Friday, February 18, 2011

FaiRE-Tells (as in fairy tales, retold)

You've probably heard that the three most powerful words in the English language are I love you.  If, however, happily ever after does more for you, then this list is for you.   Books here have been sorted by the fairy tale that they resemble most closely.  Note that many books fall into multiple categories because they cover more than one traditional fairy tale; however, I've made an effort to concentrate on the tales that come out strongest.  Princesses, dragons, fairies, shining armor, noble steeds, romance, duels . . . you name it, these books have got it!  To learn more about reading lists, browse the about pages.

Adult (A): Ages 16+
Young Adult (YA): High School Reading (and Maturity) Level
Tween (TW): Between Elementary and High School
Children (C): Elementary and Middle School Reading Levels

Arabian Nights ~ Aladdin, djinn , original stories every night for three years - middle eastern folktales have classic exotic appeal.  Arabian tales, "like Arabian days, more often than not, are hotter than hot, in a lot of good ways." 
Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy (YA)
Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher (YA)

Asian Folklore ~ Generally includes the appearance of children in strange places.  Like in peaches floating down rivers or in shining stalks of bamboo.
Fortune's Fool by Mercedes Lackey (A)

Beauty and the Beast ~ One of the most popular FaiRE-Tells of all time.  Some authors love it so much they do it twice (or more)!  
Beauty Sleep by Cameron Dokey (YA)
Belle by Cameron Dokey (YA)
Beastly by Alex Flinn (YA)
The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison (YA)
Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey (A)
The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey (A)
Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier (A)
Beauty by Robin McKinley (YA)
Chalice by Robin McKinley (YA)
Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley (YA)
East by Edith Pattou (YA)

Cinderella ~ Ah yes, the poor cinder girl who sweeps away the ashes and can't keep track of her shoes.  You know who I'm talking about.
Before Midnight by Cameron Dokey (YA)
Bewitching by Alex Flinn (YA)
Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix (YA)
The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey (A)
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (YA)

Donkeyskin ~ A less known French folktale told by Charles Perrault about a donkey with golden poo and a father in love with his daughter.  What could be finer?
Deerskin by Robin McKinley (YA)

"Fairy" Tales ~ That is to say, simply a book which puts the spotlight on creatures known as "faeries" but which may or may not have any ties to princesses, dragons or knights in shining armor astride white stallions with the fading rays of sunset in their eyes.
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (YA)
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (YA)
The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning (A)
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull (YA)

Fairy Tale Mashups ~ Like on MTV, but with fairy tale characters and settings.
The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley (TW)
The Sisters Grimm: The Council of Mirrors by Michael Buckley (TW)
Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross (YA)
Bewitching by Alex Flinn (YA)
Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (A)

The Frog Prince ~ In which an amphibian occasionally gets a hankering for steak and banana splits.
The Frog Prince by Elle Lothlorien (A)
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (YA)

The Goose Girl ~ Tales that feature princesses who through unhappy and cruel twists of fate are demoted to tending livestock. May or may not end with a naked villain being drug through the streets in a nail-lined barrel until dead.
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (YA)

Greek and Roman Folklore ~ Or in other words, gods who are more fascinated by humans than the humans are by them.
Nobody's Princess by Esther Friesner (YA)
Ever by Gail Carson Levine (YA)
The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan (C)

Hansel and Gretel ~ After a long hike through the woods, nothing refreshes better than eating someone else's house.  
Bewitching by Alex Flinn (YA)
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (YA)

King Arthur ~ Because let's face it - the man's more legend than history.
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (A)
Gwenhwyfar: The White Spirit by Mercedes Lackey (A)
Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve (YA)
Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell (YA)
The Arthurian Saga by Mary Stewart (A)

The Little Mermaid ~ Here's hoping she doesn't turn into sea foam at the end.  Versions that end that way are a real downer.
Fortune's Fool by Mercedes Lackey (A)

Little Red Riding Hood ~ She's everything that a big bad wolf could want.  When there's no bacon to be had, that is.
Beauty and the Werewolf by Mercedes Lackey (A)
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (YA)

Mythological Fairy Tale Creatures ~ Flying horses and dragon tails . . . okay so you don't have to laugh.  But you do have to acknowledge that these books feature non paranormal, mythological creatures as main characters.
Eragon by Christopher Paolini (YA)
One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey (A)
Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley (YA)
Pegasus by Robin McKinley (YA)
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (YA)
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede (YA)

Norwegian Folklore ~ Usually includes some aspect of the fairy tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon."  And a polar bear.
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George (YA)
East by Edith Pattou (YA)

Peter Pan ~ Spoiled brats who don't want to grow up and the evil adults who dared to do just that.  
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (TW)

The Prince and the Pauper ~ In which there is at least one member of royalty and/or a commoner who just loves to play "dress up".
The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry (C)
The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal (YA)

Rapunzel ~ More traditional than the beauties who live in dwarf huts or simply sleep away their captivity - we're talking locked in a tower and bored out of her mind.  May also have a fantastic head of hair.
Golden by Cameron Dokey (YA)
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale (YA)
Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale (YA)

Robin Hood ~ Who could forget one of the merriest men in historical fiction?  Done best by those who elaborate on the fictional bits and have a blatant disregard for historical accuracy.
The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley (YA)
Lady of the Forest by Jennifer Roberson (A)

Rumpelstiltskin ~ Strange little men, alchemy, name guessing, and staking one's most valuable possessions are all usually involved in these dark tales.
A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce (YA)

The Six Swans ~ Originally a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm.  For its loose connections to Swan Lake, I've included other similar "swan literature" here as well.
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (A)
The Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey (A)

Slavic Folklore ~ As in slightly or heavily spiced with Russian.  And no, I'm not talking about Borshch.  I'm talking about firebirds, Baba Yaga, houses made of human bones that walk on chicken legs . . . that sort of thing.
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (A)
Firebird by Mercedes Lackey (A)

The Snow Queen ~ Tales that follow the "woman with a heart of ice kidnaps a lover or friend who must then be rescued by a lover or friend by surviving harrowing trials" plot.
The Snow Queen by Mercedes Lackey (A)
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (C)
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (YA)

Snow White ~ Skin white as snow, lips red as blood, hair black as ebony, possessed mirrors, dwarves, inept assassins in the woods, a prince, and a glass coffin all make for one of the most famous fairy tales of all time.
Mira, Mirror by Mette Ivie Harrison (YA)
Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (YA)

Sleeping Beauty ~ Tales with lovely ladies whose bodies are ravaged while they're blissfully unaware . . . sounds remarkably like Rohypnol to me.  Nevertheless, one of my favorites.
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (A)
Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross (YA)
The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye (C)
The Sleeping Beauty by Mercedes Lackey (A)
Spindle's End by Robin McKinley (YA)

The Twelve Dancing Princesses ~ Worn out slippers and the late night escapades of juvenile delinquents are the trademarks of these tales.
Entwined by Heather Dixon (YA)
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George (YA)
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (YA)

To learn more about reading lists, browse the about page.

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