15 YA Books Based on Myth & Legend

YA Books Based on Myth and Legend

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Wrath and the Dawn

Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, murders a new bride each night. When Shahrzad’s best friend is killed by the caliph, Shahrzad vows to destroy him. As she weaves the caliph a new tale each night, however, she finds herself falling in love.

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A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond

A Song for Ella Grey

Claire is Ella Grey’s best friend. And she feels a little left out when Ella falls in love with Orpheus. But she is still going to tell a story of a love that goes beyond death. A modern retelling of the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice.

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The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

Candle and the Flame

Fatima lives in Noor, a city along the Silk Road now protected by Ifrit after another group of djinn slaughtered most of the population. When one of the Ifrit dies, however, Fatima finds herself drawn into the political intrigue surrounding the city.

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Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Bardugo’s Wonder Woman is a seventeen-year-old girl still longing to prove herself. Molded from clay and brought to life by the gods, she knows she has not earned her spot on Themyscira like the other Amazons, who died in battle and thus gained immortality. When she rescues a girl from a shipwreck and learns that the two must travel to Greece in order to stop a world war, Princess Diana therefore jumps at the chance. What follows is an exhilarating adventure.

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Lovely War by Julie Berry

Caught with Ares in a net, Aphrodite begins spinning a tale for her husband, a tale of two romances during WWI. Hazel is a shy pianist. James is an aspiring architect heading off to the front. A chance encounter brings them together, but war may drive them apart. Meanwhile. Aubrey is a ragtime musician heading off to fight in France. And he has fallen for Colette, a Belgian girl with a tragic past. Both couples long to be reunited when the war ends, but all of them know that hope fades fast in the trenches. A beautiful, evocative romance.

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The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Star-Touched Queen

Written in compellingly beautiful prose, The Star-Touched Queen brings readers to a world where fates are written in the stars and hints of magic drift throughout the human world. Protagonist Maya has never liked what the stars say about her, however, until a mysterious suitor teaches her to reinterpret their prophecy, rather than attempt to rebel against it.  Together the two have to trust it is their fate to belong to each other.  The Star-Touched Queen is fantasy romance nearly at its finest.

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Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa

Shadow of the Fox

Whoever holds the scroll of a Thousand Prayers has the power to begin a new age. Yumeko is half kitsune, half human. And, when she flees the slaughter of her home, she carries with her a part of the scroll. Now the fate of the world is in her hands.

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Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

Call It What You Want

Rob was at the top of the social hierarchy, until his father was convicted of embezzling funds, and attempted suicide. Now everyone believes Rob knew, and no one will talk to him. Maegan was an overachiever with a stellar record–until she was caught cheating. Now her reputation follows her everywhere. When the two are assigned to be calculus partners, neither expects the project to go well. But soon they are opening up to each other, and maybe even falling for each other. Then Maegan learns of Rob’s plans to help the people his father hurt. And she can’t help but think that being a modern-day Robin Hood can hardly end well.

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Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Summer of the Mariposas

When Odilia and her sisters find a dead body in the swimming hole, they decide to return it to Mexico. Getting back to their own home in Texas, however, turns into the journey of lifetime. They’ll meet La Llorana and have to defeat a witch. A Mexican American retelling of Homer’s Odyssey.

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Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

Sherwood by Megan Spooner

Robin of Locksley is dead. Now, Guy of Gisborne wants to marry Maid Marian and become lord of Locksley. There is no one left to save her. So Marian becomes her own hero and takes on the mantle of Robin Hood.

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The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Sargent comes from a family of psychics, though she is not a psychic herself. Even so, she sees the spirit of a boy who will die within the year. His name is Gansey, and he is a student at Aglionby. Inexplicably, Blue finds herself drawn to Gansey and his quest to find the final resting place of a legendary Welsch king. But she must absolutely not fall in love. Now with a boy she knows is going to die. The first book in the Raven Cycle.

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The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala

Esha is a rebel assassin known as the Viper. Kunal is a solider protecting the kingdom. When their paths cross, both will have to make unthinkable choices to protect what they love. Inspired by Hindu mythology.

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The Chaos of Stars by Kierstan White

As the human daughter of Isis and Osiris, Isadora has a pretty strange life. And she’s tired of feeling like her parents don’t really care about her. So when she has the opportunity to move to California with her brother, she grabs at it. There she meets a wonderful guy. But is there any point to falling in love when you’re just a mortal?

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The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Princess Guienevere has arrived in Camelot to wed King Arthur. Her magic will protect the kingdom. But no one knows that Guinevere is a changeling, one who gave up everything to save Camelot.

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The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

Epic Crush of Genie Lo

Sixteen-year-old Genie Lo is mainly concerned with getting into college, until her city is attacked by monsters from Chinese folklore. Quetin Sun, a new transfer student, assures Genie she has the power to defeat the creatures. Things are about to get weird.

14 thoughts on “15 YA Books Based on Myth & Legend

  1. thepunktheory says:

    I’m really excited about this post! I’m such a sucker for anything based on myths but I’ve read very few of the books you mentioned. Thanks for some great new additions to my tbr pile!


  2. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    Ha. This list taught me that I don’t know many legends or myths — I didn’t know many of these were based on such, and I cannot figure out what they ARE based on. Though, it might be better that way because sometimes I find I’m expecting too much from the original and don’t appreciate what I’m reading in the moment…


    • Krysta says:

      I think some of them may not be based on a particular story, but rather elements of a mythology. So sometimes the publisher description will say something like, “Inspired by Hindu mythology” but not “based on X tale.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Fantastic list! Call it what you want is such a great pick! And raven boys is too! I also loved shadow of the fox. I also really want to read wrath of the dawn, guinevere deception and star touched queen. And I’m curious about chaos of stars as well now.


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