Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read/Want To Read (or fairytales I want to be retold or fairytales I love)



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week you compile a list of ten books that fit with the theme. All the details and how to join are available here.

I know it’s late in the day, but there was no way I was going to miss this one. I was so excited when I saw this week’s TTT, I knew it was going to nearly double my reading list and I feel absolutely no shame in that.

I’ve divided it up into 5 fairytales retellings I want to read/ I want there to be more retellings of and 5 books that I’ve already read and loved.

100 nights

1. 1001 Nights – A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

I’ve got a copy of this from netgalley and, now that I’ve finally wrestled Adobe into submission, I’m really looking forward to trying it out. I’ve always been intrigued by the original and I loved the format so I’m interested to see how it is dealt with here.


2. The entirety of Russian/European Folklore – Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

I love Russian folklore. It’s incredibly rich and largely unmined in Western publishing. I’d love to read more retellings from Russian/ Eastern European tales, there’s something in them that really appeals to me. I’ve seen this particular book on a few blogs and I’m determined to seek it out.


3. 1001 Nights – The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The second of the 1001 nights retellings that I have my eye on – this one has its praises sung all over the blogs, I can’t wait to get my hands on it and see how the author’s put her own spin on it. The blurb looks intriguing, I want to know what’s really been happening to all the girls.


4. Twelve Dancing princesses – The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine

I need to read more retellings of this fairytale (Although Juliet Marrillier’s Wildwood Dancing/Cybele’s Secret were just criminally good) as I adored it as a child, but in all those versions I read I never really liked the romance element. It’s the concept of this  story that I adore and I would love to see it done in many different ways. I saw this adaptation a little while ago on Amazon and I think it looks cool, I love the idea of a 20’s setting!

5. Mulan

God I loved the Disney film of Mulan – It’s still in my top 5 Disney films – but I really want a proper, grown up novelisation of her story that’s a bit truer to the original legend. This is the novel I am dying to read – but I’m not sure if it exits yet. I want to read more adaptations of Chinese fairy tales in general, but this one in particular is close to my heart.

And now my top 5 that I have read (this could easily have gone into the 20’s – very easily):

robin mckinley

6. Sleeping Beauty – Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley

A princess who doesn’t want to be a princess, wonderful smith-lore, woodcarving, found families. Just plain brilliant. I loved it when I first read it many, many years ago and it’s still one of my favourites. It’s also my favourite ever version of Sleeping Beauty which (despite adoring the art in the Disney version) has always been just a bit too love-at-first/passive princess to me.

cinder1 Scarlet_Cover cress

7. (Multi) The Lunar Chronicles – Marisa Meyer

Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and soon Winter (reviews available by clicking on the title). Retellings with space, cyborgs, a diverse cast and my favourite ever robot – Iko. These books very much hold the spirit of the stories whilst running off in their own direction. I love Cinder particularly and I loved watching her character develop. I’m really looking forward to Winter!


8. Beauty and the Beast – Uprooted by Naomi Novik

As I’ve said before, my love for this book is well known. You can read my review here. It’s an astonishingly good book that takes the original story – Beauty and the beast and then runs hell for leather into it’s own world. Agnieska is one of my favourite characters in any novel, I’m already looking forward to rereading this.

Heart's Blood

9. Beauty and the Beast – Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier

A really great Beauty and the Beast retelling. I loved the ‘Beastly’ nature of the male main character and the castle’s other inhabitants were so well created and an utter joy. The ending was just wonderful and uplifting, I didn’t see it coming at all.


10. Multi – Wildwood Dancing/ Cybele’s Secret by Juliet Marillier

This list could so easily have been entirely dedicated to Juliet Marillier. I loved these two book in particular, Cybele’s Secret was the first book of hers I’ve ever read and remains my favourite. Cybele and it’s prequel weave many fairytales together – most noticeably Twelve Dancing Princesses and The Frog Prince. However, I always felt like there should have been more books in this series – maybe one day Marillier will write more. Also that cover art – so beautiful.


6 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read/Want To Read (or fairytales I want to be retold or fairytales I love)

  1. I’ve also just gotten a copy of A Thousand Nights today! I think the final cover is supposed to look like the one you posted but the review copy I got has a much simpler design. If you’re interested in another Russian retelling, I loved Orson Scott Card’s Enchantment.

    Uprooted is one of my favorite reads this year. Such a beautiful story. Juliet Marillier is one of my favorite fantasy authors but I didn’t love Heart’s Blood or Wildwood Dancing as much as Daughter of the Forest. That one is my fave Marillier retelling. 🙂


    • I’ve just finished my ARC of A Thousand Nights and I’ll be putting my review soon but I have to say it’s wonderful, I really, really loved It – I hope you enjoy it.
      I’ll add Enchantment to the list! I did love Daughter of the Forest as well – let’s be fair I love everything Marillier writes – but I have to be in the mood for it as it builds so slowly at the beginning.


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