Fairy Tales – Original vs Retelling?


In this post, I want to talk about fairy tales vs their YA retellings. I have read a lot of these retellings (since I really like classic fairy tales).


  • Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge – I just reviewed this one.  But let me tell you, it’s definitely a good one.  I thought Maia, was an excellent modernization of Cinderella.  She was much more independent and self-sufficient.  Also,  I thought that her story had something the original sorely lacked, motivation.  Why did Cinderella stay with her step family?  I guess it was a combination of having nowhere else to go and the fact that she didn’t seem to value herself very highly.  Maia, on the other hand, stayed in order to protect her family from the vengeful ghost of her mother.
  • Veiled Allurement by Elle Beaumont – this is another creative twist on Cinderella as it incorporates fictional mythology into the storyline.  Faye’s story, as opposed to the original, also adds a much-needed element.  The stakes.  Faye is the patron goddess of a nation so getting back to where she belongs is critical to the fate of a country.  Original Cinderella had no such problems to worry about.
  • The Princess in the Opal Mask – since this story is about twins, there are two concurrent stories going on.  One girl’s story parallels Cinderella’s pretty strongly.  Elara lived with a terrible step family who constantly mistreated her and then she gets to pretend to be a royal.

Beauty and the Beast

  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge – Set in the same universe as Gilded Ashes, this story is a mythological spin on Beauty and the Beast.  My favorite aspect of this version, as compared to the original, is the way Ignifex (the beast), is not beastly in appearance, but in actions and attitude.  I love the idea that the female protagonist isn’t just looking past lack of outer beauty.  I like that Cruel Beauty removes the superficial element to the relationship between Beauty and Beast.
  • Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie – this one is not a conventional retelling, but there are many similar elements.  Sonya’s life is interrupted by a tragedy and she becomes the only person able to help the people who raised her.  (Sounds like Belle in Beauty in the Beast so far, right?)  She then moves to the palace and meets the Emperor, Valko, and his brother, Anton.  Valko, in true beast style, is awful and cruel.  Anton, on the other hand, is the exact opposite.  Here’s where we deviate from the original story, Sonya finds herself falling for both guys.  I won’t spoil too much, but the general set up is definitely there.
  • Frostblood by Elly Blake – again, this is a bit of an unconventional retelling but it does capture the basic elements.  A girl is taken against her will to live in a place with a boy she considers mean (and he has scars which he tries to cover).  She finds out that he isn’t mean, just misunderstood and does everything she can to help him.  Added elements to this story that I think are improvements on the original include, elemental magic, multiple love triangles, and story length (since this is a trilogy and the original is one story).


  • Bloodleaf – this is kind of a bonus since I haven’t read it yet, but the description immediately made me think of Aladdin.  A princess who disguises herself as a commoner and falls in love?  Remind you of anything?  I’ll definitely confirm the similarities in my full review.


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