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Author Topic: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales  (Read 10152 times)

Offline Lejays17

Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« on: September 04, 2012, 01:37:14 PM »

Some of my favourite comfort re-reads are Robin McKinley's retellings of fairy tales (Beauty, Spindle's End, Rose Daughter to name a few), and I'm looking to branch out to other authors.

What have  people read that they can recommend??  I'll happily read YA, so recommends from there would be great also!

I've already read most of Mercedes Lackey's 500 Kingdoms books, and we've got Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber in the library somewhere, but apart from that, suggest away!
"Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables you to be wrong with authority." The Doctor - Wheel in Space

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Offline simonster

Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 01:53:55 PM »
I'd already hit 'reply' when I saw that you'd mentioned Angela Carter already. ::)

TV rather than book, but I think the best retelling of fairy tales I've ever come across is "Jim Henson's The Storyteller" (the ones with John Hurt, not the Greek myths).  Looking at Amazon it appears that the DVDs are hard to come by these days, but a lot of the stories do seem to be on YouTube.

Offline pornokitsch

Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 03:06:08 PM »
Ellen Datlow edited a half dozen collections of retold fairy tales. I've only read the first couple, but they're very interesting:

http://www.goodreads.com/series/55620-the-snow-white-blood-red-anthology-series

Definitely suggest checking those out.

PLUG:

On a purely selfish note, we just published two retold fairy tales in recent Pandemonium books. Christian Fox's "Prignitz was an innocent" works with the Pied Piper (from Crossroads). David Bryher's "The Devil's Age" is inspired by a Basque version of Rumplestiltskin (Lost Souls). They're both terrific.

END OF PLUG

NO WAIT -

Lost Souls is a mere 2.99 in ebook.
And Crossroads is only 80p!

OK REALLY DONE NOW

Offline Idlewilder

Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 04:34:37 PM »
Sorry if this is really not what you're looking for, as I haven't read them, but The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern are supposed to be like modern day, novel length fairy tales. I have both and am really looking forward to giving them a go.
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Offline Nestat

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Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2012, 10:06:37 PM »
I don't know how good they'll be, but Philip Pullman's got his retellings of Grimm's Fairytales out this month...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Grimm-Tales-Penguin-Hardback-Classics/dp/1846140269/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346792725&sr=8-1
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 12:14:24 AM »
Sorry if this is really not what you're looking for, as I haven't read them, but The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern are supposed to be like modern day, novel length fairy tales. I have both and am really looking forward to giving them a go.
We've got The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Idlewilder. Absolutely brilliant story. I nominated it for the Hugo, didn't get in, but should have. The sequel is out later this year. It's not really a retelling, more of a completely original story. I haven't read as much Valente as I should, but I believe her earlier collections are retold fairy tales, with Ms Valente's own inimitable spin. I know the OP has read them, because I put her onto them, but the Fables graphic novels feature fairy tale characters in a different setting, and I recommend them for anyone else who likes this sort of thing. They're also a really good graphic novel concept for anyone who wants to step into the wide world of comics, doesn't want superheroes and isn't quite sure where to start.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Autumn2May

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Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 04:51:02 PM »
Sorry if this is really not what you're looking for, as I haven't read them, but The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern are supposed to be like modern day, novel length fairy tales. I have both and am really looking forward to giving them a go.
We've got The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Idlewilder. Absolutely brilliant story. I nominated it for the Hugo, didn't get in, but should have. The sequel is out later this year. It's not really a retelling, more of a completely original story. I haven't read as much Valente as I should, but I believe her earlier collections are retold fairy tales, with Ms Valente's own inimitable spin. I know the OP has read them, because I put her onto them, but the Fables graphic novels feature fairy tale characters in a different setting, and I recommend them for anyone else who likes this sort of thing. They're also a really good graphic novel concept for anyone who wants to step into the wide world of comics, doesn't want superheroes and isn't quite sure where to start.

And if you are looking for a novel rather than a comic, Peter and Max by Bill Willingham is based in the world of Fables and got a good review on our main site. :) http://fantasy-faction.com/2012/peter-and-max-by-bill-willingham

Offline Noona

Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 07:15:26 PM »
Neil Gaiman's short story Snow, Glass, Apples is a fantastic (and gruesome) retelling of Snow White.

