Rose Mannering, author of Roses and Feathers, two unique and wonderful fairy tale retellings, shares her favorite fairy tale retellings. Check out her post below!
5 of My Favorite Fairy Tale Retellings
Growing up I loved fairy tales. I loved them cute and fluffy like Disney movies and I liked them dark and twisted in their original(ish), Brothers Grimm form.
Writing a book about fairy tales therefore seemed like completely the right sort of thing to do. So I did it and it was great fun. I didn’t just do it once either—I rewrote and reworked my retellings of fairy tales over and over growing up; just loving the act of writing and not caring about much else. Never did I imagine that one day I would be celebrating the paperback release of one of those retellings… Roses is out in paperback today and I can’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it when it was released in hardback and I still can’t believe it today. It’s unreal—like a fairy tale (sorry, massive cliché and terrible pun).
Roses is a loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and it is the first in a trilogy of retellings called The Tales Trilogy, all based around fairy tales (psst! Feathers, the sequel, will be out in hardback next month!). To celebrate its release in paperback, I’d like to pay homage to some of my favorite retellings of fairy tales in their different forms, so here are my top five:
- Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley (book)
Robin McKinley is such a fantastic writer and I love ALL of her books, but her fairy tale retellings are pretty special. I’ve re-read them several times and I’m always taken in by the lyrical beauty of her prose and the imaginative world she creates. Spindle’s End is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty and it is just wonderful. We have a beauty who is maybe not so beautiful and an unlikely romance. It is just the best! I would also highly recommend Deerskin, which is as gorgeous as it is harrowing—a very important novel and a formative text for me.
- The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (book)
This is super creepy and super amazing! Carter gets to the root of the disturbing truths behind many fairy tales in this collection of short stories. I’ve read this many times and I’ve always enjoyed it in my own unsettled way. I went through a phase in secondary school where I was utterly obsessed with this book. It’s exquisitely written and wonderfully portrayed; I would highly recommend!
- Tangled (film)
We had to have some Disney in here! This is just pure delight in a movie—I love the songs, I love the characters. It’s all just fun and sometimes you need your fairy tales to have happy endings.
- Swan Lake (ballet)
I love ballet and the way it can express so much through movement. It is only through watching ballet that I’ve learnt how expressive the body can be (and I think this has helped my writing in many ways). Swan Lake, based on Russian folklore, is one of my favorite ballets and the folklore is actually the basis for the second book in The Tales Trilogy— Feathers.
- Beastly by Alex Flinn (book)
This contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast in New York is a real treat from beginning to end. I haven’t seen or read many contemporary retellings, but this is pitched and written just perfectly. If you’re a B&B fan and you haven’t picked this one up—I would highly recommend. It gives you all the feels!
Roses by Rose Mannering—out now in paperback!
She bears no name. Her silvery appearance is freakish to the numerous inhabitants of Sago, the cosmopolitan capital of Pevorocco in the Western Realm. With her mother vanishing at the instance of her birth, she is sent to live with the cruel, rich Ma Dane, where she is punished daily for something, though she knows not what. Tauntingly named Beauty, she flees Sago in a violent uprising that sets out to massacre all Magics and journeys to the farthest point of the country.
But Beauty cannot hide in the grassy Hillands forever. Before long, the State officials find her and threaten to take her back to war-torn Sago where death surely awaits. In a midnight blizzard she escapes them, running into a deep, enchanted forest to a great and terrible beast who will bargain for her life.
But can Beauty accept Beast? Eternity is a long time. Now for the first time in paperback, Roses is sure to capture your heart as you fall in love with Beauty and her Beast all over again.
Feathers by Rose Mannering—out July 2016
Ode was never meant to be born. An outcast from birth, he discovered how to control his unique, remarkable gift entirely on his own. Unlike the other people of his tribe, Ode can fly. Sometimes his body will shudder and shift, and then Ode will transform. He becomes a great white bird with feathers as pale as the snow. He becomes a swan. He can fly above the tribe’s tepees and soar over the emerald forests of the Wild Lands.
But even with his gift, he cannot save his family from the oncoming war. The Magical Cleansing is spreading across the realm, and strangers arrive from foreign lands bringing with them bloodshed and fear. With the help of his gift, Ode flees to a distant island where answers, Magic, and a girl with golden hair await him. He must be brave, and he must be wise. And he must never turn back.
The exciting and much-anticipated second book in the Tales trilogy, Feathers is sure to keep fans of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder series turning the pages as they journey through the magic world of the Western Realm.