Six Retellings Based on Unusual Source Material

6 Retellings Based on Unusual Sources

The Boys of Blur by N. D. Wilson (Beowulf)

Charlie has never known where he belonged.  But now his stepfather has returned to the place where he grew up–Taper, Florida, where football is what matters and the boys learn speed by chasing rabbits through the burning sugarcane.  Charlie wants to belong here, too, but an ancient evil lurks in the swamps and the only way for him to save the lives of those he loves may be for him to sacrifice his own.

The Coming of the Dragon by Rebecca Barnhouse (Beowulf)

Rune washed up on the shores of the Geats as a baby and many have hated him ever since. Now a young man, Rune struggles to fit into his society and to prove himself worthy to be a warrior. The awakening of a dragon gives him the perfect opportunity to show his mettle, but Rune fears he may fail his king in the hour of his need.

The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope (“Tam Lin”)

While exiled by Queen Mary, Kate Sutton stumbles upon the magical and dangerous world of the fairies.  Convinced that the Fairy Folk have kidnapped a young girl, Kate sets out to save her.  But will she be the fairies’ next sacrifice?

Violet Eyes by Debbie Viguié (“The Princess and the Pea”)

When a storm brings Prince Richard to Violet’s farmhouse, the two immediately fall in love.  But Richard is destined to wed for political reasons.  Can the two find a way to outwit royalty and find their happily ever after?

Deathless by Catherynne Valente (“The Death of Koschei the Deathless”)

Over the years Marya Morevna has watched three birds turn into three husbands, one for each of her sisters.  Now she waits for her own bird to rescue her from the cramped living quarters and the constant hunger that have become her existence.  But Marya has not prepared herself to receive the attentions of Kocshei the Deathless.  Can she rewrite the story Koschei has played out so many times or will she become just another plaything for the Tsar of Life to throw away?

Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M. T. Anderson and Andrea Offermann (“Yvain; Or, the Knight with the Lion”)

In this graphic novelization of the 12-century poem by Chrétien de Troyes,  Yvain defeats a lord in battle and finds his own life forfeit.  Then a lady rescues him.  But will Yvain remain faithful?


15 thoughts on “Six Retellings Based on Unusual Source Material

  1. Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks says:

    This is a wonderful list! I haven’t actually heard of any of these books, let alone read them, but I’m taking place in a readathon that calls for me to read a fairytale retelling. The Princess & the Pea retelling sounds like something I would really enjoy. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks


  2. Ravenclaw Book Club says:

    Cool post! I studied a bit of Beowulf last year but would really love to read the full text at some point. Maybe afterwards I will check out a retelling, who knows! x


  3. Nandini Bharadwaj says:

    The only one I’ve heard of in this list here is Beowulf. Thanks for all of the information! 🙂 I tend to shy away from retellings of famous Disney movies and such because of the hype surrounding them. Sometimes, they’re badly written or I just don’t like what the author has done with it. So I might give these a try instead. Great post! 🙂


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