I love doing Top Ten Tuesdays, I just wish I could be more consistent about it. This week’s theme is a semi-freebie, you’re meant to give your recommendation to a particular subset of people. I decided to target those who, like myself, adore fairy tales. I won’t be covering fairy tale retellings, because I’ve done that before. Instead, I want to recommend stories which follows fairy-tale narratives and possess the same timeless quality.
1. In The Night Garden by Catherynne Valente: Regulars of this blog will know that I mention this book in basically 80% of my recommendation posts. It’s my favourite of all time – and I plan to reread and review it on the blog this year to hassle you all into reading it (again). This is very loosely based on 1001 nights. Valente accomplishes the extraordinary feat of writing an expansive and immersive tale – spanning several lives and a multitude of stories. It’s multifaceted, subversive, and powerful.
2. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender: A multi-generational tale that packs a punch despite its relatively short length. The language used is evocative and atmospheric, painting a tale that illustrates the hopes and pains of love. Magical realism at its most captivating.
3. Stardust by Neil Gaiman: A classic tale given the modern treatment: boy sets off to find his destiny and win true love. At once nostalgic and irreverent, this coming-of-age story remains one of my favourite Gaiman novels. It reminds me that magic and love can be found in the most unlikely of places.
4. Wink, Poppy, Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke: Dark and mystifying, this book examines the role of fairy tales in our lives. The three voices in this book are intertwined yet distinct, leaving the reader to figure out the riddle: who’s the hero and who’s the villain. Although the ending lacks impact, the book is worth reading based on its gorgeous proses alone.
5. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: Deeply moving and beautifully executed, this WWII novel is filled with elements straight out of a storybook. Each sentence is exquisite and each metaphor carefully considered, making it an absolute joy to read. At once tragic and uplifting, it’s a fairy tale for the modern age.
6. Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier: I’ve been a long time fan of Juliet Marillier, and the Blackthorn & Grim series is her back in top form. Deftly weaving both fairy tale elements and Celtic lore, Marillier creates her own brand of dark and mesmerising cautionary tales. The best part? The heroine here plays the role of the wise, sagely ‘witch’ rather than the naive princess.
7. Uprooted by Naomi Novik: A spellbinding tale combining Polish folklore with strong female characters and relationships. Uprooted has it all: a dangerous Wood, a girl-abducting Dragon ;), and girls who save themselves.
8. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby: An unflinching commentary on the way society objectify women and its preoccupation with apperances. The story weaves between magic and reality with ease, using fairy tale elements to further enhance its message.
As you can see, stories with a fairy tale like edge is a weakness of mine. Have you read any of these? Which books are missing from the list that I should check out? Let me know below 😀