Books Like Till We Have Faces
From comedy to tragedy, Greek mythology is filled with epic stories and plenty of heroes as well as villains. Greek mythology has also remained popular over the years and significantly influenced many facets of arts, culture, and literature. Some authors have used Greek mythology as an inspiration for their own contemporary stories, while others have retold popular Greek myths with new interpretations. For example, Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold is a 1956 retelling of Cupid and Psyche by C.S. Lewis. He wrote the novel in conjunction with his wife, and although it was his last, it is considered by many to be his most mature. For more stories where Greek mythology plays a prominent role, check out the following books like Till We Have Faces.
Elektra: A Novel
by Jennifer Saint
Elektra is a reimagining of the story of Elektra by Jennifer Saint, who also penned Ariadne. The title refers to Elektra, the youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon. In addition to the stories of Clytemnestra and Elektra, the novel also features Princess Cassandra, whose gift of prophecy is offset by the curse that nobody believes what she sees. All three of these women have their lives changed forever by Agamemnon and his actions during the Trojan War.
Mythos: The Greek Myths Reimagined
by Stephen Fry
Mythos by Stephen Fry is aimed at anyone who has ever found Greek mythology to be too intimidating or wants to read a more witty take on some of the classic myths. The author combines his extensive knowledge of Greek mythology with his humor and easygoing writing style. The result is a book that is informative and entertaining without feeling like it is study material. Mythos also retains all of the original wonder of these stories while presenting them in an approachable manner. Mythos is part of a series that includes Heroes, which features myths about Greek heroes, and Troy, which is about the Trojan War.
The King Must Die: A Novel
by Mary Renault
The King Must Die by Mary Renault is a retelling of the Greek myth of Theseus. In Greek mythology, Theseus was the king of Athens and the slayer of the Minotaur in Crete. The King Must Die retells the famous story in a more grounded manner that reads like historical fiction instead of a myth. However, even without some of the more fantastical elements of the Greek myth, The King Must Die still captures the essence of the original story. The King Must Die was followed by a sequel, The Bull from the Sea, which follows Theseus on some of his later quests.
The Children of Jocasta
by Natalie Haynes
The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes is based on the classical Greek tales of Oedipus Tyrannus and Antigone. The story is told in the third person from Jocasta's perspective and in the first person from her daughter, Ismene. Jocasta is miserable in her marriage to the king of Thebes, so when she is unexpectedly widowed, she chooses the handsome, youthful Oedipus as her next husband. However, whispers of an unbearable scandal soon begin to emerge. Many years later, her daughter Ismene is an orphan and the target of a murder plot. While longing for her youth's golden days, Ismene is determined to reveal the truth of the curse that has consumed her family.
House of Names: A Novel
by Colm Toibin
House of Names by Colm Toibin is a retelling of Clytemnestra's story, who rules over the Mycenae after her husband, King Agamemnon, sets sail for Troy. The Trojan war would continue for many years, and in the meantime, Clytemnestra has taken a new lover Aegisthus, with whom she plots the bloody murder of Agamemnon on the day of his return. Along with Clytemnestra, House of Names is also the story of her son Orestes and daughter Electra, who, like their mother, has tragic fates in store for them.
by Jeanette Winterson
Weight by Jeanette Winterson is a retelling of the myth of Atlas and Heracles. In Greek mythology, Atlas defied the gods and was condemned to forever carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. Freedom seemed unattainable to him until an unexpected visit by the one man strong enough to share the heavy burden, Heracles. Heracles needs help stealing some golden apples, which Atlas agrees to do on the condition that Heracles takes over his burden for a day. Of course, Atlas has no desire to take back his responsibility, but Heracles is no stranger to deception either.
Here, the World Entire
by Anwen Kya Hayward
Here, the World Entire by Anwen Kya Hayward is a retelling of the Greek myth of Medusa and Perseus. However, this version of the story is told from the perspective of Medusa herself. In the original myth, Perseus was sent by King Polydectes to behead Medusa and received help from the gods in his quest. In this novel, Medusa lives alone on the outskirts of the world after being cursed with monstrousness. She desperately tries to make Perseus leave when he comes asking for help, but he stays no matter what she does. Eventually, she is faced with the choice of staying safe and alone or re-entering the world with Perseus.
by Alexandra Bracken
Lore by Alexandra Bracken places a fresh spin on Greek mythology by taking place in New York City. It sees nine Greek gods forced to walk the earth as mortals every seven years as a punishment for a past rebellion. This event, known as the Agon, allows the gods to be hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines. The prize for killing a god is the ability to seize their divine power and immortality. Lore Perseus fled that brutal world long ago after a rival line murdered her family. However, when a gravely wounded Athena, one of the last original gods, offers Lore an alliance against their mutual enemy, she seizes the opportunity.