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, 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Historical References: Battle of Thermopolae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, 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Historical References: Disappearance of the Roman Ninth Legion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, 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Historical References: reign of Tiberius Claudius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 (#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Historical References: Trojan War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 (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Historical References: Persian War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 (#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Historical References: Helen of Troy, reincarnated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 (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 (#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Historical References: Interplanetary empire modeled on Ancient Rome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, 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.)
Dark 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
YA fantasy inspired by the Roman Empire, featuring a slave revolution at the martial academy. (Read my review)
YA fantasy inspired by Cleopatra and Ptolemaic Egypt, with its twin legacies of Macedonian Greece and Egypt.
Fantasy elements weave through historical details in this tale of Alexander the Great.