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Book Recommendations: Fairytale Retellings

You’ve heard them before. They’re called the foundations of story, the hero’s journey personified, creation stories, myths, legends and fairy tales. Every culture has them. Whether you know the bare bones, or you can recite an epic poem from memory, there are some stories that are simply, as Mrs. Potts said, “as old as time.”

Here are some of those classics, retold.

The Grimoire of Kensington Market by Lauren B. Davis

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen and brimming with northern folk tales, Maggie, a bookseller at Grimoire Bookstore, knows where she works is magical. But she doesn’t know how much. Years after beating her addiction, she must face her demons and fears in order to rescue her brother Kyle from the same drug, and world that Maggie herself barely escaped from.

The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy Book 1) by Katherine Arden

Set in medieval Russia, this historical fantasy follows Vasilisa, a young girl who loves hearing the old stories from her nursemaid. Her favorite is the story of Frost, the blue-eyed demon of winter, who claims souls in the long frigid nights.

When her father brings home a new wife from Moscow who is devout and hateful of the old ways, the family is forced to stop honoring the spirits. But Vasilisa fears that ending the rituals will do more harm to the world than good.

With a dash of Cinderella and a host of characters from Russian folklore, Arden’s Winternight trilogy is a must read for any fantasy lover.

Helen and Troy’s Epic Road Quest by A. Lee Martinez

A minotaur girl, an “All-American” boy, a vintage car, a three-legged dog and the greatest road trip ever.

Helen has never been normal. Being a minotaur, Helen has to deal with her share of discrimination. But when Helen and Troy, the perfect, dreamy hero that everyone wants to fall in love with get cursed, they are forced to join forces and drive across America. But not just any America, and enchanted one.

If you like Greek and Roman mythology, Douglas Adams, and road trips this is the adventure for you.

The Table of Less Valued Knights by Marie Phillips

Sir Humphrey du Val of the Table of Less Valued Knights, Camelot’s square table, has been banned from quests by King Arthur himself, and hasn’t left the castle in 15 years.

When Sir Humphrey comes across Elaine, a young maiden in search of her kidnapped fiancé, he must set off to find the damsel’s betrothed in order to reclaim his spot of honor at the Round Table

Phillips takes Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, adds in a short giant, a 12 year old crone, a Locum of the Lake (stand in for the Lady) and many more Arthurian characters and gives readers a Knightley tale they have never heard of before.

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