February 26th is National Tell A Fairy Tale Day!
I love this holiday, and how it focuses on the telling of fairy tales, as opposed to the stories themselves.
In honor of Tell A Fairy Tale Day, the theme of today’s post is retellings; specifically, retellings of Cinderella!
There are hundreds of Cinderella retellings out there – how do you narrow down the list? I’ve chosen three hidden gems I’ve come across that all have a unique or interesting take on the Cinderella tale. It sounds daunting to take on such a famous and classic fairy tale, so I want to offer my thanks to all the authors who tackle fairy tales. Their efforts have given us so many great updates and variants of our favorite fairy stories.
Thank you for telling fairy tales!
Here are three lesser-known versions of Cinderella that have stuck in my mind:
- Fated: Cinderella’s Story (Destined Book 1) by Kaylin Lee
Set in an elaborate alternate world, Ella is hiding her ‘stepmother’ from the authorities. This book is part of Kaylin Lee’s Destined series, with each book standing alone and covering a different fairy tale.
Fated gets a gold star for excellent world-building! This is one of my favorite variants-with-a-twist. You can also enjoy the related short, “Burned: Weslan’s Story”.
- Ella: The Slayer by A.W. Exley
This post-WWI zombie tale was surprisingly creative, re-imagining the 1918 flu pandemic as a zombie infection. I’ll warn you that the story is continued in future books, which I have not read. The main action and mystery in this one was wrapped up enough for me though.
The Edwardian time period and the incorporation of the related historical events made this book stand out to me as a different take on the Cinderella retelling.
- Gilded Ashes: A Cruel Beauty Novella by Rosamund Hodge
What if you had to be happy? Because if you weren’t, your mother’s ghost would exact a dreadful revenge on anyone responsible? A punishment you wouldn’t want even your worst enemy to endure? Gilded Ashes gives a new premise for main-character Maia’s actions when in servitude to her step-family. The situation really made me think about how she handles her treatment.
I recently discovered this book is in the same universe as Cruel Beauty, a “Beauty and the Beast” story. I’m going to bump that one higher up on my reading list!
If you’re looking for more, check out these other posts about Cinderella retellings:
- Louisa May Alcott’s Modern Cinderella
- Ella Enchanted
- The Ordinary Princess
- Charles Perrault and the Glass Slipper
- Collecting Aschenputtel
Happy Tell A Fairy Tale Day everyone!