Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Fairy Tales Retold

This week I'm 100% on board with The Broke and the Bookish's wonderful theme:  Top Ten Fairy Tale Retellings.  My only problem will be narrowing the field to ten.  I ADORE retold stories.  Something about the combination of familiar and unexpected is so satisfying to me.

Obviously I'm not alone, as there are MANY books that fall into this category.  Yet somehow I think of it as a "girly" subject.  Are there men who rewrite fairy tales, or who read them?  I mean, other than Jon Scieszka.

1.  The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
I expect these to be on everyone's list, but I have to include it anyway, because I LOOOOVE these books.  Also, call me dumb, I started Cinder not realizing they were fairy tale retellings, so I got that cool moment of "Oh, I get it!"

2.  Cloaked in Red by Vivian Vande Velde.
This was a random cheap book at the book fair purchase.  Lucky me!  Vande Velde takes one story (Little Red Riding Hood) and gives several different takes on it.  Each one is creative, funny, incisive, and brilliant.  It definitely made me start seeking out her work.

3.  Beauty by Robin McKinley
This is one of the older adaptations on my list.  McKinley doesn't play with the familiar story so much as enrich it to novel length--and depth.  I haven't loved all of her stories, but I always love her writing.  Of her many works, this book is second only to the Damar duo in my heart.

4.  Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.
Yes, this one is also well known, but again, I loved it too much to leave it off.  Also--it took me much of the book to realize that this one was an adaption also!  Silly me.  It's not like the title was very subtle.

5.  Tender Morsels by Margo Lanigan
"Snow White and Rose Red" was my favorite fairy tale growing up--in large part, I'm sure, because it wasn't all over the place.  This retelling is complex and moving.

6.  Truly Grim Tales by Priscilla Galloway
Another story collection.  Galloway's angle is to tell the stories from a new viewpoint--the Giantess in "Jack and the Beanstalk," Rumpelstiltskin, and Rapunzel's mom all share their perspective on the familiar stories.  The ending of the last story made me laugh out loud.

7.  Breadcrumbs by Anna Ursu
This novel is inspired by "The Snow Queen," but isn't a retelling.  One aspect I really enjoyed is its blend of modern characters into the fantasy story.  This was done a lot by authors such as C. S. Lewis, E. Nesbit and Edward Eager, but their "modern" characters were old fashioned when I read them.  Hazel and Jack live NOW.  The book felt very literary--wonderful for me, but not something I'd hand to a reluctant reader.

8.  Goose Chase by Patrice Kindl
Fun, funny, charming.

9.  Bewitching: The Kendra Chronicles by Alix Flynn
Kendra is a witch who casts the same spells on similar types of people as she did in the old days, when fairy tales were written about her exploits.  I enjoyed this book, which covers several tales, more than I did Beastly or Cloaked, which focused on just one.

10.  A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
Sci Fi sleeping beauty.  I enjoyed it a lot, but never sought out the sequel.

Have you read any of these?  I can't wait to see what books other bloggers mention--this week my to-read list is going to explode even more!


  1. I've been meaning to read the Lunar Chronicles, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I will one day! Glad to hear from another fan.

    I've read Beauty, Ella Enchanted, and Goose Chase and heartily second the recommendation. Some of your other titles are new to me, like Tender Morsels. I'll have to check them out!

  2. I totally forgot about Robin McKinley's Beauty when I was writing my list, but I enjoyed that book too (and Ella Enchanted, obviously). I'm probably the only person in the world who hasn't read Cinder yet, but it's been getting so much love today that I definitely need to pick it up soon. :)

  3. I love this list! I haven't heard of most of the books, but they all sound great. I love a good fairy tale retelling. (Although I realized when making my list, the retelling usually seems to be in movie/TV form.) Thanks for the recommendations!


  4. Snow White and Rose Red was also a favourite of mine - putting Tender Morsels on my TBR list! Thanks for the recommendation. I also included BreadCrumbs. Have you read The Real Boy by Ursu?

  5. Loved Cinder, but I haven't read any of the others you mention. Might have to add some to my TBR :)


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