Medusa is a famous protagonist in Greek mythology. She was born human and the most beautiful woman in Athens. She has come to represent unapologetic authority and female empowerment.
Medusa probably was the most famous creation wing mythology. She was a woman who watched snakes instead of hair turn into stone, anyone who dared to gaze at her monstrous face. Countless men were attracted to her, but she remains a saint, impure. In Athena’s temple, she became a priest out of admiration for the goddess is an example of purity.
Athena somehow cursed Medusa, changing her head that she was so jealous of into venomous snakes. From that moment forward, anyone who dared to glance at Medusa’s face would be instantly petrified. The head of Medusa helped the hero to accompany several other missions, for instance.
Books about Medusa explore her transformation from a beautiful woman to a terrifying creature and the reasons behind it. Understanding her story can provide insights into jealousy, betrayal, and the consequences of hubris.
7 Books About Medusa (Myths & Legends)
Medusa has been a popular art, literature, and film subject throughout history. Even today, Medusa still is a bit of culture, folktales, and mythology worldwide from being one of the most charismatic creatures. She remains one of the victims and most misunderstood characters in Greek mythology.
There are many movies and books about Medusa retellings or Medusa story-based. I am going to talk about 7 books about Medusa. Let’s start!
1. Sweet Venom
This book is based on Greek mythology and Medusa. It is about Triplette, monster hunting, and the descendants of Medusa, who protect humans from the mythological monsters walking the streets of San Francisco. When you think of Greek mythology, you automatically think of Medusa.
Sweet Venom is a trilogy. So it is three books and the three triplets. Each has a point-of-view scene in every book, and their stories go across all three books. There is no third person in the book, and it flips back and forth between the girls. You get a distinct sense of each character. They were different enough to tell which character was talking because they all had little personalities. It explains Medusa differently. So I’ve never heard of her or talked about this particular way before.
There is some Greek mythology in the background. The conflict took off right away. There’s a bunch of excitement and adventure. Each character struggles with their conflict. You will find love interests for all three girls, although Grace and Gretchen have male interests. So that was enjoyable as well. It leaves you hanging, or you’re trying to figure out what will happen next. One of the characters doesn’t come into the book until a little later. It’s not deep or has no life lessons but enjoyable.
Author: Tera Lynn Childs
Average Rating: 4.3/5
Category: Teen & Young Adult Greek, Roman Myths & Legends
Available: Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle
2. The Cold Is in Her Bones
The Cold Is in Her Bones is about a girl named Mila. Mila lives in a town where a woman in years past. It’s like a demon woman. She curses the city. The curse causes all the crops and stuff to rot. Every girl in a specific range but not older than 18 is susceptible to being taken by the demon. She persuades them to do things that they usually do.
Mila has a brother named Nicholas, and Nicholas is getting old enough to think about getting married. The girl he’s thinking about getting married to is called Iris. Iris and Mila grow very close, and they become like sisters pretty much. Eventually, a day comes, and Iris starts here with the demon inside her head.
So she’s eventually taken to the place. Mila tries to find a way to save Iris and essentially lift the curse from the town. If you want to know what happens next, collect the book and enjoy your nighttime.
Author: Peternelle van Arsdale
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Teen & Young Adult Dark Fantasy
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD
3. Here, The World Entire
The World Entire retells the famous story of Medusa and Perseus. Medusa is the character with the snakes who looked upon her would turn to stone. She’s always portrayed as a monster and an evil creature. Perseus is the Greek hero who came to defeat her so we could win the heart of Andromeda.
This book tells the story from Medusa’s perspective, and that’s utterly unique. Also, it’s done very well in an exciting way. You realize that Medusa is not an absolute monster. She’s like a child. She was given to Athena, and something happened that tends to go against her. She underwent this transformation into a monster. She discovered horribly and painfully that her curse is indiscriminate in who it impacts. It makes you realize the situation that men put women in. The tragedies affected women because of the behavior of men.
That’s the sign of good writing is when you read a lot of stuff into things. It ends with a very satisfying story. If you are interested in Greek legend, it’s worth a read.
Author: Anwen Kya Hayward
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Literature & Fiction, Mythology
4. The Moon is Down
The Moon is Down was published in 1942, and it was a big hit in Europe because the book is about resistance to evil alien invaders. No one in World War Two invaded America, but many European nations were under occupation by Nazi Germany. So this book was contraband in Europe. 92 European publishers published it, a crazy high number even today.
The book doesn’t have much of a plot. It’s a Medusa retelling story that follows eight people in an unnamed town. The purpose of having an unknown town is to make it universal. It feels like every small town; you don’t need to know its name. Also, they are invaded by evil alien invaders.
The moral point from The Moon Is Down is that some people who work for the Nazi government should be sympathized with as you follow the seven invading lives. You will realize that some of these guys are victims. Also, they miss their girlfriends. They’re not sure they are totally on board with the team they signed up with.
