I've always been captivated by mythology. Lately – in the past 2-3 years – there's been a real buzz about it, a whole new wave of mythology-inspired books has been hitting the shelves.

These new titles are reimagining these ancient myths and legends, giving them a new perspective that resonates with today's readers. The gods and goddesses are symbolic representations of the challenges and triumphs we all face in our own lives.

Mythology gives a chance to connect with the past and maybe even peek into the future – all through the lens of these powerful, enduring stories.

What Are The Top Mythology Inspired Fiction Books?

Here Be Jinn (Fieldwork In Mesopotamia Book 1), by Dennis Tsarson (2024)

Elliott Gildart's leap from a ordinary life into the heart of an archeological adventure in Iraq was something else. I mean, imagine thinking you're signing up for a bit of a change, maybe some historical digs, and then bam, you're knee-deep in a situation that's got more to do with magic and ancient forces than anything you learned in history class.

Then there's Neil Feaver and Jake Parvis. These guys thought they were just going to capture the reality of war on camera, and instead, they get pulled into a whirlwind of mystical artifacts and magic. That whole scenario where they're saved by a stranger? Didn't see that coming, and it just added another layer to the already complex plot.

The backdrop of Iraq, with its ancient history and current turmoil, was a character in its own right. What really got me was how the book explored the idea of ancient magic in a modern war setting. The author managed to balance everything so well, and I found myself genuinely caring about the characters and their fates.

Dance of Stars and Ashes, by Nisha J. Tuli (2024)

Dance of Stars and Ashes, the second book in The Nightfire Quartet by Nisha J. Tuli, is a mix of romance and mythology.

The protagonist, Zarya, is a character that embodies strength and vulnerability in equal measure. Her journey of discovering her own ancient and dark magic is enthralling. The depiction of Rabin, a warrior prince with deadly beauty and arrogance, adds layers of complexity to the narrative.

Their dynamic, filled with tension, secrets, and an undeniable connection, is the heartbeat of the story. The portrayal of demons looming over Dharati and the impending ceremony to protect the city set a backdrop of high stakes and suspense.

The exploration of themes such as the power of love, the pursuit of one's destiny, and the battle between light and darkness is done with a delicate yet impactful touch.

Winkle and Aster, by Derek Corsaro (2023)

Winkle and Aster is a captivating tale that connects to Filipino and Mexican folklore and mythology. This book is a mesmerizing journey through a mystical world, seen through the eyes of Periwinkle and Aster Dalisay.

The narrative brilliantly captures the essence of being lost in a world brimming with spirits, folklore, and magic. As the youngest sophomore in a high-performing high school, Periwinkle’s character resonates with anyone who has felt the pressure of expectations and the desire to find one's own path. Her interest in painting, rather than conforming, is a breath of fresh air.

The fire incident that throws her and her sister, Aster, into a black and white world is both literal and metaphorical, representing the chaos and uncertainty of adolescence. The quest for the Abyssal Vine and the challenges they face in this spectral world is a gripping metaphor for the journey towards self-discovery and resilience.

The inclusion of a Filipino water spirit adds a layer of cultural depth and mysticism to this unique story. Corsaro’s book is not just about the adventure but a reflection on spiritual belief, and the unbreakable bond of sisterhood.

Lies We Sing to the Sea, by Sarah Underwood (2023)

This mythological fiction is an exceptional story that brilliantly marries Greek mythology with a poignant YA narrative. The story, centered around Leto, a maiden condemned by Ithaca, unfolds with a depth that is both heart-wrenching and beautiful. The portrayal of Ithaca's vengeful tradition, where maidens are sacrificed to appease Poseidon, is not only gripping but also a clever reinterpretation of Greek lore. Leto's journey from facing death to discovering a mysterious island and meeting Melantho, a girl with the power over the sea, is crafted with such finesse that it left me captivated. Underwood's storytelling is a testament to the power of myths reimagined, offering a fresh perspective on familiar tales.

The themes of lies, love, and tragedy are interwoven seamlessly, making this book a standout in its genre. As a reader, I was particularly impressed by the relationship dynamics and the moral complexities that the characters navigate. The book’s exploration of fate and choice is thought-provoking, making it a must-read for fans of Greek mythology and YA fiction alike. Sarah Underwood's narrative style is both enchanting and evocative, making Lies We Sing to the Sea a legendary debut in the YA realm.

