This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish is about fairy tales. Guys, I love fairy tales. I took a number of classes in college specifically so I could cover fairy tales and I loved every minute. I couldn’t be more excited for this topic. I’ve broken this up into five retellings I’ve read and eight retellings I want to read. It’s really a Top Thirteen Tuesday, but I couldn’t narrow it down any more.
Retellings I’ve Read
1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: We have to start with the queen of retellings, obviously. As I’ve mentioned several times on this blog, this was my absolute favorite book as a kid. I think I was about eight years old when I first read this (it was a First Communion gift) and I didn’t realize it was Cinderella until the end. That twist blew my tiny mind and cemented this as my favorite book.
2. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter: Moving on to a much more mature book. This collection of fairy tale retellings is dark and sensual, very different from most of the others on this list. My favorite is the title story The Bloody Chamber, which is a retelling of Bluebeard (probably my favorite fairy tale of all time). If you like fairy tales and don’t mind things getting dark and weird, this book is fantastic.
3. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: I have very little experience with non-Western fairy tales, so I’m always interested in branching out. I got entirely too invested in this book and can’t wait for the sequel. 4. The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine: Another Carson Levine book. This book isn’t based off of a single fairy tale, but incorporates lots of fairy tale elements like magical items, quests, and fairies. I’ve read this book at least twice, and both times I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
5. Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman: This is also not a true retelling, but it has a heavy fairy tale influence. The main character is an academic specializing in fairy tales who teaches at an all-girls boarding school in the forests of Upstate New York (which is where I’m from, so obviously I’m rather attached to the setting). It was a little less creepy and eery than I wanted it to be, but I loved the atmosphere.
Retellings I Want to Read
1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: Everyone and their mother has read this series and yet I, a serious fairy tale nerd, haven’t touched a single one of these books. I need to rectify this as soon as possible.
2. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: Supposedly Throne of Glass is also inspired by Beauty and the Beast, but I’m hoping A Court of Thorns and Roses is a truer retelling.
3. Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas: The cover for this book is so aggressively mediocre I can’t stand it, but I love Cinderella. I can put up with an ugly cover for a good story. 4. Zel by Donna Jo Napoli: I had a bit of an obsession with retellings as a kid, probably around when I finished reading Ella Enchanted. I have a feeling I read this book during that phase, but I don’t remember it at all.
5. Fairest by Gail Carson Levine: A lot of people like this book, but I’ve never read it for whatever reason.
6. Bluebeard’s Egg by Margaret Atwood: A retelling of my beloved Bluebeard, as told by Margaret Atwood? Has there ever been a premise more glorious? 7. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes: I’m so eager to read this! But first, I have to go find the original story in one of my anthologies. 8. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston: After The Wrath and the Dawn, I’m in the mood for more retellings of A Thousand and One Nights. It seems like people who have read both like either one or the other, so I’m keen to see which one I prefer.
If my list didn’t satisfy your need for fairy tales (I can never get enough), check out this comprehensive list from Epic Reads. And let me know if there are any fantastic retellings I should get my hands on!