Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Retellings

Posted August 4, 2015 by Lyn Kaye in Uncategorized / 12 Comments

Top Ten Tuesdays


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s topic: Retellings

Story retellings: one of the greatest genres to grab, curl up in bed with fuzzy socks, and devour. There is a certain magical comfort in reimagined folk lores, bedtime stories, and bedtime stories. As we transition from literal kids to mental kids, we seek the tranquility with our familiar, favorite tales.  But we also want to see our stories change and grow with us, just like we want to see our childhood favorites evolve with our new position in life. Because adding “adult” and “grown up” to our classics shaves off some of the guilt, like eating grown up grilled cheese sandwiches or purchasing adult coloring books.

Fairytale and classical retellings are the comfort food of the literary and entertainment world.  Today, I am sharing my favorite retellings from various sources.

Border Leaf

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine
Retelling of: Phantom of the Opera
Format: Book

Phantom of the Opera is my favorite musical, so I knew I had to snag this one. Fine takes the story to a whole new level by placing an updated, Asian spin on the story. If you want a fantasy with diversity and a great retelling, this is your book.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Format: Book
Retelling of: The Snow Child

The Snow Child is a bit of an unknown story, but Ivey brings the old fairytale back into relevance with her hybrid fantasy/historical fiction. I loved the wild frontier Alaskan setting, and the ending is going to make everyone talk about this book for a long, long time.

A Curse as Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Format: Book
Retelling of: Rumpelstiltskin

This was was a bit of a sleeper for me. When I started it, I had no idea that it was going to become one of my personal favorites. Just like The Snow Child, Bunce uses historical events and settings to set up a story that turns the old fairytale of Rumpelstiltskin on its head.

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire
Format: Book
Retelling of: Cinderella

Even though I am not a fan of the author, Maguire did create a Cinderella retelling with a heart of gold. This book was one of the first novels to convince me to start reading again. I has stayed with me for a long time, and I was so thrilled to see the story told from a whole new perspective.

House, M.D.
Format: TV series
Retelling of: Sherlock Holmes

This pick is one of my top 10 TV shows, ever. Sherlock has been a staple of modern literature, but a fresh spin on the character plus a new take on the same old medical drama genre created a character that I adored.

Days in Midgard: A Thousand Years On – Modern Legends Based on Northern Myth by Steven T. Abell
Format: Book
Retelling of: Norse Mythology

I was a tad bit skeptical when I picked up this book, but Abell was a master at placing the old Norse characters in today’s setting. In fact, this book was one of my inspirations while writing my WIP about putting a new twist on the misunderstood, underappreciated Norse civilzation.

Tolkien Universe
Format: Books, Movie
Retelling of: Biblical Stories, Norse Mythology

The Tolkien movies was one of my first exposures to Norse/Viking mythology. From there, I read more into the symbolism and the inspiration behind Tolkien’s work. I love that Tolkien took many old, outdated ideas and placed a fresh, contemporary spin on the stories, helping the older myths and legends stay relevant in the eyes of literature and culture.

Format: Manga, TV, Movies
Retelling of: The Monkey King

Sometimes, I really want retellings of stories and tales from other countries. Dragonball is one of the best examples of taking an old mythology of non-Anglo folklore and introducing it to the rest of the world.

Format: TV series, Comics
Retelling of: Shakespeare, Beauty and the Beast

This one is way out from left field, but the 90s cartoon from Disney was a perfect gateway for Shakespeare literature and characters. The cartoon did a wonderful job on incorporating Shakespeare’s characters into modern culture.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Format Book
Retelling of: Beauty and the Beast, Hades and Persephone

Beauty and the Beast with FAE!? Yep, I was sold!

Lyn Sig Plant

What are some of your favorite retellings? Do you have any retellings that you love other than books?

12 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Retellings

  1. I loved A Curse Dark as Gold and ACOTAR! Great choices. I like how you mixed in tv retellings too! Some of my favorites (besides those two) include: Ella Enchanted, Cruel Beauty, Cinder, Stitching Snow, Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel, For Darkness Shows The Stars (P&P retelling), Entwined, The Sweetest Spell, Scarlet (Robin Hood retelling), and Every Breath (Sherlock Holmes retelling). I do love the Lord of the Rings movies and the Sherlock Holmes with RDJ. And I loooove Clueless which is an Emma retelling!

    • I usually try to keep TV separate from books, but I felt that this week’s topic deserved a bit of a mix up.

      I can’t believe I forgot Stitching Snow! ARG! I am kicking myself right now! That is my favorite Snow White retelling! FAIL.
      Lyn Kaye recently posted…Story Sprites Check-UpMy Profile

    • The Snow Child is wonderful, and I often have a hard time placing the book in a category. I love it when I can’t decide how to shelf a book – that means the author is really making me think about what the book meant to me, and what I took away from it.
      Lyn Kaye recently posted…Story Sprites Check-UpMy Profile

    • Gargoyles was a bit ahead of its time. I think it would be better received today than it was back int he 90s, because it was a cartoon that was aimed for an older audience, but it was pitched for a young viewing group, so it had a small, loyal fanbase.

      The Snow Child – that is a book I love to push onto others! It is such a wonderful book!
      Lyn Kaye recently posted…Story Sprites Check-UpMy Profile

  2. Fairy tale retellings are my favorite and I can t believe I haven t heard of most of these! They re mostly older titles, I love the new ones too like The Lunar Chronicles and Cruel Beauty but I tried to list lesser known ones because there s a hundred other lists that beautifully captures the recent releases haha.

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