Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

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August 29: Ten Hidden Gem Books in X Genre: Pick a genre and share with us some books that have gone under the radar in that genre!

Defining a book as a hidden gem is a bit tough–is it number of rating? People who’ve read it? But here are some books I think well worth reading. 🙂 Here’s my Top Ten Hidden Gems in Fairy Tale Retellings.

1. Snow White, Blood Red; Ellen Datlow. A collection of varied retellings, but be warned, these are dark tales, reminders that the originals were more horror than light fantasy.

2. Ice; Sarah Beth Durst. A modern East of the Sun, West of the Moon, set at an Arctic research station.

3. Bitter Greens; Kate Forsyth. A Rapunzel tale leaning heavily toward historical fiction.

4. The Stepsister Scheme; Jim C Hines. Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty meet in a light, action adventure.

5. Thorn; Intisar Khanai. A darker, less romance driven retelling of The Goose Girl.

6. One Good Knight; Mercedes Lackey. Normally I wouldn’t do two series by one author, but this one weaves a lot of fairy tales and myths together. This book is St. George and the Dragon.

7. Fire Rose; Mercedes Lackey. Though it’s the start of a series (1995) and not as polished as later books, this Beauty and the Beast story is magical.

8. The Rough Face Girl; Rafe Martin. A children’s book adaptation of Cinderella that’s a little less about outer beauty.

9. Outlaws of Sherwood; Robin McKinley. Robin Hood’s story is more fictionalized history, but it has a sort of fairy tale air to it.

10. Snow White and Rose Red; Patricia Wrede. The Elizabethan setting and language make this retelling not for everyone, but if you don’t mind a slower read and elaborate language, it’s lovely.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

9 responses »

  1. FranL says:

    Great picks! Bitter Greens and The Fire Rose are definitely on my all time fairy tale retelling list as well.I actually prefer The Fire Rose to some of the later Elemental Masters books. The later books are more polished, yes, but with a few I felt like Lackey was just going through the motions. I like her 500 Kingdom series as well, mostly because The Tradition is great!
    My TTT

    • I try, if I can to squeeze in a “what you should look for” kind of review in my TTT. There’s a book for everyone, but everyone won’t like a specific book. 🙂
      Personally, I adore The Fire Rose, but I read it somewhere in my teens, so I have an emotional attachment to it.

  2. Lisa says:

    I love Robin McKinley. I didn’t think I’d enjoy The Outlaws of Sherwood (since I was more into the traditional fairy tales), but I ended up thinkint TOsS was so clever and inventive. I’ve been wanting to read Bitter Greens as well — I have a copy on my Kindle, and just need to get to it.:)

  3. I’ve been looking for a Rapunzel retelling for ages! I’m definitely going to check out Bitter Greens!

  4. Oh this is an incredible post, and I love your picks as well. Fairytale retellings are one of my all-time favourite subgenres so I will definitely be adding some of these to my to-read list! 😀

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