I've always loved fairy tales. From the sugary sweet Disney retellings to the gritty originals, there is something about fantastical realms, unstoppable spells, beautiful castles and wicked witches that has always appealed to me and more than any other type of book managed to sweep me away on an adventurous journey to a faraway kingdom filled with magic and romance.
I worked my way through the majority of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson catalogue as a child, but I haven't actually ventured into the classics for a very long time. I've been itching to reread some of my favourites, but rather than diving back into the originals I've come across a host of young adult retellings that sound absolutely brilliant and I'm keen to check out instead. I've rounded up the ones that sound most interesting in my list of most-anticipated YA retellings of classic fairy tales below.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasSarah J. Maas' books are all the rage right now. Everyone on Booktube seems to love her Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first novel in her new series, which is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast. 19-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods and she is soon captured by a beast-like create. But of course not all is as it seems and this is actually not a beast but one of the faeries who once ruled the land.
The Wrath of the Dawn by Renee AbdiehThis list is not in a particular order but if was this book would be right up there on the number one spot. Inspired by A Thousand And One Nights, this book tells the story of a murderous boy-king who kills his wives each dawn. When Shazrad ends up his next bride she tells him stories that keep her alive dawn after dawn. And with each passing day Shazrad realises that perhaps the king isn't what she believed him to be.
A Thousand Nights by E.K. JohnstonThis one is also based on the story of A Thousand And One Nights but this time around it's a stand-alone story (Wrath of the Dawn is not) and there seem to be more magical elements woven into this novel as well.
Winter by Marissa MeyerWhile this is the 4th installment in the Lunar Chronicles, none of which I've read yet, I picked this particular title because it's a retelling of Snow White, which is one of my all-time favourite fairy tales and I'm desperate for a decent retelling! The other stories in this series also include Cinderalla, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel.
The Forbidden Wish by Jessica KhouryThis is the story of Aladdin as we have never heard it before. The Genie is a woman, Zahra, and on top of an already impossible romance there is a further complication thrown into the mix because magic is forbidden in the kingdom it is set – and so Zahra's very existence is illegal.
Reign of Shadows by Sophie JordanA retelling of Rapunzel (there is a princess locked away in a tower, I'm not actually sure if she has long hair though!) this tells the story of lost princess Luna, who is is blind. Rescued from her tower by an archer, the two go on the run in a kingdom that is cloaked in darkness (dun dun dun).
The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la CruzThis is not a retelling of a single story as such, but rather it's a new Disney series which bring together some of the most evil of villains from the classic tales as they're banished to the Kingdom of Auradon. Twenty years later they still live there, now with their children, and they're planning their escape...
These are just some of the young adult novels that caught my eye recently and are based on – or inspired by – well-known fairy tales. What is your favourite classic fairy tale? And have you read any retellings you would recommend?