I'm doing something a little different this week. The Broke and the Bookish does a top ten every week. This week the list is Ten Fairytale Retellings I've Read/Want To Read. Since I love fairytale retellings, I couldn't resist playing.
To play, or to see what made the cut on others' lists, go to: The Broke and the Bookish
Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
I was the youngest of three daughters. Our literal-minded mother named us Grace, Hope, and Honour. . . . My father still likes to tell the story of how I acquired my odd nickname: I had come to him for further information when I first discovered that our names meant something besides you-come-here. He succeeded in explaining grace and hope, but he had some difficulty trying to make the concept of honour understandable to a five-year-old. . . . I said: ‘Huh! I’d rather be Beauty.’
By the time it was evident that I was going to let the family down by being plain, I’d been called Beauty for over six years. . . . I wasn’t really very fond of my given name, Honour, either . . . as if ‘honourable’ were the best that could be said of me.
The sisters’ wealthy father loses all his money when his merchant fleet is drowned in a storm, and the family moves to a village far away. Then the old merchant hears what proves to be a false report that one of his ships had made it safe to harbor at last, and on his sad, disappointed way home again he becomes lost deep in the forest and has a terrifying encounter with a fierce Beast, who walks like a man and lives in a castle. The merchant’s life is forfeit, says the Beast, for trespass and the theft of a rose—but he will spare the old man’s life if he sends one of his daughters: “Your daughter would take no harm from me, nor from anything that lives in my lands.” When Beauty hears this story—for her father had picked the rose to bring to her—her sense of honor demands that she take up the Beast’s offer, for “cannot a Beast be tamed?”
Briar Rose by Jane Yolan
A powerful retelling of Sleeping Beauty that is "heartbreaking and heartwarming."
Ever since she was a child, Rebecca has been enchanted by her grandmother Gemma's stories about Briar Rose. But a promise Rebecca makes to her dying grandmother will lead her on a remarkable journey to uncover the truth of Gemma's astonishing claim: I am Briar Rose. A journey that will lead her to unspeakable brutality and horror. But also to redemption and hope.
Red As Blood: Tales from the Sisters Grimmer by Tanith Lee
What if Snow White were the real villain and the "wicked queen" just a sadly maligned innocent? What if awakening Sleeping Beauty would be the mistake of a lifetime - of several lifetimes? What if the famous folk tales were retold with an eye to more horrific possibilities? Only Tanith Lee could retell the world-famous tales of the Brothers Grimm (and others) as they might have been told by the Sisters Grimmer!
Beautyby Sheri S. Tepper
Drawing on the wellspring of tales such as "Sleeping Beauty," Beauty is a moving novel of love and loss, hope and despair, magic and nature. Set against a backdrop both enchanted and frightening, the story begins with a wicked aunt's curse that will afflict a young woman named Beauty on her sixteenth birthday. Though Beauty is able to sidestep tragedy, she soon finds herself embarked on an adventure of vast consequences. For it becomes clear that the enchanted places of this fantastic world--a place not unlike our own--are in danger and must be saved before it is too late.
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
In a world where darkness threatens, there is Sunshine . . .
Although it had been mostly deserted since the Voodoo Wars, there hadn’t been any trouble out at the lake for years. Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, head baker at her family’s busy and popular café in downtown New Arcadia, needed a place to get away from all the noise and confusion—of the clientele and her family. Just for a few hours. Just to be able to hear herself think.
She knew about the Others, of course. Everyone did. And several of her family’s best regular customers were from SOF—Special Other Forces—which had been created to deal with the threat and the danger of the Others.
She drove out to her family’s old lakeside cabin and sat on the porch, swinging her feet and enjoying the silence and the silver moonlight on the water.
She never heard them coming. Of course, you don’t when they’re vampires.
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
The imperious Winter colonists have ruled the planet Tiamat for 150 years, deriving wealth from the slaughter of the sea mers. But soon the galactic stargate will close, isolating Tiamat, and the 150-year reign of the Summer primitives will begin. All is not lost if Arienrhod, the ageless, corrupt Snow Queen, can destroy destiny with an act of genocide. Arienrhod is not without competition as Moon, a young Summer-tribe sibyl, and the nemesis of the Snow Queen, battles to break a conspiracy that spans space.
A Kiss at Midnight (Fairy Tales Book 1) by Eloisa James
The Cinderella story moves to Regency England—with more than a few twists and turns along the way! With A Kiss at Midnight, the remarkable Eloisa James spins a delicious tale involving a carriage, a godmother, a pair of rats…and a beauty with no interest whatsoever in getting married—and certainly not to a prince!
When Beauty Tamed the Beast (Fairy Tales Book 2) by Eloisa James
A wonderful spin on a much-beloved fairy tale, Eloisa James’s When Beauty Tamed the Beast is heart-soaring and fun historical romance at its finest. No wonder People magazine raves about her books, saying, “Romance writing does not get much better than this.” Eloisa’s delightful take on Beauty and the Beast unfolds in Regency England, where a beastly, bad-tempered Earl matches wits with a brazen beauty who has vowed to make the handsome grump fall in love with her in two short weeks.
Maybe it's a cheat to include the short story I wrote, but it seems like something would be wrong if my own story wasn't one of my favorites, so I'm including Snow White & the Eighth Dwarf.
You always knew there was something fishy about Snow White's story, didn’t you? Seven lusty men. One young, nubile woman. Living innocently together in a cottage in the woods.
But life ain't no fairy tale.
Now Bitchy, the eighth dwarf, tells the real story of Snow White and it's nothing like you imagined. Or maybe it is.
There's one retelling that's on my wish list. I'm not 100% sure that Robin Hood counts as a fairy tale, but mythology probably counts so . . .
Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen
Posing as one of Robin Hood's thieves to avoid the evil Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only Big John and Robin Hood know the truth-that the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. It's getting harder to hide as Gisbourne's camp seeks to find Scarlet and drive Robin Hood out of Nottinghamshire.
But Scarlet's instinct for self-preservation is at war with a strong sense of responsibility to the people who took her in when she was on the run, and she finds it's not so easy to turn her back on her band and townspeople. As Gisbourne draws closer to Scarlet and puts innocent lives at risk, she must decide how much the people of Nottinghamshire mean to her, especially John Little, a flirtatious fellow outlaw, and Robin, whose quick smiles and temper have the rare power to unsettle Scarlet. Full of exciting action, secrets, and romance, this imaginative retelling of the classic tale will have readers following every move of Robin Hood and band of thieves.
Have you read any of these?