Unpopular Opinions: Fantasy Retellings


If there's one trend that's totally swept the YA bookosphere in the past year, it's this: fantasy retellings. Everyone and their mother is reading them, writing them, and generally squealing + dying over them.

Except me.

Now, don't get me wrong - when this sub genre first exploded on the scene, I was just as big a fan as anyone else. There were so many unique twists and takes on classic tales, because close to nothing like this had ever been done before. Anything and everything was different and groundbreaking.

But it seems like this genre has gotten stuck in a rut recently.

Instead of branching out from high fantasy retellings to historical, sci-fi, or dystopian, it seems like every retelling is about princesses. Beauty and the Beast, the Twelve Dancing Princesses, Cinderella - I've lost count of how many retellings I've seen of each of these tales, plus of many more classic princess stories. I've gotten sick of hearing about the modern Cinderella or, even worse, the it's-still-fantasy-but-it's-my-own-universe-instead-of-the-fantasy-universe-the-story-was-originally-in Belle. Where are my contemporary Hamlets, my space-themed Sieges of Troy?

It seems like this genre is just a broken record repeating over and over, and I'm very tired of it.

- rant over -

So, what do you think of fantasy retellings? Are you tired of these stories, or do you like them? And what other retellings would you like to see? Comment below, and remember that you are all very beautiful pickles. <3

Also, before I go, I created a survey for you to give me feedback on my blog! Click here to take it - I'd really appreciate it :)

Namarië,
Ellie

20 comments:

  1. I guess I haven't gotten tired, necessarily, because I personally find it so hard to find GOOD retellings. So I mean, on the one hand, I'd love for the trend to continue in the hopes that authors take it and actually do a decent job with it, but yes, on the other hand, its become a little annoying. I'd love to see retellings of historical events with different twists on them/put in a different genre. I think a lot of cool things could come from that. :)
    Lovely discussion Ellie! <3
    xx a || not gary cooper

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    1. I agree with you! I want the trend to continue if authors are going to branch out, but otherwise I'd prefer to see other sub genres come into the limelight. :) HISTORICAL RETELLINGS ARE MY JAM.
      Thank you! :)

      - Ellie

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  2. I can see where you're coming from: a lot of these re-tellings have become quite repetitive. Don't get me wrong, I've read many good ones. I daresay even some spectacular ones. But eventually you get a bit bored of reading the same thing over and over and over again, you know?

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    1. I definitely agree! There are some that have been AMAZING, but I'd still like to see a bigger variety.

      - Ellie

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  3. What I really think we need more of is good re-tellings. But to be quite honest, what I really want is more old-fashioned fairytale re-tellings. I want to read more about Belle in 18th century France dealing with a life of poverty brought on by her merchant father, and about Aurora living the life of a peasant woman in the 14th century. I want to read about the royal family of 16th century Germany that Snow White fled from, and learn what Cinderella's life was like as essentially a Victorian maid. I want to learn what Jasmine's life as a princess in Achaemenid Empire Agrabah, and about all of the other princesses more historically accurate lives. And not just the romanticized tales of these times, but the harsh realities of the past.
    Wow, this was a long comment. Sorry for the rant, but this is a genre that I dearly wish there was more of ♥
    Amy xx

    Little Moon Dragon

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    1. Realistic retellings - those sound pretty interesting!
      No problem :)

      - Ellie

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  4. I think you're totally right. I've read some great re-tellings, but they mostly seem to just be switching out a few plot points, adding some characters, and adjusting the world a bit. I would love to see more retellings that turn the original genre on its head!
    (This post has also reminded me that I have a contemporary re-telling of Snow White to plan; the Seven Dwarves are seven teenage girl runaways trying to make it on their own in the world. And Snow White is a little bit crazy...)

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    1. Precisely!
      Ooh that sounds so great!!

      - Ellie

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  5. I love retellings! I CAN'T GET ENOUGH BASICALLY. XD But I like it when they're more obscure...like I'm done with Cinderella, omg, can we please move on, peoples?! hehe. But Sherlock retellings and historical retellings (like I just read one on Vlad the Impaler and SO SO GOOD) all call to me. :')

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

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    1. Yess, obscure ones are the best!

      - Ellie

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  6. The reason why I haven't gotten tired of them is because I'm just not really bothered with them, to be honest.

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    1. I totally get you! That's me with a lot of other genres, tbh.

      - Ellie

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  7. I think fantasy retellings are very cool but they have gotten a little repetitive.

    Nabila // Hot Town Cool Girl

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  8. I totally agree! I enjoy retellings,, but there's definitely more to retell then princess stories out there!

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  9. I know what you mean! It's like everyone's retelling the same stories, as well. I'm working on a Jumanji retelling and a Twelve Dancing Princesses murder mystery retelling because I kind of want to do something different, you know? Or even just retellings with some more diversity. F/f princess mash-up anyone?

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    1. MURDER MYSTERY YESSS. I wish more people were mashing up different genres instead of just sticking to fantasy, and race-bending and lgbt+ diversity are of course fabulous.

      - Ellie

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  10. I know what you mean, I think retellings are always fun but many of them have become very similar to each other. this was such an interesting post!

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    1. Exactly! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

      - Ellie

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