To celebrate the release of Spindle by Shonna Slayton, which is released today, let’s have a look at 10 YA Sleeping Beauty adaptations! I’m doing this as a sort of Top Ten Tuesday, but I’m obviously not following todays theme of Villians (but whatever, I do what I want).
Sleeping Beauty was never one of my favourite fairy tales growing up, and maybe because of that I’ve mostly ignored all Sleeping Beauty based books, but Spindle has definitely ignited in me a yearning to read some of these adaptations.
This list was very difficult to write- there seems to be a shortage of Sleeping Beauty retellings (though Beauty and the Beast adaptations have the opposite problem, seriously they’re everywhere!). I did manage to get to 10, but barely..
We might as well start with the above mentioned;
1. Spindle by Shonna Slayton
Set during the Industrial Revolution, Sleeping Beauty’s happily ever after isn’t the end of the story…
In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger.
Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?
When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness—and Briar’s not immune.
If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.
If you know me, you know I love a good best friend romance trope. It’s like one of my favourite things ever, so it’s no surprise that this synopsis appeals to me. I’m intrigued at how the setting, during the industrial revolution, will change the story we all know. Also ‘endless flirty jokes’ sounds good to me!
2. Spinning Thorns by Anna Sheehan
Sleeping Beauty has woken.
The world has been renewed.
Everyone is living happily ever after . . .
Sharp, blood-seeking thorns still surround the castle. A feud remains between those who wield magic and those who were subjected to it. And while the kingdom is divided against itself, nothing can thrive.
A rebellion may be needed – and that’s where Sleeping Beauty’s daughter comes in . . .
This synopsis is a little confusing, but from what I’ve read I can see that this book is a cross between Sleeping Beauty and Rumplestiltskin. This story starts after Sleeping Beauty has been awoken, but things aren’t quite so simple as happily ever after- Sleeping Beauty has to help stop a feud between magic users and non magic users, and thats when Rumplestiltskin comes in and makes Beauty an offer…
It’s been well received on Goodreads, with a 4 star average, so this is definitely one to give a go.
3. Once Again by Cameron Dokey
Cursed at birth, Princess Aurore is fated to prick her finger at age sixteen and sleep for one hundred years. As the days go by, the adventurous princess makes a habit of exploring the lands beyond the castle, where her warmth and generosity earn her the devotion of the townspeople.
But when she finds out the impending curse will not only harm her—but the entire kingdom—Aurore embarks on a dangerous quest to end the evil magic. Will she be able to put a stop to the curse before it’s too late?
So this one is a little confusing; as far as I can tell ‘Beauty Sleep’ was originally published as its own book, but has since been bundled together with a Snow White retelling by Liz Braswell, in a collection called Once Again.
This one seems to be more of a high fantasy retelling, in which Aurore knows she is to be cursed and sets out to save herself before the curse can harm her.
4. Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley
All the creatures of the forest and field and riverbank knew the infant was special. She was the princess, spirited away from the evil fairy Pernicia on her name-day. But the curse was cast: Rosie was fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a poisoned sleep-a slumber from which no one would be able to rouse her.
Robin McKinley has featured on retellings list before- she writes amazingly easy to read and very true to story retellings of fairytales. The one drawback to Robin McKinley’s work is sometimes it is so true to they original story, it is much like rereading the original story. Either way she has a certain charm in her writing, and I would like to get round to reading Spindle’s End eventually.
5. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.
On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.
Lavishly produced, packed with glorious Chris Riddell illustrations enhanced with metallic ink, this is a spectacular and magical gift.
Pretty sure this isn’t YA, but stay with me on this one. This illustrated story features both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, with Snow White doing the rescuing. This unique spin on two familiar tales is woven with beautiful illustrations. Also- LOOK AT THAT COVER!
This book has been on my wishlist for the longest time, and I’m hoping to get my hands on it soon!
6. Thornspell by Helen Lowe
Helen Lowe reimagines the Sleeping Beauty story from the point of view of the prince who is destined to wake the enchanted princess in this lush, romantic fantasy-adventure.
Prince Sigismund has grown up hearing fantastical stories about enchantments and faie spells, basilisks and dragons, knights-errant and heroic quests. He’d love for them to be true—he’s been sheltered in a country castle for most of his life and longs for adventure—but they are just stories. Or are they?
From the day that a mysterious lady in a fine carriage speaks to him through the castle gates, Sigismund’s world starts to shift. He begins to dream of a girl wrapped, trapped, in thorns. He dreams of a palace, utterly still, waiting. He dreams of a man in red armor, riding a red horse—and then suddenly that man arrives at the castle!
Sigismund is about to learn that sometimes dreams are true, that the world is both more magical and more dangerous than he imagined, and that the heroic quest he imagined for himself as a boy . . . begins now.
