Top Ten Tuesday: Fairy Tale Retellings

As mentioned multiple times on this blog, fairy tale retellings are my favourite ever.  So this Top Ten Tuesday made me jump in glee.  As always it is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

Top Ten Tuesday, TTT

The first fives are some of my all time most beloved books.  Catherynne Valente and Juliet Marillier appears twice each because they are literary goddesses, for whom I am not worthy.

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1.  Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier is my favourite Beauty and the Beast retelling ever, and I have encountered them in numerous iterations.  From the setting, to the complex characters, to the intense, passionate romance – every part of this book is perfect.

2.  Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier is the book that made me converted from a fan to blind adoration and worship. Based off The Six Swans, this is a heartbreaking, intense, ultimately rewarding tale about the world’s best sister and her struggle to save her brother.  Also the romance? Swoon.

3.  In The Night Gardens + The City of Coins & Spices by Catherynne Valente is the 1001 Nights retelling everyone should be reading.  I reread this series once a year, I will never shut up about it, I will also never stop being amazed at the sheer genius and mastery of language and plot in this story.  There are literal hundreds of tales being tied together seamlessly.  All the characters defy expectations, and amazing female characters bursting at the seams. Omg, read it, read it.  I must review it when I reread it this year.

4.  Deathless by Catherynne Valente gave me the world’s worst book hangover.  This is a retelling of the Russian fairy tale Koschei the Deathless.  At first a fairy tale, then a devastating tale of war, ultimately a dark story about love and finding one’s identity and omg feels.  I want to reread this one, but the last time I read it I literally could not pick up another book for a whole week.

5.  Fables by Bill Willingham is so fun, subversive, unexpected, and with amazingly beautiful art.  I don’t often read graphic novels but I go gaga for this one.  If you like Once Upon A Time TV show, you should be throwing yourself at these books because they are amazing and possibly better.

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6.  The Child Thief by Gerald Brom, I always knew Peter Pan was kind of an asshole (all kids are :P) so I am totally all for a dark retelling of it.

7.  Speakeasy:  12 Dancing Princesses (possibly the world’s cutest fairy tale), the Roaring 20s, and CATHERYNNE VALENTE.  I must have it.

8.  The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness I’ve read and really enjoyed though it’d decidedly different from all his other novels (all his novels are different from one another, that’s why I love him).  Plus it’s based on an Asian fairy tale not often portrayed at all in fiction (the only other instance I can think of is the manga Ceres).

9.  The Darkest Part of the Forest in Holly Black sounds like a very interesting retelling of Snow White, plus it has good reviews from sources I trust.  I am intrigued!

10.  The Sleeper and The Spindle:  Neil Gaiman, some princesses that saves themselves, and gorgeous illustrations.  How do I not already own this? *goes off to bookdepository*


For more fairy tale retellings check out my two lists HERE & HERE.

What are your favourite retellings? THOUGH LBR I AM STALKING ALL YOUR TTT POSTS AS SOON AS I WAKE UP.

78 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Fairy Tale Retellings

    • Ooo I hope you enjoy them, especially my favourite fives, they are so dear to my heart eeee ❤ !

      So I take it the fairy tale element isn't too prominent in The Darkest Part of the Forest? I AM A BIT SAD TO HEAR THIS.

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  1. I have not read ANY of these! *sobs* 😦 😦
    I really want to read something by Juliet Marillier! I’ve seen a lot of her books around with this post today. I think I’ll start with the Beauty and the Beast retelling! It sounds amazing and I do love Beauty & The Beast.
    I also want to read The Darkest Part of the Forest. It sounds fantastic and all the reviews I’ve read have been great.
    My favorite retelling has to be Sarah Fine’s Of Metal and Wishes (Phantom of the Opera!) and also Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay. I also love the Lunar Chronicles books.

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    • Juliet Marillier is so fantastic, her heroine are usually traditionally feminine but they have strength of character and fortitude, plus she really hones in on the power of love. Her work are so lovely, I especially loved Daughter of The Forest!

      *looks at Of Metal and Wishes* Ooo Phantom of the Opera AND an East Asian protagonist? I AM SOLD! Plus BatB in space? I am too excited! I really liked the first of the TLC books, I must finish the rest before Winter is out!

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  2. Despite loving fairy tale retellings, I haven’t read any of these. How is that possible?! Oh wait, false alarm. I did read the first volume of Fables. (And would read more if the library had them.) But the two Marillier titles are definitely on my TBR list, and I’m thinking about some of those Valente and Gaiman books. Great list!

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    • Graphic novels are SO HARD TO FIND in library, this makes me sad because I don’t really purchase them.

      The Marillier are beautiful, especially Daughter of the Forest. The Cat Valente books are fantastic omg I get emotional thinking about them – While In the Night Garden is pretty polarising because of the writing style (think story within story within story, it’s like the Russian nesting doll of books), you should try Deathless because it’s pretty much well loved!

