23 of The Best Modern Fairytales

23 of The Best Modern Fairytales

Everybody loves a good fairy tale. Here is a list of some of the best modern versions

1

A Court of Thorns and Roses

By Sarah J. Maas

Preface: Feyre is a huntress. And when she sees a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she kills the predator and takes its prey to feed herself and her family. But the wolf was not what it seemed, and Feyre cannot predict the high price she will have to pay for its death ...

Dragged away from her family for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding even more than his piercing green eyes suggest. As Feyre's feelings for Tamlin turn from hostility to passion, she learns that the faerie lands are a far more dangerous place than she realized. And Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

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2

Uprooted

By Naomi Novik

Preface: Agnieszka loves her village, set deep in a peaceful valley. But the nearby enchanted forest casts a shadow over her home. Many have been lost to the Wood and none return unchanged. The villagers depend on an ageless wizard, the Dragon, to protect them from the forest's dark magic. However, his help comes at a terrible price. One young village woman must serve him for ten years, leaving all they value behind.

Agnieszka fears her dearest friend Kasia will be picked at the next choosing, for she's everything Agnieszka is not – beautiful, graceful and brave. Yet when the Dragon comes, it's not Kasia he takes.

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3

Spinning Silver

By Naomi Novik

Preface: Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father’s too kind-hearted to collect his debts. They face poverty, until Miryem hardens her own heart and takes up his work in their village. Her success creates rumours she can turn silver into gold, which attract the fairy king of winter himself. He sets her an impossible challenge – and if she fails, she’ll die. Yet if she triumphs, it may mean a fate worse than death. And in her desperate efforts to succeed, Miryem unwittingly spins a web which draws in the unhappy daughter of a lord.

Irina’s father schemes to wed her to the tsar – he will pay any price to achieve this goal. However, the dashing tsar is not what he seems. And the secret he hides threatens to consume the lands of mortals and winter alike. Torn between deadly choices, Miryem and Irina embark on a quest that will take them to the limits of sacrifice, power and love.

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4

The Sleeper and the Spindle

By Neil Gaiman

Preface: On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future - and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

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5

All The Ever Afters

By Danielle Teller

Preface: In the vein of Wicked, The Woodcutter, and Boy, Snow, Bird, a luminous reimagining of a classic tale, told from the perspective of Agnes, Cinderella’s "evil" stepmother.

We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?

As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story. . . .

A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress’s apprentice when she is only ten years old. Using her wits and ingenuity, she escapes her tyrannical matron and makes her way toward a hopeful future. When teenaged Agnes is seduced by an older man and becomes pregnant, she is transformed by love for her child. Once again left penniless, Agnes has no choice but to return to servitude at the manor she thought she had left behind. Her new position is nursemaid to Ella, an otherworldly infant. She struggles to love the child who in time becomes her stepdaughter and, eventually, the celebrated princess who embodies everyone’s unattainable fantasies. The story of their relationship reveals that nothing is what it seems, that beauty is not always desirable, and that love can take on many guises.

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6

Grimm Tales for Young and Old

By Philip Pullman

Preface: In this beautiful book of classic fairy tales, award-winning author Philip Pullman has chosen his fifty favourite stories from the Brothers Grimm and presents them in a'clear as water' retelling, in his unique and brilliant voice.

From the quests and romance of classics such as 'Rapunzel', 'Snow White' and 'Cinderella' to the danger and wit of such lesser-known tales as 'The Three Snake Leaves', 'Hans-my-Hedgehog' and 'Godfather Death', Pullman brings the heart of each timeless tale to the fore, following with a brief but fascinating commentary on the story's background and history. In his introduction, he discusses how these stories have lasted so long, and become part of our collective storytelling imagination.

These new versions show the adventures at their most lucid and engaging yet. Pullman's Grimm Tales of wicked wives, brave children and villainous kings will have you reading, reading aloud and rereading them for many years to come.

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7

The Hazel Wood

By melissa albert

Preface: Alice and her mother, Ella, have been plagued by bad luck for as long as Alice can remember. They have constantly moved about to try to outrun it but somehow it always catches up with them. That all changes with the death of Alice's reclusive author grandmother, finally Ella says it is safe to stay in one place.

Then one morning Ella is gone leaving nothing but a cryptic message telling Alice to Stay Away From The Hazel Wood. Alice knows she that her grandmother's book is the key to her mother's disappearance but hasn't read it herself so she has no choice but to turn to superfan Ellery Finch for help.

