12 Best Fairy Tale Retellings You Will Love Reading – Favbookshelf

Why are retellings so sort after, you ask? Remember how Cinderella’s stepsisters cut off part of their feet to fit into the glass slippers, and how The Little Mermaid got her tongue cut off by the sea witch in the original tales? Details are most of the omitted in the animated adaptations, for obvious reasons. Does that answer your questions?

The original fairy tales were in fact, written for the adults, and hence were darker and more gruesome than the ones Disney showed us, which is probably why you are here looking for retelling recommendations and wanting to revisit the classic fairy tales with a wholly new, and darker perspective. So without further ado, here are the 12 best fairy tale retellings for you to add to your TBR list.

fairy tale retelling
Best Fairy Tale Retellings

Quick warning: They are not all for the faint-hearted people, and did we mention it’s going to be really DARK dark? No? Oh well.


1. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge


About the Book

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge; fairy tale retelling
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Cruel Beauty

Author: Rosamund Hodge

Genre: Young adult, Fantasy, Romance, Fairy Tale, Magic

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Type: Standalone

Pages: 346

Retelling of: Beauty and The Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve

Goodreads Rating: 3.7/5

Nyx is a victim of a bargain struck by her father with the evil ruler of her kingdom. She doesn’t have a choice in the matter, though she does have a plan. But the monster isn’t all that she has known. Ignifex is a beast, but he is also seductive and charming, and ultimately it’s upon Nyx to choose between her heart and her kingdom.

Why do we recommend this book?

Ah, the age-old struggle between love and duty. Indeed the toughest choice! Cruel Beauty is by far one of the best Beauty and the Beast retellings, preserving as much material from the source it could, and Rosamund Hodge pours magic in her words. The writing is very poetic, and the characters are all layered and lovable.

If you want to buy/gift Cruel Beautyclick on the link below: 👇


2. House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig


About the Book

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Title: House of Salt and Sorrows

Author: Erin A. Craig

Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Horror, Young adult, Romance, Fairy tale

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Type: Standalone

Pages: 403

Retelling of: The Twelve Dancing Princesses by The Grimm Brothers

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Annaleigh lives a happy life with her father and her eleven sisters. Or rather, she used to, until tragedies left the twelve princesses into eight. The whole town whispers about them. Her other sisters are sneaking off their manor at night to go dancing someplace filled with enchanting mysteries and magic. The stranger she met accidentally seems to be hiding something related to her family. It’s ultimately upon Annaleigh to protect her remaining family and unravel the secrets of the magical ball, all the while trying not to succumb to the temptation of dancing shoes and strangers with beautiful eyes.

Why do we recommend this book?

Now, this is one seriously dark fairy tale retelling, mashing up bits of magic, myth, and psychology all into one horrifyingly beautiful plot. Annaleigh is a very relatable heroine with silent strength, and all her sisters were satisfying character arcs and roles to play. The romance was a little bland and fast-paced, but then again, this was a family-themed book. The writing style is beautiful, each chapter ends with a cliffhanger which makes one unable to put down the book

If you want to buy/gift House of Salt and Sorrowsclick on the link below: 👇


3. Hunted by Meagan Spooner


About the Book

Hunted by Megan Spooner; fairy tale retelling
Hunted by Megan Spooner

Title: Hunted

Author: Meagan Spooner

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Magic, Fairy tale

Publisher: HarperTeen

Type: Standalone

Pages: 384

Retelling of: Beauty and The Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve

Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5

Yeva is out on the hunt for the beast when her father goes missing. She has always longed for the woods and the secrets that the beast holds, but when she finally does stumble upon them, it’s beyond anything she has ever imagined. She has to decide whether she wants to return to her life or be enchanted by the magic. However, both choices come with a price.

Why do we recommend this book?

Beauty as a hunter? Yes, please! This book has a very Russian-y setting, in a very positive way. The writing retains that fairy tale vibe that we all love without going over the top with symbolism, and the love story is *clenches heart* immaculate. Everyone loves a good slow-burn romance. Right?

If you want to buy/gift Huntedclick on the link below: 👇


4. Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge


About the Book

Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge; fairy tale retelling
Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Hunted

Author: Meagan Spooner

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Magic, Fairy tale

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Type: Standalone

Pages: 111

Retelling of: Cinderella by The Grimm Brothers

Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5

Maia and Anax don’t believe in love. Maia’s dead mother made a deal with their ruler as a means to protect her, but it’s turning out to be more of a curse. And Anax is beaten and bruised from the betrayal. But when circumstances make these two souls bump into each other, their belief starts to change. Except that for Maia, loving him could kill him.

Why do we recommend this book?

