Features · Literary Lists

Literary Lists: Fairytale Retellings (That I Want To Read)

So firstly I feel like I should admit that before looking it up properly I thought that Top Ten Tuesdays was just a name that people gave to their own top ten lists that they posted on a Tuesday. If you think the same (although unless you’re as new to Blogging as me then I guess you already know all about it) then I strongly recommend that you look it up properly here as it’s a great idea and a superb way to bring Bloggers together. I fully intend to check it out every Tuesday and see what different people pick for each subject.

As I only want to post a feature once a month (at least whilst I’m still new to Blogging) and already have several list ideas in mind I’ve decided to post my lists on a Wednesday under the title of Literary Lists but the idea was still inspired by the idea of Top Ten Tuesdays and I may try joining in with the proper ones in the future – when the idea of posting a weekly feature doesn’t seem quite so daunting. Why Literary Lists? Because I’m a sucker for alliteration and I figured it makes sense as this Feature is going to be a series of lists linked to books in one way or another.

I may be posting this blog, like many others, later than I originally intended to but at least it ties in fairly well with May considering the release of Stepsister earlier on this month. I absolutely adored this novel and can’t recommend it highly enough.

Lately I’ve been obsessed with looking up Fairytales and their retellings – even if I am yet to get on and actually read any of them, other than the one mentioned above. I have a desperate to desire to check out as many retellings as possible and also dive into the original classic collections like The Brothers Grimm, The Tales Of Mother Goose, The Complete Works of Hans Christian Andersen and The Book Of One Thousand And One Arabian Nights. I also hope to check out a couple of Fairytales and the Folklore of different cultures and countries since I’m sure there’s one hell of a lot that I’ve never heard of before. If you have any recommendations – whether they’re retellings, originals or just books that have an overall ‘fairytale feel’ to them – then let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear about them.

Forest Of A Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
Retelling of: The Evil Queen Legend
Series / Standalone

A beautiful peasant in a forgotten village who is destined for greatness, but only if she embraces the darkness within her.

I love learning about the villains in stories and think this book sounds absolutely fascinating. I’m looking forward to the East Asian fantasy setting too.

The Bear And The Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Retelling of: Morozko / Russian Fairy Tales
Series / Standalone

So I may be wrong with my retelling label (I didn’t spend too long searching for what this was a retelling of as I was determined to avoid spoiling the story for myself) but I know that it’s based on Russian Fairy Tales and it sounds absolutely intoxicating.

Chilling stories, a blue-eyed winter demon, a new stepmother, evil forest creatures and a village stalked by misfortune.

How could I resist a blurb like that?

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Retelling of: Rumpelstiltskin
Series / Standalone

A girl who gains a reputation for being able to change silver to gold after hardening her heart against her fellow villagers to collect what is owed to her family; and the cold creatures that haunt the wood whose king learns of her reputation.

I’m definitely planning to read this ASAP as it sounds utterly unique and I’ve seen so many good reviews for it. Also I have a weakness for books with strong female leads.

Girls Made Of Snow And Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Retelling Of: Snow White
Series / Standalone

Magicians, un-beating glass hearts, complex relationships and rivalry.

It also intertwines the stories of both Snow White and her stepmother which I’m particularly fascinated by. Who doesn’t love getting to see the villain’s back-story?

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Retelling Of: Beauty And The Beast
Series / Standalone

A Beauty and the Beast retelling where ‘Beauty’ (in this case Nyx) has been training to kill the beast her entire life! Plus it contains an enchanted castle with a shifting maze of magical rooms, a nine hundred year old curse and a love story where the heroine finds herself falling for her sworn enemy. Naturally this is one fairytale retelling that I’m desperate to sink my teeth into.

Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Retelling Of: Beauty And The Beast
Series / Standalone

‘Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?’

Another Beauty And The Beast retelling with a strong, fiery sounding ‘Beauty’. After her father goes missing Yeva decides to go after the beast that her father had been obsessively tracking before his disappearance. Her hunt leads her to a cursed valley, a ruined castle and a world full of fairy tale creatures.

Don’t forget to check out Meagan Spooner’s new retelling of Robin Hood (which sounds awesome) that came out this year: Sherwood

A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Retelling Of: Beauty And The Beast
Series / Standalone

Fall in love, break the curse. 
Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Yet another Beauty And The Beast retelling (I wouldn’t say its necessarily my favourite Fairytale – there just seem to be a lot of fantastic sounding retellings of it around). A contemporary fantasy retelling of the story this time with a heroine who has cerebral palsy and a prince whose cursed to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over again.

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
Retelling Of: Snow White, Rose Red & Swan Lake
Series / Standalone

Blanca (obedient and graceful) and Roja (vicious and manipulative) aren’t just sisters but also rivals. One day they will be pulled into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl and trap the other in the body of a swan. But when some local boys are drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods.

