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Topic: Re-Telling of Fairy Tales

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Subject: Re-Telling of Fairy Tales
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 8:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2008
Posts: 16
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Hey all,

Ever since I was a pre-teen (I'm 20 now, not that long ago..) I have loved reading re-tellings of fairy tales. So far, my favorites are:

Beauty and the Beast re-tellings:

Beauty - Robin Mckinley

Rose Daughter - Robin Mckinley

Beast - Donna Jo Napoli


Sleeping Beauty:

Spindle's End - Robin Mckinley



Zel - Donna Jo Napoli


Anyone have any other stories that are good? I'd be more than interested to look into other good re-tellings! If you can't tell, Beauty and the Beast is my favorite!

Thanks guys!


Date Posted: 7/14/2008 8:26 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I love Beauty and the Beast too!  I reread Rose Daughter last week. :)

I really enjoyed Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones -- it's a retelling of Tam Lin/Thomas the Rhymer.

Also Briar Rose by Jane Yolen, which is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

Last Edited on: 7/14/08 8:27 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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You should get The Rose and the Beast by Francesca Lia Block, they're short stories and they're wonderful!

I also love Truly Grim Tales by Priscilla Galloway (they're not gorey or anything, just darkly funny) and any of Gail Carson Levine's books, especially Ella Enchanted.

Last Edited on: 7/15/08 5:18 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2008
Posts: 16
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I forgot "Ella Enchanted"! That's the only Gail Carson Levine book that I have read, but it is almost definately my FAVORITE book!

Date Posted: 7/14/2008 9:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2008
Posts: 173
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I love Gail Carson Levine!!!!!!!!  I think most of her books are retellings.  I am reading "Ever" now.  I met her last summer.  I was in her workshop with only 5 other people.  Because the class size was so small, we really got to discuss things with her.  She also discussed "Ever" and she read alternate beginnings.

Subject: good authors
Date Posted: 7/14/2008 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 299
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Daughter of the forest by Juliet Marillier-  about the brothers who are turned into swans and the sister must save them

Wildwood dancing by Juliet Marillier- A book about the 12 dancing princesses.

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon hale

A book of one thousand days by Shannon Hale- It is also like a rapunzel type story, but about the servant girl who was locked in with the repunzel like character


Last Edited on: 7/22/08 10:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 7/15/2008 2:32 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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Mercedes Lackey's Elemental series is about fairytales that are retold and involve magic.

Date Posted: 7/15/2008 2:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2008
Posts: 15
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Not really a fairytale, but if you've read Beowulf, check out "Grendel"- by John Gardner- Beowulf told from Grendel the monster's point of view.

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 11/8/2007
Posts: 247
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Gregory Maguire writes interesting retellings as well.  Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Mirror, Mirror were awesome!

Last Edited on: 7/16/08 3:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/16/2008 3:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,530
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I also liked Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire.  It retells the Cinderella story but from the the stepsister's point of view.  It reads like historical fiction and is quite good.

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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I loved Beauty by Susan Wilson, a modern-day version of Beauty and the Beast.

Date Posted: 7/16/2008 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2005
Posts: 295
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Winter Rose and Solstice Wood by Patricia McKillip are excellent:


Date Posted: 7/16/2008 11:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 103
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Snow by Tracy Lynn is good a retelling of Snow White. 

You also might like Gregory Mcguire's books. Some of the fairy tales he's retold are Snow White, Cinderella, and The Wizard of Oz.

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Terry Pratchett's retelling of the Pied Piper in The Amazing Maurice and His Amazing Rodents is excellent, funny, and won awards. Maurice is a cat  BTW.

It's supposed to be a YA/kid's book, but I loved it, and my 10 yo grandson just finished it and cried and laughed all the way through it.

Some quotes:

You can think and you can fight, but the world's always movin', and if you wanna stay ahead you gotta dance.

The important thing about adventures, thought Mr Bunnsy, was that they shouldn't be so long as to make you miss mealtimes.

Humans, eh? Think they're lords of creation. Not like us cats. We know we are. Ever see a cat feed a human? Case proven.
A good plan isn't one where someone wins, it's where nobody thinks they've lost.
Date Posted: 7/19/2008 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Terry Pratchett's Witches Abroad is a retelling of Cinderella.


