Books To Read After “Song of Achilles”

The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller’s stirring reimagination of the Trojan War and the profound relationship between Patroclus and Achilles, left us with a yearning for more. A powerful blend of mythology, history, and romance, it’s a book that lingers in your heart long after the last page.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this blog post to guide you on a literary journey in search of books that echo the themes and intensity of Miller’s masterpiece. Whether you’re seeking more Greek mythology, broader historical fiction, contemporary queer literature, or powerful explorations of love and relationships, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s to discovering your next mesmerizing read!

Exploring Greek Mythology and Historical Fiction

In this section, we’ll delve deeper into the realms of Greek mythology and historical fiction, featuring stories that draw us back to the time of gods and heroes, brimming with the magic and drama that enchanted us in “The Song of Achilles”.

“The Silence of the Girls” by Pat Barker

A gripping and raw retelling of the Trojan War, Barker’s “The Silence of the Girls” presents the epic tale from the perspective of Briseis, a queen turned war prize. The book shines a light on the often overlooked women in Homer’s “Iliad”, giving them a powerful voice in a world dominated by men. The heartrending narrative, exquisite writing, and profound themes make this novel a must-read for fans of Greek mythology.

“Circe” by Madeline Miller

In “Circe”, Miller once again takes us back to the ancient world of Greek mythology, this time focusing on the enchantress Circe, who is often depicted as a minor character in the epic “Odyssey”. The novel’s fascinating character development, spellbinding plot, and eloquent prose make it a superb follow-up read to “The Song of Achilles”.

“The King Must Die” by Mary Renault

Finally, we suggest Mary Renault’s “The King Must Die”, a novel that brings the legendary hero Theseus to life with vivid historical detail. Readers will be swept away by the book’s rich narrative, which blends myth and reality to create a truly captivating depiction of ancient Greece.

Branching Out to Other Mythologies and Historical Eras

As we leave the borders of ancient Greece, we’ll journey through other rich mythologies and gripping historical eras. These selections offer different lenses into our collective past and provide new ways to look at timeless stories and characters.

“The Penelopiad” by Margaret Atwood

Venturing into Homer’s world from a fresh perspective, “The Penelopiad” by Margaret Atwood retells the story of Odysseus’s wife, Penelope. Atwood’s characteristic wit and insight bring to light the complexities and inner life of a character often overshadowed by her heroic husband’s exploits. This tale is an engaging choice for those interested in reimagined classics and strong female perspectives.

“Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaiman

To expand your mythological horizons, look no further than Neil Gaiman’s “Norse Mythology”. Gaiman breathes new life into the ancient tales of the Nordic gods, including Odin, Thor, and Loki, among others. The book captures the essence of the original stories while adding Gaiman’s unique narrative flair, making it a must-read for mythology enthusiasts.

“I, Claudius” by Robert Graves

For a shift from mythology to historical fiction, consider Robert Graves’s “I, Claudius”. The novel, set in the heart of the Roman Empire, is a compelling first-person narrative by Claudius, the unlikely emperor. Its intricate political maneuverings, vivid historical detail, and immersive storytelling make it a captivating read for history buffs and fans of complex character-driven narratives alike.

Diving Into Modern Queer Literature

The intense and emotionally resonant relationship in “The Song of Achilles” is a key part of its appeal. In this section, we’ll explore modern queer literature that similarly addresses themes of love, identity, and societal perceptions.

“Call Me By Your Name” by André Aciman

“Call Me By Your Name” by André Aciman paints a stunning portrait of first love, set against the sun-drenched backdrop of the Italian Riviera. The story revolves around the passionate relationship between Elio, a seventeen-year-old boy, and Oliver, a summer guest at Elio’s parents’ cliff-side mansion. Aciman’s exquisite prose and the novel’s emotionally charged exploration of love and desire make it a deeply moving read.

“Giovanni’s Room” by James Baldwin

“Giovanni’s Room” by James Baldwin is a poignant exploration of love and identity set in 1950s Paris. The novel presents a powerful and heartrending narrative of a man torn between his love for a woman and his passion for another man. Baldwin’s masterful storytelling, coupled with the book’s exploration of societal expectations and self-acceptance, makes it a cornerstone of queer literature.

“Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides

Finally, “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides offers a unique and thought-provoking exploration of identity, gender, and the immigrant experience in America. Told through the perspective of Cal, an intersex individual, the novel is both a captivating family saga and an insightful commentary on the complexities of identity. Eugenides’ compelling narrative style and the book’s multifaceted exploration of humanity make it an engrossing read.

