Monday, February 28, 2022

Reading on a Theme: Rumpelstiltskin Retellings

I love a twist on a classic tale. Today we have retellings of Rumpelstiltskin for all ages. I wouldn't count Rumpelstiltskin as one of my favorite fairy tales, but this post of Rumpelstiltskin retellings truly contains some of my all-time favorite books. What fairy tale would you like to see retold?

Find more retellings here.


The Prince's Sister:
The Wish Granter is a high fantasy retelling of Rumpelstiltskin set in the same world as C.J. Redwine's The Shadow Queen. Thad and Ari Glaven are the illegitimate children of the king of Sundraille. When the royal family perishes, Thad becomes king, a position he never expected to hold. Thad's ascension was the work of the conniving Wish Granter, Alastair Teague. Ari is determined to keep her brother and the kingdom from Teague's clutches. I love Redwine's Ravenspire retellings, and you definitely do not need to read them in order. I love the settings, and she adds a lot of oomph to the fairy tales. Also, Ari is a strong and feisty character with a lot of heart and determination.


The Moneylender's Daughter:
I loved Naomi Novik's Uprooted, and I loved Spinning Silver even more. Naomi Novik is so good at writing fairy tales for adults. This one takes its inspiration, in part, from Rumpelstiltskin. Miryem, the daughter of a Jewish moneylender, is so successful at turning silver into gold that she catches the eye of the Staryk, fae-like creatures, who crave gold but cannot make it themselves. Weaving together the story of three women, Miryem, Wanda, and Irina, Novik's fairy tale has a feminist quality to it that remains very true to the time and place with its restrictions and structures. The Russian-inspired setting jumps off the page. I read this over the course of one snowy weekend in January, and it was the perfect seasonal read.  


The Girl Blessed by the God of Lies:
I know I'm in good hands when I'm reading a book by Marissa Meyer. She is such a master of fairy tale retellings. Gilded is a Rumpelstiltskin retelling mixed with the Erlking legend. Serilda was blessed by the god of lies. At least, that's what her father has always told her. She is a natural story teller, but her stories tend to get her into trouble. But nothing compares to the trouble she faces when her story catches the attention of the Erlking. Serilda is tasked by the Erlking to spin straw into gold, and the only reason she survives is because a mysterious ghost-like creature called Gilded comes to her aid. This book is so magical. Full of stories and romance and danger and magic. It was one of my favorite books of the year. 
The Tricky Villain:
In a world where a name defines a destiny, Rump is stuck being a cow’s behind. When he was born, his mother died before she could tell anyone but him his full name, and so he is stuck being Rump. He discovers that he has magic and it sets him on a path that leads to his name and destiny. Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin is pure fun. Liesl Shurtliff created a fascinating world with gnomes who run messages and pixies who are attracted to gold (much like the king of the land). I love that Rump’s only friend is Red, whose name is considered as odd as his and that people are the only things named. Rump was a romp and I enjoyed every minute. 
The Miller's Daughter:
In  Elizabeth Bunce's A Curse Dark as Gold Charlotte Miller becomes the reluctant owner of Stirwaters Mill when her father dies unexpectedly. She and her sister Rose struggle to keep the mill going, but it seems to be cursed, or so the locals whisper. Time and again just when Charlotte and Rose think they are going to get ahead something horrific happens making it absolutely necessary that they make a shady deal with a shady character if their mill is to survive the day. The setting that Bunce creates is just perfect. I really could visualize the mill and its surroundings hovering right on the cusp of the Industrial Revolution where the past and the future collide. This book is truly something special. 

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