Date Posted: 7/20/2008 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 1,253
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Enter Three Witches by Caroline Cooney is loosely based on one of Shakespeare's plays

Last Edited on: 7/20/08 8:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/21/2008 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2006
Posts: 823
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Briar Rose and Tam Lin by Jane Yolen

If you're really into fairy tales, go read the original versions by Perrault. They're sure something different!!

Date Posted: 7/22/2008 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/12/2008
Posts: 23
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Goose Girl is another good one.  I remember reading one i believed was called The Rumplestiltskin problem in elementary school, that was a fun one too.

Date Posted: 7/23/2008 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2007
Posts: 175
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I'm a guy, so I'm more into the humorous retellings than the modernizations, etc., that are still basically fairytales.  But, there a couple I'd recommend:

The Rumplestiltskin Problem - Vivian Vande Velde thinks there are too many unexplained plot points in the basic Rumplestiltskin story, so she retells the story several times, with differing explanations of why everything is happening.  I actually have this on my shelf right now, and if anyone reading this post orders it, I'll throw in a freebie.  Just PM me with what else you want.

James Finn Garner has written a bunch of "politically correct" books, retelling bedtime stories, fairy tales, holiday stories, etc. while taking political correctness to a humorous extreme.

I just noticed there's a "retold fairy tales" tag that's been used 162 times (although many of those are different versions of the same book).  Maybe this will give yo some new ideas: http://www.paperbackswap.com/tags/index.php?type_id=1&tag_id=17329

Also, I think this is part of the series that Michelle mentioned, but The Fire Rose (Elemental Masters, Bk 1) is supposed to be similar to/based on Beauty and the Beast.  I haven't read it, I just noticed it.

(P.S. This is the first time I've tried links in a post.  Hope they work.)

Last Edited on: 8/5/08 12:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/24/2008 1:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2007
Posts: 129
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Do the King Arthur legends count?  Gerald Morris does fabulous sendups of Arthurian tales in his books.  The one I remember is "A Squire's Tale."

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 3:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2008
Posts: 1,171
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If you like short stories, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have compiled many editions of retold/urban fairy tales that are wonderful. The first one is Snow White, Blood Red.

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2008
Posts: 26
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I read the Eudora Welty novella The Robber Bridegroom and would recommend it without reservation.  Here's the synopsis:

"In the midst of the Mississippi woods, pretty young Rosamond Musgrove lives with her father, Clement, and her chilly, jealous stepmother, Salome. There, she is loved by her father but treated badly by his wife, never able to please however little she complains. One day, she is instructed to clean the house from top to toe, to wash the floor, polish the dishes and shine the candlesticks until they gleam and glitter in the darkness. That evening, worn out and dishevelled, she meets for the first time the dashing bandit, Jamie Lockhart, and from then on, her fate is sealed ... In this extraordinary , colourful fairy tale of the South, Eudora Welty clearly displays her admiration of the old tradition and combines it with her perceptive and curious sense of the place and people she loves. "

Date Posted: 7/24/2008 11:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2006
Posts: 3,009
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"The Looking Glass War" by Frank Beddor is a re-telling of Alice in Wonderland. It's a YA book  and a fast read. The sequel  "Seeing Redd" is  also out but, I haven't read it yet.

Date Posted: 7/26/2008 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2007
Posts: 175
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Not exactly what you're looking for, but I really enjoyed The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime, Bk 1), and I'm currently reading The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse. Both books are set in worlds where nursery rhyme characters are real, and both include the murder of Humpty Dumpty as a plot point.  And both authors have other similar books, but I haven't read any others.

Date Posted: 7/28/2008 12:18 PM ET
Member Since: 6/6/2007
Posts: 2,751
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I second Gregory Maguire. Mirror, Mirror was my favorite. Terry Windling actually edited a collection of novels as well. They are called The Fairy Tale Series. Many of them became hits for the authors in their own right. Briar Rose by Jane Yolen was my favorite so far. I'm still tracking them all down. I have The Nightingale by Kara Dalkey on my TBR. I also have The Sun The Moon and The Stars in my TBR but don't remember the author. I'll look up some and post. You can also google and get a lot of them.