This time last month, I gushed about my love for retellings and why they hit the spot for me. As there are many retellings out there and some I haven’t yet read, I wanted to do a follow up focusing on those books and sharing some pre-read thoughts.
I don’t really have any other introductory thoughts so let’s get into the books and spread the retelling love!
The Hand, The Eye and The Heart by Zoë Marriot.
This is a book I picked up on the spur of the moment at the NorthernYALitFest, as I was captivated by this cover and it is a story inspired by various Mulan legends. Mulan is a legend and story I’ve not explored that much (I never even felt fussed by the Disney film) and I want to change that. I feel like it will be something I enjoy once I give it a chance.
And whilst I’m on the topic of Zoë Marriot, I’ve just discovered that she has two other retellings out that I have to add to this list:
Barefoot on the Wind, and Shadows on the Moon – Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella inspired retellings. To me they’re both classic French stories but these two books are set in Japan instead so I’m very interested to see how that setting and culture works with the stories.
All The Ever Afters by Danielle Teller
If there’s one character in Cinderella I really want to explore and learn more about, it is the evil stepmother. From the retellings I’ve read and adaptations I’ve seen all I know is that she’s bitter, jealous and wants a specific life for her and her two daughters. There’s nothing else. I want to see her as a three-dimensional character with a backstory and reasons why she is the way she is. I’m surprised I haven’t read this yet as I do own a copy but it is right at the top of my retelling list so I hope to get to it soon.
A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
The Beauty and the Beast retelling of this year! This is the retelling I need to read and of course it is the main book that inspired this post as I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it and it definitely seems to take a more contemporary angle to the story, which I’ve never read in a Beauty and the Beast retelling before. They’ve all been very historical and rural in their setting and I don’t get that vibe from this so that will be different and interesting. I also heard fairly recently that there will be a sequel so that’s exciting and it will definitely bump this book up the TBR.
Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy
I’m excited to dive into this retelling because ever since I heard about this gender-bent reimagining of King Arthur in space, I’ve thought of nothing else. I’ve also not read a retelling set in space since The Lunar Chronicles right at the start of my online book presence about 4 or 5 years ago, and the Arthurian legends are always stories I’ve intended on revisiting for years so it is exciting and completely different from the other retellings!
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
I have yet to read Uprooted which is her Beauty and the Beast retelling but I’m more intrigued by Spinning Silver in particular as I’ve not come across anything inspired by Rumplestiltskin before. It’s also not a classic fairytale I know very much about – I might have read a simplistic version of the story in a classic bedtime story anthology I had as a child but that’s about it. I have no recollection of anything else and similarly to Mulan with The Hand, The Eye and the Heart, I want to delve into those fairytales I haven’t read and explored before.
The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell
I’ve never read any of Bernard Cornwell’s fantasy books before but I’ve always seen all of his books on the fantasy shelves of my local Waterstones and ever since I started reading more adult fantasy, I’ve wanted to read them. This one recently stood out to me because it takes on the Arthurian legends and like I said with Once and Future, they’re legends I’ve wanted to explore for years. I think it will be interesting to see which one I read first as they’re both at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of being new and traditional, YA and Adult.
The Beauty of the Wolf by Wray Delaney (aka Sally Gardner)
I only heard of this retelling fairly recently and I cannot believe I didn’t know about it before because it is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and you know by now how much I want them all! However this one stands out to me because it’s set in Elizabethan England and there’s nothing I want to read more than something that’s both fantasy and historical fiction. It’s my dream genre! I’ve also not really read an Adult Beauty and the Beast retelling, mainly YA or NA (A Court of Thorns and Roses) so I’m interested to see the difference in storytelling.
I’m going to leave it there with these retellings because I could go on and on. There are more retellings out there than we realise and I think it shows that there are always going to be different ways of sharing a particular story. I most likely said this in my last retellings post but that’s one of the things I love about retellings – imagination is endless!
Are there some retellings you need/want to read soon?
As always, thank you very much for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!