Top Ten Fairy Tale Retellings I Want To Read

Today I’m linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for their weekly feature, Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s prompt is, well… actually, there are a bunch of options: “top ten fairy tale retellings I’ve read (or want to read),” or “top ten fairy tales I want to be retold,” or “ten fairy tales I love.”

Wow, the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish have really been on a roll lately, haven’t they?! SO MANY GOOD PROMPTS. Or… maybe I’ve been on a roll lately?! I don’t normally link up with them THIS CONSISTENTLY.

Anyway. How could I not do this prompt? FAIRY TALES ARE ONE OF MY LITERARY PASSIONS – and their retellings are one of my favorite genres.

I decided to go with the variation on option #1… so today, I’m going to list ten fairy tale retellings that I desperately want to read!

Enjoy!

1. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

This story is based on a little-known fairy tale of the same name from the Brothers Grimm! When I tried to read The Goose Girl five or six years ago, I wasn’t very into it, but now that I’m waaaaay more passionate about fairy tale retellings, I think I’d like to try it again! YAY FOR RETELLINGS OF LITTLE-KNOWN STORIES.

fairest marissa meyer2. Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

I had NO IDEA this was a retelling of “Snow White” until just a few weeks ago! I loooove Levine’s books, so how can I not read this one? Plus, it’s set in the land of Ella Enchanted! (Maybe she has a cameo in this book?!)

3. Fairest by Marissa Meyer

…not to be confused with the story above, although this story is ALSO a retelling of “Snow White.” I think Queen Levana is a fascinating villain, so I’m eager to read about her past. Also, fairy tale retellings in outer space? With cyborgs?! YES YES YES GIVE IT TO ME.

4. Winter by Marissa Meyer

This is a continuation of the story that began in Fairest – which is actually volume 3.5, anyway. Book four will be published this November and I’m SOOOO EXCITED! I love love love this series for its weirdness and creativity, aaaand… I’m super happy that in this story, Snow White is black. Yayyyy diversity!

5. Grim by Christine Johnson et alwinter

I want to read this anthology of paranormal fairy tale retellings because A) it includes SEVENTEEN lovely retellings and B) one of the stories is retold by Malinda Lo. I WILL READ ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING MALINDA LO WRITES BECAUSE SHE IS PERFECTION. (I loooved her queer retelling of “Cinderella,” Ash! AHHHH OMG.) In this collection, she writes a new version of “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” – again, yay for retellings of less-popular stories! I love “Cinderella” retellings, but sometimes it seems like all of the retellings are based on that fairy tale.

6. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Speaking of “Cinderella” retellings… here’s another one! OOH BUT ITS PROTAGONIST IS A TEENAGE ASSASSIN SO AT LEAST IT’S UNIQUE. Many of my friends adore this book!

7. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I, um… always mess up the title of this book/series and call it A Song of Ice and Fire! I guess my brain sees the long title and goes, “Oh, it’s A Long Title of Fantasy and Epicness” and… yeah.* Oops. ANYWAY THIS IS A RETELLING OF “BEAUTY AND THE BEAST” (AND THE SCOTTISH BALLAD “TAM LIN”).

*Actually, come to think of it, my problem may also be due to the fact that “thorns and roses” remind me of the Tyrell family. SO. Um. Yeah.

a court of thorns and roses8. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

This, obviously, a retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood!” And OH MY GOSH THE PROTAGONISTS SOUND AMAZING YAY FOR KICKASS WOMEN. Also, like Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, this is a series that retells multiple fairy tales! And YAY FOR SISTERS. (Wow, I’m certainly yay-ing a lot of things in this post, aren’t I?)

9. Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley

This is actually the third in a series, but… this one looks like the best installment! Also, yay for retellings of “Sleeping Beauty!”

10. The Tower Room by Adèle Geras

This is an old-fashioned retelling of “Rapunzel.” I first heard (or, well, read) about it in The Ultimate Teen Book Guide, which, as some of you may recall, has never let me down: Literally every single book it’s recommended to me has been mind-blowing. SO I’M EXCITED TO READ THIS BOOK.

