Books To Read After “Circe”

In the wake of enjoying Madeline Miller’s enthralling novel, Circe, many readers find themselves yearning for similar captivating tales. Circe, with its powerful blend of mythology, personal transformation, and the feminist lens, leaves an indelible mark that makes us crave more of such profound storytelling.

This blog post aims to quench that thirst by guiding you to a selection of books that you might enjoy after reading Circe. Whether it’s the shared themes or the similar tone and style that you loved in Circe, this list offers something for everyone.

A Brief Overview of Themes in Circe

Circe is rich with various themes that make it a fascinating read. Understanding these key themes will help us navigate the recommended book list.

Feminist Retelling

Circe is a brilliant example of feminist retelling of mythology, where the story of a relatively minor female character from Greek mythology is brought to the forefront. The novel paints Circe as a strong, complex character with her own desires and flaws, straying away from the typical male-centered narratives.

Personal Transformation

The theme of personal transformation is vital in Circe. We witness the protagonist’s journey from an unloved Nymph to a powerful witch. This journey of self-discovery and evolution is a universal theme that echoes in many great literary works.

Solitude and Exile

Circe’s exile to the island of Aiaia marks a significant part of her life and the narrative. Her solitude makes room for self-reflection and growth. The theme of solitude and exile presents a unique perspective on resilience and independence.

Magic and Mythology

Circe intertwines magic and mythology to form a captivating narrative. It brings forth the ancient Greek gods and goddesses, magical creatures, and enchanting spells, creating a mythical realm that intrigues the reader.

I hope this expansion on the themes in Circe helps to deepen your understanding and appreciation of the book, as well as guide you in exploring related works.

Recommendations Based on Themes

There are several books that carry similar themes to Circe. Here, we’ve classified some notable ones under the significant themes we identified in Circe.

Feminist Retelling

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood offers a new perspective on the Odyssey, focusing on the story of Penelope, the wife of Odysseus. It is a thought-provoking exploration of a woman’s role in a world dominated by men, very much like Circe.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is another great example of feminist retelling. This novel gives voice to Dinah from the Bible, whose life story is barely touched upon in the original text, much like how Circe’s story is only a small part of the original Greek mythology.

Personal Transformation

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a widely acclaimed novel about a shepherd boy named Santiago who embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Readers who enjoyed the personal transformation theme in Circe might find Santiago’s journey quite captivating.

Educated by Tara Westover is a powerful memoir about a woman who escapes from a survivalist family to receive a formal education. This journey from ignorance to knowledge mirrors Circe’s transformation from a naive nymph to a powerful witch.

Solitude and Exile

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah tells a story of survival and resilience in the Alaskan wilderness. The protagonist’s struggle and transformation in isolation echo Circe’s journey on the island of Aiaia.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles introduces readers to Count Rostov, a man sentenced to house arrest in a hotel, where he experiences life in confinement. This novel explores the theme of exile and solitude, similar to Circe.

Magic and Mythology

American Gods by Neil Gaiman blends contemporary life with mythology, introducing readers to a war between old and new gods. The mythological aspects of this book should appeal to fans of Circe.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is a tale imbued with Russian folklore, featuring mythical creatures and a strong heroine. It might capture the interest of those who enjoyed the blend of magic and mythology in Circe.

Recommendations Based on Style and Tone

The thematic elements in Circe aren’t the only aspects that leave a lasting impression. Madeline Miller’s unique style and tone significantly contribute to the immersive reading experience. Here are some recommendations that align with Miller’s lyrical prose and rich world-building.

For fans of Madeline Miller’s lyrical style

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller shares the same lyrical, evocative style that is so prominent in Circe. This book tells the story of the Greek hero Achilles from the perspective of his companion Patroclus, offering a touching portrayal of friendship and love amidst the brutality of the Trojan War.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is a beautifully written tale set in France during World War II. Hannah’s vivid descriptions and emotional storytelling echo Miller’s narrative style, making it a fitting choice for those who enjoyed the prose in Circe.

For fans of rich, mythical world-building

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien is renowned for its detailed world-building, offering an immersive journey into Middle Earth. If the rich mythology of Circe fascinated you, then Tolkien’s intricate exploration of his fictional world might captivate you as well.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern is a celebration of stories, complete with intricate world-building. The novel takes readers through a series of mythical tales and legends in a world hidden beneath the surface of our own. This book’s magical narrative may appeal to fans of the mythical world in Circe.

