Fairytales are one of the major foundations of storytelling and even today, fairytales still seem to capture audiences because of their magical wonderment. Here’s a selection of my recent reads that I think really champion modern day fairytales: from retellings to tales that have that same enchanting warmth about them.
The Island at the End of Everything is the next tale from Kiran Millwood Hargrave and, if you’ve read her previous book, you’ll know that her writing style is full of fairytale-like magic. This book is heart-breaking and truly shows the power of love and how it can overcome all odds. I loved the way Kiran manages to describe landscapes and surroundings like another character in the story and this one was so bittersweet that I almost didn’t want it to end. A beautiful story that will have you desperately waiting for Kiran’s next novel.
Barefoot on the Wind is the latest novel from one of the Queen’s of modern YA fantasy. This is a retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale that twists the original on its head giving us this amazing story set against a Japanese mythological backdrop. This is a real gem of a book and will only make you want to gobble up all of Zoe’s back catalogue. Barefoot on the Wind transports you to another world and another reality where magic comes in shades of light and dark and where the woods can be a dangerous place to wander alone. I loved the real battle of morals in each of the characters and their constant struggles with what is right, what is wrong and sometimes knowing that you have to live in-between the two.
The Boy, The Bird & The Coffin Maker was sent to me for review and I was really intrigued by the unusual title and charming blurb. This is aimed at the mid-grade market, I believe, but I can imagine that older audiences would enjoy it too as the characters and the tale could capture the hearts all those who read it. Written like an age-old fairytale from another culture, Matilda Woods has created a wonderful example of how books can be both beautifully written like a melody and yet have some truly powerful messages woven within it. Stunning and likely to be on many award lists in the future.