A Sleeping Beauty story from the point of view of the Prince who comes to the rescue! This book only came out in 2008, but the cover makes it look rather dated (in my opinion anyway) which is a shame, because I know older YA books are less read. This one could be a very interesting take on the Sleeping Beauty genre.
7. Briar Rose by Jana Oliver
A dark and sexy reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale from the author of THE DEMON TRAPPERS.
For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairy tale. She’s stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won’t let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbours and an evil ex who’s spreading nasty rumours about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car.
She’s tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she’s actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down, and closes her eyes . . .
And then she wakes up. Cold, alone and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can’t do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she’s met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up
I didn’t even know this existed, but when I stumbled across this I was quite excited. Jana Oliver wrote the Demon Trapper series, which I really enjoyed a few years ago, and always thought was quite underrated. This book seems to have quite mixed reviews, but it still sounds rather intriguing…
8. Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
A powerful retelling of Sleeping Beauty that is “heartbreaking and heartwarming.”
An American Library Association “100 Best Books for Teens”
An American Library Association “Best Books for Young Adults”
Ever since she was a child, Rebecca has been enchanted by her grandmother Gemma’s stories about Briar Rose. But a promise Rebecca makes to her dying grandmother will lead her on a remarkable journey to uncover the truth of Gemma’s astonishing claim: I am Briar Rose. A journey that will lead her to unspeakable brutality and horror. But also to redemption and hope
I literally know nothing about this book other then the fact it has a LGBT romance (?) and the evil people are Nazis (?) but it definitely sounds interesting. After finding out her grandmother is the Briar Rose of the stories Rebecca heads out to fulfil her Grandmother’s dying request- to find the castle and the prince and the maker of spells.
Many people on goodreads have said this book is incredibly dark, with layers of history interwoven with fairytale, which makes it quite different from the other retellings on this list.
9. Waking Rose by Regina Doman
A novel for teens and adults based on a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm
“I love him more than poetry… I love him more than song.”
Ever since he rescued her from Certain Death, Rose Brier has had a crush on Ben Denniston, otherwise known as Fish. But Fish, struggling with problems of his own, thinks that Rose should go looking elsewhere for a knight in shining armor.
Trying to forget him, Rose goes to college, takes up with a sword-wielding band of brothers, and starts an investigation into her family’s past that proves increasingly mysterious.
Then a tragic accident occurs, and Fish, assisted by Rose’s new friends, finds himself drawn into a search through a tangle of revenge and corruption that might be threatening Rose’s very life. The climax is a crucible of fear, fight, and fire that Fish must pass through to reach Rose and conquer his dragons.
The first contemporary Sleeping Beauty retelling on this list, Waking Rose follows Rose after she has been saved by her longtime crush Ben/Fish. Rose leaves for college, and then (one of the most intriguing series of words in a synopsis ever) ‘takes up with a sword-wielding band of brothers’…! What could that possibly mean? Like literal swords?
The idea of a bunch of frat guys going wielding swords and being friends with Rose has convinced me to buy this book like right now. I’m going to go and check it out right now…
Right, I’m back. This book has not devalued at all anywhere- it’s like £13 on Amazon for a paperback, and £7 for a used copy that will take 3 weeks to arrive. So I ended up buying it for Kindle. I literally have no willpower. I will get back to you all with what ‘Sword-wielding band of brothers’ actually entails once I know.
10. A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
It should have been a short suspended-animation sleep. But this time Rose wakes up to find her past is long gone– and her future full of peril.
Rosalinda Fitzroy has been asleep for sixty-two years when she is woken by a kiss. Locked away in the chemically induced slumber of a stasis tube in a forgotten subbasement, sixteen-year-old Rose slept straight through the Dark Times that killed millions and utterly changed the world she knew.
Now, her parents and her first love are long gone, and Rose– hailed upon her awakening as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire– is thrust alone into a future in which she is viewed as either a freak or a threat. Desperate to put the past behind her and adapt to her new world, Rose finds herself drawn to the boy who kissed her awake, hoping that he can help her to start fresh.
But when a deadly danger jeopardizes her fragile new existence, Rose must face the ghosts of her past with open eyes– or be left without any future at all.
This seems to be a dystopian/sci-fi retelling of Sleeping Beauty, in which Rosalinda wakes up in a world different then the one she once knew. It had pretty mixed reviews, though I did have some fun reading through them- this book came out in a time when Twilight was on top of the YA world and there are a lot of people using Twilight in their reviews (which seems a bit strange, seeing as these books couldn’t be more unlike).
So another resolution- I am trying to participate in the Broke and the Bookish’s weekly tag, Top Ten Tuesday, on a weekly basis- let’s see how long that lasts. I know they have a weekly theme, but I have quite a few lists already written/or topical so I’ll be using them for a while. Writing lists actually takes a ridiculously long time for no apparent reason, so I hope I can keep this one up!
I’ll see y’all tomorrow for Waiting on Wednesday!