The Immortal Games, by Annaliese Avery (2023)

The Immortal Games by Annaliese Avery is a novel that took my breath away with its exciting blend of mythology and YA romantasy. The concept of the Immortal Games, where humans, known as Tokens, are pawns in a deadly game played by the Gods of Olympus, is both innovative and thrilling.

Ara, the protagonist, is a character of remarkable depth and complexity. Her quest for revenge against the Gods for her sister's death in the Games adds a layer of intensity and emotional depth to the narrative. Avery's portrayal of the Gods, especially Hades, the God of the Underworld, is a brilliant deviation from traditional mythological depictions. Hades, often portrayed as a dark and fearsome deity, is shown here with a nuance that adds to his character’s appeal.

What struck me most about this book is its exploration of themes such as the value of life, living, and compassion. The dynamics between Ara and Hades evolve beautifully, creating a storyline that is not only about survival but also about finding unexpected connections and learning from them. The author's skillful weaving of Greek mythology into a modern setting is commendable, making The Immortal Games a standout novel. Annaliese Avery has crafted a world that is both fantastical and relatable, making it an essential read for fans of mythology-inspired YA fiction.

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman (2021)

American Gods is a novel about Shadow — an ex-convict who takes a job from the mysterious Mr. Wednesday after a personal tragedy. The job leads Shadow on a cross-country road trip where he meets strange characters whose lives are connected to his own. The story is a blend of Americana, road trip adventures, and mythology.

The plot is engaging but can be disrupted by the author's tendency to linger in certain scenes. Shadow's time in Lakeside under an alias is one example. Some subplots, like Alison McGovern's story, feel rushed and unsatisfying.

The novel's conclusion is complex with multiple twists, potentially overwhelming readers.

Lore, by Alexandra Bracken (2021)

Lore is a breathtaking novel that masterfully intertwines Greek mythology with a gripping YA storyline. The novel's premise, where Greek gods are punished to live as mortals and hunted down, is both innovative and thrilling. Lore Perseous, the protagonist, is a character of immense depth, shaped by a past marred with tragedy and betrayal. Her journey from fleeing a world of violence to being pulled back into the brutal Agon hunt over New York City is both compelling and emotionally charged. Bracken's storytelling is vivid, bringing the ancient world into a modern urban setting in a way that feels both fantastical and believable.

What makes Lore stand out is its exploration of power dynamics, destiny, and the humanization of gods. The alliance between Lore and Athena, and their mutual struggle against a formidable enemy, adds layers of intrigue and suspense.

The novel is a fascinating take on the Greek mythos, reimagined with a fresh perspective that captivates from the first page to the last. Alexandra Bracken's skill in crafting a narrative that is both action-packed and emotionally resonant makes Lore a must-read in the mythology-inspired YA genre.

Circe, by Madeline Miller (2020)

Madeline Miller's Circe is, in my opinion, redefining the narrative of one of the most intriguing characters from Greek mythology. This novel is a bold and imaginative retelling of the life of Circe, a figure known from The Odyssey.

Miller's portrayal of Circe is nothing short of revolutionary, presenting her as a complex character with depth and agency. Born into the house of Helios, but lacking the apparent power of her divine relatives, Circe's journey of self-discovery and empowerment is both inspiring and emotional.

What truly captivates me about Circe is its feminist angle, portraying the titular character not just as a sorceress but as a woman navigating a world dominated by gods and men. Her exile to a deserted island becomes a metaphor for her transformation, as she hones her witchcraft and crosses paths with famous mythological figures.

Final Thoughts on Mythology Inspired Fiction Books

Sometimes I feel these mythology books are more than fantasy stories. They reflect real life. Ancient retellings with gods, but underneath: lasting human truths.

Authors take classic myths, remix them in creative ways for today. Build new imaginative realms. But core mythological themes remain. I get swept up in exciting quests full of wonder. For me mythology is more than just escapism. Mythology is a lens of self-reflection. Amidst the magic, I ponder my own struggles.

These writers and books are for clever people. An experience that entertains through the special outfit. The symbolic meaning of quests draws readers from the moment to an alternative universe where problems could be solved with magic and power. But back to the present, we can use this newly found power and motivation also in our real life.

If you are looking for more fantasy related books check out our favorite epic fantasy books.

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