City of Winnipeg | Libraries

Fantastic Fairy Tales

by Terri,

beautyandthebeastI love a good fairy tale. Fairy tale movies and TV shows are everywhere, Once Upon a Time (so good), Ever After (love this movie), the new live action Beauty and the Beast (can’t wait) to be released in 2017, and so many more. Even better are all the fairy tales that fill our shelves at the library.  These aren’t the animated versions you might remember, these are stories filled with adventure, magic, and fantastical lands that will keep you reading long into the night.

Beauty by Robin McKinley is one of my all-time favourite books. It is a lush retelling of Beauty and Beast, and one of those books that clocks in at almost 300 pages and still you’re sad when it ends…it’s that good.  I could fill an entire post listing various retellings of Beauty and the Beast, but that would mean missing out on all the other strange and magical fairy tales.

ashandbrambleWhen you think of fairy tales it’s all about Cinderella, am I right? Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas is a retelling of the Cinderella story, except in this version it is more about swashbuckling adventure than princesses and glass slippers.  In Rose & Thorn, just released in October, the author delves into the story of Sleeping Beauty.  In this retelling the heroine tries to fight the story of Sleeping Beauty before she falls under its spell.

wickedthingRhiannon Thomas has also reimagined the world of Sleeping Beauty in her novel A Wicked Thing. The story begins when Aurora wakes up after 100 years of sleep; this is what happens after happily ever after.  Is she happy?  The prince is kind but he’s a stranger, and she can’t help feeling that the curse has left its mark on her… does she stay or does she run?  Of course, this is just the beginning of the story; we meet Aurora again in Kingdom of Ashes.  Aurora was forced to make the difficult choice between her kingdom and her country, and now she has to learn how to control her magic if she wants to save herself and her kingdom.

A slightly lesser known fairy tale is the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Author Jessica Day George begins her Princess series with Princess of the Midnight Ball where Rose and her 11 sisters are forced to dance every night, all night until their shoes and feet are in shreds.  To break the spell there will be knitting needles, an invisibility cloak, and of course true love.  In the companion novel Princess of Glass, Poppy one of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program.  She goes hoping to foster better relations with other kingdoms and perhaps find a suitable husband.  A serving girl called Ellen is part of vengeful fairy godmother’s scheme, forcing Poppy and Ellen to compete for the eligible prince.  Ball gowns, glass slippers, cinders and more will fly in this quest for a happy ending.

cinder  scarlet  cress  winter

Finally, if you are looking for a futuristic twist on your fairy tales I can’t leave out the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer.  In the series opener Cinder, our heroine is a gifted mechanic, but she also happens to be a cyborg.  When her life becomes intertwined with Prince Kai she finds herself in the middle of an intergalactic struggle and forbidden attraction.  How’s that for a twist on Cinderella?  The series continues with Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood), followed by Cress (Rapunzel), and the final entry in the series Winter (Snow White).  Winter is coming (see what I did there…) and these are just a taste of some epic reads to while away a snowy afternoon.  Enjoy!

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