The Song of Achilles has captured the hearts and minds of readers across the world, and for good reason! This retelling of the Trojan War puts Patroclus and Achilles’s relationship at the center, equal parts breathlessly romantic and wrenchingly tragic. Yes, it’s a story that’s been told a thousand times, but Madeline Miller has brilliantly given the tale new life. The only bad thing about it? You can only read it for the first time once. So! If you’re looking for a good hit of that The Song of Achilles energy, look no further!
Did someone call for breathtaking romance and tear-jerking tragedy? AHEM. Well Emily X.R. Pan’s luminous An Arrow to the Moon combines a classic Romeo and Juliet tale with the myth of Chang’e, Chinese goddess of the moon. When I tell you this book will sweep you off your feet, I am not kidding! I wanted to live in these pages, the prose was so beautiful. Lyrical and incandescent, transportive and just… incredible! Simply incredible! Please, for the love of all that is good read this book! Also, if you’ve already had the chance to dive into this tale you should definitely check out Emily’s first novel, The Astonishing Color of After!
Laini Taylor’s prose just slays me every. Single. Time. It never fails to amaze. Combine that with her intricate and unparalleled plotting (I mean, the foreshadowing – I can’t even), creative worldbuilding, and uncanny knack for writing heady romance, and you have yourself a book for the ages! Strange the Dreamer is a modern classic, and if you loved the star-crossed romance between Patroclus and Achilles, you will adore the love story that develops between these pages! And good news for those of you already awakened to Strange the Dreamer’s charms – Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy is just as good!
At first glance Agnes at the End of the World and The Song of Achilles don’t seem to have too much in common. I mean one is a retelling of the Trojan War, another is the story of a girl’s fight for survival after escaping from a cult only to learn the world at large is in the midst of apocalyptic collapse. But trust me, Kelly McWilliams’s prose is enticing and poetic and the vibes are immaculately spot on! Perhaps it’s the lyrical nature of the writing, but this book spoke to the same part of my soul that still yearns for The Song of Achilles. And if you love this book, her second book Mirror Girls is, dare I say it, even better!
Epic in scope and with word-smithery to match the finest of bards, The Diviners series has it all! Okay, sure, a paranormal thriller set in 1926 New York City might not be your first thought to follow up The Song of Achilles, but just hear me out. I already told you this series is epic, and it’s a beautifully built epic beginning with a serial killer on the loose crescendoing into a fate-of-the-nation battle between good and undead evil. And the subtle character relationships Libba Bray creates are so nuanced and human you can’t help but be sucked into the human drama of it all! There are also passages that are just so gripping, and the words so unbearably perfect, that I think about them all the time!
Star-crossed love? Check. Grief and healing? Check. Gorgeous, all-consuming prose? Check! Hello! Ash checks all the boxes! This LGBTQ+ Cinderella retelling is a classic of the genre, combining a classic fairytale, fae mythology, and a detailed study on romance, grief, and finding oneself that just hits all the right buttons!
Carlos Luis Zafon, storyteller extraordinaire coming in with a gothic horror to scratch the itch left by The Song of Achilles. If you’ve ever read one of Carlos Luis Zafon’s books, you’ll know his writing is unmatched. Well in this gloriously dark horror, Carlos bring the streets of Barcelona to life, using stories within stories to illustrate the world of a post-war city filled with aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons, and a horror so chilling you’ll want to keep the lights on. And through it all, a love story deep and powerful and achingly sad. Thrill, chills, and tears. Say no more!