It seems like 2012 is the year of the fairytale remake. Well, in mainstream media, anyway. We’ve got it on TV with Once Upon a Time and Grimm. It’s in theatres with Mirror, Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman, and upcoming works like Maleficent, and Oz, the Great and Powerful. And that’s not counting Disney-esque movies. (I’m not touching on *cringe* Disney’s retelling of The Snow Queen.)
BUT, it’s been in romance and erotica for quite a long time. Oh, sure, there are the fairy tale tropes that populate much of the romance genre (Cinderella and Beauty and Beast are the two immediate ones that come to mind). There are also blatant retellings that are quite popular.
It’s impossible to delve into the ‘why’s of this practice without coming off as sexist. But the plain truth is that romance is a genre that’s dominated by women. Just as, for generations, fairy tales have been most popular (although not entirely), with little girls. Personally, I fucking love it – I love that, as both a reader and an author, I get to play in these worlds that were ‘just’ fairytales while growing up. Even better? They’re rife with so much erotic potential!
Some of my favorites, in no particular order:
Loved A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James, of course, which is another Cinderella retelling. That’s also the first in her Fairytales series. The rest are on my TBR.
There’s also Petals and Thorns by Jennifer Paris, a Beauty and the Beast novella which was more erotica than anything, but I enjoyed it.
And, of course you can’t go without mentioning Nancy Madore, here. She has several anthologies of erotic fairytale retellings that should be in any fan’s library.
Finally, who can forget Anne Rice’s well-loved/well-hated Beauty and the Beast trilogy? Heh.
The fairytale craze also hits the paranormal subgenre pretty frequently. What do you expect, what with the Djinn (‘Genies’), and shifters (Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Red and the Wolf, yeah!), and magic all over the place. Hey, I’m not afraid to admit that my very first ebook purchase ever was the Kings of Wonderland series by Cheyenne McCray. *fans self*
It bears noting, however, that this resurgence of fairytales seems to be less one-sided in gender appeal, which is awesome. Mainstream media is definitely a win on that end; I know just as many men who are addicted to Once Upon a Time and Grimm as women. And they’re all going to the theatres for the big screen retellings.
Even more awesome, however, is that it’s happening, even just a little bit, with books. My husband just finished Cinder by Marissa Meyer, of his own volition. It’s still a bit farther down my TBR list. What’s more? He’s impatient for the next book in the series.
It’ll be a while before I can get him hooked on Abigail Barnette, however.
So, what are your favorite fairytale retellings? Hit me up with some recs!