Showing posts with label Fairytale Retelling. Show all posts

Published  November 22, 2022 by Brigids Gate Press, LLC B etrayal brings grave ending to a noble bloodline. Forced to flee, its sole survivi...


Published November 22, 2022 by Brigids Gate Press, LLC

Betrayal brings grave ending to a noble bloodline. Forced to flee, its sole surviving heir is spared this fate by the timely intervention of a haunter of the wilds. In his charge, the maiden embraces the lore of the dark arts and rises to become the watch-keep of the woods. As decades pass, with her legend growing, the ‘witch of root and earth’ weaves subtle deceits in a tangled web of vengeance.

But will there be a fairy tale ending, or will poisoned legacies and pacts with dark forces see ambition unravel in her relentless pursuit of power?

Bloody, and brilliantly realised, Baird’s dark fantasy nightmare spins a lavish tale of dread, desire, and fantastical fury.

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Black and white picture of Keith Anthony Baird

Keith Anthony Baird is the author of The Jesus Man: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale of Horror (Novel), Nexilexicon (Novel), And a Dark Horse Dreamt of Nightmares (Book of Shorts), This Will Break Every Bone In Your Heart (Novelette) and Snake Charmer Blues (Short), and a psychological/horror novella titled A Seed in a Soil of Sorrow. His works can be found on Amazon and Audible. 

He is currently querying a dystopian/cyberpunk novella titled SIN:THETICA.

The Diabolica Britannica horror anthology was his brainchild, in which you'll find his own contribution Walked a Pale Horse on Celtic Frost. 2021 saw the release of the Diabolica Americana and HEX-PERIMENTS anthologies, the latter in partnership with author Ross Jeffery.

He lives in Cumbria, in the United Kingdom, on the edge of the Lake District National Park.

Find him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kabauthor

It's time again to check another box on the  Scaredy Cat Bingo Challenge   which consists of 25 reading prompts on a bingo board.  Not p...

It's time again to check another box on the 
which consists of 25 reading prompts on a bingo board. 
Not playing yet?  
Jump in anytime here


Today's prompt:

Grimm Dark

This prompt is absolutely hands down one of my favorite genres. If you've read any of my reviews about dark fairytale retellings, you already know. I can get positively giddy over a dark fairytale. There's something wickedly wonderful about the original tales. Before they were given the Disney treatment, these tales were often violent and horrific. You need only look at the cannibalistic witch in Hansel and Gretel, the hot iron shoes the stepmother in Snow White is forced to dance in, the blinded prince in Rapunzel, or the stepsisters in Cinderella lopping off toes and heels to fit the glass slipper to see that fairytales aren't what they used to be. Here are just a few that bring dark twist back to those stories by Grimm, Andersen, and more.



Be sure to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to this list to pad your TBR. 
Here are 18 books dark fairytale retellings to chill your blood!


You think you know these stories, don’t you?

You are wrong.

You don’t know them at all.

Twelve tales, twelve dangerous tales of mystery, magic, and rebellious hearts. Each twists like a spindle to reveal truths full of warning and triumph, truths that capture hearts long kept tame and set them free, truths that explore life . . . and death.

A prince has a surprising awakening . . . 

A beauty fights like a beast . . .

A boy refuses to become prey . . .

A path to happiness is lost. . . . then found again.

New York Times bestselling author Soman Chainani respins old stories into fresh fairy tales for a new era and creates a world like no other. These stories know you. They understand you. They reflect you. They are tales for our times. So read on, if you dare. 

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.



Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives: they are determined that she know only contentment.

But Sorcha's joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift—by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.

When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all... 



One man’s thrilling journey through an enchanted world to find his wife, who has disappeared after seemingly committing an unforgiveable act of violence, from the award-winning author of the The Devil in Silver and Big Machine.

Apollo Kagwa has had strange dreams that have haunted him since childhood. An antiquarian book dealer with a business called Improbabilia, he is just beginning to settle into his new life as a committed and involved father, unlike his own father who abandoned him, when his wife Emma begins acting strange. Disconnected and uninterested in their new baby boy, Emma at first seems to be exhibiting all the signs of post-partum depression, but it quickly becomes clear that her troubles go far beyond that. Before Apollo can do anything to help, Emma commits a horrific act—beyond any parent’s comprehension—and vanishes, seemingly into thin air.

Thus begins Apollo’s odyssey through a world he only thought he understood to find a wife and child who are nothing like he’d imagined. His quest begins when he meets a mysterious stranger who claims to have information about Emma’s whereabouts. Apollo then begins a journey that takes him to a forgotten island in the East River of New York City, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest in Queens where immigrant legends still live, and finally back to a place he thought he had lost forever. This dizzying tale is ultimately a story about family and the unfathomable secrets of the people we love.


The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn't the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he'll return the world's captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can't control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can't hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn't learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.



A gruesome curse. A city in upheaval. A monster with unquenchable appetites.