Remember, while Circe has its unique charm, exploring new books with similar styles and tones can help expand your literary horizons while also providing a sense of familiar comfort.

Hidden Gems in Mythological Retellings

Unearth a few more treasures in the realm of mythological retellings. These hidden gems, much like Circe, breathe new life into old tales, offering a fresh and compelling perspective on familiar myths.

Lavinia by Ursula K. Le Guin

In this evocative novel, Le Guin gives voice to Lavinia, a character from Virgil’s epic poem, The Aeneid. Often overlooked in the original narrative, Lavinia is a silent figure whose story is largely untold. Le Guin explores her life and her thoughts, transforming Lavinia into a fully realized character with agency and emotions. If you enjoyed the in-depth exploration of Circe’s character in Miller’s novel, you might appreciate the same treatment given to Lavinia.

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

This reimagining of the Cupid and Psyche myth offers a compelling narrative filled with themes of love, betrayal, and transformation. Told from the perspective of Orual, Psyche’s jealous sister, Lewis’ novel delves into complex human emotions and the power of love. Just as Circe brings fresh perspectives to well-known Greek myths, Till We Have Faces does the same for this classic Roman myth.

The King Must Die by Mary Renault

In this historical novel, Renault retells the myth of Theseus in a realistic setting, offering a unique take on the hero’s journey. Readers who enjoyed the blend of mythology and reality in Circe might appreciate the same approach in The King Must Die.

Each of these novels offers a unique perspective on well-known myths, providing readers with fresh insight and depth. They are worthwhile additions to any reading list, particularly if you enjoyed the mythological retelling in Circe.

Additional Recommendations

For those of you who are still seeking more novels to read after Circe, here are ten additional recommendations, complete with a brief summary and rationale for selection:

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker: This novel retells the Trojan War from the perspective of Briseis, a queen turned Achilles’ slave. It’s a powerful feminist reimagining of a classic tale, similar to Circe.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman: Gaiman presents a compilation of Norse myths in an engaging narrative form. It’s selected for its blend of mythology and storytelling, reminiscent of Circe.

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes: This book narrates the Trojan War from the viewpoint of the women involved, giving voice to the often overlooked female characters in mythology, akin to Circe.

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier: A blend of Celtic mythology and original storytelling, this book is chosen for its strong female lead, magical elements, and mythological backbone.

The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec: This story reimagines Norse mythology through the lens of the witch Angrboda, a figure often left in the shadows, much like Circe before Miller’s retelling.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: Though not a mythological retelling, the profound exploration of personal transformation across generations echoes one of the key themes found in Circe.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: This novel’s exploration of survival and transformation in solitude mirrors some of Circe’s experiences during her exile.

Mythos by Stephen Fry: Fry retells various Greek myths with humor and clarity. This collection is included for its engaging presentation of mythology, reminiscent of Miller’s approach in Circe.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon: This epic fantasy featuring strong female characters, magic, and dragons provides a fresh take on established myths and legends, similar to Circe.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse: This classic tale of self-discovery and personal transformation reflects the journey Circe undertakes in Miller’s novel.

While these books might not be identical to Circe, they each embody certain qualities, themes, or elements that fans of Circe might appreciate.

Each is a journey into a unique world, offering its own memorable characters, compelling narrative, and thought-provoking themes.


Embarking on a new literary journey after enjoying a masterpiece like Circe can be a daunting task. But with the list we’ve compiled, you should now have a map guiding you through books that echo the themes, style, and tone of Circe.

As you explore these novels, we encourage you to delve into the rich narratives they offer. Each book brings with it a unique world filled with captivating characters and compelling storylines. Like Circe, these stories have the power to transport you to another time and place, igniting your imagination and offering fresh perspectives.

We also invite you to share your own book recommendations. Did a certain novel captivate you after reading Circe? Have you discovered a hidden gem that other Circe fans would enjoy? Your insights can help other readers navigate the literary world and find their next great read.

Ultimately, the joy of reading lies not just in the stories we consume but also in the connections we build with fellow readers. So, let’s continue the conversation, sharing our love for Circe and other great books.

Remember, each book has the potential to leave an indelible mark, just as Circe has done. Happy reading!

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