Books for Thought is where I post a discussion topic related to books, reading, writing, or something pertaining to one of the three. I hope you’ll join in, and discuss today’s topic of
Last year I wrote a guest post over at Mel’s lovely blog, but I thought I would expand on that a little, especially since I have read some more LGBTQIA+ retellings since then! First up, I’m going to mention the retellings that I’ve read and enjoyed, and then I’m going to list the ones I haven’t read but am super keen for :D
The Song of Achilles is a retelling of Achilles and Patroclus’s part in the Trojan War. I only recently read this and absolutely fell in love. The writing was beautiful, and I adored the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. I have to note, though, that this is a Sad Queer Story, as you probably know because in the legend both Achilles and Patroclus die. Sadly, the author didn’t retell this particular aspect of the story, which was a damn shame because it would have been beautiful to have a happy ending here.
And I Darken is one of my FAVOURITE BOOKS. This is a gender bent retelling of Vlad the Impaler, and Lada has a brother, Radu, who is a smol cinnamon bun who is gay AF. I can’t say whether this trilogy will fall into the “bury your gays” trope like so many do but for now Radu is alive and breathing and adorable.
One of my absolute favourite legends/myths/whatever is that of Orpheus and Eurydice, and how Orpheus travels to the underworld to save his wife, but is told that he can’t look at her on the way back otherwise he’ll lose her forever. Dumbass that Orpheus is, he looks back. Anyway! Lyra is an m/m retelling of this story and it was freaking gorgeous. This is a short novella length book, and to be honest I wanted hundreds of pages of this story. HUNDREDS.
There is only one character in the main cast of both of these books that is not LGBTQIA+. Everyone is queer, and it is so, so wonderful. Also the only book I’ve read with a trans guy love interest, which is really great and sad at the same time (there needs to be more, obviously, that’s why it’s sad). Hex is my book boyfriend so don’t try to steal him from me :’) Love in the Time of Global Warming is a retelling of The Odyssey, and The Island of Excess Love is a retelling of Aeneid. (Please note there are a lot of triggers for these books,though. Especially The Island of Excess Love, which dives into the tragic backstories of all the characters.)
Marian is the adorable f/f retelling on Robin Hood that y’all have been waiting for. The ship is sweet and innocent, and you’ll fall for it. Marian is more of a beginnings tale than a straight up retelling, but I have heard some whispers about this being a series, so I’d recommend to keep an eye out.
Much like Love in the Time of Global Warming, there are hardly any cishet characters in Beauty Queens. In this retelling of Lord of the Flies, girls on their way to a beauty pageant get stranded on a deserted island and find themselves. They really do. And there’s a lot of poking fun at the ridiculous double standards that society has towards women, as well. Super cute romances are in there, too.
THIS COVER. As I Descended is an f/f retelling of Macbeth, which means there are deaths of LGBTQIA+ characters (just to warn you, in case you thought the author might subvert this). There are three POV characters and they are all LGBTQIA+. The Macbeth MC is a bisexual girl who wants to be the best (the very best, like no one ever was) and falls into some deep, dark shit on that journey. (Please note that there was a harmful statement regarding totem poles in the ARC and original printings, which you can read about here.)
The Mad Hatter is gay. I repeat: the Mad Hatter is gay. Which is pretty much all you need to know about Mad About the Hatter. It’s a short, sweet, fun retelling of Alice in Wonderland with Henry, Alice’s brother, discovering Wonderland. Cute romance ensues.
Though not a personal favourite, no LGBTQIA+ retellings list would be complete without Ash. Many say that it’s a lesbian retelling of Cinderella, but to be honest I read Ash as bisexual. She is totally keen on the fairy prince guy AND the Huntress so that was my reading. Ash follows the original tale pretty closely, but takes a nice detour with added magic and fairy princes and f/f romance.
want to read
Honestly, The Great Gatsby is pretty darn gay. So a gender bent retelling with an f/f romance in it? SIGN ME UP. I really, really want to read Great, but I’ve hardly heard anything about it so I have no idea what the rep is like. I guess I just need to read and find out.
I swear to all that is holy LGBTQIA+ retellings have the most beautiful covers. Just look a this cover for Peter Darling. I LOVE IT. From what I can tell of the blurb, this is going to be about a trans guy Peter Pan falling in love with Captain Hook, which is just. Freaking. Great. I am so very excited for this retelling and cannot wait to read it!
Another one of my favourite myths/legends/whatever is that of Persephone and Hades, and what more could I ask for but an f/f retelling of that in The Dark Wife? IDK, but it looks pretty darn amazing.
The Seafarer’s Kiss is a queer retelling of The Little Mermaid, which is something I think we all need in our life. Another beautiful cover here, too, which is always a plus.
A retelling of The Beauty and the Beast where Beauty is a transgirl. I am so incredibly excited to read Beast, but I also don’t want it to fall into the traps of other books I’ve read where a cisguy falls in love with transgirl. I just want it to be happy and beautiful. Let us hope.
What about you? What are some of your favourite LGBTQIA+ retellings? Any that you’re looking forward to reading?