Is it bad that I haven’t read a book by this author yet? They all sound amazing – and have such breathtaking covers – but I still need to get around to picking one up.

Winterspell by Claire Legrand
Retelling Of: The Nutcracker
Series / Standalone

‘A dark, timeless fairy tale about love and war, longing and loneliness, and a girl who must learn to live without fear.’

Since seeing the film last year – and knowing there was another movie version that I loved growing up – I’d love to read a retelling of The Nutcracker. This one, with its promise of a dangerous, seductive faery queen and 1899 New York City setting sounds like the perfect one to start with. Also I’m fairly certain that it was bought to my attention by an author’s recommendation on Fantastic Fiction but I can’t remember whose now.

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
Retelling Of: Aladdin
Series / Standalone

This is a retelling of Aladdin which focuses upon the Jinni from the lamp and is set in a world where magic is forbidden and our central character’s very existence is illegal. If that wasn’t enough the Jinni finds herself falling for Aladdin and torn between her heart and her freedom. Plus look at that cover! It’s gorgeous.

So there you have it, ten of the Fairytale Retellings that I most want to read. There are honestly so many out there that I’m sure I’ll revisit the subject in some form in the future.

What are your favourite Fairytale Retellings? Are there any films or series that you think are worth checking out if you have an interest in these classic tales? Do you know any retellings that focus on lesser known stories? Let me know in the comments section below.


11 thoughts on “Literary Lists: Fairytale Retellings (That I Want To Read)

  1. Retelling aren’t always something I am drawn to but I would like to read more. I think it can be fun to see the links to the original story and it gives authors a chance to be really imaginative about something people already love.

    I’ve heard good thing about Forest of a Thousand Lanterns and I agree I really like the East Asain setting!! Plus I really like the Evil Queen after watching Once Upon A Time– I think she is an interesting complex character!!
    I’ve heard so many good things about The Bear and The Nightingale!!
    And I’ve heard very good thing about Noami Novik’s writing I have been meaning to read her books for a while now!!
    And I have been wanting to read Forbidden Wish– I love that it is an Aladdin retelling and it sounds great. And yes the cover is amazing!!
    So basically I have a lot of books I need to read 😂😂
    Great list!! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I ended up looking quite a few up recently and realized that there are so many that I absolutely adore the sound of. I can understand people’s hesitation towards retellings considering they’re generally about stories that you already know and love. I like getting to see different authors takes on a familiar tale though and find it fascinating how different people can take the same starting point and spin a story out in so many different ways.

      Yes so have I. I can’t wait to get on with it. Oh I love Once Upon A Time and I agree that she’s really interesting and complex character. I quite like seeing the origins of more villainous characters too so I’m super excited to get on with it.
      I keep seeing good things about both of those books too.
      I’ve recently watched the new live action film of Aladdin so that’s increased my desire to read an Aladdin retelling so I will have to try and get on with it soon. There are just so many books that I want to read that I don’t know where to start :L
      Thank you so much (:

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh I’m glad you found some that you were excited to read– I love it when them happens (which can be quite a lot haha)!! Yes I think that is what my hesitation is about but I have enjoyed the ones I have read and I agree it can be so interesting to see how the story can have an entirely different interpretation from other authors!!

        Yes I hope you love it as much as you want to!! Yes I think Regina is my favourite character in OUAT and yes the origins of ‘villains’ can be really different and they are usually really developed characters when well written which I love!!!
        Ohh.. I really want to see the live action Aladdin movie and I hope you get to read Forbidden Wish soon!!
        Yes haha– I have that same problem, so many books so little time haha!!
        You’re welcome ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Tell me about it. I constantly seem to find books to add to my never ending TBR list :L Yes I love seeing how each author puts their own unique spin on a story.

        Thanks, me too (: Yeah I think she might be mine too; she’s definitely one of them at the very least. That’s so true, they tend to have such amazing backstories which I love reading.
        I saw it again last night actually :L I hope you get to see it soon. And thank you (; I think a lot of people do :L

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes my TBR is constantly getting longer not smaller!! 😂
        Yes she has a great character arc which I like. Yes it is really interesting to read about!!
        Ah.. That’s so good!! I hope so too!!
        Very true!! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Mine too, especially now that I keep finding new books on Instagram :L
        She does (: I find all aspects to her character fascinating whether she’s good or evil at the time. Definitely.
        I also really hope you enjoy it if you do see it. I came away from it feeling so happy both times 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you (: I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ll definitely have to check it out soon as I loved the new Aladdin film so I’m definitely in the mood for a retelling based on it!

      Liked by 1 person

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