Ten Books for Readers of Greek and Roman Mythology

Ten Books for Readers who like Greek and Roman Mythology
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

I adore Greek and Roman history and mythology in every form. This week, I’m sharing ten books (or series) inspired by the ancient world. The list includes traditional historical fiction, modern interpretations, and science fiction or fantasy tales inspired by classical themes. Enjoy!

If you like classical mythology and history:

Gates of Fire by Stephen PressfieldGates of Fire, Stephen Pressfield (2005)
Time & Place: 480 BC, eastern Greece
Historical References: Battle of Thermopolae
Appeal: Military fiction, Historical, fans of 300
The Spartans stand against overwhelming odds as the Persians invade.

The IX by Andrew P WestonThe IX, Andrew P Weston (2015)
Time & Place: Futuristic
Historical References: Disappearance of the Roman Ninth Legion
Appeal: Science Fiction, Military, Historical, Westerns
Warriors of various eras fight an impossible enemy on a faraway planet. Soldiers include a Roman Centurion and a Civil War Calvary lieutenant.

I, Claudius by Robert GravesI, Claudius, Robert Graves (1934)
Time & Place: 1st century AD, Roman Empire
Historical References: reign of Tiberius Claudius
Appeal: Historical, Court Intrigue, Dysfunctional Families, Grimdark, fans of Game of Thrones
Historically set, but if you love Tyrion Lannister, you’ll love Claudius.

Ilium by Dan SimmonsIlium (#1), Dan Simmons (2005)
Time & Place: 21st century, planet Mars
Historical References: Trojan War
Appeal: Science fiction, Space opera, Military
The Trojan War continues on Mars, under the watchful eye of Zeus and the Olympians.

Killer of Men by Christian CameronKiller of Men (Long War #1), Christian Cameron (2010)
Time & Place: 5th century BC, Greece
Historical References: Persian War
Appeal: Historical, Military, Epic
An aging hero recounts his rise from slave to renowned soldier.

Starcrossed by Josephine AngeliniStarcrossed (#1), Josephine Angelini (2011)
Time & Place: Modern day, Nantucket
Historical References: Helen of Troy, reincarnated
Appeal: YA fantasy, paranormal romance, reincarnation, god powers
When she meets Lucas, Helen doesn’t know she’s caught in a tragic loop by the Fates.

Medusa: A Love Story by Sasha SummersMedusa (Loves of Olympus #1), Sasha Summers (2012)
Time & Place: Ancient Times
Appeal: Greek tragedy, Romance, Mythology Retellings
Each Loves of Olympus story tells a different tale from Greek mythology, mixing romance and tragedy.

Red Rising by Pierce BrownRed Rising (#1), Pierce Brown (2014)
Time & Place: Futuristic, planet Mars
Historical References: Interplanetary empire modeled on Ancient Rome
Appeal: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Military, fans of Hunger Games
SciFi dystopian that begins with an intense emotional core and widens to epic scale as the series progresses. (Read my Goodreads review.)

The Song of Achilles by Madeline MillerThe Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller (2012)
Time & Place: Ancient Greece
Historical References: Trojan War, the Iliad
Appeal: Historical, Military, Romance, LGBT
The tale of the Greek hero Achilles, told by his lifelong friend and companion, Patroclus. (Read my Goodreads review.)

Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn KenyonDark Hunters series, Sherrilyn Kenyon (2002-present)
Time & Place: Modern day, with flashbacks and memories to ancient Times
Appeal: Paranormal romance, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Ancient mythologies shamelessly twisted to fit paranormal romance tropes. Formulaic romance, but entertaining and fun.

Upcoming Books with Greek or Roman themes

Upcoming Titles

  • An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir (April 28)
    YA fantasy inspired by the Roman Empire, featuring a slave revolution at the martial academy. (Read my review)

  • Court of Fives (#1), Kate Elliott (August 18)
    YA fantasy inspired by Cleopatra and Ptolemaic Egypt, with its twin legacies of Macedonian Greece and Egypt.

  • Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals #1), Eleanor Herman (August 25)
    Fantasy elements weave through historical details in this tale of Alexander the Great.

  • 9 thoughts on “Ten Books for Readers of Greek and Roman Mythology

    1. Unique list, I would have never thought of that topic since I haven’t read that many books with an emphasis on mythology! But I love your list! I tried reading Starcross, but for some reason couldn’t get into it. I’m going to try to pick that one up again. And Red Rising, Song of Achilles, and An Ember in the Ashes are definitely on my TBR list. Super excited to read them! πŸ˜€ Oh, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a middle school level series, but I think they’re great introductions to young readers interested in mythology and fiction!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m looking forward to Ember in the Ashes – I really hope it lives up to the excitement.

        Percy Jackson is definitely a great pick. I had a lot more than ten, so I ended up leaving it off because it doesn’t fit my blog focus and I figured most people would be familiar with it. But it’s a great gateway series to mythology, and I’m excited to see the wave already carrying through to YA.

        For YA books with mythology themes, my favorite is actually Cruel Beauty because I loved the darker feel as well as the clever mix of greek myth with fairy tales. I left it off because the mythology element is more subtle than the fairy tale though, but it’s the myth side that made me love it.

        If Starcrossed didn’t work for you, what about Nobody’s Princess? It’s Helen of Troy as a feisty independent heroine before Troy, without the reincarnation plot and modern paranormal romance element of Starcrossed. There are so many YA mythology books that I wanted to make sure they were represented on my list, but there enough to choose from that there’s no reason to force yourself. (I’m a big fan of never wasting more than one try on a book if it doesn’t work for you. There are so many more waiting just behind them!)

        There’s a Goodreads list of YA mythology books which are mostly Greek here if you’re curious.

        I’m glad you enjoyed the list!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Wow, thank you for the recommendations and such thorough explanations! I will definitely give Cruel Beauty and Nobody’s Princess a try. And perhaps I will take up the YA Mythology Challenge list sometime after I’ve read some more books on my TBR list! Thank you so much!!

          Liked by 1 person

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