Beauty and the Beast has been a staple of the fairy tale circle since French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve wrote La Belle et la Bête in 1740. It was then rewritten by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1756 into a shorter form which is the one we know best today.
In short, Beauty and the Beast is no stranger to retellings. It was made most famous by Disney in the 1991 film. With Disney recreating the story into a live action film, starring Emma Watson, in 2017, it is the perfect time to revisit this classic story.
1. A Court of Thrones and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
In this retelling, Feyre is a huntress. After killing a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature drags her from her home in retribution. She later comes to find out the beast is of the Fae, a race of beings who once ruled the lands.
2. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
Perhaps the most traditional retelling on the list, Beauty breathes life into the classic fairy tale. Returning to the roots of the story, it tells of a girl nicknamed Beauty (a name she dislikes as her sisters are more beautiful than her) who, when her father makes a horrible deal with the Beast that lives in the nearby castle, has to muster up insurmountable courage and sacrifice to keep her family from harm.
3. Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier
Heart’s Blood tells the story of Anluan, the chieftain of Whistling Tor, a cursed woodland, and Caitrin a scribe. When Caitrin runs into Whistling Tor to escape her own horrid demons, she meets Anluan, a mysterious young man. As she gets to know him, she learns that only through her love will Anluan’s curse ever truly be broken.
4. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
In this retelling, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler Ignifex. And all the time she’s been in captivity, she has secretly been training to kill him. She goes through with the marriage only so that she can seduce him, get him to break the curse he’s placed on her village, before finally murdering him. But, of course, all does not go to plan. What would you do if you began to fall in love with someone you were sworn to despise?
5. Uprooted by Naomi Novik
In Uprooted, the beast is a wizard known only as the Dragon. He protects Agnieszka’s village from a dark corrupted wood, but at a dire price. Every ten years, the Dragon takes a young woman to serve him. Uprooted is a dark and Gothic take on the classic fairy tale.
Which Beauty and the Beast retelling is your favorite?
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Featured image via Dett Old Disney