16 New Fairy Tale Retellings for Adult Readers

Posted on January 12, 2017 by

Did you know that French author Charles Perrault wrote down the story of Cinderella more than a century before the Brothers Grimm composed their book of folk tales? Though most people associate fairy tales with the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault is a pivotal founder of the fairy tale genre, and his collection, Tales of Mother Gooseincluded such famous stories as CinderellaLittle Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, and Sleeping Beauty.

Today, we celebrate Perrault’s birthday with a list of newly released fairy tale retellings that put a twist on fantastical stories that have captured our hearts and imaginations for decades.

 

Beauty and the Beast retellings

As Old as Time by Liz Braswell

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What if Belle’s mother cursed the Beast? As Old as Time is the third book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. When Belle touches the Beast’s enchanted rose, memories flood through Belle’s mind-memories of a mother she thought she would never see again. And, stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful enchantress who cursed the castle and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast will have to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is 21 years in the making.

 

Beauty and the Beast by Vivienne Savage

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Princess Anastasia Rose dreams of attending school, but her plans are put on hold when war begins between her father and the beastly lord of a nearby castle in the mountains.

Prince Alistair isn’t an ordinary dragon. He’s a shifter afflicted by a curse, unable to become human again until he finds his true love. When a mortal king’s adventurers trespass in Alistair’s territory to steal a rare flower, the prince decides to steal a valuable prize of his own.

 

Beast by Brie Spangler

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A witty, wise, and heart-wrenching reimagining of Beauty and the Beast that will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan.

Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average 15-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg — and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.

Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy — until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been — an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?

 

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Hunted by Meagan Spooner

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New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner spins a thoroughly thrilling Beauty and the Beast story for the modern age, expertly woven with spellbinding romance, intrigue, and suspense that readers won’t soon be able to forget.

Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones — and in her blood. After all, her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering its secrets. So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters out of their comfortable home among the aristocracy and back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas… or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. The Beast.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange creature back into his own territory — a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of magical creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin, or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Release date: March 14

 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland retellings

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen.

Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

In her first stand-alone teen novel, the New York Times bestselling author dazzles us with a prequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

 

Blood of Wonderland by Colleen Oakes

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Revolution is rising in Wonderland. Dinah’s battle has begun.

Colleen Oakes’s twisted reimagining of the Queen of Hearts origin story continues in this thrilling sequel, Blood of Wonderland.

Dinah has been exiled from Wonderland. The vicious father she always feared has framed her for the brutal murder of her brother and turned the kingdom against her.

Now hiding in the lush and mysterious Twisted Wood with only her war steed at her side, Dinah is faced with a choice—to leave Wonderland forever, or stay and fight her father for the throne.

When a chance encounter with one of her father’s long-lost enemies brings Dinah more allies than she ever could have imagined, war starts to feel inevitable. But before Dinah can lead her people into combat, she must confront certain truths about her heart and her destiny — no matter how dark those truths may be.

Release date: January 31

 

Snow White retellings

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

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From Danielle Paige, the New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die, comes a re-imagining of “The Snow Queen” fairy tale.

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she’s not crazy and doesn’t belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.

Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn’t what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid — her true home — with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she’s sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything… including Snow’s return to the world she once knew.

This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.

 

Sleeping Beauty retellings

Rose & Thorn by Sarah Prineas

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This beauty isn’t sleeping! Discover the true story of Sleeping Beauty in Sarah Prineas’s bold YA fairy-tale retelling filled with thrilling adventure and romance, perfect for fans of the Lunar Chronicles and the Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy.

After the spell protecting her is destroyed, Rose seeks safety in the world outside the valley she had called home. She’s been kept hidden all her life to delay the three curses she was born with — curses that will put her into her own fairy tale and a century-long slumber. Accompanied by Griff, the handsome and mysterious Watcher, and Quirk, his witty and warmhearted partner, Rose tries to escape from the ties that bind her to her story. But will the path they take lead them to freedom, or will it bring them straight into the fairy tale they are trying to avoid?

Set in the world of Sarah Prineas’s Ash & Bramble 50 years later, Rose & Thorn is a powerful retelling of the classic “Sleeping Beauty” tale where the characters fight to find their own happy ever after.

 

Spindle by Shonna Slayton

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In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger…

Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner… though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?

When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness… and Briar’s not immune.

If Briar wants to save the girls — and herself — she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales… and in the power of a prince’s kiss.