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  3. The Child Thief is definitely a interesting read. I really enjoyed it but it was really dark, gritty and sometimes downright uncomfortable at times. I haven’t read Darkest Park of the Forest either but I’ve been eyeing it for sometime. I had no idea it was a Snow White retelling! How exciting!

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    • Ooo your comment on The Child Thief makes me want to own it even more :D!

      I think The Darkest Part of the Forest is a vague retelling. Two siblings love a faery prince who’s been sleeping in a glass casket for centuries. It has gender & sexuality diversity as well, yay!

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    • I was afraid the tone of this book was too informal, I wrote it delirious on lack of sleep and fueled by only fangirling XD SO I AM GLAD YOU LIKED IT!

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  4. Great list! I’ve actually never heard of any of the books on your ‘beloved retellings’ list, but they all sound intriguing. *adds them all to TBR* I never knew The Crane Wife was a retelling. That just makes me want to read it even more. :3

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    • I love all the ones in my first five so so so much, I really hope you enjoy them too OR ELSE I DON’T THINK WE CAN BE FRIENDS? Just kidding, maybe!

      The Crane Wife is based on an East Asian tale where the dude steals a celestial being’s clothing and forces her to be his wife? Messed up, but that’s how Patrick Ness sorta portrays it.

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  5. I don’t recognize any of these books, except for The Darkest Part of the Forest. Dammmmmmit there goes more additions to my TBR. I will practically read anything labeled as a retelling.

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    • I really hope you find something you enjoy in this list. Especially recommending Marillier and Valente books forever ❤ They are so fantastic, Marillier has classic fantasy and strong but feminine heroine with a heart full of love down pay. Valente creates the most unique worlds and her prose is beautiful and mesmerising, she's a verified wordsmith! ❤ ❤

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    • Oooo that video game looks too good! The world does not have enough time for both books and games and blogging and reall life *CRIES*

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  6. I LOVE your list. I’ve only heard of a couple of them and now the rest are added to my TBR pile. Fairy tale retellings are my favorite and I can’t believe I haven’t heard of most of these! 🙂

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    • They’re mostly older titles, I love the new ones too like The Lunar Chronicles and Cruel Beauty – but I tried to list lesser known ones because there’s a hundred other lists that beautifully captures the recent releases haha. I hope you find something you enjoy ❤

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      • I so appreciate that since I had no idea they existed. And my list was definitely one of those that named the new releases. I’m really excited to read Deathless, it’s now moved to the top of my TBR list. 🙂

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      • YAY! I really hope you enjoy it, it’s such a beautifully written book. I look forward to hearing what you think :D!

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  7. Somehow I completely overlooked the fact that Heart’s Blood is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but now it seems obvious. 😛 The two Marillier novels are actually the only ones I’ve read off this list, though I’ve read a few from your two linked lists.

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    • Haha, I read Heart’s Blood during a summer where I was exclusively reading fairy tale retellings, so it stuck XD You also asked me which Marillier book I enjoyed best in my other post? It’s Daughter of the Forest! Never has a book messed with my feels so much, Sorcha is beautiful and brave and I love her. I also really enjoyed all of the rest of the Sevenwater books! I’ve read them all 😀

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    • Go forth with the knowledge that your next paycheck will be well spent 😉 Can’t wait to see what you think of some of the titles!

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  8. The Crane Wife was indeed special! Loved it so much.
    Also, I approve of your love for Marillier. Ik wasn’t too keen in Heart’s Blood but Daughter of the Forest was stunning. I should reread it and continue the series at long last!

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    • Sorry you didn’t like Heart’s Blood! But I agree that Daughter of the Forest was beautiful, I actually think it’s Juliet Marillier’s best books – though I adored the rest of the Sevenwater series, Sorcha’s story was just so intense and emotionally charged. I felt the rest of the books didn’t have the same grit.

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    • The romance and the world is totally intoxicating. LOOK AT THIS QUOTE:

      “Oh, I will be cruel to you, Marya Morevna. It will stop your breath, how cruel I can be. But you understand, don’t you? You are clever enough. I am a demanding creature. I am selfish and cruel and extremely unreasonable. But I am your servant. When you starve I will feed you; when you are sick I will tend you. I crawl at your feet; for before your love, your kisses, I am debased. For you alone I will be weak.

      And now go and run and buy it!!

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  9. Looove Fables! Though I do think the story is petering off I to oblivion in the latest volumes. Hopefully it ends soon because the best bits have already passed. There are definitely some books I want to read fro. Your list! Gaiman especially.

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    • I haven’t caught up to the latest volumes because my public library is FAILING ME D: I am very excited about the Gaiman one, I am preordering with my next paycheck (tonight, yay!)

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      • Hahaha, yay for paychecks! I actually JUST bought more books tonight, too, though they’re preorders so technically I’m not gonna get them until December…oh well. Early Christmas present!

