Survive the wait for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2017) by reading some of the best BatB retellings out there!
• Beauty and the Beastby K. M. Shea Short, simple and sweet. I loved that the “Beauty” character actually knew the conditions of the curse and worked with the knowledge. This book is also a part of a series of fairytale retellings that all take place in the same world. Aside from this one, Cinderella and the Colonel is also nice.
• Beastlyby Alex Flinn Not a very popular book in the fairytale fandom, but I admit that I enjoyed it quite a bit and reread it several times. Sure, compared to some of the others, Beastly is pretty simple and superficial retelling, but it has its charm and some bits are hilarious. Also, don’t judge it on the basis of the movie.
• A Court of Thorns and Rosesby Sarah J. Maas Ok, I cheated a bit with this one because ACoTaR isn’t a straight retelling of BatB, more like a faerie fantasy with elements from Beauty and the Beast, East of the Sun & West of the Moon and Tamlin. But can you blame me? This series is AMAZING!
• Cruel Beautyby Rosamund Hodge This surpringly controversial book is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with references to Rumplestiltskin, Tamlin and Greek mythology. The beginning is not great but it gets better as the story progresses and the ending is very strong. You either love it or hate it.
• Beauty by Robin McKinley Are you new to fairytale retellings? This is where you start your reading journey. McKinley’s take on the classic story is an evergreen that – according to some people – inspired the Disney’s 1991 animated film. Whether it’s true or not, I do not know. I will tell you this though: every single time I reread Beauty I find something new and fascinating about it and it makes me love it even more.
• Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley Very different than McKinley’s first retelling of Beauty and the Beast – though just as good. It’s more lyrical and poetic than other retellings and I admit that I didn’t like it that much when I read it for the first time. But it grew on me and when I reread it several years later it was like discovering a whole new amazing book.
• Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier Two words: Juliet Marillier. This lady is such an amazing storyteller. If you don’t know her, she is the author of Daughter of the Forest (aka the best “Six Swans” retelling out there) and Wildwood Dancing (one of my favorite “Twelve Dancing Princesses” retellings). I would say that Heart’s Blood is more mature than most of the retellings I featured in this list, but it is not as depressing as e.g. Daughter of the Forest. In short, you WON’T REGRET reading this book.
• The Fire Roseby Mercedes Lackey This one is a part of Elemental Masters series by Mercedes Lackey. I admit it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea but I enjoyed the historical setting (dawn of 20th century) and the series seems to be quite popular in the fairytale fandom.
What are your favorite Beauty and the Beast retellings you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!