Top Ten Tuesday: My favorite fairy tale retellings

TTT magic

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is about fairy tale retellings — either ones we’ve read or ones we want to read. I’m doing a bit of both.

I’ll start with the fairy tale retellings that I’ve read and loved:

1) Deerskin by Robin McKinley: An incredibly moving and disturbing, yet oddly beautiful, retelling of the somewhat obscure fairy tale Donkeyskin.


2) Robin McKinley writes such amazing reimaginings of fairy tales, that I’m going to include another three as one item: Beauty, Rose Daughter (both retellings of Beauty and the Beast), and Spindle’s End (a retelling of Sleeping Beauty).

McKinley collage

3) Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale: I’ll admit to being confused by the tower for a while and assuming this was a retelling of Rapunzel, which it is not. According to the author’s website, it’s a retelling of a lesser known Grimm tale called Maid Maleen. But in any case, no matter which tale it’s based on, I really enjoyed it!

Book of a Thousand Days

4) The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine: I think the concept of this book is just so clever — The Twelve Dancing Princesses retold as a tale of harshly confined sisters in Jazz Age New York. (review)

Girls at the Kingfisher Club

5) Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce: I really liked this retelling of Red Riding Hood (who seems here to be mixed with heaping spoonfuls of Buffy).

Sisters Red

6) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: I have a sneaking suspicion that these books will be everywhere for this week’s TTT topic! I’ve absolutely loved the books in this series so far, and can’t wait for the final one to be released this fall. (And then the series will be over… sob.) (review)


7) My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me edited by Kate Bernheimer: This collection of rewritten fairy tales includes some really weird and wonderful new versions of classic tales. You can read the collection straight through or pick it up and read stories at random. Either way, very entertaining. Plus, you just can’t beat the title.

My Mother She Killed Me

8) Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman: Another collection of rewritten tales, in this case classic Grimm stories rewritten by the masterful Philip Pullman. Includes both tried-and-true favorites and well as more bizarre or obscure tales — quite fun to read. (review)

Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm

9) Fables by Bill Willingham: The Fables series is simply one of my very favorite things ever. Take just about every fairy tale character you can think of, put them into modern day New York, create incredibly complex world-building, and write 150 comic books in the series. The series is available as a series of paperback volumes, and the final volume, #22, was just released last week. I can’t quite bring myself to read it — I just don’t want it to be over! (tribute)

Fables v22

10) Finally, two from my shelves which I haven’t read yet, although I’d like to:

FTretell collage

  • Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, a retelling of Rapunzel
  • Bound by Donna Jo Napoli, a retelling of Cinderella

Fairy tale retellings are such fun to read. Which ones do you love?

Share your link, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

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25 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: My favorite fairy tale retellings

    • 🙂 I just posted a comment over on your list before seeing your comment here! If you’re thinking about Robin McKinley and her Beauty & the Beast retellings, I’d actually start with Beauty, and then maybe check out Rose Daughter. It’s really interesting to see her two different versions of the same story.

  1. I looove fairytale retellings as well, The Lunar Chronicles series is definitely one of my favourites right now. I think “Court of Thorns and Roses” seems good as well ;o haven’t read it yet but heard some good things about it!
    And I am also without a doubt picking some books up that you mentioned here!

  2. I think you are quite right about the Lunar Chronicles – it have been on all the lists I’ve browsed till now! That Philip Pullman book looks awesome! Gotta check it out!

  3. I have been reading a bunch of retellings lately and your list sounds awesome! I had never heard of Robin Mckinely, but I am definitely going to check her out. You should also read Rosamund Hodge’s two retellings, Cruel Beauty (Beauty and the Beast) and Crimson Bound (Red Riding Hood).

    • Hmm, I did read Cruel Beauty, but didn’t love it, so I didn’t think I’d like Crimson Bound either (although maybe I should give it a try). Heading over to see what’s on your list!

  4. I didn’t know Philip Pullman had picked up the Grimm stories! I have to read that!! Who am I kidding, I want to read all of these.

    • Ha, I always feel like I want ALL the books when I read other people’s TTT lists! Philip Pullman is so great. The book is new versions of Grimm tales, not reset in modern or different situations, but just newly written takes on traditional tales. I thought it was pretty wonderful.

      • It’s the TTT curse! His Dark Materials is still one of my favorite trilogies (in dire need of a reread though, since I read them as a kid), I love Pullman – what you just described sounds absolutely perfect, really.

        • I really need to re-read His Dark Materials too. I was trying to get my son interested, but since he’s not so far, I may just go ahead on my own!

    • I just saw a blurb today that say that Marissa Meyer’s next project will have something to do with Alice in Wonderland! I really can’t wait for Winter either. Fables is just amazing!!!

    • See, that’s why I’m holding off for a few days before reading the final Fables volume, even though it’s sitting right here. I’m so afraid that I’ll be upset with the ending!

  5. Yep! Cinder’s on my list. 😀 I still have Bitter Greens on my TBR that I’ve been telling myself to read for ages. My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me sounds like something that totally belongs on my TBR. haha Whatever that says about me. Great list!

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