Once Upon A Time Retold

There has been a recent influx of fairy tale retellings coming across my desk. As you may already know from my previous posts, I get all of the fantasy ARCs sent to Mackin and I enjoy seeing how authors can put a new spin on a fairy tale. Speculative fiction is my preferred genre and fairy tales fit well into that also. I really enjoy being swept away into a new world that an author creates and seeing where the journey takes me. In the case of a fairy tale, the reader may be able to predict the ending or the pattern of the story, but it is all up to the authors to alter the story and surprise the reader.

The books I have featured all take their own unique approach to their retellings. One of the authors choose to keep the fairy tale retelling very classic and stay within the classic heroine role, another chose to have duel perspectives between two sisters, and one focuses on a villain. These are three titles I have decided to review, one that has already come out, one coming out this month, and one coming out next month. So, you can fill up your reading list and get excited for the new Beauty & The Beast movie coming out this Friday.

Marissa Meyer really needs no introduction after her Cinder series, it is clear she is a master of fairy tale retellings. While Alice in Wonderland isn’t what most think of in terms of fairy tales, I still wanted to include it since it is a classic retelling of a fantasy world. Meyer has created this story before Alice ever visits Wonderland and the wicked Queen of Hearts is still a young girl. We all remember how evil the Queen of Hearts is, but in this tale Catherine Pinkerton just wants to be able to open a bakery with her best friend. She has no desire to marry the bumbling and naive King of Hearts that her parents want for her. Cath meets the King’s new joker, Jest, and they begin to fall in love and when the fearsome Jabberwocky begins attacking the kingdom, the sweethearts decide to run away together. However, this is clearly not a tale with a happy ending as readers will dread finding out how the sweet Cath turns into the Queen of Hearts.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer. 9781250044655. Nov 2016. Gr 8-12.

Spooner has reimagined the tale of Beauty & The Beast in this new novel. Yeva’s father, a hunter, has recently lost his fortune and has moved his three daughters to his small hunting lodge on the edge of a huge forest. When her father is convinced that a beast is scaring off all the wildlife and goes out hunting it and doesn’t return, Yeva, an accomplished hunter, herself sets out after him. Yeva, known as Beauty by her family, finds the Beast who captures her in his castle for his own purpose. This is a slow building tale of wonder and fantasy as Yeva discovers the wonders of the lands surrounding the Beast’s castle and wants to help him. The magic and character building really shine in this retelling and readers who can stick it out until the read will be rewarded.

Hunted by Meagan Spooner. 9780062422286. March 14th 2017. Gr 9-12.

In this reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, Aurora has a half sister, Isabelle. Both sisters have had something tithed by faeries; Aurora, her sense of touch and voice, and Isabelle, her voice. Aurora was just a baby she was cursed to fall into a deep sleep and bring the rest of the kingdom with her when she pricks her finger on a spindle. Both sisters are extremely close to one another and have found their own way of communicating. When the curse falls upon the kingdom, Isabelle is saved from falling into the cursed sleep and sets off determined to find a way to save her sister. The narrative switches between Isabelle trying to find a cure and Aurora who dreams of a war between two faerie sisters. This tale is another slow journey into the heart of this fairy tale and readers who enjoy an epic quest and and the love between two sisters will enjoy this tale.

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer. 9780062440877. April 11th, 2017. Gr 9-12.

 

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