10 Best Fairy-Tale Mystery Books that are Modern Takes on Fairy Tales!
Welcome, dear reader, to a treasure trove of enchantment and intrigue! Dust off your curiosity and suspend reality as we journey into the fantastical realm of fairy tales retold. But wait...these aren't the fairy tales you might remember from bedtime stories long ago, oh no. Our list of gemstones features some of the most engaging modern-day spins on fairy tales, fused seamlessly with an electrifying vein of mystery.
Let's face it, many of us have long grown past the sugar-coated 'Happily Ever After' narratives. We yearn for stories that aren't afraid to plunge us into worlds brimming with enigmas begging to be unlocked! We crave narrative masterstrokes that play with familiar characters and narratives, dousing them with a deliciously grim layer of intrigue and surprise.
So, if you're ready for a delightful merger of whimsical fairy tales and sinister mysteries, brace yourself. Strip away your preconceived ideas and rejuvenate your love for childhood tales with a more urbane spark of bewilderment. Get set to plunge into murky mysteries that echo the charm of our favorite fairy-tale characters and plots, while serving up a devilish side of suspense. So settle in, open your mind, and let the magical mysteries commence!
NEBULA AWARD WINNER • HUGO AWARD FINALIST • “If you want a fantasy with strong characters and brilliantly original variations on ancient stories, try Uprooted!”—Rick Riordan “Breathtaking . . . a tale that is both elegantly grand and earthily humble, familiar as a Grimm fairy tale yet fresh, original, and totally irresistible.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: NPR, BuzzFeed, Tordotcom, BookPage, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose. Praise for Uprooted “Uprooted has leapt forward to claim the title of Best Book I’ve Read Yet This Year. . . . Moving, heartbreaking, and thoroughly satisfying, Uprooted is the fantasy novel I feel I’ve been waiting a lifetime for. Clear your schedule before picking it up, because you won’t want to put it down.”—NPR
|Release Date||Mar 01, 2016|
『The Near Witch』
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S BEST YA OF THE DECADE NEW YORK TIMES bestseller Brand new edition of Victoria Schwab's long out-of-print, stunning debut. All-new deluxe edition of an out-of-print gem, containing in-universe short story "The Ash-Born Boy" and a never-before-seen introduction from V.E. Schwab. The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. There are no strangers in the town of Near. These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy. Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab's debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won't soon forget.
|Author||V. E. Schwab|
|Publisher||Titan Books (US, CA)|
|Release Date||Mar 12, 2019|
『The Wrath & the Dawn』
A #1 New York Times Bestseller! “A riveting Game of Thrones meets Arabian Nights love story.” - US Weekly Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend. She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.
|Release Date||Apr 05, 2016|
With the critically acclaimed novels The Gate To Women's Country, Raising The Stones, and the Hugo-nominated Grass, Sheri Tepper has established herself as one of the major science fiction writers of out Time. In Beauty, she broadens her territory even further, with a novel that evokes all the richness of fairy tale and fable. Drawing on the wellspring of tales such as "Sleeping Beauty," Beauty is a moving novel of love and loss, hope and despair, magic and nature. Set against a backdrop both enchanted and frightening, the story begins with a wicked aunt's curse that will afflict a young woman named Beauty on her sixteenth birthday. Though Beauty is able to sidestep tragedy, she soon finds herself embarked on an adventure of vast consequences. For it becomes clear that the enchanted places of this fantastic world--a place not unlike our own--are in danger and must be saved before it is too late.
|Author||Sheri S. Tepper|
|Release Date||Dec 23, 2009|
『Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles Book 2)』
The second book in The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. This is not the fairytale you remember. But it's one you won't forget. SCARLET BENOIT'S grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other. Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive - when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana. As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner . . . ***Red Riding Hood-meets-Percy Jackson in a thrilling new spin on Grimm by Marissa Meyer, the author of Cinder.***
|Release Date||Feb 07, 2013|
『The Princess Companion』
Second Print Edition (US spelling) of The Princess Companion: A Retelling of the Princess and the Pea by Melanie Cellier
|Release Date||Mar 06, 2019|
As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take onthe Cinderella story.
|Release Date||Jan 08, 2013|
The haunting, romantic lesbian retelling of Cinderella and modern queer classic by award-winning author Malinda Lo -- now with an introduction by Holly Black, a letter from the author, a Q&A, and more! In the wake of her father's death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted. The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King's Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Their friendship, as delicate as a new bloom, reawakens Ash's capacity for love -- and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love. Entrancing and empowering, Ash beautifully unfolds the connections between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
|Publisher||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers|
|Release Date||Sep 01, 2009|
『Girls Made of Snow and Glass』
Melissa Bashardoust’s acclaimed debut novel Girls Made of Snow and Glass is “Snow White as it’s never been told before...a feminist fantasy fairy tale not to be missed” (BookPage)! “Utterly superb.” —ALA Booklist, starred review “Dark, fantastical, hauntingly evocative.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review “An empowering and progressive original retelling.” —SLJ, starred review Sixteen-year-old Mina is motherless, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother. Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known...or else defeat her once and for all. Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.
|Release Date||Dec 31, 2018|
A half-android, half-human girl is accused of murder in Jess Rothenberg's tautly-paced YA thriller, The Kingdom, perfect for fans of Westworld and The Lunar Chronicles. "Wildly addictive and beautifully terrifying... Readers will leave this glittering theme park forgetting what is real."—Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles Welcome to the Kingdom... where "Happily Ever After" isn’t just a promise, but a rule. Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The KingdomTM is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species—formerly extinct—roam free. Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time... love. But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty—and what it truly means to be human.
|Publisher||Henry Holt and Company (BYR)|
|Release Date||May 28, 2019|
In conclusion, folks, these aren't your grandmother's fairy tales. Each of these brilliant novels offers a unique twist on the stories we loved as kids, masterfully blending whimsical fantasy with nail-biting mysteries. We see beloved characters reimagined, turned on their heads, and placed in scenarios that would make the Brothers Grimm blush. These are fairy tales reborn for the modern age, with intricate plots and relatable characters that will keep you hooked until the very end. They are clever, enchant hitting, and sometimes wonderfully dark – taking us on escapades through magical realms, while keeping us grounded with familiar elements of mystery we've known and loved. Perfect for any book lover who relishes a puzzle and has a soft spot for the fantastical, I genuinely believe that you'll find absolute delight within these covers. So now, pull up a chair, grab a cup of tea, and let the magical mystery unravel with these fantastic fairy-tale mystery books. Happy reading, everyone!
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