By definition, a fractured fairy tale is taking an old, old fairy tale and changing things around a bit. So a retelling, if anything. Like making Cinderella into a cyborg or placing the twelve dancing sisters into old-world Romania. Maybe even turning Sleeping Beauty’s savior into a woman or something. There’ve been quite a few books out lately that do this, and I am certainly loving the idea, enough that I was going to find a way to incorporate this into a Top Ten Tuesday at some point. Here’s my chance!
Ten Books For Readers Who Like Fractured Fairy Tales
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer – Cinderella is a cyborg and she’s got more problems than a lost foot and no invitations to balls. I just got through reading this first book, and phew, I’m loving it. I have now added the series itself to my shelf collection.
Valiant by Sarah McGuire – I had the fortune of reading McGuire’s ARC copy of Valiant, which is a retelling of “The Brave Little Tailor,” only this particular tailor is female and a bit more badass IMO. That said, is it actually fair to list a book that hasn’t come out yet? Oh well.
Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson – A setting in India! A tale of two sisters who are both protagonists and main points of view! It’s always interesting to see when the supposed antagonistic stepsister becomes a sister who is not antagonistic in the slightest.
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce – I might have mentioned this one a few times by now, but I was certainly entertained enough by this book to warrant adding it again on a TTT list, particularly since it is one of the few modernized fairy tale retellings that I’ve read where I haven’t wanted to push the main characters off a cliff or something.
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale – I might have written something along the lines of a Goose Girl retelling, but Hale’s definitely got it down pat. I loved this story, and it’s one that’s stayed with me a for a while.
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier – There is never going to be a top ten fairy tale retelling list where I won’t put Wildwood Dancing into the mix. Just…this book. Is AMAZING. Kept me up all night like the fae folk in the story kept the five (yes, five, not twelve) dancing princesses up all night. Oh, and there technically is a frog prince somewhere.
Deerskin by Robin McKinley – Any retelling of Donkeyskin is going to wind up being disturbing, but Deerskin is one that will stay on my list as traumatic, intense, tear-jerking, and–in a way–so fully wrapped up that I can’t even begin to describe the ending in words without wanting to bow down to the amazing storyteller that is McKinley. Yeah. I loved this book, obviously.
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card – Admittedly, I did not know OSC had other works other than the Ender series, and if he did, I always assumed it’d be science fiction. Prove me wrong twice when I saw his Sleeping Beauty retelling in a local book store. The fact that he utilized Slavic mythologies to retell a popularized French classic (though arguably one can say it was originally an Italian tale) makes this book a great read.
Beauty by Robin McKinley – There was certainly a year where I was all for reading McKinley’s fractured fairy tales. This one made the list because I loved how the story was simply retold, with minor changes in the process. Not as intense as Deerskin, but then again, neither tale is really comparable to the other.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – I tried to vary the fairy tale retellings to include different ones, but Cinderella is such a popular character that I did have to add this classic children’s book by Levine. Ella of Frell is one of my favorite Cinderella characters in any of the books I’ve read, and Ella Enchanted sparked this love of fractured fairy tales. So I blame Levine for this list, yes.
I’ve probably missed out on other fairy tale retellings, and I’m currently reading one now (by Marillier), but I can’t fairly judge it just yet. If there are other fractured fairy tales I should know about, definitely let me know!