Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Favorite Fairy Tales Revisited

Have you seen the previews for Disney's Into The Woods yet? 

I'm excited about this movie for several reasons.

  1. It's based on a Broadway musical.
  2. It's Disney.
  3. It features an amazing cast - including Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and Johnny Depp.
  4. And, it's a retelling of traditional fairy tales.
I absolutely love fairy tales and reading modern/new versions of those tales. It's so interesting to see what ideas and themes come up when we mix familiar ideas with new ones. The best part of retelling is that moment when you think you know where the story is going because you've heard the tale so many times only to find that the author has somehow managed to shake up the plot and throw in a twist that you never imagined.

I thought that I would make a list of my favorite revisited fairy tales, but when I tried to make the list, I came up short. I know that there are so many good fairy tale books out there. So, I have no idea why I could only think of two.

My absolute favorite retelling is Beauty by Robin McKinley. As you might have guessed from the title, it's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I cannot recommend this book enough. Robin McKinley is one of my favorite authors, and when she writes a good book, it really is a good book.

The second I like that I was able to think of is The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey. It takes place in a setting called the Five Hundred Kingdoms. In this world, the different fairy tales collide. At first it seems as if the story is going to resemble Cinderella, but then it twists into the story of the fairy godmother instead (not a spoiler given that the title should indicate that to you.) Also, it turns out that this book is the first in a series which I didn't realize when I read it. So, I've now added the next 5 to my to-read list on Goodreads. The 100 books challenge is turning into the read-everything-on-my-to-read-list-challenge.

Since I only have two fairy tales books to recommend, I'll need some help from readers here. What are your favorite retellings? Are there any that you'd like to read?


  1. I am not that very fond of fairy retellings, or at least I thought I wasn't until I read this really interesting and not very well-known book The Mother-in-Law Cure by Farha Hasan, which was an innovative take on the Cinderella story. I liked it a lot, and the dark tone of the book was just perfect for me. review here if you are interested: http://nishitak.com/2014/06/13/the-mother-in-law-cure-a-book-review/

  2. We're actually off to see Into The Woods soon! I hadn't heard anything about it (we don't get much western world advertising in Chiang Mai), but it's at the Gold Class/VIP cinema near our house, so we decided to check it out. I really love fairytales and retellings, so I'm looking forward to it. :)

  3. I am not into this stuff, but I have shared it with my kid and sister who will enjoy reading this great info. Thanks



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