I am somewhat an aficionado of retold fairy tales. They have become “my thing” for lack of a better word. There are many retellings out there (most in the romance genre) but I present to you some retellings that are close to my heart. If I have missed any that you think belong here, do not hesitate to let me know.
Cinder – Marissa Meyer
This one is set in New Beijing and works closely with the traditional tale while introducing new perspectives and a larger narrative that grounds the tale into its modern reincarnation. I loved the interplay of the fairytale elements and the modern updated heroine. If you haven’t checked this one out, do so. It’s worth a read.
Shadows on the Moon – Zoe Marriott
This one is more a glimpse of Cinderella than an outright retelling. However, it is similar enough that it can be considered a retelling. I found it a lot more complex and intricate than Cinder both in tone and in narration. The influences here are Japanese and the story is quite brilliantly woven in the culture it is set in.
Princess of Glass – Jessica Day George
George takes Cinderella and her fairy godmother and gives them both motivations that are at odds with their traditional roles and by doing so, she makes them more interesting than they would otherwise be. I actually wrote a paper on this and I believe this work is worth a read if only to see how the incarnation of fairy godmother is so different from every other fairy godmother. Also, the romance in this one is particularly fun and engaging.
Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine
Another retelling that takes creative license in the portrayal of fairy godmothers everywhere. I’m sure almost everyone is acquainted with Lucinda and if not, you really out to be.
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister – Gregory Maguire
This is more a literary novel than a popular one and more adult than YA. As such the themes are heavier and the writing is denser. It is fascinating to look at Cinderella from a very different perspective and I realized how skewed my opinions were. This is worth a read if only for the rich world Maguire has created for his novel.