One of the most popular fairy tale of all time. Of course it would be: who doesn’t love a rags-to-riches and make over story!
- Ash by Malinda Lo: Cinderella falls in love with the Prince’s Huntress instead of the Prince.
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer: The first of the Lunar Chronicles series: Linh lives in a futuristic world called New Beijing, and she’s half a cyborg! Highly recommended.
- Bound by Donna Jo Napoli: The story is retold in a new setting: ancient China.
- Ash and Brambles by Sarah Prineas: Pin is a seamstress, forced by the fairy godmother to create ball gowns worthy of those fairy tales. A story on agency and freedom, released in September 2015.
- Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: A classic, Ella is cursed into obedience, but she still finds ways to rebel.
- Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George: Part of her Twelve Dancing Princesses series. Poppy is the main character, and she finds herself in the middle of a plot schemed by the Fairy Godmother.
- Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge: A dark novella from the author of Cruel Beauty. Neither the Cinderella or her prince believes in love. Maia had to pretend to be happy her whole life, as her dead mother made a terrible bargain with the kingdom’s most evil force: any who hurts Maia will be punished by this curse.
- Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott: Apparently marketed as Cinderella meets Memoirs of a Geisha. Suzume is trained in the art of shadow-weaving and assumes multiple identities.
My favourite retelling of the story is the Disney movie: Tangled. This list makes a special appearance due to the request of Kristy from Tea, Books and Me!
- Cress by Marissa Meyer: The third installment of The Lunar Chronicles, a great series I’ve mentioned multiple times in these posts! Cress has been imprisoned on a satellite since childhood.
- Golden by Cameron Dokey: Rapunzel is born bald, her mother couldn’t love her and so she gave her to the kind sorceress, Melisandre.
- Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale: A retelling set in the Old West with a spunky Rapunzel.
- Towering by Alex Flinn: A modern take on Rapunzel
- Zel by Donna Jo Napoli: Zel has lived with her mother in the secluded Swiss Alps her whole life. When a young prince arrives and steals Zel’s love and attention, her mother will do everything to prevent her from leaving.
- Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth: Part retelling, part historical fiction following Charlotte Rose de la Force (who wrote Persinette, later adapted by the Brothers Grimm into Rapunzel!) Weaving the stories of three women: promises kick-ass ladies and a touch of magic.
- Don’t Fall by Rachel Schieffelbein: A contemporary retelling of Rapunzel. It follows Anya who lives in a isolation with her mother at the edge of town.
I was never excited by this story, the princess had no agency from birth until marriage. Let’s hope these retellings improve on it!
- Spindle’s End by Robin Mckinley: Goodreads gives this one mixed reviews: seems to be an expansion of the original tale where the princess can speak to animals.
- Briar Rose by Jane Yolen: Becca has always been enchanted by her grandmother’ Gemma’s favourite story – Briar Rose. On her deathbed, Gemma claims that she is the princess of the story, and asks Becca to find her castle and the truth behind the story.
- A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn: Jack wanders off on a tour of European museums, and wakes up in a castle filled with sleeping people. He then becomes the prince of the fairy tale we all know.
- Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay: This book promises to be a mash up of Game of Thrones and Brothers Grimm. Princess Aurora has superhuman strength and cursed to destroy the free will of all men who kisses her. She dons a male disguise to fight and free her brother from the ogre queen.
- A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan: Rosalinda has been asleep for 62 years before she’s woken by true love’s kiss, the book follows how she deals with a world that’s moved on without her.
- Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey: When Aurore finds out about her curse, she embarks on a quest to defeat the evil magic herself.
Twelve Dancing Princesses
The fairy tale equivalent of teenage rebelling, I’ve always been charmed by the ideas of sisters sneaking off to ‘clubbing’ every night.
- Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier: It’s actually through this book that I first heard of the fairy tale. As always, Marillier’s book is magical and utterly charming – all about the bonds of sisterhood, family, the best frog in all of fiction!
- Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George: Together, a princess and a young soldier searches for a way to break the curse that forces princesses to dance at the midnight ball.
- The Night Dance by Suzanne Weyn: A mix of The Twelve Dancing Princesses and an Arthurian legend.
- The Girls at the Kingfisher Club: A retelling set during the Roaring Twenties in Manhattan. It follows Jo, the eldest of eleven sister.
- Entwined by Heather Dixon: Dancing has been outlawed in the kingdom since the death of our princesses’ mother. An enigmatic figure called the Keeper allows them a secret passage to his silver forest where they can dance to their heart’s desire – but there’s a cost.
Part 3 to come! Happy reading 🙂