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Topic: Fairy Tales

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Subject: Fairy Tales
Date Posted: 12/10/2009 2:04 AM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2008
Posts: 148
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I just finished the series of graphic novels called Fables which is about the fairy tales after they were kicked out of their homelands and forced to live together in a brownstone in NYC.  Now I'm really into the idea of twisting and modernizing fairy tales.  I've already read Briar Rose by Jane Yolen and have Orson Scott Card's Enchanted.  Are there any other good ones out there?

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 8:20 AM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
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I enjoyed Devoured by Author: Amanda Marrone

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 9:06 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2008
Posts: 1,171
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There's a tag on PBS that you can browse, I think it's called re-told fairy tales or something like that. Any of the books from the Fairy Tale series edited by Terri Windling are great (Jack the Giant Killer, The Sun, the Moon, and The Stars, Fitcher's Brides, I can't think of the others). Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow also edited a few volumes of short story anthologies that are really good, they start with Snow White, Blood Red.

Cameron Dokey has a series too (I think it's called Once Upon a Time) with a bunch of YA books, I've read Snow by Tracy Lynn and liked that one a lot. Also Midnight Pearls by Debbie Vigue.

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Robin McKinley has Spindle's End, Beauty, and Rose Daughter

Donna Jo Napoli has Beast

In my TBR I have Tam Lin by Pamela Dean, White as Snow by Tanith Lee, Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donaghue, The Night Dance by Suzanne Weyn,

Retold fairy tales is one of the main sub-genres I read so if I think of any more I'll post them. Unfortunately, I think most of these are WL on PBS, because I've had to wait for everything on my TBR but I did get it eventually!

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2008
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Thank you!! That's definitely helpful!  It really is an interesting genre and I'm devouring these books!  I do believe I've read one of the McKinley books, but a really long time ago.  Lacy, have you read Fables?  If you haven't, you would definitely like them.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2008
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Kayla Dai, Have you heard of Beastly by Alex Finn? Suppose to be a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Haven't read it yet but looks interesting.

Date Posted: 12/10/2009 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber is unmissable - one of the first and one of the best.  And don't forget Robin McKinley's Deerskin. Jack Zipes has a remarkable collection of literary fairy tales spanning the past 200 years called Spells of Enchantment.  Also pretty much anything Terry Windling has ever written.  The anthologies edited by Windling and Ellen Datlow (Snow White Blood Red, Black Thorn White Rose, et al) are really good.  Kelly Link has a short story "Travels With the Snow Queen" which pretty much blew my brain out the back of my skull - it's in her wonderful story collection "Stranger Things Happen".  Two other good collections of fairy tales are Emma Donoghue's Kissing the Witch (it's so wonderful, I really cannot say enough) and Francesca Lia Block's The Rose and the Beast.

if you haven't read the actual fairy tales they are based on - they are pretty strange and wonderful, too.  Andrew Lang's "color" series is delightful (Blue Fairy Book, Red Fairy Book et al).  Reading the original Grimms is great, although it is useful to remember that they expurgated a lot themselves (Grimms:  violence good, sex bad).  A good translation of Charles Perrault also. 

I could really go on and on. 

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Second the McKinley suggestion! She also has a retelling of the Robin Hood myth (The Outlaws of Sherwood), though I like the two Beauty and the Beast retellings (Beauty and Rose Daughter) and the Sleeping Beauty retelling (Spindle's End) better.

Also, Patricia McKillip writes really beautiful fairytale-like fantasy novels, some of which are based on folktales (In the Forests of Serre, Song for the Basilisk) and some of which take place in worlds entirely made-up (Alphabet of Thorn, Cygnet), but all of which are imbued with the sense of magic I always associate with fairy tales. They do need to be read in their own time -- there's no racing through her prose, as she writes with with an unexpected lyrical style -- but they are absolutely worthwhile.


And I believe Juliet Marillier has written a series that is retold folktales; the first, Daughter of the Forest, is a retelling of "The Six Swans." I haven't read it myself, but my mom enjoyed it. Marillier's style is more historical fantasy than fairytale fantasy, however.

And just an FYI: Over on the fantasy board we've got a challenge starting up for 2010; one of the categories is Fairytale Fantasy, so you can scan peoples' lists and see what they're reading. Of course, you're also welcome to join in! :)

Date Posted: 12/11/2009 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2008
Posts: 1,171
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I would like to second caviglia. Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber is amazing. It's definitely not YA fare, though. 

