The Olympic games usually mean a three-week span of time when I morph from a literature-loving teen librarian into an unabashed sports fanatic. This year, I hosted a five-hour watch party of the opening ceremonies. I use my DVR to record every record-breaking and heart-breaking moment. When I can’t watch TV, I use the NBC Olympics app on my iPhone to keep track of the medal count. And, every time the U.S. wins a gold medal, I sing the national anthem with my television blaring, regardless of the hour. If, like me, your world will be a little more dim once the glow of the Olympic torch is extinguished, consider picking up one of these Greek-inspired stories.
“Troy” by Adele Geras
The siege of Troy has lasted almost ten years. Inside the walled city, food is scarce and death is common. From the heights of Mount Olympus, the Gods keep watch. But Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, is bored with the endless, dreary war. Aided by Eros’s bow, the goddess sends two sisters down a bloody path to an awful truth: in the fury of war, love strikes the deadliest blows.
“Snakehead” by Ann Halam
Perseus takes his easy life on the island of Serifos for granted, but he knows he lives in troubled times. First the gods, now the politicians, send trouble rumbling across land and sea. When a beautiful stranger, a fugitive from another disaster zone, arrives on the island, Perseus is smitten. But Andromeda isn’t all she seems. She must die to save her people, and a stunning, world-changing discovery will die with her unless Perseus abandons everything to confront the Medusa quest.
“The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel” by Gareth Hinds
Fresh from his triumphs in the Trojan War, Odysseus wants nothing more than to return home to his family. Instead, he offends the sea god, Poseidon, who dooms him to years of shipwreck and wandering. Battling man-eating monsters, violent storms, and the supernatural seductions of sirens and sorceresses, Odysseus will need all his strength and cunning—and a little help from Mount Olympus—to make his way home and seize his kingdom from the schemers who seek to wed his queen and usurp his throne.
“Pegasus” by Robin McKinley
Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her 12th birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication. But it’s different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close—so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo—and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.
“Quicksilver” by Stephanie Spinner
Hermes has many talents. Wearing his famed winged sandals, he does the bidding of his father Zeus, leads the dead down to Hades and practices his favorite arts of trickery and theft. He also sees the future, travels invisibly, loves jokes and abhors violence. And he’s an entertaining and ideal narrator on a fast-paced journey through ancient Greek mythology—from Medusa’s cave to Trojan War battlefields to the mysterious Underworld.