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8

Tales from the Hinterland

By melissa albert

Preface: Grimm's Fairy Tales meets Ransom Riggs in this deeply creepy, gorgeously illustrated collection of twelve original pitch-dark fairytales, from international bestselling author of The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert.

Journey into the Hinterland, where every page tells a wondrously terrible adventure . . .

In this brutal and beautiful world a young woman spends a night with Death, brides are wed to a mysterious house in the trees, and an enchantress is killed twice - and still lives.

But it's not safe inside these pages, and once you enter, you may never want to leave . . .

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9

Fierce Fairytales & Other Stories to Stir Your Soul

By Nikita Gill

Preface: Gone are the gender stereotypes of obliging lovers, violent men and girls that need rescuing. Instead, lines blur between heroes and villains and you'll meet brave princesses, a new kind of wolf lurking in the concrete jungle and a courageous Gretel who can bring down monsters on her own.

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10

Mirror Mirror

By Gregory Maguire

Preface: The year is 1502, and seven-year-old Bianca de Nevada lives perched high above the rolling hills and valleys of Tuscany and Umbria at Montefiore, the farm of her beloved father, Don Vicente. But one day a noble entourage makes its way up the winding slopes to the farm - and the world comes to Montefiore. In the presence of Cesare Borgia and his sister, the lovely and vain Lucrezia - decadent children of a wicked pope - no one can claim innocence for very long. When Borgia sends Don Vicente on a years-long quest, he leaves Bianca under the care - so to speak - of Lucrezia. She plots a dire fate for the young girl in the woods below the farm, but in the dark forest salvation can be found as well...

A lyrical work of stunning creative vision, MIRROR MIRROR gives fresh life to the classic story of Snow White - and has a truth and beauty all its own.

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11

Crown of Ice

By Vicki L Weavil

Preface: A fantastic retelling of Hans Christian Anderson's 'The Snow Queen'.

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12

Fairy Tales of Fearless Girls

By Susannah McFarlane

Preface: An emboldening, exquisitely illustrated picture book of reimagined fairy tales with a feminist twist, perfect for fans of the classic stories, Disney lovers, and readers of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls!

They may be small, but they're big of heart--

kind and cheerful, brave and smart.

And so with courage, hope, and laughter

they make their own "happily ever after."

In this treasury of modern fairy tales, the heroines make their own way to happily ever after, and there isn't a damsel in distress in sight! Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Thumbelina don't let fear or self-doubt hold them back. Using their wits, bravery, honesty, and kindness, they problem-solve their way out of tricky situations. See how Rapunzel invents her way out of her tower or Red Riding Hood outsmarts the wolf!

Each story has a modern twist, a different illustrator, and all the charm of a classic storybook. This sweet and accessible book is perfect for young princes and princesses learning to have courage and follow their hearts.

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13

Cinder

By Marissa Meyer

Preface: CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it's one you won't forget.

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14

Once Upon a World Rapunzel

By Chloe Perkins

Preface: Once upon a time, there was a girl with long, long hair, who lived in a tall, tall tower...

The classic tale of Rapunzel gets a fresh twist in this third book of a brand-new board book series, Once Upon a World. With India as the backdrop, and vibrant artwork from illustrator Archana Sreenivasan, Rapunzel is still the same girl who lets down her beautiful hair—but she’s totally reimagined. Once Upon a World offers a multicultural take on the fairy tales we all know and love. Because these tales are for everyone, everywhere.

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15

Sea Witch

By Sarah Henning

Preface: The fairy tale you thought you knew....

The story of the Sea Witch, the villainess from Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale 'The Little Mermaid', told from the viewpoint of the Sea Witch when she was a 12-year-old girl....

Evie has been wracked with guilt ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned. So when a girl appears on shore with an uncanny resemblance to Anna, Evie befriends her in an effort to make amends. And as the two girls catch the eyes - and hearts - of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at happy ever after. But is Evie’s new friend really who she says she is? Or will Evie discover, too late, the truth of her bargain?

A gripping story of friendship, betrayal and the power of hope.... Because though magic can shape life and death, love is the one thing it cannot control.

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16

The Rough-Face Girl

By Rafe Martin

Preface: From Algonquin Indian folklore comes a powerful, haunting rendition of Cinderella.

In a village by the shores of Lake Ontario lived an invisible being. All the young women wanted to marry him because he was rich, powerful, and supposedly very handsome. But to marry the invisible being the women had to prove to his sister that they had seen him. And none had been able to get past the sister's stern, all-knowing gaze.

