This week’s topic brought to light the fact that I really need to read more retellings…the number of books I had to choose from were a bit slim. BUT it turns out the most of the retellings I’ve read are retellings of Greek Mythology, and most of them end quite unhappily. #nice
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
I love The Lunar Chronicles with all my heart. They retell the classic fairy tales Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White, and as far as I’m concerned these retellings are nothing short of genius. These books are in a world where cyborgs and androids are part of every day society, humankind have colonized the moon, mind control is a thing, and a plague is killing thousands. These books are so fantastically creative, incredibly fun, and have a one of my favorite casts of characters. I made myself read slowly as I neared the end because I didn’t want to be finished with them. I love them.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
This book retells the story of Achilles and Patroclus and explores their lives and relationship before and during the events of the Iliad. This book is my favorite Greek Mythology retelling, and it’s devastating and heartbreaking and beautifully written. I’ve read it twice, and I’ll certainly be reading it again.
An Arrow’s Flight by Mark Merlis
This book tells the story of Pyrrhus, the son of Achilles, living as a hustler in the modern city, and his preparations before he goes to fulfill his destiny in the Trojan War. This book is bleak, slow going, full of awful people, sexually graphic in the least appealing of ways, and left me feeling so melancholy and full of a knowledge I’d never be able to learn in my own life. It pained me awfully and I loved it. I read this book over a year ago now and it still sits so heavy in my heart.
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
This book retells the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche from the point of view of Psyche’s ugly sister, Orual, who sabotages their relationship and damns Psyche to a life of torturous trials. If you know anything about C.S. Lewis, you know he has penchant for Christian ideologies, and this book is no exception. I thought he brilliantly relayed a very direct, often difficult Christian truth through the use of a Greek myth and, most poignantly, Orual. This book blew me away.
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
Okay, I read these books years ago because I was curious about Percy and Annabeth’s antagonistic romance, and came out a major fan of Greek Mythology. Like, these books inspired me to later take a Greek Mythology course in college, and as you can see from the books above, really instilled a love of mythology in me. Normally I’m not really into middle grade books, but I’m glad I gave these a chance. Basically, Percy is a modern demigod, a son of Poseidon, and goes on quests inspired by individual Greek myths. These books are so much fun, and sweet, and funny, and never ending because Rick doesn’t seem intent on stopping them any time soon – but I’m not complaining.
Have you read any of these? What are some of your favorite retellings?