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Retellings Reading Challenge Ideas and Suggestions

If you’ve had a look at my 2019 Reading Goals post, you might have noticed that I’ve signed up to take part in Cornerfolds’ Retellings Reading Challenge this year. I saw the challenge, and with how much I adore retellings, I knew I had to join in but I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to read. My TBRs are always way off during monthly readathons, so I knew a year-long TBR would be impractical. Instead, I’ve put together all my ideas for each prompt, along with some recommendations of books I’ve enjoyed and think might fit.

Obviously, these could all change. Plus, the Goodreads group is going to have monthly group reads to vote on. So for those 12 books (whatever they end up being), I might just go with the group choice if I’m interested enough.

I hope that, if you’re tempted by this challenge, these might help you fill some of your prompts, and if you’re not doing the challenge, you might just spot some interesting looking retellings to try anyway.

## signifies a book I’ve already read. If I’ve reviewed it, this will link to the review. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just ones I’ve read or am considering reading. Any questions, let me know! If you’ve read any of the ones I haven’t – or have any other ideas – please let me know that too! There were a couple of prompts I really struggled to find a lot for – especially Native American and Egyptian Mythology. I think I have something picked for both, but I’d love more suggestions.

The book I’m leaning towards for each prompt — knowing that my TBRs never stay remotely on track — are in bold.

 

Retelling Written 10+ Years Ago

East by Edith Pattou ##

Spinners by Donna Jo Napoli & Richard Tchen

White as Snow by Tanith Lee

The Nightingale by Kara Dalkey

Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

Daughter of the Forest or Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Wildwood Dancing is a retelling combining elements of The Twelve Dancing Princesses and The Frog Prince. It’s set in 16th century Transylvania and pulls in some Eastern European folklore. I’ve never read anything by Juliet Marillier but I’ve heard s many people adore her books that I’ve been meaning to for ages.

Spindle’s End, The Door in the Hedge, Deerskin, Beauty or Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley ##

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

 

Brothers Grimm Retelling

(Snow White)

White as Snow by Tanith Lee

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust ##

Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente ##

(Cinderella)

Cinderella Dreams of Fire by Casey Lane

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling

Ella, The Slayer by A.W. Exley

Cinder by Marissa Meyer ##

Five Glass Slippers by Elisabeth Brown 

Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

Shadows on the Moon by Zoë Marriott ##

Ash by Malinda Lo ##

All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller

(Seven Dancing Princesses) A Dance of Silver and Shadow by Melanie Cellier

(Little Red Riding Hood) 

Caged Bird Rising by Nino Delia

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

This is one of the harder prompts because there’s just SO much choice for it! I’ve had this one a while though, so I might go for it.

(Rumplestiltskin) Spinning Silver

(The Goose Girl)

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Thorn by Intisar Khanani ##

 

Middle Eastern Mythology Retelling

The Fire Wish by Amber Lough

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen

The Bird and the Blade has been on my TBR since before it released last year, so this will give be an excellent opportunity to actually buy a copy. It’s a a retelling of the opera Turandot, but set in the Mongol Empire.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh ##

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston ##

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury ##

 

Retelling Set In Space

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody &  Joanne Rendell

Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury

I really enjoyed Khoury’s retelling of Aladdin — The Forbidden Wish — so I have high hopes for this one. It’s an Anastasia retelling, which was one of my absolute favourite films growing up (I had a PC game and everything).

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer ##

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne ##

 

Retelling Over 500 Pages

Stain by A.G. Howard

Stain is on my January TBR anyway, so this would be a good way to get the intimidating 500 Page prompt out of the way early on. It’s a retelling of The Princess and the Pea with the most stunning cover!

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton ##

East by Edith Pattou ##

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody &  Joanne Rendell

Cress or Winter by Marissa Meyer ##

 

Peter Pan Retelling

Loving the Wind by Crissi Langwell

The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky &  Steven Brown

Historical fiction set in 1789. 16-year-old Wendy dreams of captaining a ship and joins the Home Office secret service. I have this on my kindle already and it gets fab reviews, so it’s an easy choice.

Peter Darling by Austin Chant ##

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Never Never by Brianna R. Shrum

Stars by Colleen Oakes

Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

 

Norse Mythology Retelling

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series by Rick Riordan ##

The Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon

This book has been on my shelf for sooo long! And I think I’ve put it on readathon TBRs a few times already. I’m determined to pick it up this time. This centres around teenage goddess, Hel.

The Gospel of Loki/ Runemark series by Joanne M. Harris ##

 

 

Retelling With a Weapon On the Cover

Hunted or Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta,  Cori McCarthy

A 2019 release that was already on my TBR. It’s a genderbent King Arthur retelling set in space with loads of queer rep.