Gilded Ashes is another retelling in the list by Rosamund Hodge, framed in the same world as the ‘Cruel Beauty.’ Cinderella’s relationship with her stepsisters was enjoyable, as they behaved like normal siblings, and the slow-burn romance between Maia and Anax was very natural. Overall, it’s a short, easy read when you are in the mood for twisted blessings and deep connections.

If you want to buy/gift Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodgeclick on the link below: 👇


5. Ravenspire Series by C.J. Redwine


About the Book

Ravenspire Series by C.J. Redwine; fairy tale retelling
Ravenspire Series by C.J. Redwine

Title: Ravenspire

Author: C.J. Redwine

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Magic, Fairy tale

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Type: Series

No. of books: 4

Retellings of: #1 The Shadow Queen – Snow White by The Grimm Brothers, #2 The Wish Granter – Rumpelstiltskin by The Grimm Brothers, #3 The Traitor Prince – The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, #4 The Blood Spell – Cinderella by The Grimm Brothers

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

A series of standalone set in the same universe following neighboring kingdoms, these four companion novels are retellings of different fairy tales with dark characters and even darker twists. You can read them individually without following the sequence.

Why do we recommend this book?

All four books have something different to offer in the retelling genre, but it’s the 2nd book, ‘The Wish Granter,’ and the 4th book, ‘The Blood Spell.’ The characters have more depth and are brighter than their original counterparts (which we all are glad for), the twists and turns keep one on the edge of their seats. It is a magical read. Retelling lovers should give this series a chance.

If you want to buy/gift Ravenspire Series Book 1click on the link below: 👇


6. Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly


About the Book

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Title: Stepsister

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fairy tale

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Type: Standalone

Pages: 352

Retelling of: Cinderella by The Grimm Brothers

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Cinderella has found her prince charming. And Isabella has lost her toes, the ugly girl in a world that only values beauty. Stepsister is recited from the point of view of Isabella, the ugly stepsister, depicting what happens to the ones rejected after the curtains have fallen on the fairy tale romance.

Why do we recommend this book?

“History books say that kings and dukes and generals start wars. Never believe them! We pioneered it, you and I. Every time we turn away, keep quiet, stay out of it, behave ourselves.” If this quote does not make you want to jump into this book right now, nothing else would. An enthralling read, especially for every woman out there who doesn’t believe she is beautiful and is pushed down by the expectations of society.

If you want to buy/gift Stepsister by Jennifer Donnellyclick on the link below: 👇


7. Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik


About the Book

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik; fairy tale retelling
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Title: Spinning Silver

Author: Naomi Novik

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fairy tale

Publisher: Del Rey

Type: Standalone

Pages: 465

Retelling of: Rumpelstiltskin by The Grimm Brothers

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Miryem can turn silver into gold. Or so the rumors go. When she gains the attention of the Staryk King, she realizes that she would need more wit and intellect than she has ever before, and her woven webs end up sucking in some unlikely allies. They might be able to get out of this tapestry, but only if the Staryk King’s secrets don’t throw their world into chaos first.

Why do we recommend this book?

It’s a fascinating take on the original Rumpelstiltskin, reminiscent of that folk tale vibe that we all love. It’s got way more plotlines and characters than the source, and the point of view jumps from one person to another a lot which is a little confusing, but it gets better as you delve deeper into the world of winter and fears. A magical mixture of myths and fairy tales, Spinning Silver is one of the best retellings ever made.

If you want to buy/gift Spinning Silverclick on the link below: 👇


8. Cursebreakers Series by Brigid Kemmerer


About the Book

Cursebreakers Series; fairy tale retelling
Cursebreakers Series

Title: Cursebreakers

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fairy tale, Magic, Romance

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Type: Series

No. of Books: 3

Retelling of: Beauty and The Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve

Books in it: #1 A Curse so Dark and Lonely, #2 A Heart so Fierce and Broken, #3 A Vow so Bold and Deadly

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

When Harper’s attempt at kindness pulls her inside a magical dimension, she isn’t sure what to make of it. There are cursed princes and monsters that she has only ever heard about in books, but as she spends more time with Rhen, she realizes there is more to this world and to her. But in the end, this is a fairy tale. And fairy tales can’t end until the curse breaks. And the war is won.

Why do we recommend this book?

Harper is a patient of cerebral palsy and that representation? Wow. And yeah, another Beauty and the Beast retelling on the list. So what? Let’s be honest, that book is all of our guilty pleasure, and its retelling is the best. Especially, when there are no cases of Stockholm Syndrome.

