Beauty and the Beast Retellings

Disney just released a teaser trailer for their Beauty and the Beast live action film. In case you haven’t seen it, here’s a link you the video. I’ve already played it several times! I like what I’ve seen, so far. Really can’t wait to see the movie. Beauty and the Beast is my all time favorite fairy tale and I have a feeling this movie will be a good one.

Pico de Loro - Beauty and the Beast

Robin McKinley’s Beauty with Ipanema Beauty and the Beast flipflops in the background

Seeing the teaser trailer has me craving for a good Beauty and the Beast retelling. My favorite is still Beauty by Robin McKinley and I haven’t found another one that I’ve loved just as much. I remember enjoying Rose Daughter and Cruel Beauty when I read them but the rest of the titles I’ve read weren’t so memorable. Since I’m such a big fan of this fairy tale, I usually check out recommendations of other readers and bloggers whenever they mention a Beauty and the Beast retelling that they’ve liked. I’ve read quite a few of them and wanted to enumerate the titles before asking for recommendations. These were the ones that I’ve tried:

Rose Daughter Cruel Beauty Heart's Blood Fire Rose Beast
Belle Bryony and Roses Beastly Entreat Me

Aside from these titles, are there any other Beauty and the Beast retellings that you’d recommend? ๐Ÿ™‚ Would love to discover more retellings of this particular fairy tale.

29 thoughts on “Beauty and the Beast Retellings

  1. Rachel Neumeier had a similar post awhile ago – I think it’s a favorite for many people, myself included. And Robin McKinley’s original “Beauty” is still my favorite..except for the very ending, which always fell a little flat for me. I think I like the end of her other Beauty retelling better. I read a short story in the first BookSmugglers collection, “Hunting Monsters” by S. L. Huang. It alluded to many different fairy tales and subverted them all in different ways, but it made me stop and think about the whole Beauty and the Beast message, which was good. But didn’t make me love McKinley’s Beauty or her Beast any less. I also recently read a retelling which was kind of fun (and free on Kindle at this moment) – “Masque” by W. R. Gingell. I liked the heroine. She was nobody’s damsel in distress!

    • Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me of Rachel’s post! It’s this one where she posts beginnings of Beauty and the Beast, right? I should go back to that list and see which are the ones I haven’t read yet.

      I have a copy of Hunting Monsters in my Kindle. I had no idea that it’s a story that subverts fairy tale, that description reminds me a bit of Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. Thanks for the heads up about Masque by W.R. Gingell. I downloaded it right away since it’s free! Spindle by the same author is also free so I grabbed that too. I think Masque and Spindle are part of the same series?

      • Yes they are part of the same series and I think I read them out of order and they still worked – in that way that when you recognize a character from the later in the sequence book making a secondary level appearance and it makes you want to reread the second (first, in your world) book again. But I think I almost enjoyed it more reading them out of order.

      • Ah so Spindle is first in the series? I wasn’t sure. That’s good that the books can be read out of order (even better that the books are both free at the moment). Just need to find time to read them!

  2. I like Robin McKinley’s fairy tale re-tellings a lot! A science fiction retelling I’ve enjoyed is Sheri Tepper’s Beauty. It involves time travel, and I should worn there is some unpleasant sexually explicit material in it.


    • Good to know you’re also a Robin McKinley fan. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the rec (and the warning) for Beauty by Sheri Tepper. I believe this is the first time I’ve heard of that title. Will add it to my wishlist!

  3. It looks intriguing; I hope they don’t Disneyize it too much. Robin McKinley’s Beauty is still my favorite version of the Beauty and the Beast re-tellings, although I have read other ones that I’ve liked well enough.

    • Yeah, I hope they manage to do a good adaptation of the live action film. I watched the Cinderalla live action and… didn’t really feel that it was anything special.

      It’s pretty hard to top Robin McKinley’s Beauty. ๐Ÿ™‚ What were the other titles that you liked?

      • Well, the first one is Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley., followed by Beast, by Donna Jo Napoli and two by Mercedes Lackey – The Fire Rose and Beauth and the Werewolf (although this one has elements from Little Red Riding Hood too) and then a classic, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

      • Out of all of those, the only one I haven’t read is Beauth and the Werewolf so I should look that up. Oh I haven’t read Phantom of the Opera but I watched the movie when it came out and I saw it performed on stage when it was shown in Singapore.

  4. I so wish I knew more good retellings of Beauty and the Beast. It’s one of my favorite fairy tales, and I am of course stupidly excited for the live action movie even though I do consider it a shameless cash grab (I can feel more than one feeling at the same time!). Robin McKinley’s Beauty is my favorite one, but honestly, it’s a small selection!

    • Hahaha I do agree that the live action movie is a shameless cash grab but I’m also ridiculously excited for it. Take my money, Disney! Have you enjoyed other retellings aside from Robin McKinley’s? ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Haha. I have been thinking of my favorite Beauty and the Beast retellings too since that teaser trailer released yesterday. I loved Beuaty by Robin McKinley too. I also liked Beastly. I thought that was a fun take on the fairytale.

    • Haha good to know I’m not the only one who is suddenly itching to read a good B&B retelling! I wasn’t such a big fan of Beastly, both the book and the movie. I thought they were just okay.

  6. OH, I have to add..Sunshine, by Robin McKinley. I was just reading an old interview she had done for Tor Books and she said Sunshine was another version of Beauty and the Beast as was her book Chalice.

  7. I have to thank Mary Anne for recommending Masque by W. R. Gingell. I downloaded it this morning and am halfway through it now. I am enjoying it thoroughly and plan to get Spindle once I have finished Masque.

    • Oooh that sounds like a good one! I downloaded both Masque and Spindle when Mary Anne recommended them. I was thrilled to get two freebies that seemed promising! Thanks for coming back to share your feedback about Masque. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Oh, I can never pass a Beauty and the Beast retelling, Chachic. Iโ€™m waiting in anticipation for Disney film, I hope it will live up to my expectations. I enjoyed Cruel Beauty, and I have Heart’s Blood and Beastly on my tbr-list, but to my surprise other titles are new to me. Iโ€™ll definitely check them out. I wish you made GR links, it would be easier to find them there.

    Actually I have a shelf on GR named โ€œbeauty-and-the-beastโ€. You can check it out for more recommendations, though I put on that shelf contemporary books as well. Do you know how many contemporary retellings out there? Broken by Lauren Layne and Making Faces by Amy Harmon are first came to mind. One of the retellings I enjoyed is Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen. Itโ€™s a middle grade book with unique take on Beauty and the Beast and beautiful writing. Iโ€™m looking forward to Hunted by Meagan Spooner, Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen and Beast by Brie Spangler. I hope these books will live up to my expectations.

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