By Jensen Argyle
Last week I watched Mirror Mirror, and then the next day I watched Cinderella (2015) because I was still in a fairytale mood. There is something so comforting about fairytales. No matter how many times we have heard the story, we can still be touched by the powerful messages and emotions that story evokes. Especially when a writer adds some interesting twists to a fairytale. I love books that are fairytale retellings, because the story can be so fresh and exhilarating that it feels like I'm being told this story for the very first time.
And they're even better in book form, because you have time to truly savor an author's twist on a classic tale. So now I present to you my favorite fairytale retellings:
1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: This is a clever and engaging series that takes classic fairytales and adds a sci-fi twist to them. There are four books in the series, and each books focuses on a different character and how they aid the protagonist of the first book, Cinder, in defeating the evil queen of Luna. The four books include Cinder (Cinderella), Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood), Cress (Rapunzel), and Winter (Snow White). Author Marissa Meyer crafts these fairytale retellings in such a way that they feel fresh and inventive.
2. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: This book provides a wonderful twist on the classic tale of Cinderella. Ella of Frell is cursed with the gift of obedience, forced to perform any command against her will. The story follows the brave young heroine as she goes on a quest to break her curse, makes new friends, and finds true love. Ella is a kind and humble heroine who readers will instantly relate to and Levine’s writing and storytelling is nothing short of magic.
3. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale: I would recommend this book just for the writing style. It has a beautiful earthy tone as Hale relates the lesser-known story of the Goose Girl, a once princess who is betrayed and forced to live life as a goose girl. Hale’s characters are well-developed and funny, and the magical elements of her story feel as natural as breathing. Hale will make you believe that there is magic in even the simplest elements of the earth.
4. The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson: Dickerson rewrites classic fairytales and makes them historically accurate. This is her retelling of Sleeping Beauty and it is equal parts sweet, beautiful, and touching, like the tale that inspires it.
5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas: A Beauty and the Beast retelling, but instead of a beast he is a fairy. Feyre is forced to leave her home to live with Tamlin in his enchanted palace in the land of the fairies. Feyre is a hardened and stubborn huntress, and Tamlin is a just as stubborn brute. The two have met their match, and it is fun to watch their interactions as they evolve from friends to something more. Sarah J Maas’s skilled writing serves as an impressive backdrop for this majestic tale of love and selflessness.
Now go add a little magic to your life by picking up one of these books. And as always, happy reading.