Top Ten Rewritten Fairy Tales09:00
Today I’m linking up with The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday again. This week is a free topic; pick your own subject for a top ten list. After not much thought at all, I decided to make this week’s post a top ten list of my favourite rewritten fairy tales. There are so many good rewrites out there, so I didn’t have any trouble finding books to go on this week’s list.
1. Princess Ben
Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Princess Ben is not your typical princess. She’s not slim, well mannered, and certainly not interested in learning anything about politics or being a proper princess. This is an imaginative rewrite of Sleeping Beauty with the princess taking control of her own fate. Sleeping Beauty has always seemed to me to be the hardest fairy tale to rewrite, as the princess spends most of the story sleeping, but Princess Ben gets round that in a very interesting way that really works.
2. Wildwood Dancing
This book made it onto my list last week as well, but it definitely earns another mention. This book is based on the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Twelve sisters can sometimes be hard to keep track of, so this book has only five. It’s got everything in it, from true love and evil relatives, to an enchanted frog. This book is beautiful.
This is probably one of the most famous fairy tale rewrites around at the moment. It’s an amazing sci-fi retelling of Rapunzel, and is the third book in the Lunar Chronicles series, which have all been based on different fairy tales. Why haven’t I picked either Cinder or Scarlet, the first two books? I’m sad to say I haven’t yet got my hands on the books yet. Hopefully I’ll find them soon.
4. Ella Enchanted
Gail Carson Levine
What would happen if you were cursed from birth with unfailing obedience? That would make the Cinderella story that much more interesting. This is another really famous fairy tale rewrite, and for a good reason. It’s funny, creative, and full of the fantasy elements I love, such as centaurs and elves. Plus the prince, the fairy godmother, and Cinderella herself are so awesome that I wish there was another book so I could spend more time with them.
5. The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
So many of the old fairy tales just call the hero ‘Prince Charming’. But in fact, they’re all different people. So what happens when you get the Prince Charming from Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty together on a quest to save the kingdom? Certainly not what you expect. This book is a bundle of laughs, and the princes are not what the original fairy tales make them out to be. I don’t see many rewrites that focus on the princes, so this one is also pretty unique.
6. The Goose Girl
I don’t know much about the original tale behind this story, Goose Girl, but this book captured my imagination the first time I read it. The writing is beautiful, the story is a true fairy tale and the characters are loveable. It is special to me in another way, in that the magic in this book helped inspire elements of my own magic system. The other books in the series are just as good as this one, and should definitely be read as well.
7. Princess of the Silver Woods
Jessica Day George
This is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling with a difference. What if the wolf wasn’t the one you had to be afraid of? What if the grandmother wasn’t what you expected? This book has a large cast of sisters, a devoted family that would drop everything to help a relation in trouble, and a group of bandits who are not quite what they seem. This is another third book in a series, and I’m just itching to get my hands on the other two.
8. Book of a Thousand Days
This book is based off a fairy tale called Maid Maleen, and to tell the truth, I’d never heard of this fairy tale before I read this book. When a princess and her maid get bricked up inside a tower for one thousand days, there is bound to be a handsome prince trying to rescue them. But the princess isn’t the main character, and the maid might just turn out to be the true hero of this story.
9. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
Jessica Day George
East of the Sun, West of the Moon – This is a retelling of a fairy tale called East of the Sun, West of the Moon, and again, I’ve never actually read the original tale. But I have seen a couple of retellings of this tale, and I’ve loved them all. This book is set in the north, with plenty of ice and snow. It has an enchanted polar bear (why aren’t there more polar bears in fairy tales?) and a quest to save one’s true love. A true fairy tale.
10. The Frog Princess
In this humorous retelling of The Frog Prince, the prince is enchanted into frog form, and somehow convinces a princess to kiss him. But, instead of turning back into a human, everything goes wrong and both the prince and the princess are stuck as frogs Thus begins a long and dangerous quest to work out what went wrong and how to turn back into a human. This book and the other two in the trilogy are so much fun.
So that’s my top ten list of fairy tale rewrites. Have you read any of these books? What are your favourites? Any recommendations of other rewrites I should read?