YA Fantasy - Retellings

YA Fantasy - Retellings

Tales of the fey and re-tellings of classic fairy tales for readers who need a happily ever after or who always wondered what would have happened if Cinderella was a cyborg.

Compiled by:
Becky F.
A Blade So Black

LL McKinney
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Mckinne)

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. But now she's trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. When Alice's handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she's ever gone before. A retelling of Alice in Wonderland.

Blanca & Roja

Anna-Marie McLemore
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Mclemor)

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they're also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan. A retelling of the ugly duckling.

The Boneless Mercies

April Tucholke
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Tucholk)

Four female mercenaries known as Boneless Mercies, weary of roaming Vorseland, ignored and forgotten until they are needed for mercy killings, decide to seek glory by going after a legendary monster in this re-imagining of Beowulf.


Marissa Meyer
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Meyer)

As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Brigid Kemmerer
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Kemmere)

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast.


Edith Pattou
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Pattou)

A young woman journeys to a distant castle on the back of a great white bear who is the victim of a cruel enchantment. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Echo North

Joanna Ruth Meyer
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Meyer)

After her father disappears, Echo meets a wolf who promises to make sure her father is returned home safely if Echo agrees to live with the wolf in his enchanted house for one year. As the year ticks by, Echo must solve the mystery of the wolf's enchantment before her time is up-- otherwise Echo, the wolf, and Hal will be lost forever. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Julie C Dao
(Young Adult Fiction - YA Dao)

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng's majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? A retelling of the Evil Queen's origin story from Snow White.


Garth Nix
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Nix)

Princess Anya has a big problem: Duke Rikard, her step-stepfather is an evil wizard who wants to rule the kingdom and has a habit of changing people into frogs, and her older sister Morven, the heir, is a wimp--so with the help of the librarian Gotfried, and the Royal Dogs, she must find away to defeat Rikard, save her sister, and maybe even turn Prince Denholm back into a human being. A retelling of The Princess and the Frog.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Melissa Bashardoust
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Bashardoust)

At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone--has never beat at all, in fact, but she'd always thought that fact normal. Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, but Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. However, when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, Mina starts to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do to win back the only mother she's ever known or else defeat her once and for all. A retelling of Snow White.


Christine Johnson
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Grim)

A collection of stories inspired by fairy tales, but all featuring a dark and sinister twist.


Marissa Meyer
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Meyer)

Cath would rather open a bakery and marry for love than accept a proposal from the King of Hearts, especially after meeting the handsome and mysterious court jester. A prequel to Alice in Wonderland.


Meagan Spooner
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Spooner)

Follows the experiences of an aristocrat's daughter, Yeva, who tracks a mysterious woodland creature her father has become obsessed with and that stands at the center of his failing sanity. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

In the Vanishers' Palace

Alliette de Bodard
(Science Fiction & Fantasy - SF Bodard)

When failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons walking the earth, she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Côn's amusement. But Vu Côn, it turns out, has a use for Yên: she needs a scholar to tutor her two unruly children. She takes Yên back to her home, a vast, vertiginous palace-prison where every door can lead to death. Vu Côn seems stern and unbending, but as the days pass Yên comes to see her kinder and caring side. She finds herself dangerously attracted to the dragon who is her master and jailer. Inthe end, Yên will have to decide where her own happiness lies and whether it will survive the revelation of Vu Côn's dark, unspeakable secrets...A retelling of Beauty and the Beast.


Ibi Zoboi
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Zoboi)

Zuri Benitez has pride. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable. When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons. She especially can't stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding. Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick's changing landscape, or lose it all. A retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

The Shadow Queen

CJ Redwine
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Redwine)

This story follows the adventures of Lorelai, an exiled princess who is being pursued by a magic-wielding prince serving as the personal huntsman for evil queen Irina, who has charged him with bringing her Lorelai's heart. A retelling of Snow White.

Spindle Fire

Lexa Hillyer
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Hillyer)

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king's headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Everything changes with a single drop of Aurora's blood--and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken. As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen. A retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

Spinning Silver

Naomi Novik
(Science Fiction & Fantasy - SF Novik)

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father is not a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has left his family on the edge of poverty--until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what is owed, and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when an ill-advised boast brings her to the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood, nothing will be the same again. A  retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale.

The Star-Touched Queen

Roshani Chokshi
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Chokshi)

Treated with scorn and fear in her father's kingdom because of a formidable horoscope, 16-year-old Maya commits herself to her education only to land in an arranged marriage that culminates in her sudden elevation to the throne, a situation that is threatened by dark secrets and Otherworldly magic. A retelling of Hindu myths.

Sweet Black Waves

Kristina Pérez
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Perez)

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. As her powers grow beyond her control, Branwen is set against both her closest confidant, and the only man she's ever loved. A retelling of Tristan and Eseult from the tales of King Arthur.

And the Ocean Was Our Sky

Patrick Ness
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Ness)

With harpoons strapped to their backs, the proud whales of Bathsheba's pod live for the hunt, fighting in the ongoing war against the world of men. When they attack a ship bobbing on the surface of the Abyss, they expect to find easy prey. Instead, they find the trail of a myth, a monster, perhaps the devil himself. As their relentless captain leads the chase, they embark on a final, vengeful hunt, one that will forever change the worlds of both whales and men. A retelling of Moby Dick.

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings

Ellen Oh, Elsie Chapman
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Thousan)

Fifteen authors of Asian descent re-imagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia, in short stories ranging from fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge.

Toads and Diamonds

Heather Tomlinson
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Tomlins)

Two stepsisters receive gifts from a goddess and each walks her own path to find her gift's purpose, discovering romance along the way. A retelling of the Perrault fairy tale.

A Touch of Gold

Annie Sullivan
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Sulliva)

Gold is wealth. Wealth is power. Power is a curse. King Midas once had the ability to turn all he touched into gold. But after his gift--or curse--almost killed his daughter, Midas relinquished The Touch forever. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father's wish. Kora spends her days locked in the palace, trying to ignore the stares and gossip of courtiers. It isn't until a charming young duke arrives that Kora realizes there may be someone out there who doesn't fear her or her curse. A retelling of the King Midas myth.


S. Jae-Jones
Young Adult Fiction – Y Jaejone

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. Now eighteen and helping to run her family's inn, she can't help but feel that her dreams and fantasies are slipping away. When her sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl must journey to the Underground to save her. A retelling of the movie Labyrinth. 

The Wrath and the Dawn

Renée Ahdieh
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Ahdieh)

Shahrzad plans to avenge the death of her dearest friend by volunteering to marry the murderous boy-king of Khorasan, but discovers not all is as it seems within the palace. A retelling of The Arabian Nights.

The Wren Hunt

Mary Watson
(Young Adult Fiction - Y Watson)

Hardened by years of being hunted each St. Stephen's Day in tiny Kilshamble, Ireland, seventeen-year-old Wren, an Augur, is sent as a spy to the home of the most powerful Judge to try to regain control of the ancient, powerful magic her people once held. A retelling of Romeo and Juliet.