8 Books like ‘The Song Of Achilles’ | TheReviewGeek Recommends

The Song Of Achilles is a rollercoaster of emotions as we go from an exciting and fun retelling of Achilles’ myth and his childhood through the eyes of his “best friend” Patroclus to a heart wrenching ending that will have us reading the last few pages through teary eyes.

The book was one of the purest forms of torture and yet we couldn’t put it down as we too wished we could stay with Achilles and Patroclus at Chiron’s camp, away from the politics and war of the Mediterranean empires.

But do you like having your heart torn out and smashed to pieces? Do you want more of it? Well, you’re in luck. We’ve found some more similar books full of forbidden love, queer representation and retellings of Greek myths. And don’t worry, we’ve really done our homework as along with the very obvious Percy Jackson mention, this list branches out from Greek stories to similar yet different premises.

Iliad – Homer

Similarities – Greek mythology, Same character

Let’s put Illiad on the top of this list and get it out of the way for the more juicy plots (we know what you’re here for). A classic epic, Greek tragedy, first of its kind, whatever you want to call it, the Iliad is a heavy undertaking by Homer to recount the story of Achilles during the Trojan War and why destruction follows wherever he goes. At the same time, on the other side of camp, he also gives us an insight into the righteous Hector who is against Paris’ decision (the catalyst for the war) and yet does his duty to protect his family.

A Thousand Ships – Natalie Haynes

Similarities – Greek mythology, retelling

Another Trojan War-based book, A Thousand Ships decides to give us a new and refreshing point of view on the countless versions of this Greek tragedy. While the men are out on the battlefield, fighting a pointless battle over a man being cuckolded, we get an insight into the women involved and the part they played in the war and the aftermath.

Not only the infamous Helen of Troy, but Haynes also gives a voice to the Trojan wives wondering about their captors while Hector’s widow is forced to make a decision, all narrated by Calliope, the goddess of poetry.

The Penelopiad – Margaret Atwood

Similarities – Greek mythology, retelling

With thousands of characters in the Trojan War, of course, we’d have some writers over the centuries picking their favourite and reimagining their story. Well, Atwood picked Penelope, the forsaken wife of Odysseus. Right from her magical birth to singlehandedly ruling Ithaca while her husband was busy with his swashbuckling odyssey, Penelope finally gets a book all about her.

Percy Jackson – Rick Riordan

Similarities – Greek mythology, retelling

Sure, we get a glimpse of Achilles in the Percy Jackson series, but the main attraction is the modern retelling of Greek myths. Struggling to fit in the real world, Percy is ecstatic and worried when he realises he is the son of the Greek sea god Poseidon, there are more demigods like him and that being a demigod automatically signs his death warrant as monsters from all corners of the Earth are after him.

Gods Behaving Badly – Marie Phillips

Similarities – Greek mythology, retelling

What do you do when a London apartment building is the new Mt. Olympus and its residents are the 12 Greek gods barely making ends meet? And as Alice’s luck would have it, she is hired to take care of their home with the shy Neil following her around.

But when the gods start losing their powers, an argument between Aphrodite and Apollo has the world on the edge of destruction. With a classic threat to the world that only the two human heroes can resolve just like in the Greek myths, Gods Behaving Badly is a light, fun read.

Girl Meets Boy – Ali Smith

Similarities – Greek mythology, retelling, LGBT

Ali Smith takes the fantastical story of the character Iphis from Ovid’s Metamorphoses who is born as a female but becomes a man as a blessing from the goddess Isis and gives us a modern retelling. Sisters Anthea and Imogen work in a plastic bottle company till the former meets the seemingly genderfluid Robin, an environmentalist who challenges everything she knows about the world, identity and social constructs.

If We Were Villains – M.L. Rio

Similarities – LGBT, bittersweet ending

If you love the ‘and they were roommates’ energy, then Oliver unknowingly pining for his roommate will be the highlight of the first half of this otherwise intense mystery.

A group of entitled theatre kids obsessed with Shakespeare believe that the stage is where their world begins and ends but that is until an incident takes place for which Oliver spends most of his youth in jail. A constant page-turner, every time you think you predicted what may have happened, M.L. Rio adds a plot twist that will make you want to tear your hair out.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz

Similarities – LGBT, unrequited love

Of course, Aristotle who likes to go by Ari would bond with Dante seeing that they have been blessed or cursed by weird olden-time names. But instead of theorising about the world and existence like their namesakes, they do what boys do, swimming and playing around till Dante moves to Chicago and struggles with his feelings for Ari. But things change when Dante becomes a victim of a hate crime that has Ari rushing to his side.

So there we have it, our 8 book alternatives to read when you’re finished with ‘The Song Of Achilles’.

What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!

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