Note from Kitty: I was performing a cleanup of my old blog posts and I found a few that I had left in draft status for some reason but never published them?!? So for the rest of this month you are getting these “Kitty’s Attic” blog posts – I hope you enjoy them!
The story of Sleeping Beauty is gradually told throughout the first three books of the Fairy Tale Enchantress series (as well as the single book devoted to her in my Timeless Fairy Tales series). So I figured it is time we look at some of the Sleeping Beauty retellings that are out there!
I’m not going to lie, putting together this blog post made me a little nervous. Because let’s be real for a second and admit that some of the original Sleeping Beauty stories are really, really dark and definitely not safe for you to read to your kids (or to read at work). Most modern writers tend to skip over those aspects of the original story (thank goodness!) and I did work extra hard to scrub the list of books below but let me know if there is a book in the post that you don’t think is clean. Luckily, Sleeping Beauty has been blessed with a Disney movie retelling so it has inspired plenty of stories that focus on the lighter aspects of the original fairy tales!
The Castle Behind Thorns – by Merrie Haskell – Ok, I definitely did not like this book as much as Haskell’s other book, The Princess Curse. But this is still a great book with an interesting spin on the Sleeping Beauty tale (both how she ends up in the situation and what she and the main male character do to fix things).
Spindle’s End – by Robin McKinley – I’m assuming you’ve read one of Robin McKinley’s retellings of Beauty and the Beast, but did you know she has written a Sleeping Beauty retelling as well? It has McKinley’s trademark beautiful world building and descriptions combined with some fun twits. I think the best part is the fact that the main heroine is not some passive princess waiting for everything to get solved – she’s a woman of action!
The Healer’s Apprentice – by Melanie Dickerson – Melanie Dickerson has written a whole series of fairy tale retellings mixed with historical fiction, and this book is the first one in her series. I personally like books I read to have a touch of magic in them (which these do not) but I have to admire how seamlessly Dickerson can blend the historical aspects with the original fairy tales to come up with a story that is both entertaining and realistic!
Sleeping Beauty – by K.M. Shea – For my retelling of Sleeping Beauty I knew I wanted Briar Rose to be a bit more fiery (she had to be to go through what I had planned for her)! Sometimes she gets a little carried away with herself but that is why Isaia is there to steady her and hold her back when necessary. And even though Briar is a side character in the Fairy Tale Enchantress series, she still has some adventures of her own in that series!
More Sleeping Beauty retellings:
As usual, a big shout-out to everyone who commented on my Facebook post with extra suggestions! Thank you so much everyone, this blog post would be a lot shorter without your help!
Kill Me Softly – by Sarah Cross
Sleeping Beauty’s Daughters – by Diane Zahler
Rose & Thorn – by Sarah Prineas
The Wide-Awake Princess – by E.D. Baker
Princess of Thorns – by Stacey Jay
Curse of the Thirteenth Fey – by Jane Yolen
Once Upon a Dream – by Liz Braswell
The Princess Game – by Melanie Cellier
Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep – by Gail Carson Levine
Mistress of All Evil – by Serena Valentino
Sleeping Beauty – by Jenni James
Beauty Sleep – by Cameron Dokey
Kingdom of Slumber – Deborah Grace White