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Riot Recommendation

12 Of Your Favorite YA Retellings of a Myth or Legend

Jamie Canaves

Contributing Editor

Jamie Canavés is the Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator and Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter writer–in case you’re wondering what you do with a Liberal Arts degree. She’s never met a beach she didn’t like, always says yes to dessert, loves ‘80s nostalgia, all forms of entertainment, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. You can definitely talk books with her on Litsy and Goodreads. Depending on social media’s stability maybe also Twitter and Bluesky.

This Riot Recommendation is sponsored by Penguin Teen.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with both breathtaking pain and beauty, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns possesses all the hallmarks of masterful fantasy: dazzling magic, heartbreaking romance, and a world that hangs in the balance. Fans of Heartless, Stealing Snow, and Red Queen will devour this stunning debut.

Whether rooted in history, religion, or folklore, retellings of myths and legends always make for an interesting, usually epic, read. King Arthur and Greek Mythology may come to mind first but there are so many myths and legends told throughout history and around the world that this is a well that will never run dry and lends itself perfectly for a YA retelling. So we asked you to tell us your favorite YA retelling of a myth or legend, and you answered. Here are 12 of your favorites!

And I Darken by Kiersten White

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Prophecy by Ellen Oh

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Storyteller’s Daughter by Cameron Dokey

Five Hundred Kingdoms by Mercedes Lackey