2019 Retellings Reading Challenge|| Quarterly Wrap Up

My quarterly wrap up for the 2019 Retelling Reading Challenge is a little late, but here it is. Because I’ve done reviews for most of these I’ll only give you dot point notes, and I’ll link to my full reviews if you want to know more of my thoughts on any given book.

DNF

Alcestis by Katherine Beutner

Historical Fantasy

  • Retelling of the Alcestis myth
  • Pacing was very slow
  • Didn’t like where the plot was heading, so DNF @ 65%

The Silver Handled Knife by Frances Thomas

YA Historical Fiction

  • Retelling of the Oresteia from Elektra’s POV
  • Pacing was all over the place
  • Felt more like a summary of the myth, rather than a retelling
  • Narrative jumps back and forward
  • Felt no connection to any of the characters

2 stars

For the Immortal by Emily Hauser

Historical Fantasy

  • Retelling of Heracles, Theseus & Amazons myth from Admete and Hippolyta’s POVs
  • Plot and characters interesting
  • Writing needed editing (some sentences were grammatically incorrect)
  • Wish I read series in order

3 stars

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Fantasy

  • A Feminist retelling of Snow White with LGBT representation
  • Focus on relationship between Queen Mina and her stepdaughter Lynet
  • Both live with the heavy unrealistic expectations of their fathers
  • About the family you choose, and moving beyond the expectations placed on you

Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

YA Fantasy

  • Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood in French inspired world
  • Solid plot, worldbuilding, and characters
  • Disability representation- Armand, the male lead, is an amputee
  • Themes of penance and redemption
  • Liked the contrast between organised religion and the folk believes still popular in rural areas

4 stars

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

YA Fantasy

  • Latinx retelling of Snow White & Rose Red, with Swan Lake mixed in
  • Gorgeous writing
  • Setting was otherwordly
  • Worldbuilding as a whole was magical and whimsical
  • Loved the relationships between the sisters, Blanca & Roja, as well as their relationships with the parents, and with Page and Yearling
  • Loved the LGBT (especially transgender) representation, which was moving and sensitive
  • About writing your own story, not living the one others choose for you

Stain by A. G. Howard

YA Fantasy

  • Retelling of The Princess and the Pea, with other fairytale elements
  • TW: Child abuse, violence
  • Magical, fantastical descriptions
  • Themes of found family, embracing your scars
  • Huge book, and the pace is meandering

Winterglass by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

Fantasy Novella

  • Retelling of The Snow Queen
  • Magic system was dark and creepy
  • Two main characters with third person present tense narration
  • Enjoyed the plot and characters
  • Lots of gender diversity (neutral, non-binary, transgender etc)

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

YA Fantasy

  • Retelling of Beauty and the Beast
  • Disability representation (cerebral palsy and amputee) was positive and sensitively portrayed
  • Adored the characters
  • The new twist on the fairytale was unique

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

YA Fantasy

  • Retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon with other fairytale influences
  • Magical, whimsical world with wintry atmosphere
  • I loved the plot and the characters
  • There was a library full of mirror books!

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

YA Fantasy

  • Retelling of The Goose Girl
  • TW: Animal death
  • Focus on MC development from a shy princess to confident young woman
  • Themes of friendship, identity and self-confidence
  • Low on romance
  • Magic was interesting. I liked that the predisposition was innate, but it required practice. Also appreciated that it wasn’t the solution to every problem

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Historical Fantasy

  • An LGBT retelling of The Iliad from Patroclus’ POV
  • Love the writing- super easy to read
  • Worldbuilding was well done
  • Some scenes were quite violent and disturbing
  • Centres around Patroclus and Achilles’ relationship

Here, The World Entire by Anwen Kya Hayward

Historical Fiction Novella

  • Retelling of Perseus myth from Medusa’s POV
  • TW: Rape
  • Beautiful writing
  • Sympathetic and poignant reflection on three key scenes in Medusa’s life

5 stars

The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes

Historical Fiction

  • Retelling of Oedipus and Antigone myths from the perspectives of Ismene and Jocasta
  • Writing was excellent
  • Engaging and interesting plot and characters- told from two POVs, one in past, one in present
  • Liked the twist on the original myth- completely believable
  • Vivid worldbuilding
  • Discussion about writing your own history, and the unknowable effect other people can have on you
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Author: Black Goddess Reviews

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