If You Like Retold Fairytales Based on Lesser-Known Works, Then Read… (Part One)

IYL Stars

If You Like, Then Read is a feature where we offer reading suggestions based on books you already like, scheduled once a month. If you have more suggestions, feel free to tell us in the comments! You can check out the rest of these lists here.

Valiant by Sarah McGuire (“The Brave Little Tailor”)

Saville hates sewing, but when her tailor father falls ill, she must go to the king in hopes of scoring the commission that will provide for their daily needs.  Unfortunately, her arrival in the city coincides with the arrival of two giants, scouts for the army led by an immortal man who wishes to claim the kingdom for herself.  Saville quickly dispatches them with her wits, but as a result finds herself swept up into court life and its political intrigue.  Can one girl save the kingdom?

The Shadow of the Bear by Regina Doman (“Snow White and Rose Red”)

One day a strange young man appears on the doorstep of teenage sisters Rose and Blanche.  Rose is immediately charmed by his knowledge of music and literature, but Blanche fears his troubled past and what it might mean for their family.  A modern-day retelling set in New York City.

A Question of Magic by E. D. Baker (“Baba Yaga”)

Serafina is leading an ordinary life, falling in love and hanging out with her friends, until she receives a letter from an unknown great-aunt.  Suddenly Serafina finds herself learning how to become the new Baba Yaya, but just because she has to tell people the truth doesn’t mean she has all the answers.

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson (“Bluebeard”)

After the death of her father, Sophia Petherham accepts the invitation from her godfather, a man she has never met, to reside at his Mississippi home.  Though she is charmed by his generosity and seduced by his manner, her suspicions grow as he keeps her trapped on the property and she begins to piece together the stories of his former wives–all of them with hair as red as her own.

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (“Six Swans”)

Sorcha is her parents’ seventh child and much beloved as their only daughter, until the day her father marries a new wife who bewitches him and turns her six brothers into swans.  Only by staying silent until she completes a quest given to her by the Fair Folk can Sorcha save her brothers and transform them back into men.  But when Sorcha is kidnapped by her people’s enemies, she must choose between saving her brothers or the man she has come to love.

 A True Princess by Diane Zahler (“The Princess and the Pea”)

Twelve-year-old Lilia runs away from home to find her birth family, but cannot outrun her foster sister and brother, Karina and Kai.  Together the three set out on a dangerous journey to the north, the place from which they believe Lilian came.  On the way, however, Kai falls under the spell of the Elf King’s daughter.  His sisters can save him only if they recover a magical jewel hidden away in a castle.  Unfortunately, another mystery awaits them there—the secret of the test that will determine a true princess and the bride to the kingdom’s heir.

10 thoughts on “If You Like Retold Fairytales Based on Lesser-Known Works, Then Read… (Part One)

  1. Lisa says:

    Great list! I haven’t read any of these, but I see some I’ll have to check out. I’d add “Deerskin” by Robin McKinley, which is a retelling of Donkey Skin.


  2. Faye (@kawaiileena) says:

    Amazing list, Krysta! I didn’t know there were so many retellings out there of other tales. Goes to show my ignorance, I guess ^^;; I would love to read each and every one of these, especially Strands of Bronze and Gold! I’ve only heard good things about it, and honestly, that cover is really divine.

    Faye at The Social Potato


    • Krysta says:

      I absolutely loved Strands of Bronze and Gold! She followed it with a retelling of “Tam Lin” set during the American Civil War, but I haven’t read that one yet.


  3. Julie @ Books and Insomnia says:

    I’m not too fond of retellings but I do read them now and then. Nice list! I haven’t heard these books before, except Valiant and Strands of Bronze and Gold. I’m currently reading a Beauty and the Beast retelling, Cruel Beauty, and liking it so far.🙂


    • Krysta says:

      The Twelve Dancing Princesses is a favorite fairy tale of mine! I love the sister aspect and how retellings get to focus on twelve awesome female protagonists!


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