Fairytale Retellings By Authors Of Color That Will Bring You To Another World

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I’ll admit, I haven’t been in much of a fantasy mood this summer but I feel like this post it going to change that. Even just making the list (before writing the descriptions, I was excited to read a lot of these.

It’s also my August book club theme and I know I’m publishing this at the end of August (I’ve been slacking on the club this summer) but it’s still a great list.

I would love to hear any other recommendations you have for fairytale retellings by authors of color and which of these you’ve read so far!

  • If you’re want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! Righ now you can get four months for just $5.95 a month plus a $20 Audible credit. That’s a steal for Audible!  Get that Audible deal here.
  • If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot.
  • If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option and right now you can get four months for $4.99! It’s usually $9.99 so this is a great deal. Get that deal here!

Dorothy Must Die

Amy Gumm is the other girl from Kansas and she’s been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. Her mission is simple enough: Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and kill Dorothy.

The Poison Heart

Briseis can grow plants from seeds to rich blooms with one touch. When her aunt dies, she leaves her a dilapidated estate in rural New York. Her parents hope that once she is surrounded by plants, she’ll get her powers under control.

Their new home has a sinister side though, a mysterious set of instructions and a garden full of the deadliest plants in the world. She is determined to uncover the secrets of her inheritance.

Stealing Snow

Snow has spent her entire seventeen years locked in the Whittaker Psychiatric Institute but she knows she doesn’t belong there. After meeting a mysterious new orderly and dreaming of a strange twisted tree, she knows she has to escape to find out who she really is.

The Star Touched Queen

Maya is cursed with a horoscope that promises death and destruction, earning her the scorn of her father’s kingdom. While she is content to pursue schooling, her world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a political marriage for her to calm rebellions. As Amar’s new wife, she is surprised to find compassion, protection, and desire. She may trust her husband, but with her life in danger who else in Akaran can she trust?

The Magnolia Sword

Her entire life, Mulan has trained to win the duel ever generation of her family must fight. With victory, she would unite a pair of priceless swords separated decades earlier and avenge her father who was paralyzed in his own fight.

Soon, a messenger sends word that one person from each family must fight the Rouran invaders and she is the only one able to go.

She is chosen for an elite team under command of the royal duke’s son who is also the most handsome man she’s ever seen but her has secrets of his own.

Lost in the Never Woods

Wendy and her brothers went missing in the woods five years ago and questions surrounding their disappearance have been brought up with more children disappearing. In an attempt to flee her past, she almost runs over Peter, unconscious lying in the middle of the road. She thought he only lived in her stories, but here he is, in real life, asking for her help to rescue the missing kids.

Rumaysa

Rumaysa has been locked in her tower forever, spinning straw into gold for the evil witch. One day, after dropping a hijab out of her tower window, she realizes she may be able to escape.

Join her magical adventures of discovery as she meets up with Cinderayla and Sleeping Sara.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Xifeng is eighteen, beautiful, and destined for greatness. She is meant to be the empress of Feng Lu, as long as she embraces the darkness within herself.

She grew up as a peasant in a forgotten village and longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her aunt, the witch Guma, who has seen glimmers of her bright future when she read her cards.

To achieve greatness though, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the magic running through her veins – sorcery fueled by eating the hears of the recently killed.

The Wrath and the Dawn

Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, brings horror to a new family each day as he takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. It is surprising when Shahrzad volunteers to marry him but she has a plan to exact revenge for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. But now she finds herself falling in love with the boy who killed her dearest friend.

Six Crimson Cranes

Shiori’anma is the only princess of Kiata and she has a secret. : forbidden magic runs through her veins. She normally controls is well but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony she loses control. It seems like a stroke of luck at first but also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother and a sorceress.

Raikama banishes Shiori and turns her brothers into cranes, warning Shiori that for every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, she begins the search for her brothers and discovers a plan to seize the throne. To se things right, she has to trust a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the boy she fought so hard to not marry.

This one is like, top of my TBR for when I’m back in a fantasy mood!

Sisters of the Snake

Princess Rani longs for a chance to escape her gilded cage and prove herself while Ria is a street urchin fighting to get by. When their lives collide one thing is clear, they are identical in every way.

They strike a deal to switch places and they must work together to save their home or watch it all fall apart.

A Blade So Black

I love Alice in Wonderland so this is a fairytale retelling that I’ll have to read eventually, for sure.

It nearly cost Alice her life the first time the Nightmares came. Now she battles monsters in the dark dream world known as Wonderland, but even warriors have a curfew.

Real life in Atlanta isn’t always simple but battling the Nightmares is making it even harder. When her handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to venture deep into Wonderland to find the antidote using everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from literally losing her head.

Of Curses and Kissed

Nothing is more important to Jaya Rao than family and when the Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud targeting Jaya’s sister, nothing will keep her from getting revenge.

It feels like the opportunity of a lifetime when Jaya finds out she’ll be at the same boarding school as Grey Emerson. She’s going to make him fall in love with her then break his heart.

Cinderella is Dead

200 years after Cinderella found her prince, the fairytale is dead. Teen girls are now required to attend the Annual Ball where men of the kingdom select their wives but the girls that aren’t chosen are never heard from again.

Sophia is siixteen and would much rather marry her childhood best friend, Erin, than a parade of suitors. At the ball, she makes the desperate decision to flee and finds herself in Cinderella’s mausoleum where she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step-sisters. The vow to bring down the kingdom together and learn there was more to Cinderella’s story than anyone ever knew.

I’m super excited to read this one!

Darling

Peter shows up at Wendy’s window her first night in Chicago. He’s captivating and she agrees to join him for a night on the town. She thinks they’re going to a party but finds herself running the underground, making friends with Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. She also made an enemy – Detective Hook, and maybe Peter as his dark secrets come to life. Can Wendy survive the night and make sure everyone else does, too?

Ash

Ash is left with her cruel stepmother after her father’s death. Now her only joy come from reading fairytales her mother once told her.

The day she meets the King’s Huntress, Kaisa, her heart begins to change and while their new friendship is delicate, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love and desire to live.

Have you read any of these fairytale retellings? Which ones? Any others I should check out by authors of color?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a Wisconsin native currently working my way around the US. You can probably find me reading on the beach, wandering through the desert, or hanging out in a cute little coffee shop.

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