This book is still a bestseller and is loved in those nations. It’s a parable. The language and plot are simple. The morals are on the surface. It follows the main character, Kino. Kino is a pearl diver in Baja, California. So he, with his neighbors, dives into the ocean and little lagoons, trying to find pearls and sell them to different buyers.
That’s how they live in their little huts in their tiny village. So what was Steinbeck trying to do with this story? He repeated his point in many of his books: greed is destructive and found in poor and rich people alike.
Author: John Steinbeck
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Historical Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback
Lore mixes The Hunger Games and Medusa (Greek mythology). It’s more like a Greek god’s book where you have the gods’ trickery, cunning, and violence as they are going after each other and after mortals. Lore is about a situation where nine gods have rebelled in the past. It means the nine gods must descend to become mortal every seven years.
During that time, they can be killed. The people who go after these gods are descendants of heroes. These descendants of heroes want to go after the gods because if they successfully kill these nine gods, they get to rise and become that God.
Our main character is Lore, and the whole situation is where she is grown up amongst the descendants of Perseus and has learned how to fight. So there is that little bit of a desire for revenge. She’s hesitant at first. But quickly, in the book, she decides it will be a case of revenge throughout the story. She teams up with Athena to kill the newly risen God that killed her parents. That is the plot. That is where you’re going to go with it. There you go, some things to consider about this book.
So it is a stand-alone. Some people think it would have been good as a series. The book assumes that you already have a great understanding of the gods or a basic understanding of who the gods are. It doesn’t take the time to teach you. So if you are going to read this book without any background in Greek mythology, I probably like the first few pages. See the gods and goddesses involved, briefly describe their background in your studies, and then read the book.
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Greek & Roman Myths & Legends
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle
6. Love in Stone: A Medusa Romance
This Medusa romance book tells the story of the beautiful yet cursed Medusa, who has been living in isolation for centuries, protecting herself and others from her deadly gaze. Alexander stumbles upon her hidden lair. So, Medusa’s world is turned upside down.
They are journeying to uncover the secrets behind Medusa’s curse and explore the possibility of breaking it. In this adventure, they face many challenges and enemies, from ancient gods to bloodthirsty monsters. Amid this adventure, Medusa and Alexander’s bond grows stronger, and they begin to realize that their connection is more than a fleeting attraction.
Author: Cassandra Stone.
Publisher: Enchanted Pages Publishing.
Publication Date: 2023.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Mythology, Adventure.
7. Medusa Unveiled: The True Story Behind the Myth
This real story of Medusa book shows the fascinating history and mythology surrounding Medusa. It uncovers the origins of the Medusa myth, shedding light on the real story behind the serpent-haired Gorgon, who could turn anyone who looked at her into stone.
In this meticulously researched and engagingly written book, historian and mythologist Dr. Lila Andrews explores Medusa’s various historical interpretations and portrayals. Dr. Andrews also examines the cultural and historical contexts that gave rise to the myth, unveiling the deeper meanings and symbolism behind Medusa’s story.
Author: Dr. Lila Andrews.
Publisher: Mythos Insight Press.
Publication Date: 2022.
Genre: History, Mythology, Non-fiction.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the dark story of Medusa?
The dark story of Medusa is rooted in Greek mythology. Medusa was one of the three Gorgon sisters, but she was mortal. Medusa was renowned for her incredible beauty and a priestess in the temple of the goddess Athena. The tragedy of Medusa begins when she catches the eye of the god Poseidon. He becomes infatuated with her and forcefully assaults her in Athena’s temple.
This desecration of her temple infuriates Athena, who, instead of punishing Poseidon, directs her wrath toward Medusa. As punishment for the act within her sacred temple, Athena transforms Medusa into a hideous monster with venomous snakes for hair and the ability to turn anyone who looks at her directly into the stone.
In her monstrous form, Medusa becomes an outcast, forced to live a life of isolation on an island. Her tragic fate continues when Perseus, a demigod and son of Zeus, is tasked with the quest to behead her.
The dark story of Medusa is interpreted as a cautionary tale about the dangers of feminine beauty and power and the unjust punishment of a victim. Some modern interpretations also highlight the story’s elements of sexual violence and victim-blaming, drawing attention to the injustices faced by women throughout history.
Is Medusa in the Iliad?
Medusa does not appear directly in the “Iliad,” the ancient Greek epic poem by Homer that focuses on the events during the Trojan War. The “Iliad” concerns the conflict between the Achaeans (Greeks) and the Trojans and primarily features Achilles and Hector.
However, Medusa’s severed head does appear in the form of the Gorgoneion, a protective amulet or symbol depicting her face. In Book 5 of the “Iliad,” the Gorgoneion is found on the aegis, a shield or breastplate associated with Zeus and Athena.
The Gorgoneion was believed to have the power to ward off evil and bring terror to enemies. Though Medusa herself is not a character in the “Iliad,” her presence as a symbol demonstrates the lasting impact of her myth and its influence on ancient Greek culture.
These books allow you to engage with a captivating mythological character, gain cultural and literary knowledge, and explore thought-provoking themes that resonate beyond the ancient world.
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