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As you already know, there were a BUNCH of options for this post – so what made me choose this particular prompt?

Well, apparently I haven’t read as many fairy tale retellings as I thought, for a start. I’ve read a lot of retellings, but they haven’t all been retellings of fairy tales… and I really, really wanted to stick to the original idea of this week’s link-up. I wanted to make this post a little fangirlish celebration of fairy tale retellings, not retellings of myths or classics or whatever.

(But I will definitely write a post about the top ten non-fairy-tale retellings I’ve read, and another post about the top ten non-fairy-tale retellings that I want to read! BECAUSE ALL TYPES OF RETELLINGS ARE AWESOME.)

“Top ten fairy tales I love” is a perfectly decent prompt that I may answer at some point, but it just didn’t interest me now.

And as for “top ten fairy tales that I want to be retold”? Um. Well, that was the prompt I originally wanted to do! So I started making my list, and… literally everything on it was “lesbian retelling of ‘Sleeping Beauty'” and “lesbian retelling of ‘Rapunzel'” and so on and so forth. IT WAS AN AWESOME LIST, BUT A BIT REPETITIVE.

Sooo… let it just be known that I am 100% down for any and all fairy tale retellings with queer lady protagonists, all right? And with other types of diverse protagonists, too, like girls of all different races. Buuuuuuuut mostly, queer girls. QUEER GIRLS ALWAYS. IN ALL OF THE RETELLINGS.

(Also, I hope that someday someone writes a lesbian retelling of “The Little Mermaid”… and if not, then I guess I need to because my lovely friend Orphu @ A Mirror Made of Words loves mermaids and lesbians so, like… CLEARLY THIS NEEDS TO BE WRITTEN SO SHE WILL BE HAPPY.)

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Which fairy tale retellings do you want to read? If you’ve read any of the stories listed above, which ones were your favorites? And finally, which fairy tales do you want to be retold? …would you write any of those retellings?!

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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18 Responses to Top Ten Fairy Tale Retellings I Want To Read

  1. Clarice says:

    I’ve read the first two:

    Goose Girl – You will NOT be disappointed. This was one of my favorite fairy-tales, even if people don’t talk about it as much, and I love, love, LOVE Shannon Hale. (All her books are great, and a lot are retellings. If you enjoyed this, you can check out Book of a Thousand Days, also based on a not-very-well-known fairytale and a POC as a protagonist, and Princess Academy, which is my favorite book ever). I also love how the main character is introverted and socially awkward and how much she /tries/. Plus, it’s actually a series, if you want to read more! (By the way, when you read this book, I challenge you to find a truly appalling typo I found on my third reading.)

    Fairest – I liked it. Not as much as Ella Enchanted, but it had a few interesting twists, especially in regards to who the actual villain of the whole thing is.

    One retelling that I want to write – and have been meaning to write but never getting around to it… – is The Little Mermaid, plus a slightly wider scope. In the original fairytale, it always bugged me in the end how the sisters sacrificed their hair (pretty sure there’s some symbolism in there) to get their baby sister back to them, and then the Little Mermaid decides to not stab the prince and just die. I wonder what lengths they’d actually gone through to give her that chance, and how it felt in the end when she refused it. I want to see /their/ stories. What happened to their mother? Was the Grandmother kind to /all/ of them? Does the world of the mermaids follow the patriarchy of the land have the throne ascend to the next male heir, and if so, does the eldest princess ever rebel? Are there wars under the sea? What are their attitudes toward the humans, really? Who was the sea-witch, the lady who wasn’t actually evil but spelled out and gave everything that she promised to the Little Mermaid?

    Also, possibly something for The Seven Swans if I ever think of it. Still, though, that story is lovely on its own – I’m not sure what else I’d add on to it, even though it’s one of my favorites.

