HBO's adaptation of Madeline Miller's celebrated 2018 novel,
Circe, is due out in 2021, but with a release date still to be announced at the time of this writing, readers may have to wait months to see the book-to-screen adaptation. Thankfully, there are plenty of new books based on myths and fairy tales to read while you wait for Circe to land on a small screen near you.
As we all prepare to face another year of the COVID-19 pandemic, readers know they can turn to books whenever they need to escape. Combining fantasy with familiarity, fairy tales provide the perfect getaway for anyone
struggling to deal with constant lockdowns and massive losses of life. What's more, because fairy tales have much to teach us about who we are as individual people and as a society, reading new books based on myths and legends can provide you with some much-needed perspective in difficult times.
Here are the new books based on myths and fairy tales you should read while waiting on
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The Hazel Wood and The Night Country will want to check out Tales from the Hinterland: Melissa Albert's collection of worldbuilding fairy tales. 2 Apr. 13
Bolu Babalola's debut collection draws on folktales and myths from West Africa, Greece, and the Middle East, pulling them into the modern day for some truly fantastic retellings. First published in the United Kingdom in 2020,
Love in Colour comes to U.S. readers this spring. 3 Feb. 20
Shadi Bartsch's new translation of
The Aeneid has been hailed as the story's "best version... in modern English." In it, the classicist retains the exciting pace of the original Latin, restoring all the thrills of Vergil's legendary tale. 4
After she refuses to help him, Odin strips the
jötunn witch Angerboda of her precognitive powers. She marries Loki and raises their three children, but when her clairvoyance begins to return, Angrboda must decide whether to stay at home or go back out into the world again. 5
What happens when Happily Ever After ends? That's the driving question behind Olga Grushin's
The Charmed Wife, which picks up with Cinderella and Prince Charming 13 years after their wedding. Dissatisfied with her marriage, the princess asks the local witch to help her kill her husband in this twisty, fairy-tale-infused novel. 6 Apr. 27
A Korean American woman finds herself haunted by a generational curse and her imaginary childhood friend in this dark novel from
The Queens of K-Town author Angela Mi Young Hur. When she finds her mother's handwritten stories, Folklorn's Elsa discovers a wealth of emotion and darkness lurking just beneath the surface of her family life. 7
Years after her sister's tragic death, Taryn thinks the darkness of her old life is behind her, in Elizabeth Knox's
The Absolute Book. But when the police show up to pull her into a cold case, Taryn's new life begins to unravel. She soon finds herself slipping across the boundaries between worlds. 8
Ten years ago, 6-year-old Eline watched her mother disappear after whistling at the Northern Lights. Encountering the Lights again at age 16, Eli whistles for the chance to see her mother again, but gets more than she bargained for in this stunning YA adventure.
The latest installment in Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series,
Across the Green Grass Fields is a standalone adventure that makes for a great entry into McGuire's portal-fantasy universe. The story here centers on Regan, a young girl who travels to a world full of magical horses but soon finds she may not be able to become the hero they expect her to be. 10
From the author of
The Sisters of the Winter Wood comes this new novel about Rabbi Isaac's daughters — three young women descended from King Solomon and born with magical gifts. But when the rabbi and his daughters are forced to flee their home, they soon find themselves in more danger than they ever thought possible. 11 May 4
Jennifer Saint's retelling of the Minotaur story is out this spring, and
Circe fans would do well to take note of it. When Ariadne falls in love with Theseus, Crete's sacrifice to her monstrous brother, she will do all she can to help him survive. But will her actions be repaid in kind, or will she lose everything in the process? 12 Mar. 2
Veronica Schanoes' new collection explores women's place in the Western world throughout its history. From a fabulist immigration tale to a revenge story from 17th-century Germany,
Burning Girls and Other Stories is full of genre-bending narratives you won't soon forget. 13 Mar. 23 Cemetery Boys author Aiden Thomas returns to store shelves this spring with Lost in the Never Woods, a Peter Pan retelling set in the Pacific Northwest. Five years after the three Darling siblings were lost in the woods, more children from their small Oregon town have begun to go missing. Wendy Darling doesn't want to relive what happened back then, but she's pulled deeper into the mystery when she runs into Peter — a boy she thought did not exist. 14
In the Gardens, only the Masters grow old. Their child servants are fated to die before they come of age, but two of them have just seized their chance to escape. On the run, Dora and Thistle hunt for the person capable of freeing them from the Masters' clutches, and encounter an eclectic cast of new friends, in Karin Tidbeck's
The Memory Theater. 15 Apr. 13
The Graces help the people of Briar by making their wishes into reality, but for Alyce, the so-called Dark Grace, the job is rarely rewarding. When she meets the young Princess Aurora, cursed to die young, Alyce discovers what it means to care about another person... but can she save the girl from her tragic fate?
16 June 15
In this dark retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, a girl destined to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood discovers that all she has been raised to believe is a lie. She is not a danger to her family, and the Wolf does not want to devour her. Instead, he reveals that Red must use her powers to save her world from the looming threat of destruction.
Terri Windling's classic fantasy tale,
The Wood Wife, is out this year in an all-new edition from Tor Books. Transplanted to the American Southwest after inheriting her late mentor's estate, Maggie dives deep into the desert's history, magic, and power.