TEN… of the best fairytale retellings

The Goose Girl

THE GOOSE GIRL || Shannon Hale

Anidora-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kilindree, spent the first years of her life listening to her aunt’s incredible stories, and learning the language of the birds. Little knowing how valuable her aunt’s strange knowledge would prove to be when she grew older.

From the Grimm’s fairy tale of the princess who became a goose girl before she could become a queen, Shannon Hale has woven an incredible, original and magical tale of a girl who must understand her own incredible talents before she can overcome those who wish her harm.

Shannon Hale has drawn on her incredible gift for storytelling to create a powerful and magical grown-up fairytale.

Enchanted

ENCHANTED || Alethea Kontis

It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?

Keturah & Lord Death

KETURAH & LORD DEATH || Martine Leavitt

I will tell you a story of magic and love, of daring and death, and one to comfort your heart. It will be the truest story I have ever told. Now listen, and tell me if it is not so.

Keturah follows a legendary hart deep into the forest, where she becomes hopelessly lost. Her strength diminishes until, finally, she realizes that death is near–and learns then that death is a young lord, melancholy and stern. Renowned for her storytelling, Keturah is able to charm Lord Death with a story and gain a reprieve–but he grants her only a day, and within that day she must find true love. Martine Leavitt offers a spellbinding story, interweaving elements of classic fantasy and romance.

Beauty

BEAUTY || Robin McKinley

A strange imprisonment…………

Beauty has never liked her nickname. She is thin and awkward; it is her two sisters who are the beautiful ones. But what she lacks in looks, she can perhaps make up for in courage.

When her father comes home with the tale of an enchanted castle in the forest and the terrible promise he had to make to the Beast who lives there, Beauty knows she must go to the castle, a prisoner of her own free will. Her father protests that he will not let her go, but she answers, “Cannot a Beast be tamed?”

Robin McKinley’s beloved telling illuminates the unusual love story of a most unlikely couple: Beauty and the Beast.

Ash

ASH || Malinda Lo

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

Book of a Thousand Days

BOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS || Shannon Hale

When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years for Saren’s refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment.
As food runs low and the days go from broiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable.

But the arrival outside the tower of Saren’s two suitors—one welcome, and the other decidedly less so—brings both hope and great danger, and Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth more than she knows.

With Shannon Hale’s lyrical language, this forgotten but classic fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm is reimagined and reset on the central Asian steppes; it is a completely unique retelling filled with adventure and romance, drama and disguise.

Deerskin

DEERSKIN || Robin McKinley

As Princess Lissla Lissar reaches womanhood, it is clear to all the kingdom that in her beauty she is the image of her dead mother, the queen. But this likeness forces her to flee from her father’s lust and madness; and in the pain and horror of that flight she forgets who she is and what it is she flees from: forgets almost everything but the love and loyalty of her dog, Ash, who accompanies her.

But a chance encounter on the road leads to a job in another king’s kennels, where the prince finds himself falling in love with the new kennel maid . . . and one day he tells her of a princess named Lissla Lissar, who had a dog named Ash.

The Black Swan

THE BLACK SWAN || Mercedes Lackey

Baron Eric von Rothbart – Considering his wife’s untimely death the ultimate betrayal, this powerful sorcerer dedicates his life to seeking revenge against all womankind. Scouring his lands in the shape of a great bird of prey, it is his personal mission to capture women who enflame his wrath and inspire his rage for vengeance. These poor souls he turns into swans – forcing them to spend their lives as beautiful but powerless animals who only regain their human forms briefly each night by the transitory light of the moon.

Odette – Noblest of von Rothbart’s enchanted flock, only she has the courage to confront her captor, wresting from him a pact which could lead to freedom for herself and all the swan-maidens – a pact which von Rothbart will use all of his magical cunning to avoid honoring.

Odile – Von Rothbart’s only child, she has studied the magical arts under her father’s stern tutelage all her life. She fears her powerful father yet yearns for his rarely given approval. But she has learned far more than the baron intended to teach her – both of the magical arts and of von Rothbart’s idiosyncratic nature. And as the guardian of his flock, her loyalty has begun to shift.

Prince Siegfried – Heir to his kingdom, due to inherit upon his majority and marriage, he is a selfish hedonist and a dissolute womanizer. He cares only for his own pleasure, until a woman he has wronged teaches him a lesson which will change the course of his life forever. Queen Clothilde – Mother of Siegfried and Regent of their domain, she will stop at nothing to insure that her son never ascends the throne. But when she enters into an agreement with the rich and influential Baron von Rothbart – a bargain which she believes will prevent Siegfried from ever attaining his birthright – she will learn the true meaning of treachery.

Cinder

CINDER || Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I, Coriander

I, CORIANDER || Sally Gardner

I look back into the room. The floor had become a sea and my parents’ bed a ship, seen from a great distance. I could hear their voices calling me from far away. It lasted a minute or less. Maybe I dreamed it. Maybe I didn’t. It was an image that came to haunt me, and I have often wondered what would have happened if I had done as I was told and left the silver shoes alone. Would everything then have been all right?

It is night, and I have lit the first of seven candles to write my story by. My name is Coriander Hobie, and I have a great many things to tell—of silver shoes that tempted me and an alligator most rare; of London, the home of my childhood, and another, stranger land, one that I thought only existed in dreams; and of an ebony box whose treasure only now am I beginning to understand. The box was once my mother’s, but its secrets were meant for me.

This being my story and a fairy tale besides, I will start once upon a time…

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