Top Ten Tuesday – Fairy Tale Retellings

Today’s post from the ladies of the B&B is about fairy tale retellings. It’s supposed to be a list of our favourites, but I don’t know if I have ten that I would rank as faves. There are some that are excellent, but as with every genre craze, there are more that are just mediocre, and even more that are just terrible. I’m going to list a range from really good to readable. Let’s just ignore the terrible ones, okay? Okay.


Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

Extension of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Liir hid in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy did in the Witch. Left for dead in a gully, the teen is shattered in spirit and body. But silent novice Candle tends him at the Cloister of Saint Glinda, and wills him back to life with her music.
What dark force left Liir in this condition? Is he really Elphaba’s son? He has her broom and her cape – but what of her powers? Can he find his supposed half-sister, Nor, last seen in the forbidding prison Southstairs? Can he fulfill the last wishes of a dying princess? In an Oz under new and dangerous management, can Liir keep his head down long enough to grow up?

This is not only my favourite “retelling”, but one of my favourite books. It’s not really a retelling as an extension, but whatever – this one totally counts.  I liked Wicked a lot, but I loved Son of a Witch. Some people think it’s boring and confusing. I’m not one of those people.


Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Retelling of Cinderella

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future

I’ve only read the first book in this series, but it was pretty decent. I’ll probably get around to the rest of the series at some point. People seem to love it. I’ll probably wait until it’s completed. I hate waiting.


Black Apples (Collection) – Edited by Camilla Bruce and Liv Lingborn

Includes retellings of classic fairytales as well as new stories written in the same style.

Strip the fairytale princesses of their petticoats and tiaras, and what you have left are the Black Apples. These are stories of trials and survival, strength and defeat, exploring the bones of fairytales. Carolyn has stolen from the temple and is on the run, the mistress of the Gingerbread house is out of control, Bluebeard’s child collects hearts on her wall and a horse is not a horse… This collection offers eighteen new dark and delicious fairytales, some exploring the classic tales, others presenting brand new ones.

It’s excellent. Lives up to its beautiful cover. The stories are pretty dark – paedophilia, gender reassignment, murder, it’s all in there. The retelling of Hansel and Gretel is one of my favourites.


Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris–the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead. Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls’ bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett’s only friend–but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they’ve worked for?

It was entertaining. A decent enough audiobook read.


Ash by Malinda Lo

Retelling of Cinderella

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted. The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Readable. I kind of want to re-read it. Maybe that means it was better than I remembered. I think I had higher hopes for it than it could live up to.


Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Retelling of Bluebeard

When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi. Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.

I was excited for this novel. I love the story of Bluebeard. It was exciting to get a retelling of a story Disney hasn’t tackled yet. It was very middle of the road. After reading the retelling in Black Apples, it’s even more meh.

That’s about it for the ones I’ve read and want to list. There are more but they aren’t worth recommending to people. But, there are a couple fairytales I loved and would like to try to find retellings for. It can be books or movies or tv episodes. Any suggestions?

12 Dancing Princesses

Snow White and Rose Red (different from the Snow White story most people are familiar with)

The Red Shoes

The Seven Ravens

If I had decided to do this list in various medias, it could have been very different, but I decided to stick with books. But I cannot complete it without a special shoutout to one of my favourite fairy tale reimaginings – The Deathly Hallows


6 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Fairy Tale Retellings

    • I received it from the publisher for a review, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have found it either. I really, really liked it. More people should read it.

  1. I have Ash on my list as well. I just thought it sounded really interesting if it is written right.
    But you have a lot of books on the list that i will look up later. 🙂
    Great list 🙂

    • I read it a while ago, with a string of other retellings.i feel like I should read our again. It stocks out as an interesting take on the story though!

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