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi ##

A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill ##

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo ##

Scarlet by A C Gaughen ##

Nobody’s Princess by Esther M. Friesner

 

Russian Folklore Retelling

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter ##

Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden ##

Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

I already plan on reading the last Winternight book — Winter of the Witch — as soon as I can, but I also have an ARC of Sisters of the Winter Wood I’ve been meaning to get to. Sisters of the Winter Wood is a retelling of The Goblin Market with elements of Russian, Ukrainian and Jewish folklore. It sounds super interesting, so I think I’ll count it for this prompt.

Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

 

Retelling by an Indie Author

The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky &  Steven Brown

Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles by J.M. Sullivan

Caged Bird Rising by Nino Delia

Kissing Midnight by Laura Bradley Rede

This is one of the choices I’m on the fence about, so I might wait til later in the year to really pick, but at the moment I’m leaning towards this Bluebeard retelling. I remember asking Twitter for Bluebeard retellings a while ago and there wasn’t much to be had so this one interests me.

Thorn by Intisar Khanani ##

The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer ##

The Bureau of Holiday Affairs by Andi Marquette ##

Peter Darling by Austin Chant ##

The Ugly Stepsister by Aya Ling

 

Asian Mythology Retelling

Shadow of The Fox by Julie Kawaga

I really want to read this anyway. It’s been on my TBR since before it came out. It draws from Japanese mythology. I really enjoyed Julie Kawaga’s Blood of Eden trilogy, so I’m excited for this new one.

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

When Fox is a Thousand by Larissa Lai

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi ##

 

Shakespeare Retelling

The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson

Dunbar by Edward St Aubyn

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton ##

Gale: A Sci-fi Novella by Lyssa Chiavari ##

As I Descended by Robin Talley

Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca

Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine

Rose & Poe by Jack Todd

Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub

I’m not 100% sure on this one, but it’s probably going to be Still Star-Crossed and hopefully I can watch the series afterwards to compare. If not, I’ll probably go for either Hodge or Atwood.

 

Retelling by a Debut Author

A Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

“A diverse fantasy reimagining of Les Misérables and The Jungle Book.” I have absolutely no idea how this is going to work, but I’m 110% down for it!

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Thorn by Intisar Khanani ##

Lambs Can Always Become Lions by Charlotte Anne Hamilton ##

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo ##

What Kitty Did Next by Carrie Kablean ##

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne ##

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

 

Greek Mythology Retelling

I made a much longer list of suggestions for this in my Mythothon Suggestions Post.

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi ##

Circe or The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller  ##

The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes

A retelling of the Oedipus and Antigone myths. Haynes also has a new Greek mythology inspired book out this year, so I’m keen to try her writing.

Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

A Thousand Ships: This is the Women’s War by Natalie Haynes

Alcestis by Katharine Beutner

The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer ##

 

Egyptian Mythology Retelling

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

This prompt was a real struggle for me, so I’m not completely committed, but I think I might go with this one. It centres around a girl who’s the human daughter of Isis and Osiris.

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan ##

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder 

 

Retelling Published in 2019

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody &  Joanne Rendell

Another one which was already really high on my TBR for 2019: I’ve pre-ordered my copy. It’s Les Misérables in space!

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

Izzy + Tristan by Shannon Dunlap

The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy by Swati Teerdhala

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta,  Cori McCarthy

Last of Her Name by Jessica Khoury

Stain by A.G. Howard

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

 

Native American Mythology Retelling

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

The only retelling I could find! I’m sure there must be more, but I really wanted to read this last year anyway and never got around to it, so I’m going to pick it up for this.

 

Bronte Sisters OR Jane Austen Retelling

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne ##

My Plain Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows ##

Nelly Dean by Alison Case

The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente ##

Longbourn by Jo Barker

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

The Darcys of Pemberley/ Return to Longbourn by Shannon Winslow

Return to Longbourn is actually the sequel to The Darcys of Pemberley which I haven’t read. However, they look like they can pretty much stand alone and this one looks more interesting to me. It’s a Pride and Prejudice sequel focusing on Mary and Kitty. I just hope I enjoy it as much as I did What Kitty Did Next (which I might reread too, if I get time).

What Kitty Did Next by Carrie Kablean ##

 

One Word Title Retelling

– There are more on this list, but these haven’t been listed anywhere else –

My pick: Galatea by Madeline Miller

I love Madeline Miller’s writing and this one is only 32 pages so should free me up to read larger books elsewhere. Unsurprisingly it’s about Galatea, the statue which is given life.