Marlinchen and her two sisters live with their wizard father in a city shifting from magic to industry. As Oblya’s last true witches, she and her sisters are little more than a tourist trap as they treat their clients with archaic remedies and beguile them with nostalgic charm. Marlinchen spends her days divining secrets in exchange for rubles and trying to placate her tyrannical, xenophobic father, who keeps his daughters sequestered from the outside world. But at night, Marlinchen and her sisters sneak out to enjoy the city’s amenities and revel in its thrills, particularly the recently established ballet theater, where Marlinchen meets a dancer who quickly captures her heart.

As Marlinchen’s late-night trysts grow more fervent and frequent, so does the threat of her father’s rage and magic. And while Oblya flourishes with culture and bustles with enterprise, a monster lurks in its midst, borne of intolerance and resentment and suffused with old-world power. Caught between history and progress and blood and desire, Marlinchen must draw upon her own magic to keep her city safe and find her place within it. 




Hair bright as gold...Lips red as blood...Heart black as sin...Truth sharp as bone...

As in their previous critically acclaimed volumes of reconsidered fairy tales, award-winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling have gathered together remarkable stories that illuminate the more sinister, sensual, and sophisticated aspects of the tales we cherished in childhood; the fables of witches and princes and lost children that we once imagined we knew.

"Black Heart, Ivory Bones" showcases twenty beguiling tales for the child-that-was and the adult-that-is, penned by twenty of the most creative artists in contemporary American literature. Here dissected are the darker anatomies of the timeless, seemingly simple stories we have long loved. Here wonder and truth have serious bite.

A lovelorn prince seeking his father's blessing concocts a fantastic tale of a witch, a tower, and lustrous long hair... A pair of accursed red boots punishes a beautiful dancer for her pride... A troll-killing, princess-rescuing warrior is compelled to consider events from his adversaries' point of view...In a blistering tell-all memoir, Goldilocks reveals the sordid truth about her brutal foster parent, Papa Bear...

Rich, surprising, funny, erotic, and unsettling, these twenty new yarns and poems offer exceptional anew treasures--as they brilliantly reveal lusts and jealousies, foibles, hatreds and dangerous obsessions, the things that slyly lurk in the midnight interior of oft-told tales.



Alone in the world, Asher Todd travels to the remote estate of Morwood Grange to become governess to three small children. Her sole possessions comprise a sea chest and a large carpet bag she hangs onto for dear life. She finds a fine old home, its inhabitants proud of their lineage and impeccable reputation, and a small village nearby. It seems an untroubled existence, yet there are portraits missing from the walls, locked rooms, and names excised from the family tree inscribed in the bible. In short order, the children adore her, she becomes indispensable to their father Luther in his laboratory, and her potions are able to restore the sight of granddame Leonora. Soon Asher fits in as if she’s always been there, but there are creatures that stalk the woods at night, spectres haunt the halls, and Asher is not as much a stranger to the Morwoods as it might at first appear.
 
A postapocalyptic take on the perennial classic "Little Red Riding Hood", about a woman who isn't as defenseless as she seems.

It's not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn't look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there's something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.

Red doesn't like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn't about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods....




In the realm of Awara, where gods, monsters, and humans exist side by side, Miuko is an ordinary girl resigned to a safe, if uneventful, existence as an innkeeper’s daughter. But when Miuko is cursed and begins to transform into a demon with a deadly touch, she embarks on a quest to reverse the curse and return to her normal life. Aided by a thieving magpie spirit and continuously thwarted by a demon prince, Miuko must outfox tricksters, escape demon hunters, and negotiate with feral gods if she wants to make it home again. But with her transformation comes power and freedom she never even dreamed of, and she’ll have to decide if saving her soul is worth trying to cram herself back into an ordinary life that no longer fits her… and perhaps never did.


Young Rhea is a miller’s daughter of low birth, so she is understandably surprised when a mysterious nobleman, Lord Crevan, shows up on her doorstep and proposes marriage. Since commoners don’t turn down lords—no matter how sinister they may seem—Rhea is forced to agree to the engagement.

Lord Crevan demands that Rhea visit his remote manor before their wedding. Upon arrival, she discovers that not only was her betrothed married six times before, but his previous wives are all imprisoned in his enchanted castle. Determined not to share their same fate, Rhea asserts her desire for freedom. In answer, Lord Crevan gives Rhea a series of magical tasks to complete, with the threat “Come back before dawn, or else I’ll marry you.”

With time running out and each task more dangerous and bizarre than the last, Rhea must use her resourcefulness, compassion, and bravery to rally the other wives and defeat the sorcerer before he binds her to him forever.d. 



A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse...

There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.

As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.

Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming...human or demon. Princess or monster.


