Earlier this year, I was on a retold fairy tales kick (it happens once in a while *grin*) and came across some by indie authors that I enjoyed.
Thorn by Intisar Khanani is a retelling of The Goose Girl, written in a style that reminded me a lot of Shannon Hale’s Bayern books. However, Khanani adds several original elements to the fairy tale to make it uniquely her own. This thoughtful novel chronicles the journey of a girl coming to terms with her own agency.
The Illuminated Heart by Thea van Diepen. This retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon (I always need to look up which direction goes with which celestial object!) is told from an unapologetic faith-based perspective. The addition of the draugur–a demon wearing the body of the protagonist’s dead little brother–was chilling. Dagny’s troubles and struggles are poignantly portrayed.
The Seventh Magpie by Nancy Chase is an original fairy tale with many familiar tropes, from the impossible quest to the assorted companions, but put together in fascinating ways, wrapped up in beautiful prose, and accompanied by black-and-white illustrations. I still have complicated feelings about the ending, but it leaves a strong impression.
Do you have any overlooked and under-appreciated retold fairy tales to recommend? Let me know!
Intisar Khanani says
Oh yay! So tickled that “Thorn” made your list. I loved the “Seventh Magpie,” bittersweet end and all. Even if I did begin to wonder halfway through just what our heroine was doing giving up so much of herself.
Looks like I’m going to have to add “The Illuminated Heart” to my TBR list…
Thorn kept me happily occupied during a very long plane ride. I loved the eastern flavor that you gave the story, too.