Havisham by Ronald Frame

 

Award Winning Retelling

The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer ##

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

Alcestis by Katharine Beutner

Shock, horror! A character from Greek mythology I don’t recognise! So I have to read this one! “Alcestis, the fabled ‘good wife’ who sacrificed herself in order to save her much loved husband, King Admetus”.

Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller ##

A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce

 

Wonderland Retelling

A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles by J.M. Sullivan

Heartless by Marissa Meyer ##

Splintered by A.G. Howard ##

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

It don’t have a brilliant track record with Alice in Wonderland retellings, but I really want to find one I love. I’ve heard good things about The Looking Glass Wars so my fingers are crossed.

 

Stand-alone Retelling

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi ##

Heartless by Marissa Meyer ##

Stain by A.G. Howard

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Nelly Dean by Alison Case

I love Wuthering Heights and found a copy of this at a library sale, so it’s definitely on my TBR.

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo ##

The Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon

The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher ##

 

Retelling Set in a Foreign Country

– I picked books that were set in specific real places, outside of the UK or USA. More in this post might count, but I wasn’t confident enough to list them here –

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi (Greece) ##

The Song of Achilles or Circe by Madeline Miller (Greece) ##

Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine (Italy)

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White (Switzerland)

I’m such a huge Frankenstein fangirl so I’m really eager to get my hands on this one and see how it works.

Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub  (Italy)

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Jamaica; Dominica)

Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson (India)

 

Beauty and the Beast Retelling

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge ##

Barefoot on the wind by Zoe Marriott ##

Beauty or Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley ##

Ensnared by Rita Stradling ##

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I already have an ARC of this one I’m eager to read so this one is pretty easy. BatB was my favourite fairytale growing up, so there are loads of books on my TBR I could have picked for this prompt.

Five Enchanted Roses by Anne Elisabeth Stengl ##

In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard ##

 

Free

My pick: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Dark and creepy, this retelling of The Seven Dancing Princesses has been getting compared to Crimson Peak so it’s one I’m eagerly awaiting!

– Retellings I’ve rated 4 or 5 stars, but couldn’t place anywhere else on the list –

The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember ##

Beauty & Cruelty by Meredith Katz ##

Gretel by Niamh Murphy ##

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik ##

Indexing by Seanan McGuire ##

The Seventh Bride by T Kingfisher ##

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning ##

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokski ##

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury ##

18 thoughts on “Retellings Reading Challenge Ideas and Suggestions”

  1. Great list of books and lots of recommendations for me to keep in mind… Thanks for the extensive research you must have done 😊😊😊
    Just wanted to mention though… Aru Shah and the end of time would qualify for Indian or Asian mythology, not middle eastern…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love retellings so much and this is such a great, extensive list!! I loved reading it; I’m participating in the challenge as well, can’t wait.

    A Curse Dark As Gold was really good; I just read Ash two days ago and loved it! Cinder, Girls Made of Snow and Glass, Spinning Silver, Circe, The Song of Achilles- lots of favorites on your list 🙂 I just got Hunted from the library, I’m excited to read it. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was a LOT of fun btw.

    I’d also recommend Tiger Lily (Peter Pan), For Darkness Shows The Stars (Persuasion), Rook (The Scarlet Pimpernel), The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You (Much Ado About Nothing), and three of my absolute favorite books: Ella Enchanted (Cinderella), Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel, and Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella (the third book in the series comes out in March- Transformed: The Perils of the Frog Prince).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! Thanks for the extra recs! I’ll be adding them all to my TBR. Even if I don’t fit them into this years challenge, I’ll get to them eventually! XD Grounded/Disenchanted/ Transformed all sound really interesting!

      Like

  3. Hallo, Hallo Lou,

    I definitely need to revisit this lovely page more than once to spy out the ones that would interest me to be reading!! You tend to find stories I enjoy but one came to me all at once *Wildwood Dancing!* I really enjoyed finding that one for #Mythothon – so as you know, I’m working on my #Mythothon Reads til the second one (*? September) whilst endeavouring to sort out the rest of the categories on this Bingo card! Talk about a wicked lovely year to be reading!

    Like

      1. I felt she really does a great job of anchouring you into the setting she’s set us to walk into for *Wildwood Dancing* – this is my first experience with her writings, too. I hadn’t realised the connection to the Twelve Princesses legend/folklore until I was playing a scavenger hunt on LibraryThing and realised the inter-connections this story has to a very old tale. I am hoping my enjoyment continues because so far, I really was enjoying it!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great list of books, you’ve clearly put a lot of thought into it! I’ve added a lot of these to my TBR now. I loved Deathless, I think that’s a wonderful pick. For Peter Pan, I loved Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson.

    Liked by 1 person

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