Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Fairytale Retellings I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is Top Ten Fairytale Retellings I've Read.  I chose to participate in a fairytale retelling challenge this year, so I got to read more of this type of book than I otherwise might have.  Still, most of the books on this list are older favourites that I read years ago.

Top Ten Fairytale Retellings I've Read:

by Cat Hellisen
inspired by "Beauty and the Beast"

This is a bit of a different take on the old story, with a young girl as the main character and a family that's plagued by a multi-generational curse.

by Alex Flinn
inspired by "Beauty and the Beast"

While this isn't necessarily the best "Beauty and the Beast" retelling I've ever read, it's one of the more unique ones since it's told from the beast's point of view.  The modern-day setting also makes it a bit different from some of the other books in this category.

by Robin McKinley
inspired by "Beauty and the Beast"

I read this book years ago, and it remained one of my favourite retellings of this story for a long time.  It's a fairly standard retelling, set in an old-fashioned fantasy world and populated by magical characters.

The Book of Lost Things
by John Connolly
inspired by various fairytales

While this book does incorporate many beloved stories, it is definitely not for children!  It's dark and scary and pretty gory in places.  It could also be argued that, in addition to drawing from old fairytales, this book also uses a plot device that makes it similar to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Cruel Beauty
by Rosamund Hodge
inspired by "Beauty and the Beast" and various Greek myths

When I sat down to read this book, I wasn't expecting to find so many Greco-Roman influences!  But I really enjoyed that aspect of the story; it helped to flesh out the unique setting and make it even more interesting.

Ella Enchanted
by Gail Carson Levine
inspired by "Cinderella"

If you've only ever seen the movie, you don't know what you're missing!  Pretty much the only similarities between the book and the movie are the characters' names and the nature of Ella's curse.  I enjoy both the book and the movie; they're so different, they can't really be compared.

Fire and Hemlock
by Diana Wynne Jones
inspired by "Tam Lin" and "Thomas the Rhymer"

This is one of my all-time favourite novels, and it probably incorporates the most obscure fairytales (on this list, anyway).  I like many of Diana Wynne Jones's novels, but this one will always hold a special place in my heart.

A Tale of Two Castles
by Gail Carson Levine
inspired by "Puss in Boots"

To be honest, I don't really know where the whole "Puss in Boots" thing comes from.  But this is a good story in any case, full of fun and fantasy.  This author really knows how to make fairytales new and interesting for young readers.

Tiger Moon
by Antonia Michaelis
inspired by "Scheherazade"

While this one is not a straight retelling of "Scheherazade", it does have some similarities, particularly with the framing device used for the story.  This book might be my favourite young adult novel ever!

The Wide-Awake Princess
by E. D. Baker
inspired by various fairytales

There are a few books out there that incorporate multiple fairytales, but this is one of the better ones I've read.  The author manages to seamlessly combine tales such as "Sleeping Beauty", "The Princess and the Pea", "Beauty and the Beast", and "The Frog Prince" to create a fun story with likeable and relatable characters.

What are some of your favourite fairytale retellings?


  1. I haven't heard of most of your books but I dearly LOVE the BOOK OF LOST THINGS. It is amazing.

    Please drop by my blog not only for TTT but also to add your name to the giveaway I am sponsoring in celebration of my blogoversary.

    1. I remember really enjoying that book when I read it a few years ago. I wish there were more fairytale retellings that are as strong as that one!

  2. Beauty and Ella Enchanted are a couple of my favourite fairy tale retellings too :) I need to get my hands on Cruel Beauty – it seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it kind of book!

    1. Yes, Cruel Beauty seems to be quite polarizing! While it wasn't perfect, I did enjoy it; it had some unique elements that really made the setting interesting.

  3. I'm a fan of Cruel Beauty and Ella Enchanted as well. And I almost picked up Tiger Moon from the library the other day, but I already had a gargantuan stack of books. So I decided on next time. :)

    1. I wish Gail Carson Levine's books got more love. They're such cute fairytale retellings! Which reminds me... one of these days, I need to get the sequel to A Tale of Two Castles from the library...