(Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This compensation does not influence our reviews. )
There's nothing more inviting than nestling into a plush armchair with a warm blanket draped over your lap and a steaming mug of cocoa sending swirls of its comforting aroma into the air. Now imagine a fairy tale retelling in the picture and you have *chefs kiss* perfection.
Winter can be a bustle of activity, but if you're like me, a quiet afternoon reading is always on my seasonal bucket list. That's where this handpicked collection of winter-themed fairy tale retellings comes in. Whether you live in a foot of snow, or you're like me with far too much sunshine for a "white Christmas", these frost-laden adventures and icy enchantments are the perfect companion to your winter reverie. Here's what you should be reading this season:
by Edith Pattou
AN EAST OF THE SUN and west of the moon fairy tale retelling
Rose has always been different.
Since the day she was born, it was clear she had a special fate. So when an enormous white bear shows up one cold autumn evening and asks Rose to come away in exchange for health and prosperity for her ailing family, she agrees.
This retelling is set in gorgeous sixteenth century Scandinavia. If you're as obsessed as I am with empty castles, mysterious strangers, cursed princes, and a princess who must save their true love, then this book will be the perfect snuggle-worthy read for you.
by Rachel Huffmire
A SNOW WHITE FAIRY TALE RETELLING
What if the magic mirror wasn't magic. Wat if he was a time traveler? This historical retelling is fast-paced, beautifully written, and full of twists on the familiar classic tale. Based on the real life history of Margaretha von Waldeck, you'll dive deep into 16th century Germany and learn all about the true countess who is thought to be the inspiration for Grimm Brothers' fairy tale.
Wander into a tale full of snow covered woods, white stone castles, woodland cottages, handsome huntsmen, and gasp-worthy twists on this favorite fairy tale.
Followed by Frost
by Charlie N. Holmberg
an original fairy tale
17-year-old Smitha's life takes a drastic turn when she harshly rejects a marriage proposal from an enchanter. Angered by her rejection, he curses Smitha to become the bearer of eternal winter. Everything she touches turn to ice, and she brings a blizzard wherever she goes.
Just like classic fairy tales, this is such a creative exploration of how our hearts change our circumstances. It reminded me of the Beauty and the Beast trope, except this curse had no contingency for how it could end. All in all, this story was a beautiful new classic-style fairytale that I will absolutely be reading again.
by S. Jae-Jones
A Goblin Market Classic Novel Retelling
This is on the top of my winter TBR list.
Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away. But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her.
I have heard this explained as a Hades/Persephone trope (which I am all in for), and perfect for fans of Labyrinth and Iron King. I'm eager to jump in and experience this new magical world. Feel free to discover it along with me!
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
By Alix E. Harrow
An original fairy tale
There's nothing more wintery than January. This feels like a book that belongs to another time, where the boundaries between reality and imagination blur. It made me long for adventure, exploration, and the power of storytelling within myself. Here's a little bit about it:
In a sprawling mansion, January Scaller is a curiosity. As the ward of Mr. Locke, she feels like another one of his artifacts that decorates the halls. When she finds a strange book that carries the scent of other worlds, January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
What's on your wintery list of favorite books? Drop a comment and I'll add them to my TBR! Happy reading!