Cursed 

Cursed: A Wish is a Terrible Thing An Anthology of Dark Fairy Tales...an anthology of unique twists on the fairy tale conceit of the curse, from the traditional to the modern, giving us brand new mythologies as well as new approaches to well-loved fables. Twenty curses, old and new.

ALL THE BETTER TO READ YOU WITH. It's a prick of blood, the bite of an apple, the evil eye, a wedding ring or a pair of red shoes. Curses come in all shapes and sizes, and they can happen to anyone, not just those of us with unpopular stepparents...

Here you'll find unique twists on curses, from fairy tale classics to brand-new hexes of the modern world...expect new monsters and mythologies as well as twists on well-loved fables. Stories to shock and stories of warning, stories of monsters and stories of magic. Some might shock you, some might make you laugh, but they will all impress you with their originality. TWENTY TIMELESS FOLKTALES, NEW AND OLD.

“Never underestimate the power of a good story.”

Good advice...especially when a story can kill you.

For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected—perhaps infected is a better word—by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results.

That's where the ATI Management Bureau steps in, an organization tasked with protecting the world from fairy tales, even while most of their agents are struggling to keep their own fantastic archetypes from taking over their lives. When you're dealing with storybook narratives in the real world, it doesn't matter if you're Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or the Wicked Queen: no one gets a happily ever after.

Indexing is New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s new urban fantasy where everything you thought you knew about fairy tales gets turned on its head.


A high stakes reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood.

For as long as sixteen-year-old Adele can remember the village of Oakvale has been surrounding by the dark woods—a forest filled with terrible monsters that light cannot penetrate. Like every person who grows up in Oakvale she has been told to steer clear of the woods unless absolutely necessary.

But unlike her neighbors in Oakvale, Adele has a very good reason for going into the woods. Adele is one of a long line of guardians, women who are able to change into wolves and who are tasked with the job of protecting their village while never letting any of the villagers know of their existence.

But when following her calling means abandoning the person she loves, the future she imagined for herself, and her values she must decide how far she is willing to go to keep her neighbors safe.


  

It's time again for another box on the  Scaredy Cat Bingo Challenge , which consists of 25 reading prompts on a bingo board. Not playing...

The Deep by Alma Katsu

Weird shit happens on the Titanic and true to history, this version sinks too. A maid survives the sinking and after a brief stint in an asylum, decides to go on its sister ship turned medical hospital, The Britannic, with absolutely no medical training because why the hell not? Is Annie the maid crazy or is there something supernatural going on here?  At least we won't have to argue that Jack could have fit on that door with Rose.


tidepool by nicole willson

Sorrow's brother Henry disappears so off she goes to the small seaside town of Tidepool to find out what happened to him. First off, who names their kid Sorrow? That's just setting her up for failure and that's before the bodies start washing up looking like chew toys for giant ocean monsters. This is the kind of book where you constantly scream at the protagonist to get the hell outta dodge but they say "You're not my mom" and stay.


Flowers for the sea by Zin E. Rocklyn

Stuck on a boat surrounded by air and sea monsters, survivors of a flooded kingdom are struggling to exist. One of them, a woman named Iraxi is extremely pregnant and like most pregnant women, doesn't really want to be pregnant anymore except for very different reasons. She resents everyone, including her unborn er, thing. The ship reeks, the people reek, and being pregnant also reeks. 
Read my review.



This anthology is part of Eerie River Publishing's It Call From series with "twenty brutal tales of horror from the deep blue sea." There's killer kelp, menacing mermaids, elder gods, family curses, and all things in between. 
Read my review


the kelping by Jan Stinchcomb 

The Kelping by Jan Stinchcomb is number nine in Unnerving's Rewind or Die series. Those of you expecting a horror-filled flesh-eating mermaid tale might find it a little tame. What's inside these 67 pages is a more insidious tale of mermaids infiltrating a sleepy little seaside town. 
Read my review.
Saltblood by t.c. parker

People are shipped off to an island with a Faraday cage prison to reflect on being trolls on social media. It's a peaceful place, except for—you knowthe whole evil monster bit.


The Devils shallows by Debra Castaneda

Salt marshes are weird places anyway but add an urban legend about the Slough Devil and it's extra weird. Adam doesn't believe in monsters, but that's okay, the monsters still believe in him. 


sea witch by Sarah Henning

Now we get to the Little Mermaid retellings. C'mon, I had to toss a few in. 

Set in 1860s Denmark, Evie (the witch) meets a mermaid with the face of her dead friend. They fall for a couple of princes and Evie has to help her new friend keep her legs. Life's full of tough choices, isn't it?


Drown by Esther Dalseno 
Sticking more closely to the original by Hans Christian Andersen, this one is dark as it should be. No singing or friends named Flounder. Matter of fact, a girl has no name...nor does anyone else. It's just The Little Mermaid or The Prince.  


Well, there you have it. 18 book choices to check off the Under The Sea box on your Scaredy Cat Bingo card. If you haven't started playing yet, check out the board and jump in at any time.