So you like to read fairytale retellings?

28th May 2017
Books / 17 Comments

So you like to read fairytale retellings? - Simply Adrift
So you like to read fairytale retellings? - Simply Adrift

Do you like reading fairytale retellings? Because I really do. I love fantasy. And then I love fantasy that is based off of a fairytale.

To be honest, I love reading fairytale retelling’s because I love the magic of the original fairytale. As a child my parents would read me nursery rhymes which then changed to fairytales once I was a little older, but they weren’t just the classic fairytales like Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. There was also The Princess and the Pea, Rumpelstiltskin, The Snow Maiden, Snow White and Rose Red, The Twelve Dancing Princesses and so-on so forth.

I then discovered my mum’s book of Fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and read them thinking I was going to be reading happily-ever-afters. Yeah, nope. The Little Mermaid didn’t get her prince but instead had her tongue cut out. A poor little girl wished she could dance, she was given red shoes that could dance, but what she did not realise was that they would not stop dancing. She could not take them off and so she died dancing with them. That story scared the crap out of me. There were no happy endings there. But they were definitely interesting.

So getting to read all of these cool new fairytale retelling’s is like getting the magic of the original fairytale but also getting more. I love to read the retelling’s because I find it really cool and interesting to see what new thing the author can bring to the table. Author’s can do so much with the original and put their own ideas into it and I love it.

I feel like there are so many fairytale retelling’s out there but I’m always excited when I hear about another being published.

I thought I had read more fairytale retellings than I actually have which is interesting! I also went through a phase of only reading Beauty and the Beast retellings when I was younger before I had my goodreads account, so a lot of the retellings I can’t remember the name of and couldn’t find them.

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If you like retellings, have you checked out these?

Cinder by Marissa MeyerThrone of Glass by Sarah J. MaasA long, long sleep by Anna Sheehan >> Simply Adrift

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles series incorporates Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rupunzel and Snow White. While set in the sci fi futuristic world. I loved this series for it drew on the base of the fairytale but was woven into a whole story. Each book is focused on a different fairytale but is apart of the whole story.


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas’ book Throne of Glass was originally pitched as a Cinderella retelling. And this book definitely feels like it. But of course as you read more books in the series you realise just how much it is not.

Sleeping Beauty

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

I love this retelling. A Long, Long Sleep is set in a futuristic world where stasis pods have been invented. Rosalinda wakes up 63 years after she was meant to wake. Her life as she knew it has disappeared. I loved this story because it broke my heart, the twist was shocking and the story is interesting. Plus it’s kind of a sci fi.

Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier >> Simply AdriftA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasBelle: A retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Cameron Dokey >> Simply Adrift

Beauty & the Beast

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier

Juliet Marillier is one of my favourite authors. I love most of her books and find her writing style to be really interesting and intriguing. All of her books are well researched and set in folk lore. Heart’s Blood is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but a very different kind of retelling. It’s dark, it’s a little scary, but it’s a page turner and so good!

A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J.Maas

Of course I had to mention this New Adult series. A Court of Thorns & Roses is a fantasy based off of Beauty and the Beast. The Beauty has to be taken away from her family to allow her family to live, the beast is a prince, the people of the land are stuck under a curse of masks etc. It’s a completely different take of the original story.

My review of A Court of Thorns & Roses

I think Beauty and the Beast is one of the fairytale’s that can be adapted really well.

Belle: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Cameron Dokey

To be honest I only vaguely remember reading this book. I was going through a stage of reading every Beauty & the Beast retelling I could find. I remember liking Belle but also finding it so different to the fairytale, I think in a good way.

The Shadow Queen by C. J. RedwineWildwood Dancing by Juliet MarillierReign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

The Shadow Queen by C. J. Redwine

The Shadow Queen definitely has to be one of the best Snow White retellings I’ve read. Lorelai is a bad ass chick, she’s strong, she’s independent and she does not take things lying down. I really loved this retelling! It has magic, it has dragons, it has romance and it has a strong female lead.

My Review of The Shadow Queen

The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

I read Wildwood Dancing when it was first published, and I absolutely adored it. This book was the first book of Marillier’s that I had ever read and it was the one that got me hooked on her stories. It’s a fairytale retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses mixed in with The Frog Prince. I adored the main character in the book and couldn’t put this book down.


Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

I really enjoyed Reign of Shadows in the end. Some parts of this story were perhaps a bit of a stretch for my imagination, but I enjoyed reading Luna. Luna is the long lost princess of Relhok, she’s blind and has been kept in a tower for her own safety since the eclipse happened 17 years ago. People want her dead, but most think she already is.

My Review of Reign of Shadows

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier >> Simply AdriftAlice in Zombieland by Gena ShowalterThe Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Swan Princess

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Mariller

Like I said I’ve read most of Mariller’s books. Daughter of the Forest is loosely based off of The Swan Princess but mostly is a role reversal. It’s set in folk lore and is incredibly interesting, I couldn’t put this book down!

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

I actually mostly enjoyed Alice in Zombieland. The premise was really interesting, zombies are spirits that like to feed off of other spirits but you can only see them if you’re in ‘spirit form’. However this series went downhill after book two in my opinion and it ended up being based on the romance rather than the zombies. I felt like there was so much more that could have been done with this premise but it fell short.

A Thousand and One Nights

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

I feel like I want to read more A Thousand and One Nights retellings because there is such potential in retelling this fable. The Wrath and the Dawn wasn’t what I thought it was and I didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else did. But a lot of people love this series.

