Ten Fairytale Retellings I've Read


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about a genre that has exploded in recent years – fairytale retellings. These are ten fairytale retellings I have read, loved, disliked or hated!
In no particular order…
*Links will lead to my review and photos will link to the book’s GR page!

#1. Cinder

I was so excited for Cinder but I just never felt the magic. This is arguably the book that started the recent craze for retellings so I had high expectations when picking it up, but I thought there were so many wasted opportunities. Cyborgs! New Beijing! …Boring? How is that even possible?!

#2. Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty is one of my favourite retellings. You can see echoes of the original story in it, but Hodge creates her own world and mythology too. It’s full of mystery, darkness and sexiness.

#3. Tiger Lily


I don’t know if Peter Pan is technically considered a “fairytale” but Tiger Lily may be my favourite retelling of all time. Quiet, beautiful, haunting… sometimes I reread quotes from the book and all the emotions come flooding back.

#4. A Court of Thorns and Roses


I didn’t enjoy ACoTaR as much as everyone else seemed to. I thought the romance lacked chemistry, especially when compared to Cruel Beauty. Plus, a Beauty & the Beast romance should be nastier, in my opinion.

#5. Crimson Bound

Hodge’s second fairytale retelling – this time inspired by Red Riding Hood – is just as good as her first. I especially like how she takes elements of the original stories but does something completely different with them.

#6. The Wrath and the Dawn

This book was such a pleasant surprise! I’m not usually into romance-heavy stories but – as I said in my review – The Wrath and the Dawn just melted my cold, unromantic heart.

#7. Mechanica

I was so excited for Mechanica after being disappointed with Cinder, but I was left with mixed feelings. This a very feminist Cinderella story about a girl who works hard and climbs the ladder herself, but unfortunately it is very slow and not much happens.

#8. Tender Morsels

This is by far the strangest book on the list and yet I completely loved it. Lanagan’s retelling of Rose Red & Snow White is dark, creepy and disturbing, but also beautifully-written. It’s marketed as YA but contains many adult themes.

#9. The Child Thief

While we’re talking about dark retellings, I can’t not mention this deliciously creepy story. Again set in the Peter Pan universe, The Child Thief reveals a dark side to the old tales. It’s a mature, sometimes gory read but it gripped me from beginning to end.

#10. Uprooted

I saved Uprooted for last because I think it’s my favourite book of 2015 across all genres. It’s sort of a Beauty and the Beast retelling but it also brings in lots of Polish fairytales and it has a dragon who isn’t a scaly reptile but a man. It’s just fabulous.
What did you think of these picks? What are your favourite and least favourite fairytale retellings?


  1. I’m really excited to start The Child Thief! I meant to start it like two weeks ago, but other books got in the way. Uprooted is a retelling? Hmm, now that I think about it, I can see the similarities between it and B&B, but it’s still a really original book, and I loved it.

    • Emily May

      You should definitely read it! I picked it up on a whim and it ended up being one of my favourites. And I agree about Uprooted – I didn’t even realise it was a retelling at first.

  2. Emily, you should read Rosamund Hodge’s Snow White re-telling, The lamps thereof are fire and flames. It’s a short story but isn’t written in chronological order so it’s a bit confusing. But it’s really good! It’s available for free here:

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