Retellings: Why do we get new ones every year?

I think we’ve tackled this with my previous post about whether retellings are fanfics.

But honestly, we get new retellings every year. Whether it’s in book form, TV form, Movie Form or Disney form.

Why is that so? I think it’s simply because they work. People love these stories for as long as we can remember. But at the same time, they are tired of hearing the same story. Hence we get familiar stories adapted or told differently.

I don’t think people (myself included) care who originally thought these stories up. It doesn’t really matter how similar the story is (because at this day and age, what story can truly be called original) as long as it entertains.

So here are some of the retellings that have entertained me so far:

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

I’ve had friends who call this a dark Little Mermaid fanfic. And in some respects, it’s true.

Siren Princess Lira gains power through taking hearts. And only the heart of princes will ever truly be enough for a princess. Yes, she’s a literal heart-wrencher. And her victim of choice is any prince who dares to travel her seas. Thus gaining her the moniker as the Prince’s Bane.

The other main character is Prince Elian. A prince turned pirate and hardened siren-killer.

With such reputations, it is inevitable that these two would meet. And as it so happens, circumstances have led to each deciding to hunt the other.

Expect an enemies to lovers trope…

Circe by Madeline Miller

Before reading this book, I only knew Circe as the sorceress who turned people to animals and was one of the notable characters Odysseus met during his journey back to his family in Homer’s Odyssey.

I honestly only read this to find out why people keep gushing about it. And I was pleasantly surprised. Lovers of Greek Mythology should give this book a try IMO. It really gives a lot of thought into why the gods and the titans act the way they do. And I love it!

The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope

This Ballad of Tamlin retelling distinguishes itself by being set in Tudor-era England. Main character Kate is punished by Queen Mary I of England by exiling her to this nowhere place called the Perilous Gard. Kate soon finds that the Fae exist and are dangerous. And some humans are even allied with them to ensure a certain ritual (involving human sacrifice) is completed.

What I loved about this book is how unlikely a heroine Kate is. She has absolutely no magic. And yet she has to find a way to save a friend slated for human sacrifice.

I honestly hope people try this book out. When I started this book, I found it pretty boring. But I was so happy I stuck with it because I loved how the story turned out.

Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis

Yes, this book is written by the same author as the Chronicles of Narnia. A retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth. Except told from the point of view of one of Psyche’s sisters.

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

One book that I feel needs more love. Consider this to be a Cinderella retelling told by one of her stepsisters. Unlike modern retellings, this is set in 17th century Holland. Don’t expect magic. But if you are wondering if the ugly stepsister gets a love interest. I’d say Yes. Expect that

One Reply to “Retellings: Why do we get new ones every year?”

  1. A good list! Not a lot of people know about the Perilous guard since it’s an older book but it was one of the first retelling I read as a kid and I love it! To kill a kingdom and till we have faces sounds interesting. I’ll have to check them out.

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