Then came the Rough-Face girl, scarred from working by the fire. Could she succeed where her beautiful, cruel sisters had failed?

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17

Hiddensee A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

By Gregory Maguire

Preface: Hiddensee: An island of white sandy beaches, salt marshes, steep cliffs, and pine forests north of Berlin in the Baltic Sea, an island that is an enchanting bohemian retreat and home to a large artists' colony-- a wellspring of inspiration for the Romantic imagination . . .

Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wicked and to Wonderland in After Alice, Maguire now takes us to the realms of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffmann-- the enchanted Black Forest of Bavaria and the salons of Munich. Hiddensee imagines the backstory of the Nutcracker, revealing how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how he guided an ailing girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a Christmas Eve. At the heart of Hoffmann's mysterious tale hovers Godfather Drosselmeier-- the ominous, canny, one-eyed toy maker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky's fairy tale ballet-- who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism ties to Hellenic mystery-cults-- a fascination with death and the afterlife-- and ponders a profound question: How can a person who is abused by life, shortchanged and challenged, nevertheless access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless? Ultimately, Hiddensee offers a message of hope. If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress on a dark winter evening, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized, has something precious to share.

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18

The Door in the Hedge

By Robin McKinley

Preface: The last mortal kingdom before the unmeasured sweep of Faerieland begins has at best held an uneasy truce with its unpredictable neighbor. There is nothing to show a boundary, at least on the mortal side of it; and if any ordinary human creature ever saw a faerie—or at any rate recognized one—it was never mentioned; but the existence of the boundary and of faeries beyond it is never in doubt either.

So begins “The Stolen Princess,” the first story of this collection, about the meeting between the human princess Linadel and the faerie prince Donathor. “The Princess and the Frog” concerns Rana and her unexpected alliance with a small, green, flipper-footed denizen of a pond in the palace gardens. “The Hunting of the Hind” tells of a princess who has bewitched her beloved brother, hoping to beg some magic of cure, for her brother is dying, and the last tale is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses in which an old soldier discovers, with a little help from a lavender-eyed witch, the surprising truth about where the princesses dance their shoes to tatters every night.

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19

Confessions of an Ugly Sister

By Gregory Maguire

Preface: We have all heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave amongst the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty ... and what curses accompanied Cinderella's looks?

Set against the backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, CONFESSIONS OF AN UGLY STEPSISTER tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who is swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister. While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household - and the treacherous truth of her former life.

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20

Cloaked

By A. D. Justice

Preface: One word easily summed up my entire life: ordinary.I lived with my grandmother in a rural town in Montana. As I worked beside her in our small store, she taught me everything I needed to know.Except how to find her when she disappeared into thin air.Yesterday, going off to college was my greatest adventure. But the truth about my childhood was hidden from me my entire life, cloaked by a powerful spell. I thought all the tales she told me were just bedtime stories…children’s fantasies.Until I stumbled into the Covis Realm.Until I learned my mother was killed because she was a mage.Until I was told my father died defending her. Until I realized I’m the rightful heir to the throne.Mages were hunted and killed because of their powers. They said a mage could never be the queen.My response? Watch me.

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21

To Kill a Kingdom

By Alexandra Christo

Preface: Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all.

With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most - a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian's heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavoury hobby - it's his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she's more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good.

But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind's greatest enemy?

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22

Thorn

By Intisar Khanani

Preface: Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life, but when her mother betroths her to a powerful prince in a distant kingdom, she has little hope for a better future.

Until Alyrra arrives at her new kingdom, where a mysterious sorceress robs her of both her identity and her role as princess--and Alyrra seizes on the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But as Alyrra uncovers dangerous secrets about her new world, including a threat to the prince himself, she knows she can't remain silent forever. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds, and ultimately must decide who she is and what she stands for.

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23

Breadcrumbs

By Anne Ursu

Preface: Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to go in after him. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbs is a stunningly original fairy tale of modern-day America, a dazzling ode to the power of fantasy, and a heartbreaking meditation on how growing up is as much a choice as it is something that happens to us.

In Breadcrumbs, Anne Ursu tells, in her one-of-a-kind voice, a story that brings together fifty years of children's literature in a tale as modern as it is timeless. Hazel's journey to come to terms with her evolving friendship with Jack will deeply resonate with young readers.

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