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      • Preorders are the most dangerous! Because I don’t recieve them right away, in the meanwhile I feel I have to stockpile more books. The horror, the horror XD

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  10. I’ve seen Daughter of the Forest on so many lists today and that gives me a happy warm feeling in my tummy. I agree, it’s such a great book! I’ve been slowly working my way through the series, hopefully one of these days I can get to book three. Have you also read her book Dreamer’s Pool? It’s AMAZING. Not a fairy tale retelling per se, but it does have deliciously dark fairy tale vibes. I think you’ll like it, if you haven’t already read it 🙂

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    • I know! Whenever I see Daughter of the Forest on someone’s list I’m like HELLO MY NEW BFF ❤ ! I have Dreamer's Pool but I am saving it for a book slump kind of day — which I feel is imminent!! I am glad to hear it has the Mogsy Stamp of Approval 😀 !

      Book 1 & 3 of the Sevenwater are the strongest, so I think you'll love 3! The rest of the spin offs are also good but I feel they are 'defanged' a bit compared to Sorcha's story.

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  11. I love dark retellings so I’ll attempt the Child Thief when my heart is ready. Tiger Lily is still my favourite Peter Pan retelling even though it breaks me into a thousand pieces. My list is filled with Catherynne Valente’s work too! I also feel like re-reading Heart’s Blood – we’re agreed on the best Beauty and the Beast retelling. My list contains the retellings on my TBR but some of my other favourites are Bitter Greens (epic historical Rapunzel retelling) and The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth (beautiful take on the story of a girl who gave stories to the Grimm brothers). Also, In The Forests of Serre by Patricia Mckillip (retells the Russian folktales of Baba Yaga and the firebird in an original and magical way.)

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    • Tiger Lily sounds excellent! I must look into it 😀 And thank you for all of your retelling recs, I must look into all of them, especially The Wild Girls, which sounds fantastic. Heart’s Blood has pretty much ruined me for other BatB retellings!

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  12. Awk, I have only read one of these! AND I CALL MYSELF A RETELLING NERD. Pfft. D: hehe, Oh oh but I didn’t realise The Darkest Part of the Forest was a snow White retelling??? REALLY? I just thought it was faeries and mythology. I do so love it though and you neeeed read it. Holly Black is AMAZING.
    And I need to read the Crane Wife because PATRICK NESS.
    Also your graphics. ❤ SO BEAUTIFUL.

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    • I THOUGHT DARKEST OF THE FOREST WAS DERIVED FROM SNOW WHITE? It appears I am wrong as everyone who has read the book is confused by my referral to it as a retelling lmao! But it still looks fantastic!

      Crane Wife is very different from his YA books but still excellent because Patrick Ness is flawless.

      THANK YOU ❤

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  13. OMG, OMG, OMG. ISTG IF I HAVE ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW I’LL SPLURGE EVERYTHING ON THIS LIST. (Don’t let me go to your masterpost because my TBR list will surely EXPLODE)

    Squeeeeeee!!! I am seriously in need of these books just because you seem to love it and your description of them makes me want to go and buy it all!!!! Awesome list Aentee! *stalks off to Goodsread to add all of them to my TBR oops*

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    • I hope you love them just as much as I did when you get around to reading them ❤ ❤ AND ARE WE FRIENDS ON GOODREADS?

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    • I’m so happy to learn of all the Daughter of the Forest fans through this post haha ❤ Yay! I love that book so much, Sorcha's story was so intense and beautiful. I adore the rest of the series as well but that one book is Marillier's standout, for sure!

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  14. I love how many non-mainstream retellings you’ve spotlighted! I really want to check out the Valente 1001 nights retelling, since Wrath and the Dawn didn’t completely live up to my expectations. And basically all the Valente books sound so fabulous — if she writes this many fantastic retellings, she may become my fav author quite soon.

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    • Catherynne Valente’s version of 1001 nights is a work of art! She weaves stories within stories within stories so effortlessly, all the while maintaining beautiful, luscious prose. You won’t be disappointed! I couldn’t fully get into The Wrath and The Dawn because it stood in the shadows of In The Night Gardens! Deathless is also very intense, raw, romantic, sexy and overall wonderful!

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  15. I ADORE Juliet Marillier! Daughter of the Forest broke my heart so many times, in the best way possible. Sorcha is such an incredible protagonist. Have you read Dreamer’s Pool yet? Definitely recommend that one! I’m also a huge Holly Black fan so I love seeing The Darkest Part of the Forest on here. It’s not in the same league as Marillier (who is?) but it has a very complex sibling relationship, beautiful writing, and lots of diversity. I hope you like it! 🙂

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    • You are like the third person today to recommend me Dreamer’s Pool. I haven’t read it yet but clearly the universe is sending me signs!! It must be read this month. Glad to hear you also enjoyed The Darkest Part of the Forest :D!! Thanks for commenting Danya, just in case all my fangirly posts on your blog didn’t make it clear I LOVE YOUR SITE.

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