Malinda Lo's Ash has Cinderella at the heart of it, although much embellished-upon. I really liked it.

As a child I really liked Ella Enchanted, another Cinderella thing, but I haven't read it in a very long time and it may be rubbish as an adult :P


I really loved The Night Circus, and thinking back, it does very much have a fairy tale feel to it.

Offline Elfy

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Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 11:39:13 PM »

And if you are looking for a novel rather than a comic, Peter and Max by Bill Willingham is based in the world of Fables and got a good review on our main site. :) http://fantasy-faction.com/2012/peter-and-max-by-bill-willingham
Peter and Max was wonderful stuff. I'd already read the Fables collections by the time it came out, but it's also a good introduction to the concept for anyone who hasn't already encountered it. Seanan McGuire's Toby Daye books contain a lot of fairy tale references, as well.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline simonster

Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2012, 07:28:57 AM »
Neil Gaiman's short story Snow, Glass, Apples is a fantastic (and gruesome) retelling of Snow White.
Oo, yes.  This.  Definitely this.

Offline Lejays17

Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2012, 11:57:32 AM »
Thanks for the recommendations everyone - much appreciated!


I've read Ella Enchanted a while ago, and she also did another couple set in the same world Fairest and Ever, but I didn't like them as much.

I do also have some of the collections edited by Datlow & Windling around somewhere (we moved house 2 1/2 years ago, and are still unpacking boxes...  ::) )

I've got The Night Circus and Peter and Max in my TBR, so I may push them further up the listings.


Keep them coming, cna never have too many books to read!
"Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables you to be wrong with authority." The Doctor - Wheel in Space

"It's not destiny!  It's a crazy scientist with a giant snake!" Sinbad - For Whom the Egg Shatters

Offline NicoleDreadful

Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2012, 12:52:21 AM »
Check out Tam Lin by Pamela Dean and Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede. They're part of a fairy tale retelling series involving a number of different authors. From Amazon it looks like others in the same set are White as Snow by Tanith Lee, The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars by Steven Brust, and Fitcher's Brides by Gregory Frost. I have only read the two by P. Dean & P. Wrede, so I can't vouch for the others but I was obsessed with Tam Lin for a while in high school.

Offline Lejays17

Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2012, 09:44:41 AM »
Check out Tam Lin by Pamela Dean and Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede. They're part of a fairy tale retelling series involving a number of different authors. From Amazon it looks like others in the same set are White as Snow by Tanith Lee, The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars by Steven Brust, and Fitcher's Brides by Gregory Frost. I have only read the two by P. Dean & P. Wrede, so I can't vouch for the others but I was obsessed with Tam Lin for a while in high school.

Tam Lin by Pamela Dean is one of my favourites (Elfy keeps wanting to box it up whenever we do a clean-up of the library, but I won't let him), and I've got some of the others in that series too.  I wasn't as interested in the Tanith Lee as the others, the Brust and the Frost I haven't read yet.  Others in the series also include The Nightingale by Kara Dalkey, and Briar Rose by Jane Yolen.
"Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables you to be wrong with authority." The Doctor - Wheel in Space

"It's not destiny!  It's a crazy scientist with a giant snake!" Sinbad - For Whom the Egg Shatters

Offline Mary C. Moore

Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2012, 11:36:20 PM »
I second the Tanith Lee recommendation. Her stuff is dark and eerie, but worth it. She's got a collection of retold fairy tales as well as a few full length novels that are spins on some classics.

P.S. Anyone love the Once Upon a Time TV show as much as I do? Guilty pleasure!
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Offline Caroline Bott

Re: Recommendations for retellings of Fairy Tales
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 06:41:27 PM »
Jane Yolen's "Briar Rose"

Remember it as being very powerful.  (Some years since I read it, must find where I put it and re-read.)

Barbara Hambly "Beauty and the Beast" - but very expensive as got quite rare.  Not sure if the TV series of a while back was built on it or vice versa.