40+ Of Your Favorite Modern Books Inspired By Myth

Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

This giveaway is sponsored by The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan.

the gracekeepersFor readers of The Night Circus and Station Eleven, a lyrical and absorbing debut set in a world covered by water

As a Gracekeeper, Callanish administers shoreside burials, laying the dead to their final resting place deep in the depths of the ocean. Alone on her island, she has exiled herself to a life of tending watery graves as penance for a long-ago mistake that still haunts her. Meanwhile, North works as a circus performer with the Excalibur, a floating troupe of acrobats, clowns, dancers, and trainers who sail from one archipelago to the next, entertaining in exchange for sustenance.

In a world divided between those inhabiting the mainland (“landlockers”) and those who float on the sea (“damplings”), loneliness has become a way of life for North and Callanish, until a sudden storm offshore brings change to both their lives–offering them a new understanding of the world they live in and the consequences of the past, while restoring hope in an unexpected future.
Inspired in part by Scottish myths and fairytales, The Gracekeepers tells a modern story of an irreparably changed world: one that harbors the same isolation and sadness, but also joys and marvels of our own age.


While it might not be true that there’s nothing new under the sun, modern literature does like to refer back to or borrow from various cultural myths to make a modern point. Whether it’s a modern retelling of Greek mythology with teenagers in place of demigods or short stories where mythological mermaids lure fishermen to their demise, myths inform many of the books we enjoy in 2015.

We asked you to share your favorite modern books inspired by mythology and you answered. Here are more than 40 of your favorites:

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Blood & Iron and Whiskey & Water by Elizabeth Bear

The Bull From The Sea by Mary Renault

The Centaur by John Updike

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Deathless by Catherynne Valente

Fantasy Lover (Dark-Hunter #1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The Firebird by Mercedes Lackey

Gilded (based on Korean mythology) by Christina Farley

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Grendel by John Gardner

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman 

Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne

Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca Lia Block

Merlin The Lost Years by T. A. Barron

The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O’Neill

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

Psyche in a Dress by Francesca Lia Block

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Troy by Colleen McCullough

Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Long

Troy by Adele Geras

What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us by Laura Van den Berg