Fairy Tales Re-told

Another list of books, today re-tellings of fairy tales.   This is one of my favorite types of fantasy novels.  I’m grouping them by author, since all of these writers have multiple books that would fit and I can’t pick one.

Robin McKinley: My favorite of hers is Beauty followed by Rose Daughter, but then I love Beauty and the Beast.

Mercedes Lackey:  She has two series of fairy tale stories, Elemental Masters which take place in an alternate Edwardian England, and Five Hundred Kingdoms which take place in an alternate world.   I like the Five Hundred Kingdoms better since they’re closer to the original stories, but I think I’m in the minority.

Gail Carson Levine:  I’m not sure I have a favorite of hers.  They’re for a younger crowd than the first two writers, which means I read them very fast.  I remember taking a bunch of the Princess Tales series out from the library one summer because I liked the way they looked together. 

Jessica Day George: I’ve just recently discovered her.  I started with Princess of the Midnight Ball since it has knitting in it, then went on to the Dragon Slippers books, which aren’t quite fairy tales, but are still good.

And finally, one fairy tale related blog I’ve started reading recently http://surlalunefairytales.blogspot.com/  Lots of news on upcoming fairy tale releases in books and movies and television

Knitting in Novels

You’ve probably noticed that I like to knit.  So I always like it when I come across a character knitting.  There’s something cozy and British about it.  That’s why I usually have at least one person knitting in my books, and it’s something I can add without needing to research it.  Here are a few other books with knitters I’ve enjoyed (and one DVD). 

Princess of the Midnight Ball, Jessica Day George.  The story is based on the fairy tale Twelve Dancing Princesses, and it’s one of the few fantasy books I’ve come across where knitting plays a role.  It’s also unusual because it’s the guy knitting, a soldier who learned so he’d have warm socks.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling.  You’ve probably already read this, so you know all the knitting references everywhere in the series, but you’d miss it if I hadn’t mentioned it.  This one is my favorite of the series, mainly because of dear Remus.

A Sleeping MurderA Caribbean Mystery, Nemesis, Agatha Christie.  You can’t go wrong with a good Miss Marple.  There’s always at least a little knitting, but it stands out in these three.  Jane goes to a yarn shop to look for gossip and clues in Sleeping Murder.  There’s fluffy, pink knitting in A Caribbean Mystery, and she is remembered as much for that as her crime solving in the sequel Nemesis.

They Came to Bagdad, Agatha Christie.  Yes, I really like Dame Agatha.  This isn’t a Miss Marple, or a Poirot, but knitting still helps.

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society, Beth Pattillo.  This reminded me of Debbie Macomber’s Shop on Blossom Street, a group of women get together to knit and you find out that they all have problems.  This group also all read the same book and knit projects based on it.     In this book, they’re focusing on children’s classics for the benefit of a new member, and it’s fun to remember some old favorites.

Pushing Daisies.  This is the DVD.  Cheese, knitting and a murder, what else could a girl ask for?  This was one of my all time favorite tv shows, with a great cast, beautiful costumes, a knitting detective, and a lot of Alice-like weirdness.

So what books would you add to the list?

my web page is www.lisaannenisula.com copyright 2010, 2011 Lisa Anne Nisula
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