My Review of The Wrath & the Dawn

Do you like reading fairytale retellings? What’s your favourite fairytale? What fairytale retelling are you excited for next year?


About Jordon

Jordon - Simply Adrift

I'm a 27 year old New Zealander that lives in London, England, mainly so I can travel Europe easily. In my spare time I like to read, watch Netflix, drink coffee, travel & explore new places, and dance around because it makes me happy. I love meeting new people and making new friends, so don't be shy, pop on over to my social media profiles and say hi!

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17 responses to “So you like to read fairytale retellings?

  1. Ah, I actually just bought The Wrath & the Dawn from a local bookstore yesterday – I’m a sucker for all things relating to the Thousand & One Nights myth, but there are not nearly enough books out that make use of all the gorgeous possibilities hidden there. I unfortunately haven’t read any of the other works on your list, though I must get on them soon! They look absolutely incredible, & my TBR has grown by a few titles – thank you so much for sharing, love. <3
    Topaz Winters recently posted…“Call me creature cobbled from medulla and the rhythm of song in a foreign tongue.” (a reading for you)My Profile

    • Everyone loves The Wrath & the Dawn! If you lower your expectations a bit I think you coudl really enjoy it. I had really high expectations when I read it so I was expecting a lot. And to be honest, to me the summary of the book makes it sound so much better. I feel like the book doesn’t actually live up to what the summary promises. However, book two gets better! I enjoyed that a lot more.

      I hope you enjoy it Topaz!
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    • Ohh I’ve heard a lot about Flame in the Mist, I can’t wait to read it. Especially as it’s a Mulan retelling, it’s such a cool tale to do a retelling of. Heartless is definitely on my list! I haven’t heard of The Child Thief though, I’ll have to check it out. I need to do more research to hunt out more retellings!
      Jordon @ Simply Adrift recently posted…So you like to read fairytale retellings?My Profile

  2. Thanks for this list Jordan! I always find fairytale retellings a hit or miss, but there are some on this list I haven’t checked out yet.

    I love the 12 dancing princesses, although I’m not too sure if it classifies as a fairytale retelling BUT I don’t know if I could pick a favourite retelling just yet! That’s too hard to decide. I do love the modern day fairytale though, and A Face Like Glass, is a standout for me.
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  3. I, too, love the creativity and playfulness of fairytale stories. There’s just something about being familiar with something but watching it get molded into something that is both comforting and exciting all at the same time. That being said, I definitely haven’t read that many. From your list I’ve read Cinder and Throne of Glass, and that’s it. I do own A Court of Thorns and Roses and The Wrath and the Dawn though, so someday I’ll get to those. (Someday… but who knows when, haha.)

    I think the unfortunate thing for me when it comes to fairytale retellings is that my memory is horrendous. I have read a lot of the original fairytales as part of one of my undergrad literature classes, but don’t really remember much about them (except they are as scarring as you mention)! Most of my memory of the fairytales then remains with the Disney adaptations, and even that’s a bit blurry. As a result, I feel like I sort of miss some of the nuances and connections that retellings make, which can be a bit sad. But hey, I still enjoy reading them and seeing how they work in what I do remember!

    Also, I really ought to check out Juliet Mariller’s work some day because I honestly think the only time I’ve ever heard her name is in relation to being someone’s favorite author.
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    • Ohh that actually sounds like fun that you had to read and research the original fairytales. To be honest I haven’t read a lot of fairytales in their original story. I feel like this is something I want to do! I also want to get a copy of the original Fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen because I have no idea where my mum’s version went, we cleared her stuff out when she passed away, I think that’s a book I would love to keep.

      Ohh you definitely have to check Juliet Marillier’s books out! Her writing style makes me nostalgic for the sorts of books published in the 90’s. It’s so different to authors writing this day in age in the same genres. I think perhaps because her stories are heavily based in folklore and she’s so good at writing it. The research she had to put into them shows and pays off.

      Her Sevenwater series is magical, I loved her Daughter of the Forest the most which was the first book in the series. I recommend starting off with one of the three I mentioned (Daughter of the Forest, Heart’s Blood, Wildwood Dancing) depending on what sounds more intriguing to you because they’re all highly rated and I wouldn’t be able to choose lol. Also, only read them when you’re in the mood for them because they’re all at least 400 pages. I feel like I could gush about Juliet Marillier and her books forever. Do it, read them!! 😀
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    • I loved Daughter of the Forest too! I wish I liked the rest of the series just a much! I remember I even DNF’ed one of the books because it was so very different and I wasn’t really having fun reading it. But I love Juliet Marillier’s other series Shadowfell, and Blackthorn & Grimm. Also I highly recommend her Wildwood series!
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  4. I *do* like retellings, how did you know?! 😛 Like you, I love getting to see how the author changes things up and uses the original in a creative way. That’s why I like to read the original before reading a retelling if I haven’t read the original yet. A Long, Long Sleep sounds interesting, I’m off to check that one out!
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  5. I love this! Even though there are so many of them, I’m a sucker for Beauty & the Beast retellings. My favorite of all time is Of Beast and Beauty, by Stacey Jay. I can’t stop recommending it to everyone because OMG IT’S SO AWESOME. It plays so well with the roles of beast and beauty, making it so we see we all have got a bit of both.

    From Cinderella retellings, my fave is a contemporary one that is quite similar to Geekerella by Ashley Poston, but Geekerella is super focused on the geek part. On the other hand, my fave, Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram focuses more on the family and friendship aspect. It also touches bullying and dealing with visible injures on the MCs body after an accident. It’s super emotional and wonderful!
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