  2. Elm says:

    ELLA ENCHANTED YES! 🙂

  3. I’m currently reading ACOTAR, it’s pretty good. I want to read The Lunar Chronicles but am waiting until Winter is released to start so I can read them all at once. TOG is good, if a little slow, personally, I prefer the 2nd & 3rd books, so if you don’t get into it straight away, keep going because the series gets better.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/top-ten-tuesday-16/

  4. moosha23 says:

    I was out with my sister and mom and we discovered this Oxfam bookshop and it was absolutely gorgeous. In the children’s section, A Court of Thorns and Roses and Throne of Glass were side by side, but since we were on a budget we could only buy one. Suffice to say I’ve now got Throne of Glass on the ginormous TBR!
    ALSO. Thanks to your wonderful revelation about the origins of The Goose Girl I FINALLY KNOW WHAT IT WAS BASED ON. Freakin’ heck this feeling of satisfaction is unreal.

  5. orphu44 says:

    Ahh, what a good prompt! (or prompts, as the case may be). I haven’t read — or even heard — of quite a number of these! Although I could have sworn I’d read Gail Carson Levine’s Fairest, but I cannot for the life of me think of what happened in it, so perhaps I just thought I had because it’s Gail Carson Levine? And I really want to read Marissa Meyer’s series now. I could probably shorten this comment by just saying that I want to read all of these now. because /fairy tales/. and particularly Snow White.
    Also ahh, /lesbian Little Mermaid/! Oh my goodness yes please. That is /exactly/ the kind of thing that makes me happy.
    (I also want to do all of these prompts now but I feel I might fall into the trap of ‘lesbian retelling Every Fairy Tale,’ too.)

  6. Cait @ Paper Fury says:

    I LOVE SO MANY OF THESE. Hehe, I am a retelling nut, so I have read, um, billions of them. Although I didn’t love Ella Enchanted so I kind of am not interested in more of that author’s books. bUT STILL. AFDJKLSAFD MARISSA MEYER. She probably just owns teh crown for retellings. BUT OF COURSE ALSO THRONE OF GLASS. *hyperventilates* I am deeply in love with that series. Not so much ACOTAR? Just because the romance is pretty steamy, I guess, and I prefer people running around screaming and killing each other *shrugs* #priorities

    SISTERS RED IS VERY VERY GOOD. I love sisterly books. And I want to try Grim! And obviously I’m dyyyying for Winter. xDXD

  7. I didn’t know that you were a fan of fairy tale retellings. I LOVE them, too. I actually wrote a lesbian retelling of Sleeping Beauty as my first NaNoWriMo novel many years ago, but never published it. If it ever makes it off my old computer, I’ll let you know. 😉

    I was a little disappointed with Sisters Red so I haven’t read anything else by Jackson Pierce, although she’s got lots of retellings that look intriguing. I also read Spindle’s End and literally remember NOTHING about it, which makes me think it wasn’t that great? I didn’t know it was third in a series, though — what are the other two?

    Most of these books I have either read or are also on my TBR pile, but I did not know “Throne of Glass” was a Cinderella retelling. That makes me more interested in it. Also, had never heard of “The Tower Room” and Rapunzel is one of my faves, so I’ll have to add that one to the list, too!

  8. I know this is an old post but I love the marissa meyers series; i dont know why though i couldnt get into Queen Levanas story it made me cringe and it just didnt capture me the way the other ones did . . . BUT OMG SARAH J MAAS IS PERFECTION. I’VE READ ALL OF THEM AND I JUST …KEEP … WAITING … Never noticed that they were based on fairytales, so i definitely like her unique spin on things. L I’ve read Sister’s Red and … meh, it was just a crappy romance with crappy romance, not really worth the time… just wondering, have you read any Scarlett Dawn? Her King Hall series is probably one of my favourites and I just love her writing in general (you know how you were saying you like queer characters; she has this amazing tendency to write sexuality as really not an issue, so characters will randomly pop out of bed with a same sex character and its just amazing); probably (in my opinion) one of the best authors for use of secondary characters. this was such a long comment, sorry xD

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