If you want to buy/gift Cusrebreakers Series Book 1click on the link below: 👇


9. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury


About the Book

The Forbidden Wish By Jessica Khoury
The Forbidden Wish By Jessica Khoury

Title: The Forbidden Wish

Author: Jessica Khoury

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Publisher: Razorbill

Type: Standalone

Pages: 352

Retelling of: Aladdin from Arabian Night Tales – One Thousand and One Nights

Goodreads Rating: 4/5

Zahra is a jinni. A female jinni. And she is not about to lose the chance to be free from her lamp forever. Except that now her heart has entered the equation, and Zahra has to decide whether she is ready to pay the price that her freedom would cost her.

Why do we recommend this book?

There is a female jinni as our badass, powerful, flawed heroine, and an adorable, charming but clueless at times hero. Except for the two main characters, there aren’t many resemblances between this retelling and the source, but this is worth checking for amusing, chill reading.

If you want to buy/gift TheForbidden Wish by Jessica Khouryclick on the link below: 👇


10. Girls made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust


About the Book

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust; fairy tale retelling
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Author: Melissa Bashardoust

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fairy Tale, LGBT

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Type: Standalone

Pages: 384

Retelling of: Snow White by The Grimm Brothers and The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen

Goodreads Rating: 3.7/5

16-year-old Mina has a heart made of glass. Her-15 year-old stepdaughter Lynet is made of snow. Girls made of Snow and Glass follows the story of these two women in a world where only one can have it all unless they can change their stories and themselves.

Why do we recommend this book?

There are undertones of feminism and LGBT themes that are so subtly executed, and the main characters are so complex, genuine, and grey. Great book for anyone, honestly.

If you want to buy/gift Girls Made of Snow and Glassclick on the link below: 👇


11. Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge


About the Book

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Crimson Bound

Author: Rosamund Hodge

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fairy Tale, Romance

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Type: Standalone

Pages: 448

Retelling of: The Red Riding Hood by The Grimm Brothers

Goodreads Rating: 3.6/5

Rachelle is trying to atone for the past mistake that bound her to the very evil she wished to defeat, and the last thing she wants to do is guard Prince Armand, the man she hates the most. But their unlikely alliance ends up leading them to unravel secrets and forbidden magic that threatens their very realm, and they realize they might be the key to defeating the endless night for good.

Why do we recommend this book?

Yes, another Rosamund Hodge mention. Isn’t it obvious yet that she is the best at retellings? Crimson Bound is based on The Red Riding Hood, and the main character here is badass. Also, the slow burn enemies-to-lovers trope here is just pure awesome.

If you want to buy/gift Crimson Boundclick on the link below: 👇


12. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo


About the Book

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Title: To Kill a Kingdom

Author: Alexandra Christo

Genre: Fantasy, Young adult, Fairy Tale, Romance

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Type: Standalone

Pages: 344

Retelling of: The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5

Siren princess Lira collects the hearts of the princes. Literally. When an adventure goes wrong, Lira finds herself stripped of her songs as a punishment. Now she is on a time limit to bring back prince Elian’s heart if she wants her powers back, while the ocean-loving prince is on a mission to eliminate all of the Siren’s kind- it is easier said than done when the heart is on the line.

Why do we recommend this book?

In this retelling of The Little Mermaid, Ariel is a manipulative, deceiving, blood-thirsty killer, and the handsome prince is a calculative tactician. Honestly, they are the perfect match made in hell. The conversation between the two is always fun, and the simple writing just adds more charm to the already awesome plot.

If you want to buy/gift To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christoclick on the link below: 👇


That’s all for the recommendations for now. The best part about the retellings is their gorgeous covers. So how about you jump in and start crossing off the list right away? The world of monsters, curses, warriors, and magic awaits!

P.S: Some books recommended here are available on Kindle Unlimited. If you have subscribed to it, then you can read these books for free. Check out this article: Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?

SO, to conclude here is the list of the Best Fairy tale Retellings Recommendation.

1.Cruel Beauty by Rosamund HodgeBuy Now
2.House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. CraigBuy Now
3.Hunted by Meagan SpoonerBuy Now
4.Gilded Ashes by Rosamund HodgeBuy Now
5.Ravenspire Series by C.J. RedwineBuy Now
6.Stepsister by Jennifer DonnellyBuy Now
7.Spinning Silver by Naomi NovikBuy Now
8.Cursebreakers Series by Brigid KemmererBuy Now (box-set)
9.The Forbidden Wish by Jessica KhouryBuy Now
10.Girls made of Snow and Glass by Melissa BashardoustBuy Now
11.Crimson Bound by Rosamund HodgeBuy Now
12.To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra ChristoBuy Now
Best Fairy Tale Retellings

Do check out all the books in this fairy tale retelling list. They all are awesome.

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