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.
I’ve always been a great fan of fairy tales, whether it be in told through books or Disney movies or comics. These stories have always been ubiquitous, inspiring generations of writers time and again. I love a well-done retelling as it refreshes the classic theme to capture a modern audience. However, 2015 is particularly swept up with this fairy tale retelling charm, I can barely keep track of my to-be-read/to-be-watched list. Below is a list of all the books I have read or hope to read, sorted by tales for your perusal! I hope someone else also finds this helpful.
Note: I was inspired to make this post after reading Mishma’s post on book trends on Chasing Faerytales. I thought that fairy tales, like other trends, aren’t just a passing phase. They’ve always been around, but it’s our luck that they’re extra prolific on this year’s catalogue of books!
EDIT: This turned out a longer post than I anticipated, so I will use my authority as blogmistress to declare this Part One of Many. Featured today are the tales of Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, Red Riding Hood and The Little Mermaid.
I’ve always been a little bit creeped out by the tale of Snow White. I blame this primarily on the dwarves in the Disney version. It’s also due to the idea of a prince falling in love with a corpse he sees in the forest. The way the evil queen hounds her in the original version was also dark and twisted – what with poisoned comb and suffocating ribbons.
Nameless by Lili St. Crow: An urban fantasy revolving around Cami, the adopted daughter of a mafia lord in a magic-ridden world. Not sure how this is related to Snow White, but it’s been marketed as such. Plus, bonus pretty cover!
Fairest & Winter by Marissa Meyer: The Lunar Chronicles series is one big fairy tale story, connecting many beloved princesses. Fairest is a novella that zones in on Queen Levana, whereas we will see Winter feature our dark-skinned Snow White.
The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman: This one mixes Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. I want it because i) Neil Gaiman! ii) promises of princesses who rescue themselves and iii) the illustrations (by Chris Riddell) that have been floating around the internet are drop dead gorgeous.
The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman: Nag’s End, Rowan’s tranquil village, is thrown into chaos and confusion when five horsemen rides off into the forest and are later found dead. The book has very polarising reviews, but I’m still interested in checking it out as it seems like a creepy, dark fantasy.
Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne Valente: The protagonist is labelled ‘Snow White’ by her stepmother as an insult, she’s half-native American, so her skin will never be the colour of snow. This is a mix between Western + fantasy, I do not like Westerns but I do love Catherynne Valente, so I’m very interested in this title.
Mirrored by Alex Flinn: Tbh I was not impressed by Alex Flinn’s take on Beauty & the Beast. Nonetheless, this version of Snow White focus on the protege of the witch – I love baddies as protagonist so I might have to give this a whirl.
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi: This book is narrated by the stepmother, her stepdaughter, and her biological daughter. It’s set in a world without magic and brings up questions about race and identity using the familiar mirror as a symbol. Again, it has mixed reviews, but it sounds very intriguing!
Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Macguire: I confess to never having read any of his books, but I thought he should be included as he’s such a prolific writer of these retellings. It appears to be a cross between historical fiction starring the Borgias & Snow White.