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2008
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Thank you so much!!! It's times like these I'm really glad the discussion boards exists.  I just ordered Beast, and will definitely keep going through this list.   

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 4:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2007
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Favorite genre ever! 

Into the Wild as well as Out of the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst --(fairy tale characters escape from their stories and try to fit in in the real world - ex. Rapunzel becomes a hair dresser. Her daughter Julie is the protagonist)

Zel by Donna Jo Napoli (retelling of Rapunzel)

Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry  (Cinderella-esque, very sweet story)

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale (retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale Maid Maleen reset in Asia)

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (sort of Snow White-ish)

Haunted Waters by Mary Pope Osbourne--(selkie legend)

Older Young Adult:

True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy (set during WWII/Holocaust)

 

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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Better than Fairest is Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted, which is a retelling of Cinderella.  Please pretend that the movie of the same name (starring Anne Hathaway) doesn't exist. :)

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2008
Posts: 1,171
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Haha Britney that movie gave me second hand embarrassment. . . like I was embarrassed for the actors while watching. Couldn't make it through the whole thing.

Date Posted: 12/13/2009 11:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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If you particularly like Beauty and the Beast, Mercedes Lackey wrote an interesting twist to the classic fairy tale called "The Fire Rose". I will have a copy available to order within a week. I'm just finishing up with it now. :-) I also like her 500 Kingdoms books, beginning with "The Godmother".

P.C. Cast personally recommended "The Silver Metal Lover" to me when I complimented her on her book "Goddess of the Rose" (also a B & B retelling).

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2008
Posts: 1,171
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I loved The Silver Metal Lover. The writing style was a bit difficult for me to get through (a bit stiffer than previous Lee I had read) but the story is so worth it.

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 8:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
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Thanks, Lacey; I'll probably be reading The Silver Metal Lover and its sequel soon then.

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 8:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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Snow by Tracy Lynn.  Can't say if I liked it as it is on my TBR.

Jack Zipes has several collections.

Date Posted: 12/14/2009 11:36 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2008
Posts: 148
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I loved the book Ella Enchanted.  I read it quite a few years ago, but the movie was just terrible.  Honestly I don't see why they didn't just change the name and give Gail Carson Levine a little blurb in the credits.  

Date Posted: 12/16/2009 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
Posts: 573
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No one has mentioned Ash by Malinda Lo? Very good retelling with fresh take and twists. Read my review here.

Date Posted: 12/21/2009 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2006
Posts: 249
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A bit younger age....but The Sister's Grimm series is FANTASTIC! I loved it! There are six (?) books in the series!

Date Posted: 12/22/2009 2:58 AM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2008
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I've heard of The Sister's Grimm.  I've just always been hesitant to pick it up.  It's really worth the read?

Date Posted: 12/22/2009 3:33 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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I think it will be, Kayla. It is currently on my WL. I'm #1 for it, but have it on hold for the time being. Saving up credits! The books looked so cute, and when I worked at B&N they sold pretty well. I haven't heard anything negative about them.

Date Posted: 2/1/2010 7:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2008
Posts: 1,171
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For anyone who is interested, SyFy will be doing a series of movies that are re-tellings of classic fairy tales. They are slated to begin February 27.

Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3ia2f06c2856f58e4057ffa91c3f64535b

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 6:12 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2009
Posts: 916
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Retold fairy tale for younger readers are The Thief and the Beanstalk, The Eye of the Warloack both by P.W. Catanese

Date Posted: 2/10/2010 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,983
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I second the Once Upon a Time series mentioned earlier. The books are all really short, and some are better than others, but they cover cinderella, sleeping beauty, beauty and the beast, 1001 Arabian Nights, the little mermaid, the snow queen, etc. Lots of stuff to choose from there.

A few more suggestions: Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George (12 Dancing Princesses).

Someone mentioned Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst. Also check out the new Ice by her, it's fantastic.

Book of 1000 Days by Shannon Hale was also mentioned already. To that I would add check out all her books. For fairy-tale retellings you can read The Goose Girl and Rapunzel's Revenge. But all her stuff is wonderful.

Date Posted: 3/25/2010 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2008
Posts: 1,171
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For anyone interested, there is a free download of the first issue of Fables athttp://www.dccomics.com/vertigo/graphic_novels/?gn=1605

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