Hello book bees and welcome to yet another post about fairy tale retellings! Well, really, this post is about reading fairy tale retellings and/or new fairy tales. By new fairy tales I mean original stories written by modern authors that imitate the fairy tale style in some manner. This could mean the format and writing style, the inclusion of certain tropes, or just the general flavor of what they’ve written.
Fairy tale retellings are incredibly popular these days, especially in YA fiction written primarily for women. It’s not uncommon for an entire series to be built around a fantasy world in which curses, fairy godmothers, and magic are staples of each book. There are collaborations between authors of fairy tale retellings, as well as a myriad of series available as free or rentable ebooks. Fairy tale retellings have been growing for years, from such iconic retellings as Ella Enchanted to new takes such as Cinder Ella which features a trans main character.
Personally I find fairy tale retellings an interesting way to explore both fantasy worlds and the possibilities of expanding on the original tales. Not only do some authors include new representation in those tales, but many alter aspects of the tales that modern readers don’t identify with and reimagine the “moral” of the story for a new audience. Many of these retellings give greater agency to female protagonists, as well as include more developed romantic relationships and more interesting magical elements.
I do enjoy new tales, as well. I find they’re not very common, but when an author sets out to craft a new fairy tale (even if from the pieces of older ones) they usually have something very interesting to write. Adding to the world of fairy tales by crafting new ones generally results in different writing styles, narrative voices, and utilization of plot structures, all of which are interesting to read considering their experimental nature.
I think that modern fairy tales, or just new ones, introduce new moral stories into our body of literature. Whereas traditional fairy tales often had morals that many of us no longer agree with, and retellings address this, new stories built around new morals have more interesting things to say about modern society. What we consider important to philosophize about today versus in the past is an interesting inside look into how cultures around the world have shifted.