Theme of the Month: Fairy Tale Retellings

I have loved fairy tales for as long as I can remember. In fact, some of my earliest memories are me, reciting by heart the fairy tales I was listenting to on cassette (yes, I’m that old) before going to sleep every night. There were Grimm’s tales, Hans Christian Andersen, and some – though far too few – folkloric tales. Now literature offers new spins on classic fairy tales, involving cyborg Cinderellas, Wonderland at war, many different types of snow queens and stories based on all sorts of local folklore.

I’ve wanted to dive into this universe of fairy tale retellings for a while but I never seem to find the time. This month, that is June 2012, I’m making time and reading my way through some retellings on my TBR.

EDIT (March 2013): I may not stick to monthly themes anymore but I did read a few fairytale retellings in the meantime. I intend to keep this list updated as I get along. Recommendations are always welcome, whether you want me to read a book I already own or show me books that I don’t know yet, just leave your comment below.

CINDERELLA:

  • Marissa Meyer – Cinder (read 02 June 2012)
    A fun book with some great ideas that could have been explored a little more. Altogether, a very enjoyable read with only a few boring moments. The big revelation was sadly obvious and predictable but I’ll come back for some more Lunar Chronicles, anyways.
  • Mercedes Lackey – Phoenix and Ashes
  • Malinda Lo – Ash
  • Cameron Dokey – Before Midnight

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD:

  • Marissa Meyer – Scarlet

SLEEPING BEAUTY:

  • Cameron Dokey – Beauty Sleep
  • Sheri S. Tepper – Beauty
  • Robin McKinley – Spindle’s End

SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED:

  • Margo Lanagan – Tender Morsels (read in February 2013)tender morsels
    Most highly recommended! This puts a truly sinister spin on the old fairytale. I felt for the characters as if they were my friends and I was swept into a world full of magic, bears, and all the horrors that good old regular humanity brings to the table. Lanagan’s writing is gorgeous and I will read anything and everything else she has written.

SNOW WHITE:

  • Gregory Maguire – Mirror Mirror

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST:

  • Juliet Marillier – Heart’s Blood
  • Robin McKinley – Beauty (read 28 May 2012)
    A bad start to fairy tale retellings month. Basically a boring version of the Disney movie. I recommend to just watch the movie instead. This book really brings nothing new to the table and, for me, wasn’t worth the time spent reading.
  • Cameron Dokey – Belle

EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON:

  • Sarah Beth Durst – Ice
  • Jessica Day George – Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES:

  • Merrie Haskell – The Princess Curse

RUMPELSTILTSKIN:

  • Elizabeth C. Bunce – A Curse Dark as Gold

THE SNOW QUEEN:

  • Cameron Dokey – Winter’s Child
  • Anne Ursu – Breadcrumbs (read 17 Junie 2012)
    An adorable and beautifully written retelling. I liked Hazel immediately and could relate to her love for the imagination. I liked the “reality part” better than the fairy tale part but overall, this was a very good book for children.
  • Joan D. Vinge – The Snow Queen
  • Mercedes Lackey – The Wizard of London

THE SIX SWANS:

  • Juliet Marillier – Daughter of the Forest

RAPUNZEL:

  • Cameron Dokey – Golden

THE DEATH OF KOSCHEI THE DEATHLESS:

  • Catherynne M. Valente – Deathless (read in January 2013)deathless
    The most beautiful retelling I have read to date. Valente evokes Russia (both the real and the fairy side of it) with her lyrical, gorgeous language. Every other sentence begs to be printed out and hung on a wall, her characters are diverse and magical, and I don’t know how many times she broke my heart with this book. The highest recommendation on this list so far.

HUA MULAN:

  • Cameron Dokey – Wild Orchid

PETER PAN:

  • Régis Loisel – Peter Pan (graphic novel) (read 04 June 2012)
    Incredible. The best alternate version of Peter Pan I have read to date.  I fell in love with these books years ago and they haven’t lost any of their magic. I intend to re-read these a lot!
  • Brom – The Child Thief
  • Dave Barry – Peter and the Starcatchers
  • Andrea Jones – Hook & Jill (read in February 2013)hook and jill
    A dark and sexy version of Neverland in which Hook seduces Wendy (Jill) away from Peter Pan. This is based on the idea of what would happen if Wendy and the Lost Boys were to break Peter’s first rule and grew up. Great character development, a somewhat clunky, overly flowery style, but recommended for fans of Peter Pan.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND:

  • Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (read 12 June 2012)
    Meh. A mix of great ideas that mix Wonderland and sci-fi but sadly, the bad writing became more and more obivous as I read along. The author tells us everything, leaves nothing open for the readers’ imagination. Also: Very anticlimactic ending.

ROBIN HOOD:

  • Stephen R. Lawhead – King Raven Trilogy (Hood, Scarlet, Tuck)
  • A.C. Gaughen – Scarlet (read 06 June 2012)ScarletUS.indd
    Another bad read. Bland as hell with no plot to be found anywhere, lame characters and language that is both basic and trying to sound uneducated. So nothing to capture my interest, which is why I broke this off around the middle.

THE LEGEND OF KING ARTHUR:

  • T. H. White – The Once and Future King

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