Exploring Relationships and Love in Other Genres

The relationships at the heart of “The Song of Achilles” are deeply affecting and memorable. If you’re seeking more books that delve into the intricacies of love and human connection, this selection spans various genres, each offering their own unique perspectives on these universal themes.

“Normal People” by Sally Rooney

In “Normal People”, Sally Rooney crafts a deeply moving tale of two individuals who can’t quite escape each other’s orbit. Following the intricacies of their relationship through their high school and university years, the book paints a raw, intimate portrait of love, friendship, and the profound impact people can have on each other’s lives.

“A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara

“A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara is a deeply emotional exploration of friendship, love, and the lingering effects of trauma. The novel follows the lives of four friends in New York City over several decades, offering a heartrending, profound look at the complexities of human relationships. Its rich character development and poignant storytelling make it a compelling read.

“The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah

Set against the harsh, beautiful backdrop of Alaska, “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah is a captivating tale of survival, resilience, and the enduring power of love. Through the experiences of the Allbright family, the novel explores the complexities of human relationships and the bonds that can form even in the toughest circumstances. Hannah’s vivid descriptions and the book’s intense emotional depth make it a truly gripping read.

More Must-Read Recommendations

To further expand your literary horizons, here are 10 more recommended reads, each offering unique narratives, captivating characters, and powerful themes.

“The Iliad” by Homer

No exploration of ancient Greek narratives is complete without Homer’s “The Iliad”. This epic poem is the primary source of the story that “The Song of Achilles” retells. Reading the original tale offers valuable insight into the mythology and allows you to appreciate Miller’s reinterpretation.

“Half of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“Half of a Yellow Sun” offers an intimate look into the Nigerian civil war through the eyes of compelling characters. This novel is a fantastic choice if you’re seeking a historical narrative from a non-western perspective.

“If We Were Villains” by M.L. Rio

Fans of complex relationships and character-driven narratives will love “If We Were Villains”. Set in a prestigious arts conservatory, it’s a darkly captivating tale of friendship, love, rivalry, and tragedy.

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern

“The Night Circus” blends magic, romance, and competition in a beautifully imagined nocturnal circus. For readers who love enchanting settings and star-crossed love stories, this book is a delightful escape.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde

Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a cornerstone of queer literature with a deep philosophical core, exploring beauty, morality, and self-obsession. It’s a gripping choice for readers seeking thought-provoking narratives.

“The Priory of the Orange Tree” by Samantha Shannon

An epic fantasy with a richly built world, “The Priory of the Orange Tree” offers a thrilling blend of dragons, sorcery, politics, and slow-burn romance. It’s a great choice for readers wanting to explore love stories within a fantasy setting.

“A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki

“A Tale for the Time Being” explores the connection between a writer in Canada and a teenage girl in Japan. The novel’s rich exploration of time, connection, and identity makes it a compelling read for those who enjoy layered narratives.

“Less” by Andrew Sean Greer

A charming novel about a failing writer on a worldwide adventure, “Less” is a touching exploration of love, regret, and aging. Its humorous, poignant, and deeply human narrative makes it a standout in modern queer literature.

“The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov

“The Master and Margarita” is a satirical novel in which the devil pays a visit to the atheistic Soviet Union. Its exploration of human nature, love, and sacrifice makes it a fascinating read for those seeking a mix of fantasy and philosophical introspection.

“Brideshead Revisited” by Evelyn Waugh

“Brideshead Revisited” explores themes of love, friendship, and faith set against the backdrop of the English aristocracy. Its complex relationships and exploration of religious and moral quandaries make it a thought-provoking addition to any reading list.


From the ancient world of Greek mythology to modern explorations of identity and love, we’ve journeyed through a wide range of literary landscapes. Each book on this list offers unique narratives and powerful themes that mirror the resonance and depth found in “The Song of Achilles”.

Whether you choose to delve deeper into historical fiction, branch out into new mythologies, explore modern queer literature, or examine the intricacies of love and relationships in different genres, we hope these recommendations will lead you to captivating stories and unforgettable characters.

Remember, the beauty of reading lies in its ability to take us on limitless journeys. This list is a starting point, but don’t let it limit you. Keep exploring, keep questioning, and keep reading. Your next mesmerizing read is just a page away.

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