Whether it is the daring deeds, the moral, or true love’s kiss, readers cannot get enough romantic fairytale retellings! I have compiled a few of my top choices—most could be categorized as Young Adult Christian Fiction.
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1. The Lost Princesses and The Noble Knights by Jody Hedlund
All of The Lost Princesses and books four and five of The Noble Knights are on Kindle Unlimited. Books one through three of The Noble Knights are on Hoopla (eBooks and audiobooks).
The Lost Princesses series features three sisters in their quest to regain their birthright from a cruel king. They must quickly decode clues to unearth a hidden treasure if they have any hope in succeeding. The Noble Knights series centers around a group of chivalrous friends whose hearts are each touched by love. Besides creating sumptuous historical settings that you will want to live in (and with ten volumes total, you can live here for quite a while!) Jody Hedlund keeps the action pumping in both series with high stakes and realistic heroines. One leading lady will be timid but compassionate, while the next will be riding headlong into battle, so there is really something for every personality.
2. Unblemished by Sara Ella
The complete trilogy is on Hoopla (eBooks and audiobooks).
The chapters of the first novel are titled with lyrics from Beauty and the Beast and Wicked. This alone should merit a read! However, the best thing about this series is the author’s world-building. Eliyana is a New Yorker whose blemish makes her an outcast, but she soon embarks on a journey which has her running from the city streets to several fantastic “Reflections.” She makes allies and enemies with people who possess powerful Callings, and must grapple with unexpected challenges. Messages of self-acceptance and the power of choice sing throughout this trilogy.
3. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
The audiobooks are on Hoopla and the eBooks and audiobooks are on Libby.
I love how drastically Marissa Meyer changes traditional premises of the fairy tales in her four main entries—Cinderella is a cyborg, Red Riding Hood is in love with a mutated wolf, Rapunzel is a hacking genius, and Snow White is a tortured moon princess–yet Meyer works in familiar story elements and makes each one as romantic as can be! It is a hard choice, but my favorite would have to be the third book, Cress, where the main character’s sweetness and sincerity brings the true hero out of a charming, bravado-filled egomaniac!
4. Ella Enchanted and Companion Novels by Gail Carson Levine
Ogre Enchanted (prequel) audiobook is on Hoopla.
Did I first receive Ella Enchanted in elementary school? Yes. Would I still read it any day, at any time? Yes!!! The Cinderella retelling is fresh and timeless, with a witty first-person narrator in Ella. She is a friend to magical creatures, rebelling against the “gift” of obedience granted to her in infancy by a careless fairy. She meets her charming prince and attends multiple, magical balls, juggling her duty to her country with her growing love.
5. Storm Siren by Mary Weber
The eBooks and audiobooks are on Hoopla.
Storm Siren centers on a young slave girl, Nym, who has the forceful, rare, and forbidden ability to manipulate the wind, rain, and lightning. Nym must not only protect herself from her cruel owner and a treasonous politician who would use her powers for themselves; she must calm the storm inside as she grapples with feelings of self-hatred. This novel is a poignant exploration of the questions who am I, why am I here, and am I good or evil? Nym experiences heart-wrenching emotional lows after she destroys people with a power she cannot control, but readers will triumph along with her as she comes to the earth-shattering realization that she is loved, she is gifted, and, if she opens herself up to the possibility, she can save people instead of hurting them. All things considered, Storm Siren is a fierce, engrossing tale of empowerment and love.
6. River of Time by Lisa T. Bergren
The first three eBooks are on Libby, and on Hoopla (eBooks and audiobooks).
Waterfall centers around 17-year-old Gabriella Betarrini and her younger sister Lia, who are dragged to an ancient gravesite in Italy by their archeologist mother. Gabi and Lia stumble across twin handprints in one tomb and, the next thing Gabriella knows, she is in the 14th century—without her sister. Gabi enlists the aid of the handsome (and attached) Marcello, future lord of the Forelli estate, and tries to stay away from the competing house of Paratore as she searches for her sister and amazes everyone around with her modern woman, warrior princess ways. Bergren’s research shines throughout the narrative with fascinating descriptions of clothing, architecture, medicine, political relationships, warfare, and daily life. Gabriella’s questioning and frustrations, as well as the rapid-fire plot, are spot-on.
7. Fairy Tale Romance Series by Melanie Dickerson
The first six books of the eleven-book collection is on Kindle Unlimited and the first ten books are on Hoopla (eBooks and audiobooks).
This is another immersive Middle Ages series, but this time the books are set in the Holy Roman Empire and in England. I am only on the eighth book, but have been impressed so far by the heroines’ honor, kindness, and love for the word of God. My favorite so far has to be the Merchant’s Daughter since I have a soft spot for “Beauty and the Beast” retellings! Annabel looks beyond Lord Ranulf’s abrasive appearance and manner to see the heart within, even as the two are thrust into perilous circumstances.
What clean fantasy reads do you love? Leave a comment below, and happy reading!