Happy Tuesday fellow readers,
We need to talk about fairy tale retellings. I have been thinking about this post for weeks now, and when I saw this post on Modern Mrs. Darcy yesterday, I knew I had to get this posted pronto.
You may have noticed that I have been reading a lot of fairy tale retellings recently. They have been quite popular recently, there are a lot out there and some are better than others. So, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite titles.
The Four Kingdoms & Beyond the Four Kingdoms
by Melanie Cellier
I adore this series, and I hope you all haven’t gotten completely sick of me raving about these books yet because here I go again. These books are probably my favorite Fairy Tale Retellings that I have read yet.
I really like the world that Cellier created. She has Fairy Godmothers, romance and a whole cast of princes and princesses with the promise of a happy ending. I also like her interpretations of the original stories. There are nods to the original stories (or the Disney movies, let’s be honest) but she makes it her own with unique twists as she fits the stories into her world.
These YA books are set up like a romance series, with each book featuring a different Princess, so they can be read as stand alones but are interconnected with the other books in the series.
The series includes retellings of: The Princess and the Pea, Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, The Ugly Duckling, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Beauty and the Beast, The Ice Queen, Snow White, Swan Lake & The Little Mermaid.
Review of The Princess Companion – Book 1 of The Four Kingdoms Series, a retelling of the Princess and the Pea
Review of A Dance of Silver and Shadow – Book 1 of the Beyond the Four Kingdoms Series, a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses
Hidden Warrior by M. Lynn
I picked up this series on a whim a few weeks back and I was pleasantly surprised by this unique and creative take on Mulan. I adore Mulan (hello 90s kid) and I am actually a bit surprised that there aren’t more retellings, Spin the Dawn is still on my TBR.
This YA Mulan retelling features the expected girl in disguise training to be a solder, the dreamy army commander and did I mention Dragons, yeah you heard right. The Hidden Warrior series currently has two books Dragon Rising (Book 1) and Dragon Rebellion (Book 2), the second book was just released this year so I am not sure if there will be more books.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
How could I talk about fairy tale retelling without including Ella Enchanted? When I said Fairy Tale Retellings I am guessing a lot of you thought of this book, especially if you are about my age. This book feels a bit like the original fairy tale retelling to me at least.
I haven’t read this book since I was a kid but I still remember liking it quite a bit when I read it. This Middle Grade Cinderella retelling (you could argue it is YA but most consider it middle grade), is a lot of fun. Ella, who was given the gift of obedience by her godmother, goes on a daring adventure and to find and save the prince.
Levine also wrote a retelling of Snow White Fairest, and a prequel, Ogre Enchanted, set in the same world.
Lunar Chonicles by Marissa Meyer
If you are looking for a fairly tale retelling that is completely different this is the series for you. This series is YA fairy tale retelling, sci-fi style. I have only read the first book Cinder myself but I thought it was a really unique spin on the classic fairy tale (Cinderella), and enjoyed it quite a bit.
The series has 4 books and 1 collection: Cinder (Book 1), Scarlet (Book 2), Cress (Book 3), Winter (Book 4), Stars Above (Book 5, Story Collection)
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
I just read this book last month, so I have yet to read the rest of the series, but the first book packs a punch. This YA Beauty and the Beast retelling is on the dark (and steamy) side of YA, so not great for a younger audience. As I said when I read it a few weeks ago, I had some issues with how dark it got near the end for my personal tastes. But I thought the book as a whole was really well done, and I would absolutely recommend it.
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
The Goose Girl is not one of the more well knows fairy tales but I really enjoyed this retelling. This Middle Grade retelling is the first book in Hale’s Bayern Series. The story is quite lovely, with a princess who can talk to animals and has to find her way after her life is taken from her by a jealous lady in waiting. I first read the book five years ago and the story has stuck with me, I found it very reminiscent of Tamora Pierce’s books.
Fairy Tale Revers-o-verse by Marilyn Singer
These books of fairy tale inspired poems may not count as full retellings but they are just too cool not to mention.
Singer created this poetry form, where the poem is written in such a way, so that when you reverse the line order and it creates a second poem that tells a different story, and it works really well for fairy tales.
Singer used this poetry form to write two books of Fairy Tale inspired reversible poems, Mirror Mirror and Follow Follow. These poems are beautifully illustrated, and while they may be aimed at kids I think they are quite enjoyable for adults as well.
What are your favorite Fairy Tale Retellings?