back to top

17 Must-Read Novels That Put A Twist On Classic Fairytales

Relive the magic through a different perspective.

Posted on

1. Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente

Wielding guns and a name given to her to mock her dark complexion, Snow White must navigate a world that is unwilling to accept a half-white, half-Native American woman. This spin on a classic tale tackles issues such as race and colonialism through the eyes of a strong female protagonist in the wild, wild west.

3. Crimson Bound, by Rosamund Hodge

Loosely based on The Little Red Riding Hood, this story follows the story of Rachelle, a young magic user who has committed herself to protecting her realm by fighting the deadly creatures who threaten it. When she is assigned to protect the King's son, a man who she hates, she must face many unexpected challenges.

4. Tattered Heart by Annie Jackson

Set in a world where only princesses have the power to control the wild magic that leaks out of the fairy world, the loose adaptation of Sleeping Beauty follows the story of Princess Aribella as she comes to terms with her role in protecting her kingdom in the midst of secrets, magic, and political treachery.

5. Beast, by Donna Jo Napoli

A Persian Prince is cursed after making a disastrously foolish decision. In this alternative perspective of Beauty and the Beast, Prince Orasmyn must roam the Middle East until he finds love that will undo the curse.

6. The Phoenix Dance by Dia Calhoun

This novel intertwines the story of the Twelves Dancing Princesses with the story of Phoenix Dance, the young woman who risks her life to save them while she struggles to understand her own terrifying, dark nature.


Loosely based on Cinderella, Ella Enchanted has the "gift" of obedience bestowed upon her by a fairy, meaning she must obey whatever anyone else tells her to do. But the curse doesn't keep feisty Ella down — she rebels and sets off on a grand adventure to confront the fairy and undo her affliction.

8. Ash, by Malinda Lo

In this twist on the classic Cinderella tale, Ash seeks refuge from her cruel stepmother by rereading fairytales and dreaming that fairies will come steal her away. After meeting the dark fairy Sidhean, she must choose between her fairy tale dreams coming true and a burgeoning love for the King’s Huntress.

9. Sweetly, by Jackson Pearce

Set in South Carolina, Gretchen and Ansel find refuge in the home of a beautiful candy maker after being cast out by their stepmother. Despite their safe haven, they live in fear of the witch who took Gretchen's twin sister — and has set her eyes on Gretchen, next.

10. The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Based on Maid Maleen, one of the lesser-known works from the Brothers Grimm, this novel follows a maid and her mistress who are imprisoned in a tower for seven years because of the mistress's refusal to marry.

11. Entwined, by Heather Dixon

In another retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, the eldest princess, Azalea, must fight to save her family and herself from the ancient and dark magic that lurks within the palace walls.

12. Water Song, by Suzanne Weyn

Despite the war going on abroad, beautiful and wealthy Emma Pennington never suspects that she will feel its effects. However, she soon finds herself stranded, alone and fighting for her survival in the midst of magic, fighting, and potentially love.

13. Into the Wild, by Sarah Beth Durst

Julie is the daughter of Rapunzel, one of the characters who managed to escape from the fairy tale world, The Wild. One day, Julia comes home from school to find The Wild has stolen its fairytale characters back, and she must embark on dangerous journey rescue her mother.


In this dystopian twist on Sleeping Beauty, in an effort to bio-engineer a cure for the honeybee population collapse, the government accidentally creates a vaccination that turns people into deadly beasts. Those needed to rebuild society are protected within a fortress, but after several years of sleep Fiona has woken up on the wrong side of the protective wall...

15. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

While mourning the death of his mother, the only company David finds is in his books. But as the books begin to whisper to him and lead him further into his Grim fairy tale-fueled imagination, he begins to lose touch with what's real and what isn't.

16. Scarlet Moon, by Debbie Viguié

Ruth's time is divided between learning the trade of the blacksmith and visiting her grandmother, who the townsfolk believes to be "evil." When a man who is prey to a strange curse enters Ruth's life, they must confront their destiny at her grandmother's house.

17. Monstrous Beauty, by Elizabeth Fama

Syrenka, a beautiful mermaid, never suspected that falling in love with Ezra, a young naturalist, would have such deadly consequences. Nearly a century and a half later, Hester finds herself mysteriously drawn to Ezra, despite love resulting in death for generations of her family members. Investigating this strange curse leads Hester to question if she has some strange connection to Syrenka.

18. The Rumpelstiltskin Problem, by Vivian Vande Velde

What was going on in that odd little man's head when he agreed to help a miller's daughter spin straw into gold? Velde explores six possible options in this this comical, and at times terrifying, retelling.

This post was created by a member of BuzzFeed Community, where anyone can post awesome lists and creations. Learn more or post your buzz!