I love fairytale retellings. There’s something about a well-known classic being adapted and translated that gets me so excited, especially when the original pops through. Within the past few years, YA fantasy has had a rise in fairytale retellings, which allows us to experience and relive a beloved classic in the form of a new perspective.
Here is a collection of YA fairytale retellings that are slaying right now.
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Based on: Cinderella
Set in the raucous streets of New Beijing, a deadly plague ravages the city, while in space, a ruthless race watch and wait to make their move. The fate of world rests on the shoulders of gifted mechanic, Cinder, a cyborg. A second-class citizen, Cinder has a mysterious past and despised by her stepmother. Her life changes forever when she meets Prince Kai and she finds herself in the middle of an intergalactic war. In order to protect the world, Cinder must discover the secrets of her past, and herself.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Based on: Beauty and the Beast
Nineteen year old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods and a ferocious creature arrives and demands punishment. The wolf she killed was actually a Fae in disguise and so she is dragged to the terrifying magical land known as Prythian, occupied by the Fae. Feyre discovers her captor, who forces her to live on his land in punishment for her crime, is Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court and a powerful Fae. As she spends day after day with Tamlin, her feelings for the High Lord start to develop into something else, and she begins to rearrange everything she has ever been told about the deadly, immortal Fae. But, an curse on the land is only days away from being formed and an ancient enemy is growing stronger. Feyre is the only hope Prythian has: if she fails, Tamlin, are Prythian, are doomed forever.
Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Based on: Sleeping Beauty
Princess Aurora is Sleeping Beauty’s daughter and a formidable warrior princess, fighting to reclaim her lost throne. Though she looks delicate, Aurora is actually a powerful fairy who is cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, Aurora enlists the help of Prince Niklaas, also cursed, to fight against evil and free her brother from the terrifying ogre queen who stole Aurora’s throne years ago. Aurora and Niklaas are all that stands between good and evil.
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearse
Based on: Little Red Riding Hood
Scarlett March spends her life hunting the Fenris – the werewolves that took her eye after a brutal attack where she defended her sister, Rosie. Scarlett, armed with a hatchet and red cloak, slays the wolves, determined to protect other girls the way she did her sister. Rosie March hunts just as ferociously at her sister’s side. But, as more girls’ bodies begin showing up around the city, and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie starts dreaming about a life away from hunting wolves. Slowly, Rosie falls for Silas, the young woodsman who fights with an ax and is Scarlett’s only friend. Rosie must deal with fracturing her relationship with her sister, while dealing with the thrill of first love and hunting down murderous magical creatures.
The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell
Based on: Snow White and Sleeping Beauty
A young queen sets out to rescue a princess from a terrible enchantment on the eve of her wedding day. In chain mail and brandishing a sword, she follows a group of brave dwarves through mountains and tunnels to find the famous sleeping kingdom. The queen wants to decide her own future, but discovers that the princess is not quite what she expected.
The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
Based on: Twelve Dancing Princesses
Jo is the firstborn of twelve girls, the closest thing her eleven sisters have to a mother. Altogether, the Hamilton sisters elude their controlling father to dance the night away at a speakeasy. They call the Kingfisher Club home, where they spend almost every night dancing at, until there is a raid and the sisters are separated. Jo suddenly finds herself face-to-face with someone from her past: Tom, a bootlegger, and someone she hasn’t seen in almost ten years. Jo is forced to make a decision and choose between the demands of her father, her sisters, and her own happiness.
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
Based on: The Handless Maiden
Seventeen-year-old Minnow has lost everything: her family, her ability to trust, twelve years of her life, and her hands, all thanks to the Kevinian cult. After their Prophet was murdered and the camp set aflame, it becomes clear that Minnow knows something, but refuses to talk. Stuck in juvenile detention, Minnow must adjust to life away behind bars and un-learn everything she was taught to believe. When an FBI detective approaches Minnow about a deal, Minnow starts to recount the events that led up to her incarceration and that she just might get the freedom she has always dreamed of.
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire and Douglas Smith
Based on: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Gregory Maguire has uprooted everything we once thought about the world of Oz. It’s about a land were animals talk and want to be treated like citizens, where Munchkinlanders want stability and the Tin Man is a victim of domestic violence. Then, there’s the small green-skinned girl Elphaba who grows up to become the Wicked Witch of the West. But before that happened, she was a smart, misunderstood little girl who challenged the very notion of good and evil and who perhaps wasn’t so wicked after all.
Let me know in the comments below if you have a favourite YA fairtytale retelling!