Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thursday Thirteen: Fairy Tale Fantasy Novels

Since you all know about my book, A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH, based on "The 12 Dancing Princesses", I thought I'd create a list of 13 other fantasy novels fairy tales you may enjoy as well! There's a huge richness of fairy tale revisions in YA (young adult) right now, so I’m going to concentrate on ones that seem to specifically be for adults, with a few exceptions.

1) Tam Lin by Pamela Dean. Based, unsurprisingly, on Tam Lin. Set in sort of contemporary times (70's) at a college.

2) Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia Wrede. I'm sure you can guess which one this is based on as well! This story is set during the reign of Elizabeth I.

3) The Nightingale by Kara Dalkey. Like the two previous novels, this is part of the "Fairy Tale Series" that Terri Windling helmed in the previous century. Takes place in historical Japan.

4) Once Upon a Winter's Night by Dennis McKiernan. Based on East O the Sun, West O the Moon and set in a fairy tale-like setting and followed by other novels in the same setting.

5) Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley. Based on Beauty and the Beast. For that matter, so is McKinley's book Beauty, so you might like them both. Both are set in a fantasy typical land.

5) Spindle's End by Robin McKinley. Based on Sleeping Beauty and set in a fantasy typical land with a wonderful heroine.

6) Fitcher's Brides by Gregory Frost. Another entry in the Windling Fairy Tale series and based on Bluebeard. This story is set in New York's lake district in the 1830's.

7) Zel by Donna Jo Napoli. Based on Rapunzel and set in historical Switzerland. This novel is young adult.

8) Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. Based on The Six Swans and set in medieval Ireland with fantasy touches.

9) Reserved for the Cat by Mercedes Lackey. Based on Puss in Boots and set in the ballet world of 1910 London.

10) The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey. Based on Cinderella and several other fairy tales and set in fairy tale land.

11) A Fate Worse Than Dragons by John Moore. Based on...any number of fairy tales where the hero has to rescue the kidnapped princess, with a lot of inside fairy tale jokes.

12) Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire. Based on Snow White. Maguire has revised several classic fairy tales, including Wizard of Oz, by telling the story from an unexpected viewpoint. Set in 16th century Tuscany.

13) Never After by Rebecca Lickiss. Based primarily on Sleeping Beauty but with many fairy tale references thrown in. Set in fairy tale land.

Happy reading!

Jody W.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--Available now from Samhain Publishing *

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  1. Who is Tam Lin? I know I should know, but I can't remember.

  2. You should check out Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst. You'd love it.
    Happy TT--and here's mine:

  3. Thanks for this list, I keep thinking about a fairy tale retelling I've had in my head for a while, but I haven't read enough examples to feel like I know the reimaging genre well yet.

    I'd love to redo rumplestilskin and rapunzel. I have outlines and everything.*Grin*


  4. Don't forget to read Jody's story, it's a fun example of making a fairy tale your own.

    Tam Lin is the fey hero of a Scottish ballad turned fairy tale. It's about love between a fey male and a mortal woman.

  5. Hmmmm there are a few here i'd not mind reading myself. I just did a short version of beauty and the beast myself that was fun to do, more modernized. Fun stuff.

  6. The only one I've read on the list is DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST. Haven't read any of the others, though I remember reading an anthology where one of the stories was a modern version of the Tam Lin tale. Moore's A FATE WORSE THAN DRAGONS sounds good. I'll have to check that one out. Great list, Jody.

  7. I'm so glad you included Misty Lackey's book since I love her and her unicorns!