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  • Writer's pictureThe Fiction Fox

Mythology-inspired fiction from around the World

When it comes to magical realism and fantasy, novels that take inspiration from classic mythology or traditional folklore are like catnip to me. Often times there’s good reason for these stories to have survived as long as they did for how interesting they are, and I love to see the new spin modern authors give these tales. Unsurprisingly I’ve collected quite the collection of myth-retellings, modern fairytales, and fresh folklore from around the world on my shelves, so I did my best to bundle them into a single post; a little almanac for a mythological journey around the world. All are linked to their respective Goodreads-pages for ease of navigation.

Disclaimer: please know that I am aware of the large diversity of culture within these continents. I am simply clustering them this way for navigational purposes within this post. I’m also limiting this list to books written in- or translated to English, which means not all cultures will be equally represented. If you feel like your favourite myth-retelling is missing, please be sure to recommend it to me, as I’m always down to expand my horizons.

Without further ado, let’s get into the books.

European Mythology


o Nettle & Bone - T. Kingfisher

o The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night – Jen Campbell o The Sister who Ate her Brother - Jen Campbell

o Treacle Walker - Alan Garner

o Everything Under – Daisy Johnson

o The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

o The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly

o House of Salt and Sorrow - Erin A. Craig

o Small Favours - Erin A. Craig

o Uprooted - Naomi Novik o Spinning Silver - Naomi Novik


o A River Enchanted – Rebecca Ross

o The Lighthouse Witches – CJ Cooke

o The Gracekeepers – Kirsty Logan

o Melmoth – Sara Perry

o House of Hollow – Krysten Sutherland

o The Changling - Victor Lavalle

o Dark Earth – Rebecca Stott

o Orla and the Wild Hunt - Anna Hoghton

Classical Greek

o Circe - Madeline Miller o Galetea - Madeline Miller o The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller o A Thousand Ships - Natalia Haynes

o Piranesi – Susanna Clarke

o Ariadne – Jennifer Saint

o Elektra – Jennifer Saint

o The Silence of the Girls – Pat Barker


o Beyond a Darkened Shore – Jessica Leake

o The Wide Starlight – Nicole Lesperance

o A Shiver of Snow and Sky – Lisa Luedecke

o Shadow of the Gods – John Gwynne

o The Witches Heart – Genevieve Gornicheck

o Keepers of Metsan Valo – Wendy Webb

Asian Mythology


o Strange Beasts of China – Yan Ge

o Descendants of the Crane – Joan He

o Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Grace Lin

o The Poppy War - R.F. Kuang

o Daughter of the Moon Goddess - Sue Lynn Tan


o Kaikeyi – Vaishnavi Patel

o The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida - Shehan Karunatilaka


o Black Water Sister – Zen Cho Influences: Malaysian ghost-lore Genre: Adult fantasy o The Astonishing Color of After – Emily XR Pan Influences: Taiwanese lore Genre: YA contemporary/magical realism o The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea - Axie Oh Influences: Korean folklore Genre: YA fantasy

o Six Crimson Cranes – Elizabeth Lim (Japanese)

Influences: Japanese mythology Genre: YA fantasy o Spin the Dawn - Elizabeth Lim

Influences: Japanese mythology Genre: YA fantasy

North-American Mythology

o Elatsoe – Darcie Little Badger Influences: Lipan Apache mythology Genre: YA-magical realism

o A Snake Falls to Earth – Darcie Little Badger Influences: Lipan Apache mythology Genre: YA-fantasy (would work for an upper middle-grade audience as well)

o Black Sun - Rebecca Roanhorse Influences: Adult fanasy Genre: precolumbian American lore

o Trial of Lightning - Rebecca Roanhorse Influences: Navajo mythology Genre: Adult fantasy

o Me Moth – Amber McBride Influences: Navajo creation mythology Genre: novel in verse, magical realism

o American Gods – Neil Gaiman Influences: modern American, Norse Genre: urban fantasy

o The City We Became – NK Jemisin Influences: creating "modern American lore" based off New-York culture Genre: urban fantasy

o The Firekeepers Daughter – Angeline Boulley Influences: Ojibwe traditional healing and medicine Genre: YA-contemporary


o Lakelore - Anna-Marie McLemore o The Mirror Season- Anna-Marie McLemore o Wild Beauty- Anna-Marie McLemore o Blanca y Roja - Anna-Marie McLemore

o Gods of Jade and Shadow – Silvia Moreno Garcia

o Lobizona - Romina Garber

o The Hacienda – Isabel Canas

o Each of Us a Desert – Mark Oshiro

o The Last Cuentista - Donna Barba Higuerta

South-American Mythology


o Root Magic – Eden Royce Influences: South-Carolina/Caribbean root-magic

Genre: middle-grade historical

o Popisho – Leone Ross Influences: original mythology based in island-lore Genre: magical realism

o When We Were Birds – Ayanna Lloyd Banwo Influences: Rastafarian/Trinidadian ghost-lore Genre: magical realism

o The Jumbies – Tracy Baptiste Influences: Caribbean folklore Genre: magical realism

o Island Tales: Caribbean Folklore Stories – Amber Drappier Influences: Caribbean/Trinidadian folklore Genre: fantasy short stories

African Mythology

o Fresh Water – Akwaeke Emezi Influences: Nigerian Folklore Genre: magical realism

o Children of the Quicksand - Efua Traoré Influences: Nigerian Folklore Genre: middle-grade fantasy o The House of Shells - Efua Traoré Influences: Nigerian Folklore Genre: middle-grade fantasy

o The Deep – Rivers Solomon Influences: African lore + Eur-asian mermaid mythology Genre: adult fantasy

o Black Leopard, Red Wolf - Marlon James Influences: mixed African + Aboriginal lore Genre: adult fantasy

o Beasts of Prey – Ayana Gray Influences: middle African mythology Genre: YA fantasy


o Creatures of Passage – Morowa Yejide

o City of Brass – SA Chakroborty

o The Kane Chronicles – Rick Riorden

o The Killing Moon – NK Jemisin

o A Master of Djinn – P. Djeli Clarke

o Jackal – Erin E. Adams

Oceanean/Australian/Pasifican Mythology

o Navigating the Stars: Maori Creation Myths - Witi Ihimaera

o The Rain Heron - Robbie Arnott

o How My Koro Became A Star - Brianne Te Paa o Kua Wheturangitia a Koro - Brianne Te Paa o Spark Hunter - Sonya Wilson o Falling into Rarohenga - Steph Matuku


o Sharks in Times of Saviour – Kawai Strong Washburn

o Hokuloa Road – Elizabeth Hand

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