Book List

Tale as Old as Time: 8 Beauty and the Beast Retellings

April 28, 2017
Jess Harold
Riveted Editorial Board

After seeing Beauty and the Beast, I knew I wanted Belle’s life—secret castle far away from everyone, talking household items fulfilling my every need, and an enormous library. Getting to kiss the prince was just a bonus! And the only way to be a princess like Belle was to dress the part.

Beauty and the beast costume

But nothing lasts forever. Whether it was a growth spurt or my love of fruit punch, I had to give up my Belle dress for the pedestrian collection of clothes waiting in my unfortunately inanimate wardrobe. So I channeled my love for provincial French fairy tales into something more sustainable: reading. It’s likely that Disney Belle’s love of books is an homage to B&B’s original author, Gabrielle-Suzanne Bardot de Villeneuve, a noblewoman who defied social convention by earning her living from her writing. Regardless of who is telling this story, I wanted to read it. So for Princess Week, here is a list of Beauty and the Beast retellings that I have cultivated through the years. Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

 

BEASTby Donna Jo Napoli

Meet the Beast -- before there was Beauty Orasmyn is the prince of Persia and heir to the throne. His religion fills his heart and his mind, and he strives for the knowledge and leadership his father demonstrates. But on the day of the Feast of Sacrifices, Orasmyn makes a foolish choice that results in a fairy's wretched punishment: He is turned into a beast, a curse to be undone only by the love of a woman. Thus begins Orasmyn's journey through the exotic Middle East and sensuous France as he struggles to learn the way of the beast, while also preserving the mind of the man. This is the story of his search, not only for a woman courageous enough to love him, but also for his own redemption.

A Court of Thorns and Rosesby Sarah J. Maas

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

Belleby Cameron Dokey

The story of Beauty and the Beast finds new life in this magical and imaginative retelling that’s filled with romance and adventure.

Phantom of the operaby Gaston Leroux

Far darker than the stories familiar to audiences of today from the phenomenally successful Broadway musical and the early Lon Chaney, Jr. film, Leroux's Fantom is a genuine murderer, and the story, a true Gothic murder/horror tale. Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, terrorizes the Opera Garnier (or Paris Opera House) by a successful multi-year blackmail plot. When new owners take over the Opera, Erik's reign of terror is abruptly curtailed. With this threat to his formerly comfortable living, and his budding, if bizarre relationship with the lovely soprano Christine Daee, coming to a halt, Erik takes drastic and murderous action.

Uprootedby Naomi Novik

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.

Of Beast and Beautyby Stacey Jay

What if Beauty became the Beast? Discover a new angle on the classic fairytale in this fantasy retelling that's perfect for anyone who can't get enough of Beauty and the Beast.

Beastlyby Alex Flynn

I am a beast. A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

Cruel Beautyby Rosamun Hodge

Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known that her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom's mountaintop, nothing is what she expected—particularly her charming and beguiling new husband. Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can't resist the pull of her sworn enemy—who's gotten in her way by stealing her heart.

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