The best books of fairytale retellings with a twist

Charity Bradford Author Of Fade Into Me
By Charity Bradford

Who am I?

I’ve always loved fairytales. What little girl with a growing romantic heart doesn’t? By the time I was eight, I told people I was Cinderella because of all the work I did at home. An exaggeration, even for the oldest child, but still. My first prom dress, during a year I won’t mention, was reminiscent of Cinderella’s blue ballgown. As I became a writer myself, I noticed my stories held themes I learned from fairytales. Love, loyalty, courage, and a dose of magic. I simply add space or aliens to the mix.


I wrote...

Fade Into Me

By Charity Bradford,

Book cover of Fade Into Me

What is my book about?

A modern-day fairytale with a science fiction twist. Aliens live among us. Their purpose: to protect and nurture their greatest mistake—mankind.


Abhithian. Caedan doesn’t believe humans will evolve to see the magic, much less control it. Even so, he has two months to marry one or face the wrath of the High Council. Bitter about a responsibility he thinks prevents him from marrying for love, he figures any human girl will do. Then his soul mate stumbles into—and right out of—his arms.

Human. Ryanne might be Caedan’s one shot at happiness while still fulfilling his duty. Unfortunately, she’s determined to push Caedan away to protect him from her past and a dark secret.

The books I picked & why

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Enchantment

By Orson Scott Card,

Book cover of Enchantment

Why this book?

This is a beautifully rich retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I love the heaviness of the language that mirrors the Russian folklore our main character, Ivan, is studying. Memories take him home to the Carpathian Forest where he finds a beautiful woman sleeping on a pedestal and guarded by a bear. We cross a thousand years of time to experience Katarina’s world, then flee to the modern (1990’s) world so she can see Ivan’s lifestyle as they hide from the witch who wants them dead. It’s a brilliant way to build a relationship between these two characters who are so different but are forced into marriage. OSC has much to say on relationships and trials. He takes his time weaving a beautiful and complex world to accompany the story.


Stitching Snow

By R.C. Lewis,

Book cover of Stitching Snow

Why this book?

A Snow White who lives on a cold mining planet and often enters the fighting ring to earn cash? What’s not to love? Princess Essie fled her homeworld after the death of her mother, but the new queen isn’t the darkest threat she faced in the palace. She learned to survive by fighting, coding drones on a mining planet, and not trusting anyone. When Dane crash lands on her planet in the search of a lost treasure, she’s pulled into the war she tried so desperately to avoid. There is great world-building, exciting chases, and near escapes.

R.C. Lewis also tackles an ugly truth about child abuse in a way that keeps it real without splaying the guts all over the page. We can’t fix our world if we continue to pretend such things never happen.


A Dance of Silver and Shadow: A Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses

By Melanie Cellier,

Book cover of A Dance of Silver and Shadow: A Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Why this book?

This is the Twelve Dancing Princesses meets the Hunger Games! It’s a great start to a new series of fairytale retellings that manages to take some well-known stories and make them feel new. All while maintaining that familiar comfort of what we expect from a classic tale. It’s a great weaving of old and new that has you rooting for these princesses and wondering whose story you’ll get to read next.


Beauty and the Beast (Timeless Fairy Tales)

By K.M. Shea,

Book cover of Beauty and the Beast (Timeless Fairy Tales)

Why this book?

I love when an author takes a character you think you know and adds layers of depth you never would have imagined. That’s what Shea does with Elle here. We all picture the Disney Belle--smart but with that feeling of needing to be rescued. This Elle is not that kind of beauty. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I really appreciated the heartbreaking strength this woman had. She literally gives everything for her family, and once she knows his heart, Prince Severin.


Bellamy and the Brute

By Alicia Michaels,

Book cover of Bellamy and the Brute

Why this book?

Can you tell Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairytales to read in all its retellings? This one is set in our modern world. It takes a look at the ugly side of bullying in high school, a murder mystery, ghosts, money extortion, lots of people keeping secrets, and through all of this, two people have to learn to see into each other’s hearts.


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