 

Russian fairy tale retellings

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

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A magical debut novel for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman’s myth-rich fantasies, The Bear and the Nightingale spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind — she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed — this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

 

Swan Lake by K. M. Shea

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Will she choose to save her country or free herself?

Cursed to be a swan by day, Odette spends her nights leading a band of smugglers and delivering illegal goods. Though she longs for her spell to be broken, she is stuck flattering the evil sorcerer who cursed her.

When the kind and witty Prince Alexsei tracks Odette and her crew to their camp, Odette fears he is yet another complication she must manage. Instead, Alexsei slowly endears himself to her and searches for a way to break her curse — but with every visit he risks alerting the sorcerer to his presence.

When the sorcerer launches an attack against the royal family, Odette is pulled between her love for Alexsei and her loyalties to her crew. Will she choose to fight with Alexsei, or fulfill her responsibilities as a leader and smuggler?

 

Peter Pan retellings

Lost Girl by Chanda Hahn

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Wendy doesn’t remember anything about Neverland — or the experiments done on her there as a child. Seven years later, all she wants is a normal life, but shape-shifting shadows plague her dreams and turn her life into a waking nightmare. When the shadows attack at a football game and a boy disappears right in front of her, she realizes these wraith-like shadows are real. They’re not just haunting — they’re hunting.

A mysterious boy named Peter, his foul-mouthed sidekick, and a band of misfit boys intervene before Wendy faces a similar fate. But can they trust Wendy enough to take her to Neverwood Academy and reveal all of their hidden secrets when she’s hiding a secret of her own, or will the dreaded Red Skulls find her and drag her back to Neverland?

 

Never Ever by Sara Saedi

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Wylie Dalton didn’t believe in fairy tales or love at first sight. Then she met a real-life Peter Pan. When Wylie encounters Phinn — confident, mature, and devastatingly handsome — at a party the night before her brother goes to juvie, she can’t believe how fast she falls for him. And that’s before he shows her how to fly.

Soon Wylie and her brothers find themselves whisked away to a mysterious tropical island off the coast of New York City where nobody ages beyond seventeen and life is a constant party. Wylie’s in heaven: now her brother won’t go to jail and she can escape her over-scheduled life with all its woes and responsibilities — permanently. But the deeper Wylie falls for Phinn, the more she begins to discover has been kept from her and her brothers. Somebody on the island has been lying to her, but the truth can’t stay hidden forever.

 

The Little Mermaid retellings

The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

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Evangeline is gifted with a heavenly voice, but she is trapped in a sinister betrothal until she embarks on a daring escape and meets brave Westley le Wyse. Can he help her discover the freedom to sing again? Desperate to flee a political marriage to her cousin King Richard II’s closest advisor, Lord Shiveley — a man twice her age with shadowy motives — Evangeline runs away and joins a small band of servants journeying back to Glynval, their home village. Pretending to be mute, she gets to know Westley le Wyse, their handsome young leader, who is intrigued by the beautiful servant girl. But when the truth comes out, it may shatter any hope that love could grow between them. More than Evangeline’s future is at stake as she finds herself entangled in a web of intrigue that threatens England’s monarchy. Should she give herself up to protect the only person who cares about her? If she does, who will save the king from a plot to steal his throne?

 

Rumpelstiltskin retellings

Beheld by Alex Flinn

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New York Times bestselling YA author Alex Flinn is back with magical twists on four fairy-tale favorites, each featuring a little help from Kendra, the witch from Beastly, as she searches through cities and centuries for her lost love.

Being a powerful witch, Kendra has survived it all. Since she first beheld James over 300 years ago, Kendra has tangled with witch hunters and wolves, helped a miller’s daughter spin straw into gold, cowered in London as German bombs fell, and lived through who knows how many shipwrecks. But her powers have limits, and immortality can be lonely. Kendra isn’t ready to stop searching for the warlock she had met centuries ago.

With the help of her magic mirror, Kendra will travel the world to reconnect with her lost love — and, of course, she can’t help but play a hand in a few more stories along the way.

Featuring retellings of favorite fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and The Ugly Duckling, Alex Flinn’s latest young adult novel, Beheld, is fresh fairy-tale fun from beginning to end.

 

The Wish Granter by C. J. Redwine

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An epic, romantic, and action-packed fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin, about a bastard princess who must take on an evil fae to save her brother’s soul, from C. J. Redwine, the New York Times bestselling author of The Shadow Queen. Perfect for fans of Graceling and the Lunar Chronicles.

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.

Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown.

So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother — and herself.

But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way — and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother… and her soul.

Release date: February 14

 

Which of these retellings do you plan on reading? Tell us in the comments!

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