Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Fairytale Retellings

August 4, 2015 § 7 Comments

Fairy Tale Retellings

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme started by The Broke and the Bookish. Click here to see their blog post and links to the many other book blogs that participate!

I love fairy tales.  When I was in middle school I read every one of Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books I could get my hands on.  I read Arabian Nights, Hans Christian Andersen, and the Brothers Grimm.  I would soak up the stories and then tell them to younger children, changing names, adding details, embellishing or de-emphasizing sections, subtracting parts, or otherwise altering them as I saw fit.  I was creating my own retellings of the fairy tales I loved, unconsciously perpetuating a very old tradition.

As I got older, I started to reach for other people’s retellings.  Here are some of my favorites…

Beauty, by Robin McKinley

Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale, especially the version by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, and I am always excited to read a new retelling.  Beauty is my favorite recent retelling of this story, although McKinley’s Rose Daughter is a close second.

East, by Edith Pattou

Pattou uses multiple points of view to retell East of the Sun, West of the Moon, another favorite fairy tale of mine.  I love her descriptions, especially when Rose is weaving.

The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale

The Goose Girl is (surprise) another of my favorite stories, and Hale’s retelling is excellent. Her world is well-crafted, and her writing compulsively readable. I enjoyed the sequels, too, but not as much as this first installment.  I also recommend her Book of a Thousand Days, a retelling of a lesser-known fairy tale called Maid Maleen.

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine

I’m sure you saw this one coming.  This book is more middle-grade than YA, but it is sheer fun.

Wildwood Dancing, by Juliet Marillier

The Twelve Dancing Princesses was another of my favorite fairy tales, both to read and to tell.  Marillier made it even more delicious.

Bella at Midnight, by Diane Stanley

This book is a retelling of Cinderella, but there are some distinctly Joan of Arc elements mixed in, too, and it makes for a good combination.

2015_08_04 TTT Once upon a time

…And here are a few adaptations that I have not read yet, but can’t wait to pick up:

Birdwing, by Rafe Martin

The Six Swans (or The Swan Brothers or The Swan Princess) is another favorite tale of mine, and Martin has written the story of the brother who almost didn’t make it.

Briar Rose, by Jane Yolen

I think I did read this book once, but it has been such a long time that I barely remember it – except that it combines Sleeping Beauty with the Holocaust.

Spindle’s End, by Robin McKinley

I vaguely remember this one, too, but again, it has been a while.  Since McKinley’s Beauty and the Beast retellings are some of my perennial favorites, I’m sure this one will be excellent, too.

A Curse Dark as Gold, by Elizabeth C. Bunce

This one is a Rumplestiltskin retelling.  I’ve seen it on the shelf at work and been curious about it, but have yet to actually pick it up.  Someday.  Someday it will be time.

Do you have any favorite fairy tales or retellings?

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