the she-wolfs in a brothel, The Wolf Den does not shy away from depicting the brutal lives of slaves. However, this is also a tale of sisterhood and of hope, and is a realistic portrayal of the daily lives of people in Pompeii. The Wolf Den is book 1 of a trilogy exploring the lives of women being overlooked in Pompeii. The second book, The House with the Golden Door, is out in paperback now and the last title, The Temple of Fortuna will be published in November.



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