8 Twisted Updates on Fairy-Tale Worlds

Crimson BoundThese fairytale updates are not your mama’s classics. With twists and turns—plus kickass heroines and swoonworthy romances—these eight modern takes breathe new life into old stories.

A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas
Beauty And the Beast meets faeries! Huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods and, in retribution, is carried away by a monstrous creature. Turns out he’s Tamlin, one of the legendary, lethal fairies who once ruled the world. In close quarters, the two connect under the dark shadow of a force set to destroy everything they hold dear. A strong-willed, snarky heroine, an all-consuming love story, and dark, compelling danger make this delicious, fast-paced story a must-read.

Dorothy Must Die, by Danielle Paige
In this Oz retelling and its sequel, The Wicked Will Rise, a young girl from Kansas—and no, not that on—is swept up into the chaos of Oz, and must take on the all-powerful…Dorothy? That’s right. In this Oz, Dorothy is the wicked one, a power-mad tyrant who’s enslaving the people and stealing their magic. After modern-day Kansas girl Amy Gumm is swept off to Oz then captured and imprisoned, she’s rescued by the Order of the Wicked, who herald her as Oz’s salvation. As the body count rises, there are delightfully disturbing twists on familiar faces like the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man, along with new characters—and, of course, a budding romance.

Tiger Lily, by Jodi Lynn Anderson
This is a Neverland fearsome and dark, where aging is contagious and the Lost Boys are rumored to consume souls. In such a world, small, mute Tiger Lily, escaping an arranged marriage, falls into a forbidden dalliance with Peter Pan and makes her place among the Lost Boys. But the arrival of Wendy Darling threatens everything Tiger Lily holds dear. Told by Tinker Bell—yep, you read right—this is an emotional, often devastating retelling that upends the classic Peter Pan and leaves you reeling.

Ash, by Malinda Lo
Forget Prince Charming. This dark, lyrical retelling of Cinderella takes the servant girl’s story to a whole new plane. Left after her father’s death to the cruel hands of her wicked stepmother, Ash dreams of the legendary fairies, hoping for refuge. But her pact with the dark Sidhean is more than she bargained for. And when she meets the king’s Huntress, Kaisa, she finds strength—and love. Will Ash fall into the darkness of the fairy world? Or will real love be her salvation?

Crimson Bound, by Rosamund Hodge
This steamy Versailles-set update on Little Red Riding Hood—by the author of Cruel Beauty, itself a take on Beauty And the Beast—centers on Rachelle, trained to protect her village from dark magic. Rachelle’s tendency to stray from the path has cost her dearly—she’s bound to the very evil she was meant to fight. Now she’s been assigned to guard the king’s son, Armand, whom, naturally, she despises. Together, they hunt for a legendary sword, navigating the courtly world to uncover conspiracies, magic, and treachery. Hodge is known for confounding and decidedly sexy spins on the classics, so this one is sure to please.

Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
Cinderella and cyborgs? Of course. In this sci-fi fantasy retelling, New Beijing resident Cinder is a part-cyborg mechanic, and when Prince Kai calls on her services, their fates become intertwined. Steeped in Chinese and Japanese culture, this delicious update offers familiar elements, like the wicked stepmother and an evil queen, plus plenty of mind-bending magic, lunar Jedi warriors, and lots of class tensions between the humans and the androids. Can’t get enough? Read the first three now, because book four in the series, Winter, hits shelves in November.

The Wrath And the Dawn, by Renée Ahdieh
A moody, atmospheric spin on The Thousand And One Nights, Wrath follows strong-willed and revenge-bent Shazi into the arms of death—quite literally—as she becomes the latest bride of Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, a murderous prince. As the old story goes, she weaves around him him a web of tales, and despite himself, he falls. The problem? So does she. Oh yeah, believe me: you’ll be shipping this one!

Spelled, by Betsy Schow
A fun and punny twist on the classic, this Oz upending has Princess Dorothea scrambling to save her parents from a far-off land called Kansas after she wishes on a cursed star that sends the whole of Emerald spiraling toward disaster. Frustrated by her parents’ plans to marry her off to Prince Kato, her disastrous wish sees the evil Gray Witch seizing power. Now it’s up to her—and Kato, of course—to undo her wrongs and bring what passes as normalcy back to Oz.

Follow B&N Teen Blog