Nothing is more magical than retellings of classic fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast, Rumpelstiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood, and Cinderella. Interwoven within these reimaginings are many familiar elements of the Grimm’s story, making these retellings perfect for fairy tale lovers.
From the glass slipper, the fairy godmother, and the wicked stepmother and sisters, these authors incorporate many of these familiar elements into their Cinderella retellings in new and inventive ways.
Infused with magic and enchantingly beautiful prose, read on for the best Cinderella retellings.
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
Everyone knows the story of Cinderella. No one knows the tale of Isabelle, one of the ‘ugly’ stepsisters.
Jealousy twisted Isabelle and her sister into jagged pieces of their former selves, making them bitter and hateful. Now Isabelle has the chance to alter her destiny and walk down a different path – one that lauds her for her warrior’s heart rather than demonizing it.
Emotional, powerful, and thought-provoking, Stepsister is a beautifully written Cinderella retelling that gives the ugly stepsisters a voice and a chance to show that they are not merely the villains in Cinderella’s story but victims of society.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinder is a gifted mechanic who is belittled and overlooked by her step-mother and one of her step-sisters. The other step-sister looks up to Cinder. As a cyborg, Cinder does not have the same rights as humans.
During a chance encounter, Cinder becomes irreversibly changed when her life becomes intertwined with Prince Kai’s. Thrust into center stage, Cinder must navigate new and rocky terrain. With the fate of the world on their shoulders, Cinder and Kai will have to race against the clock before time runs out.
Filled to the brim with danger, mystery and intrigue, Cinder is a captivating read with a steamy slow-burn fantasy romance perfect for fans of modern fairytale retellings mixed with a splash of science fiction.
The Blood Spell by C.J. Redwine
Crown prince Kellan Renard is the last person Blue de la Cour wants to seek help from, but after her father’s tragic murder, there is no one else she trusts more, especially when a cruel woman gains custody of Blue and her property.
Together the two join forces to uncover her faux stepmom’s nefarious intentions and the mysterious disappearances plaguing the kingdom.
The Blood Spell is a darkly enchanting fairy tale retelling overflowing with dark magic, intrigue, and romance. As one of the best Cinderella retellings, you cannot go wrong with this dark romantic fantasy page-turner.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
This fantastic fantasy novel takes place in a land filled with magic, deception and danger.
Assassin Celaena Sardothien is summoned to the castle where she is to fight in a competition with twenty-three killers, thieves and warriors. The prize: to serve as the king’s champion and her freedom.
However, the Crown Prince doesn’t make it easy on her and the Captain of the Guard tries to help her. In a world where lies are common and death can come right after your next meal, the stakes are high.
If you like paranormal romance books that center around royal competitions (of course this time we’re not competing for the prince’s heart), then you might want to check out Throne of Glass.
Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram
Following a tragic accident that left Ella Rodriguez motherless and physically and emotionally scarred, the eighteen-year-old is swept across the globe to live with her deadbeat father and his family.
Determined to get her life back on track, she turns to the one person who makes her feel like a semblance of her old self: Internet pen pal and Hollywood movie star Brian Oliver.
In Cinder & Ella, Kelly Oram gives the classic fairy tale a contemporary Hollywood twist. As one of the best young adult celebrity Cinderella retellings, you cannot go wrong with this page-turner.
So This is Love by Elizabeth Lim
In this retelling of the classic fairy tale, Cinderella has no time to wait around to prove that she is the missing princess from the ball, so she decides to take her fate into her own hands and sets out to work at the palace as a seamstress.
However, when she unwittingly overhears a conspiracy to overthrow the monarchy, she becomes a key player in a deadly game with high stakes.
In the mood for a nostalgia-inducing Cinderella retelling that will take you down memory lane? Look no further than Elizabeth Lim’s young adult must-read So This is Love.
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
If someone told Avery Grambs a week ago that she would become the sole heir to the massive fortune of the soon-to-be deceased elusive billionaire Tobias Hawthorne, she would have laughed in their face. Imagine her surprise when that scenario plays out.
To receive her inheritance, she must move into the Hawthorne House and subject herself to the mercy of her benefactor’s disgruntled heirs and suspicious grandsons.
If Avery hopes to make it out alive and come out on top, she will have to play the game and unearth the clues left behind by a man who is still playing games, even in death.
Knives Out meets Truly Devious in the highly readable series from Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Mysterious, unique, and entertaining, The Inheritance Games is an intricately crafted YA bestseller teeming with secrets, high stakes, and twists that you will never foresee.
Shard of Glass by Emily Deady
Following the tragic passing of her father, Ashlin must step up and take a job as a seamstress at the palace to keep her stepfamily afloat. To her complete and utter surprise, she attracts the attention of the prince.
As the pair form an unlikely bond, Ashlin must consider whether the prince is genuinely falling for her or simply exploiting her for the unique skills she possesses to save the kingdom.
In the mood for a reimagining of Cinderella? Look no further than Emily Deady’s YA page-turner Shard of Glass.
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Gifted the “gift” of obedience at birth by a fairy, Ella of Frell must obey every command and demand uttered her way – something that proves quite tortuous for the head-strong girl. Determined to rid herself of the troublesome gift, Ella sets out on a quest to break the curse.
Sweet, magical, and utterly fantastical, Ella Enchanted is the perfect childhood Cinderella retelling.