A guide to fairytale retellings

Top five Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Gingerreadslainy and hosted by Thoughts on Tomes you can find more information on the goodreads group. This weeks prompt is gateway books to your favorite genre.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this Top Five Wednesday when I saw the prompt I instantly thought of fairytale retellings! I love rettellings of any kind but fairytale are my favorite and I’ve read a lot of them. There was one year were I read almost nothing but fairytales, writing this really makes me want to get back into the genre. I tried my best to choose books that aren’t that popular, some of them are by popular authors but I chose their lesser know books.

Beauty and the Beast

  • Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

It is the heart of this place, and it is dying, says the Beast. And it is true; the center of the Beast’s palace, the glittering glasshouse that brings Beauty both comfort and delight in her strange new environment, is filled with leafless brown rosebushes. But deep within this enchanted world, new life, at once subtle and strong, is about to awaken

I don’t remember that much about Rose Daughter, what I do remember is that it’s a imaginative and beautifully written novel.

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Goose Girl

  • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life under her aunt’s guidance learning to communicate with animals. As she grows up Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but is never comfortable speaking with people, so when her silver-tongued lady-in-waiting leads a mutiny during Ani’s journey to be married in a foreign land, Ani is helpless and cannot persuade anyone to assist her. Becoming a goose girl for the king, Ani eventually uses her own special, nearly magical powers to find her way to her true destiny.

This stinks very close to the original fairytale it just expands upon it and it’s not as weird. This is a series but the other books are about different characters and aren’t retalings, I read the second book but I don’t remember anything specific about it just that I didn’t like it very much.

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The Twelve Dancing Princesess

  • Princesses of the Midnight Ball

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above. 

The Princes of the Midnight Ball is predictable at times and the characters are a little flat but overall it’s a well written, fun and enjoyable read. I haven’t read the other books in the series but I plan to soon.

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Sleeping Beauty

  • Spindles End by Robin McKinley

All the creatures of the forest and field and riverbank knew the infant was special. She was the princess, spirited away from the evil fairy Pernicia on her name-day. But the curse was cast: Rosie was fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a poisoned sleep-a slumber from which no one would be able to rouse her. 

This is my favorite retelling by Robin Mckinley, maybe even my favorite retelling ever. It does a amazing job of staying true to the original tale while still adding a unique spin, all rettellings try to do this but they often don’t succeed, Spindles End pulls it off splendidly.

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Snow White

  • Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

In the kingdom of Ayortha, who is the fairest of them all? Certainly not Aza. She is thoroughly convinced that she is ugly. What she may lack in looks, though, she makes up for with a kind heart, and with something no one else has-a magical voice. Her vocal talents captivate all who hear them, and in Ontio Castle they attract the attention of a handsome prince – and a dangerous new queen. 

Almost everyone has read and loved Ella Enchanted but I hardly ever hear anything about Gail Carson Levine’s other books, Fairest isn’t as wonderful as Ella Enchanted but it’s still good and it’s set in the same world which is neat.

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Have you read any of the books on this list? Do you like fairytale retellings? Recommend me your favorites!
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3 thoughts on “A guide to fairytale retellings

  1. Good list.
    I’m currently re-reading the “Books of Bayern”. Goose Girl and the final book, Forest Born, are definitely the best titles. I agree, that the second one isn’t that great. If you haven’t read to the final book, I would definitely recommend it (but it is best if you read them all in order).

    Liked by 1 person

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