It seems to me like fairy tale retellings are getting really big as of late, and I’m pleased to say I’ve recently read one (keep your eyes peeled for a review next week…) that was absolutely incredible and has a sequel arriving this year. That also means I’ve been hunting for more fairy tale retellings because for the longest time, I didn’t enjoy them, but now they’re catching my eye. Here are some that have really stood out!
Ash by Malinda Lo
I read Huntress earlier this year and had a really good time, and when I heard there was more to be found in that universe, and it was a Cinderella retelling, and it’s queer? Oh, no question, I wanted to read Ash.
Truth be told, I still want to read it, because I haven’t had a chance to get my hands on it just yet. But it’s calling to me, and I know that by the end of the year, I’m going to have read it. I will.
Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
Sea Witch isn’t out until the end of July, but OH BOY do I want it. I think villain origin stories are on the rise, and I am so, so interested in them. We always get to see the hero’s story, and it’s a nice change of pace to see what makes the villain into the villain. In this case, we get to see Ursula’s origins, though her name is Evie in this. Names, aside, though, this is still supposed to be the sea witch with the tentacles and the shady romance know-how and I am READY.
It probably helps that the Little Mermaid was always one of my favorite fairy tales, and I can never stay away from books related to the sea for long. Plus there’s witchcraft. And possibly mermaids, depending on how far into the original fairy tale we get by the end of the book. Witchcraft and mermaids are two of my very favorite things.
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
I actually read this one last year, and really enjoyed it. It’s based off the fairy tale Vassilissa the Beautiful, which I believe is Russian in origin, about a girl who has to outwit Baba Yaga to bring light back to her home, where her stepmother and cruel stepsisters wait. It’s kind of Cinderella without a prince, and this retelling was a fantastic introduction to the story. It’s set in Brooklyn, so it has a distinctly urban fantasy feeling to it. That, coupled with the eerie undercurrent that the Baba Yagg figure brings to the table, made this a really haunting but enchanting read, and I loved every minute of it.
If you decide to pick it up, though, definitely take a minute to read the original fairy tale, or at least a summary. The book makes much more sense when you have just a bit of knowledge about the source material.
What fairy tale retellings have you read recently? Which ones are your favorite? And while we’re at it, which original fairy tales are your favorites? Who’s the best villain? The best hero? These are all very important questions, I think.