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20 Enticing Books Like “Circe” For Mythology Lovers

Immerse Yourself in Myth and Magic With These Books Similar to "Circe"
by The Blinkist Team | Apr 3 2024

20 Enticing Mythological Reads Like Circe

Madeline Miller’s “Circe” is a breathtaking dive into ancient myths, retelling the life of the enigmatic witch Circe, a character from Homer’s “Odyssey.” With its lyrical prose and deep, feminist insight into Greek mythology, it’s no wonder that readers are searching for more books with a similar blend of myth, magic, and powerful character development.

If you’re one of those readers enchanted by “Circe” and craving more stories where mythic tales and strong protagonists abound, you’ve come to the perfect place. Here’s a list of 20 books that will whisk you off to worlds filled with gods, monsters, and heroes.

Top 20 best books to read if you liked “Circe” by Madeline Miller


1. “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller

Before Circe, Madeline Miller enchanted the world with the tragic love story of Achilles and Patroclus, set against the backdrop of the Trojan War.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • A focus on mythological characters with deep emotional insight.
  • Beautiful, lyrical prose.
  • A fresh take on classic Greek myths.


2. “Ariadne” by Jennifer Saint

This novel reimagines the life of Ariadne, Princess of Crete, who helps Theseus defeat the Minotaur but must face the consequences of betraying her family.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • A feminist perspective on ancient myths.
  • Strong, complex female protagonists.
  • The blending of myth with human emotions and experiences.


3. “The Silence of the Girls” by Pat Barker

Told from the perspective of Briseis, a queen turned Achilles’ slave, this novel explores the Trojan War’s untold stories.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • A focus on the women of Greek mythology.
  • Rich historical and mythological detail.
  • Thoughtful exploration of themes like power and survival.


4. “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman retells the Norse myths, bringing to life the stories of Odin, Thor, Loki, and more with his signature wit and prose.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • Lively retellings of classic myths.
  • Engaging narrative voice.
  • Exploration of gods and their human-like flaws and strengths.


5. “Mythos” by Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry’s engaging retelling of the Greek myths, infusing them with his unique charm and wit.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • A modern take on ancient stories.
  • Humorous and insightful commentary.
  • Rich in mythological detail and characters.


6. “The Penelopiad” by Margaret Atwood

Atwood’s retelling of “The Odyssey” from Penelope’s perspective, exploring the female narratives often overlooked in the classic tale.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • A feminist retelling of Greek mythology.
  • Focus on the inner lives of mythological women.
  • Innovative narrative style and structure.


7. “Lavinia” by Ursula K. Le Guin

In this novel, Le Guin gives a voice to Lavinia, a character from Virgil’s “Aeneid,” expanding her story beyond the margins of the epic.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • A deep dive into a lesser-known mythological figure.
  • Beautiful prose and world-building.
  • Themes of destiny, love, and war.


8. “Alcestis” by Katharine Beutner

An imaginative retelling of the myth of Alcestis, who sacrificed herself for her husband and went to the underworld.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • Exploring the stories of mythological heroines.
  • Strong character development and emotional depth.
  • A blend of myth, magic, and mortality.


9. “Till We Have Faces” by C.S. Lewis

A reimagining of the myth of Psyche and Cupid, told from the perspective of Psyche’s sister, Orual.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • A focus on the power of love and sacrifice.
  • Complex female protagonists.
  • Philosophical and theological depth.


10. “House of Names” by Colm Tóibín

This novel tells the story of Clytemnestra and her children, offering a fresh perspective on the tragic events of the House of Atreus.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • Retelling from the perspective of mythic figures.
  • Exploration of themes of revenge and destiny.
  • Rich, evocative storytelling.


11. “Gods of Jade and Shadow” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Set in the Jazz Age, this novel blends Mexican folklore with the adventure of gods and mortals.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • A unique blend of myth and reality.
  • Strong, determined female protagonist.
  • A journey of discovery and self-realization.


12. “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker

This novel combines Jewish and Arab mythologies, telling the story of an unlikely friendship between two supernatural beings in New York.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • Mythological beings navigating the human world.
  • A blend of folklore and historical fiction.
  • Themes of identity and belonging.


13. “Piranesi” by Susanna Clarke

In a strange, labyrinthine world, Piranesi explores a house filled with statues, tides, and mysteries.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • An otherworldly setting rich in mystery and magic.
  • A deep sense of wonder and exploration.
  • Themes of memory and identity.


14. “A Thousand Ships” by Natalie Haynes”

If you were captivated by Miller’s reimagining of Greek mythology through a feminist lens, Haynes’ book weaves a similar compelling tapestry.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • Feminist reinterpretation of classical mythology.
  • Intricate exploration of previously sidelined female characters.
  • Striking narrative that looks at myths from a new angle.


15. “The Witch’s Heart” by Genevieve Gornichec

This novel tells the story of Angrboda, a witch in Norse mythology, and her complex relationships with Loki and her children.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • Exploration of witchcraft and myth.
  • A strong, resilient female protagonist.
  • A deep dive into lesser-known myths.


16. “Daughters of Sparta” by Claire Heywood

This novel gives voice to Helen and Klytemnestra, exploring their lives beyond their roles as catalysts for the Trojan War and tragedy.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • A fresh perspective on well-known myths.
  • Strong, nuanced female characters.
  • Emotional depth and personal growth.


17. “The Immortals” by Jordanna Max Brodsky

A murder mystery set in modern-day New York, featuring a detective who is none other than the goddess Artemis.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • Gods living in the modern world.
  • A blend of mystery, mythology, and adventure.
  • Strong female character grappling with her past.


18. “For the Most Beautiful” by Emily Hauser

The story of the Trojan War retold through the eyes of Briseis and Chryseis, highlighting their strength and resilience.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • Heroic tales retold from female perspectives.
  • Exploration of love, loss, and survival.
  • Richly drawn mythological world.


19. “Song of the Nile” by Stephanie Dray

This novel imagines the life of Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleopatra, blending historical fiction with elements of Egyptian mythology.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • A strong female protagonist with mythological heritage.
  • A blend of history, myth, and magic.
  • Evocative, immersive storytelling.


20. “The Bear and the Nightingale” by Katherine Arden

Set in medieval Russia, this novel draws on Russian folklore to tell the story of Vasya, who must protect her village from dark forces.

Elements in common with Circe:

  • A fairy tale-like setting filled with magic and folklore.
  • A brave and independent female protagonist.
  • Themes of family, tradition, and the clash between old beliefs and new ways.

In conclusion, if “Circe” left you yearning for more tales where myth intertwines with compelling narratives and complex characters, this list offers a treasure trove of options. From ancient Greece to jazz age Mexico, from the frosty landscapes of Russia to the labyrinthine worlds of fantasy, these books invite you on journeys filled with magic, gods, and the eternal struggles of the human heart.

Pick up any of these enchanting reads and let yourself be swept into realms of myth and legend. Happy reading!


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