cover image for myth retellings

6 recent and upcoming myth-inspired novels you need to pick up

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Mar 25, 2018, 7:58 PM EDT (Updated)

Stories that are based on myths, legends, and fairy tales are becoming more and more popular, and it’s really no surprise. After all, these religious stories and folk tales have endured for centuries, being reinvented and retold, because they are compelling and have power over readers. It’s no wonder that modern-day authors would mine these stories for inspiration.

If you’re interested in picking up one of these fantasy novels, there are countless choices out there. Here are just a few that we recommend that have either released recently or will be coming out later in 2018.

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a thousand beginnings and endings book cover

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, edited by Elise Chapman and Ellen Oh

This collection contains fifteen different short story that reinterprets the amazing folk tales and myths from South and East Asia. It’s an absolutely gorgeous set of stories that will capture your heart and inspire you to dig into the work of each of these authors. You’ll recognize some of the names of these superstar authors whose work is featured here: Cindy Pon, Roshani Chokshi, Renne Ahdieh, Alyssa Wong, and more — and you’ll also recognize the name of Preeti Chhibber, Fangrrls contributor extraordinaire, who makes her print fiction debut in this collection. It’s not out until June 26, but you can preorder it now.

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Wintersong and Shadowsong by S. Jae Jones

This duology is a creative and passionate retelling of the Goblin King myth. It features Liesl, a young woman living in Germany who’s spent her entire life hearing about the Goblin King and his spirits. Liesl dreams of a life in which she can exercise her talents and compose music, rather than helping run the family inn. When her sister is kidnapped by the Goblin King, Liesl knows she must do everything to save her, even if it means taking her sister’s place at the Goblin King’s side. It’s gorgeous, unexpected, and entirely worth binge reading both these novels.

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

We’re all familiar with the story of Snow White — a beautiful princess who met a charming prince, and the Evil Queen that was jealous of Snow’s beauty, and thus cursed them. But who was this Evil Queen, and why did she take such drastic measures because of love and beauty? That’s the story Julie C. Dao tells in her novel Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. The peasant girl Xifeng is stunningly beautiful, and they say she has a great destiny — that is, if she exploits the terrible magic that resides within her. She must give up everything and turn to darkness, which is her price for greatness. It’s a dark and enchanting novel that features both passion and pain in equal measures.

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

This excellent novel takes its inspiration from the legends of the fae, and it’s a gorgeous depiction of unapologetic female anger. The main character, Jude, was just seven years old when her parents were murdered. Despite the fact that they were human and mortal, Jude and her sisters were whisked away to the immortal Faerie court. Now, a decade later, Jude desperately wants to fit in and win a place at Court. But to do that, she must involve herself in the intrigue of the court, which will test just how far Jude is willing to go in order to secure the position she so badly wants.

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Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Naomi Novik’s follow-up to the excellent novel Uprooted might be one of the most anticipated books of 2018. While it’s not a sequel to that hit book, it’s considered a “spiritual successor” — it has similar themes and will enchant the readers who adored that book. The novel focuses on the Rumplestiltskin fairy tale and features a main character named Miryem, who’s the daughter of money lenders. Her father’s business isn’t going well. She sets out to set things straight — and save her father’s business — but soon all eyes are upon her when it’s rumored she can turn silver into gold. This book isn’t out until July 10, so you have plenty of time to catch up on Uprooted if you haven’t yet read it.

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The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

I’ve discussed City of Brass quite extensively before on Fangrrls — after all, it was one of my favorite books of 2017. It’s a creative and gorgeous novel, full of the most intricate world building, and it takes its inspiration from the One Thousand and One Nights legend. Nahri lives in Cairo in the 18th century, and she does what she has to in order to make ends meet. But when she accidentally summons Dara, a djinn, everything changes for Nahri in an instant. Nahri discovers she’s part of a secret world that exists on top of her beloved city of Cairo, and Nahri may be the only one who can stop centuries of hostilities between ancient djinn tribes — or might she stoke the fires of hatred even further?