Fairytales have endured the passage of time as much as myths and legends. They are stories that stay with us for generations and have been told repeatedly throughout our lives.

Fairy tale retellings
Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash
Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash

Fairytales have been retold in so many ways and have been a part of storytelling for many years. Every retelling of these classic stories has a unique tone to the way it is told.

Fairytale retellings are popular in the fantasy and science-fiction genre. These books are sometimes structures of the original tales, and other times have a fresh spin to it.

If you love fairytales, you will love retellings more. The retellings are inventive and action-packed with intense romance. Here are some of the best fairytale retelling books to read.

Great Fairytale Retellings To Read

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Fairy tale retelling
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Credit: Amazon

It is easy to guess from the name that this fairytale retelling is about Cinderella, but this version has a science-fiction twist at its core.

Cinder is about a cyborg who is a talented mechanic in New Beijing. Just like in the classic Cinderella story, Cinder’s stepmother hates her. In this book, her stepmother blames her for her stepsister’s illness. Cinder’s life changes after she becomes entwined with Prince Kai.

She finds herself in the middle of a struggle between an evil queen and a dangerous temptation. Cinder differs from the original fairytale, but it is a story that will stay with you long after you have read it.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Fairy tale retelling
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
Credit: Amazon

The Wrath and the Dawn is the fairytale retelling of One Thousand and One Nights by Richard Francis Burton. The love story in this book is one that will make you smile every time.

This is the story of how sixteen-year-old Shahrzad became a storyteller every night to save herself from the murderous boy-king. Shahrzad had volunteered to become the wife of the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan named Khalid so she can avenge her friend’s death. Khalid had killed Shahrzad’s best friend, and she vowed to kill him, but she did not expect to fall in love with him.

Shahrzad comes to understand that not everything is as it seems in the palace of marble and stone.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Fairy tale retelling
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Credit: Amazon

Ella Enchanted takes a unique spin to retelling the classic Cinderella story, making this fairytale beautiful and captivating. Instead of a fairy godmother blessing her with glass shoes and a beautiful dress, Ella gets cursed with obedience. Being obedient sounds like an excellent gift until you become obedient even in life or death situations.

Just like the Cinderella fairytale, Ella grew up with a wealthy father, a horrible stepmother, and two loathsome stepsisters. Fed up with her obedience curse, Ella tracks down Lucinda, her fairy godmother, to remove the curse. It is a beautiful story that I truly enjoyed reading.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Fairy tale retelling
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Credit: Amazon

Cruel Beauty is a beautiful retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale with a great spin on the original. It differs from the classic fairy tale we all know, but it was a fun read.

Nyx is to marry the tyrannical ruler of her kingdom. Her fate as his wife is to kill him and free her people of him. Nyx arrives in the beautiful castle of her betrothed on her seventeenth birthday, ready to complete her mission and be done with it. However, she realises that all is not as it seems to outsiders looking in.

Just like in the classic fairytale, Nyx falls for the beast, in this case a tyrannical ruler. She realises that she has a difficult time pulling away from his charms, but she has a duty to her people.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Fairy tale retelling
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
Credit: Amazon

The Goose Girl is a retelling of a German fairytale popularized by the Brothers Grimm. The Goose Girl is about Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, the crown princess of Kildenree. Ani spent her life learning the language of birds, and she later learns to talk to animals, becoming more comfortable with them than with talking to people.

When Ani became of age, she journeys to a foreign land to marry. She is forced to use her powers of talking to animals to find her way after one of her ladies-in-waiting stages a mutiny during the journey. This fairytale retelling is intriguing to read because it is a fantastic story filled with deception, treason, and redemption.


I love classic fairytale stories, but I enjoy reading retellings that have great spins and plot twists to them. The books on this list are the best I have read so far. Which books on the list have you read?