So, back in the day, when I first started getting back into reading. Basically all I read were re-tellings. I LOVED them. Especially, at the time, anything Christina Henry wrote. Specifically her Alice in Wonderland re-telling which to this day still remains one of my all time favourite books!
But as the years have gone on and I have read more and more books. I started to feel oversaturated with re-tellings. Especially, Greek mythology re-tellings. GM re-tellings used to be my bread and butter. Couldn’t get enough of them. My faves include Circe by Madeline Miller and Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe. But then out of no-where I started feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of GM re-tellings that were being published. And then I started looking outwards and seeing how many re-tellings are in the publishing sphere.
I ended up sitting down and thinking to myself why I feel this way. And I narrowed it down. I love re-tellings. I have a specific kind of re-tellings that I prefer. I love fairy-tale or classic re-tellings. I love re-tellings from other mythologies. I just don’t think I can do another Greek Myth re-telling! At the moment at least…
I will be reading Madeleine Miller’s Hades and Persephone re-telling, I have a Hercules re-telling on my Netgalley shelf and I am currently going through a Rick Riordan re-read but I think that’s it for me for the time being.
I want to focus on reading re-tellings from other mythologies and folktales. 1. To learn more about other parts of the world and what they believed 2. Being exposed to brand new stories rather than stories I have known about since I was little.
I also have a specific kind of re-telling that I want to focus on reading. I no longer want to read re-tellings that are the exact same story word for word but just the POV is one person removed from the protagonist. I want to read re-tellings that really go out of there to re-invent the story. I read some great re-tellings in the At Midnight short story collection where they were setting the stories in completely different historical periods or changing a castle for a high school. I want more of that.
I am currently reading a Scarlet Pimpernel re-telling with vampires. I want more of this and less telling the same story but from the wife of the hero. I’m sorry but I just can’t do it anymore. It’s all become too much for me as a reader.
Fyi, this statement mainly stands for stories where I know the original tale well which tends to be European fairytales and greek myths. If it’s a norse myth or an arabic myth or a Korean myth from the POV of a the wife of the hero I will probably like it more as I do not know the original tale. And I am trying to branch out my European-centric sphere. But for stories where I do know the tale well, I need more from them. Something fresh as I will just feel that I have read that story before.
One thought on “Let’s talk about re-tellings, specifically Greek Mythology re-tellings.”
It not hard to be burn out from reading Greek myth re-telling. Their are tons of books list recommending the same books over and over again. Making it hard to find something that is unique.
For myth and folklore in other cultures. I recommend reading The Prince and the Zombie by Tenzin Wangmo. It structure similar to The Arabian Nights.
Here my review: