Top Ten Tuesday: Fairytale Retellings

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature run by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish, combining two of my favourite things – books and lists. I love fairytales so this week’s theme was right up my street – Top Ten Fairytale Retelling I’ve Read/Want To Read.


1) The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

This is one of my all-time favourite books. It is a beautifully written book that expands the original fairytale and takes the reader on an emotional journey.It is the first of The Books of Bayern series, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

2) The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

I read this book of short stories for my Twentieth Century Women’s Fiction class in college, and it blew me away. Carter tackles a range of fairytales in her dark and sensual retellings. I wrote an essay on her interpretations of Beauty and the Beast.

3) Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

A twist on the Cinderella story, this is the tale of a girl burdened by the curse of obedience. Ella must always do what she is told, no matter the consequences for her or those she loves. This book was made into an excellent film starring Anne Hathaway but the book is well worth a read.

4) The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Gaiman’s storytelling skills combined with Riddell’s intricate ink illustrations create an evocative retelling of Sleeping Beauty with an excellent twist. A beautifully produced book, and a truly magical retelling.

5) Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Technically this is a retelling of a ballad and not a fairytale, but it was too good not to include on this list. It is based on Scarborough Fair, the heroine must complete the three seemingly impossible tasks mentioned in the song such as finding an acre of land between the seawater and the seashore. Dark, magical and compelling.

6) Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

A retelling of Hansel and Gretel, with references to Red Riding Hood as well. I was completely drawn into the world Pearce created – a memorable and chilling tale with a lot of mystery.

7) North Child by Edith Pattou (published as East in the US)

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

A retelling of ‘East o’ the Sun, West o’ the Moon’, a Nordic fairytale. I vividly remember borrowing this from my local library and not being able to put it down!

8) Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

A mash up of fairytale references, brought into the modern day. I really enjoyed this, and want to read more of Alex Flinn’s retellings.

Want To Read

1) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

2) Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

2) Wicked by Gregory Maguire

3) Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

4) Beastly by Alex Finn

Please leave your recommendations in the comments, or a link to your TTT. I am always eager to find new fairytale retellings!


5 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Fairytale Retellings

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