Book ListsBook Recs

11 Gorgeous Adaptations for Lesbians and Queer Girls who Love Fairy Tales!

I love fairy tales! And I love lesbian fairy tales even more! So, I’ve gathered 11 gorgeous sapphic adaptations for you to enjoy.

All of the novels in this list are lesbian books and most are by lesbian or sapphic authors, they are all stand-alone stories (no anthologies this time), that are still available and to buy as ebooks and/or in print, and they are all based on a particular fairy tale or folklore legend.

Each one has been retold to include lesbian main characters and contains a central lesbian love story. This list is focusing on fantasy or historical settings with magical elements (modern retellings are for another time) and although many of these are categorised as lesbian young adult fiction, some are a little more mature.

I hope you love them all as much as I do!

Check out this list of 11 Gorgeous Adaptations for Lesbians and Queer Girls who love Fairy Tales! 🙂 Click To Tweet

1. Hansel and Gretel – Niamh Murphy (this is me!)

Once in a while love gives us a fairy tale…

Tormented by a pack of bloodthirsty wolves, Hans and his sister Gretel, run for their lives.

Desperation leads them into the comforting arms of a beautiful woman who asks for nothing in return for her kindness. While Gretel finds herself drawn to the seductress, Hans grows suspicious of her motives. Torn between a brother she adores and a woman she can’t help but admire, Gretel is forced to make a choice.

Will sibling bonds override the lure of a newfound love?

Find out in this exciting adult fairy tale full of action, adventure, and romance.

Cinderella

These first two lesbian novels are retellings of the classic Cinderella story. S. T. Lynn explores the tale with a trans main character falling for a Princess Charming, and Malinda Lo turns the tale even further on its head with her lead ignoring the royal bachelor entirely in one of the best LGBT YA books I read in 2017.

2. Cinder Ella by S.T. Lynn

Ella is transgender. She’s known since she was young; being a woman just fit better. She was happier in skirts than trousers, but that was before her stepmother moved in. Eleanor can’t stand her, and after Ella’s father passes she’s forced to revert to Cole, a lump of a son. She cooks, she cleans, and she tolerates being called the wrong name for the sake of a roof over her head. Where else can she go?

3. Ash by Malinda Lo

In the world of ASH, fairies are an older race of people who walk the line between life and death, reality and magic. As orphaned Ash grows up, a servant in her stepmother’s home, she begans to realise that her beloved mother, Elinor, was very much in tune with these underworld folk, and that she herself has the power to see them too.

Against the sheer misery of her stepmother’s cruelty, greed and ambition in preparing her two charmless daughters for presentation at court, and hopefully royal or aristocratic marriage, Ash befriends one of these fairies – a mysterious, handsome man – who grants her wishes and restores hope to Ash’s existence, even though she knows there will be a price to pay. But most important of all, she also meets Kaisa, a huntress employed by the king, and it is Kaisa who truly awakens Ash’s desires for both love and self-respect …

ASH is a fairy tale about possibility and recognizing the opportunities for change. From the deepest grief comes the chance for transformation.

Snow White

Sarah Diemer, Elora Bishop, and Jennifer Diemer were the queens of fairy tale retellings. Sadly, many of their older books are now out of print as they have moved on to writing under different names (although there is hope that they will have new life under Sarah/Elora’s real name, Bridget Essex who writes some of the loveliest lesbian romance books around). But for now, you can still enjoy Jennifer Diemer’s magical retelling of Snow White.

4. Seven (Sappho’s Fables Book 3) by Jennifer Diemer

The strange witch girl Neve has skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and a dark secret. Her father Lexander, an alchemist, harbors an evil obsession, and Catalina, his newest bride, made the grave mistake of becoming his wife. When Catalina finds herself falling in love with his daughter, Neve, instead, the deepening bond between the women sets in motion the final chapter of a story that began long ago, with a desperate longing and a handful of apple seeds. Together, Neve and Catalina must venture into the Huntsman’s haunted forest to undo what has been done and set themselves free.

The novella SEVEN is the lesbian retelling of the classic fairy tale, “Snow White.” It is part of the series SAPPHO’S FABLES: LESBIAN FAIRY TALES.

The Snow Queen

From the same source tale as Disney’s Frozen, The Raven and the Reindeer sticks closer to the original Hans Christian Andersen text than the Elsa story, whilst taking it to an entirely new level. The prose is light, bouncy, and fun and the tale itself is seeped in magic as we follow Gerta on her epic quest to rescue Katy while falling unexpectedly in love along the way…

5. The Raven and the Reindeer by T. Kingfisher

When Gerta’s friend Kay is stolen away by the mysterious Snow Queen, it’s up to Gerta to find him. Her journey will take her through a dangerous land of snow and witchcraft, accompanied only by a bandit and a talking raven. Can she win her friend’s release, or will following her heart take her to unexpected places?

Beauty and the Beast

Two books, one fairy tale, and two vastly different novels. Werlinger keeps us in the dark woods with a cursed young woman and a band of huntsmen ready to kill the beasts that stalk the forest. While Wolfe takes us to a strange and marvellous estate, with mystery and magic pouring through every page.

6. The Beast That Never Was by Caren J. Werlinger 

What if Beauty was the Beast?

Lise’s father is dead, and the life of plenty and freedom that she has known as the daughter of the King’s Huntsman is gone. She must now live a life of duty to her mother and sisters, helping them to cope in their altered circumstances. But where her mother would have her wed a childhood friend to secure their future, Lise knows that is not what she longs for.

When she meets a mysterious woman in the forest, Lise feels the stirrings of emotions she cannot give voice to, but with this woman, she doesn’t have to say anything—Senna knows.

Cursed, hunted, and feared, Senna has been forced to wander from place to place for more years than she cares to remember. She gave up hope long ago that there could ever be an end to her isolation.

Odd sightings in the forest—monsters of legend come to life, old enemies back from the past, fearsome beasts on the prowl—begin to frighten the people of Lise’s village. Somehow, all of these things are connected to Senna. As the villagers’ fear grows, so does their hatred.

Senna prepares to flee, accepting what has become her fate, but Lise isn’t ready to give up her one chance for happiness. Soon, only Lise stands between the villagers and the woman she has grown to love.

7. Thorn Kindle Edition by Anna Burke

On a cold day deep in the heart of winter, Rowan’s father returns from an ill-fated hunting trip bearing a single, white rose. The rose is followed by the Huntress, a figure out of legend. Tall, cruel, and achingly beautiful, she brings Rowan back with her to a mountain fastness populated solely by the creatures of the hunt. Rowan, who once scorned the villagers for their superstitions, now finds herself at the heart of a curse with roots as deep as the mountains, ruled by an old magic that is as insidious as the touch of the winter rose. Torn between her family loyalties, her guilty relief at escaping her betrothal to the charming but arrogant Avery Lockland, and her complicated feelings for the Huntress, Rowan must find a way to break the curse before it destroys everything she loves. There is only one problem—if she can find a way to lift the curse, she will have to return to the life she left behind. And the only thing more unbearable than endless winter is facing a lifetime of springs without the Huntress.

8. Roses and Thorns: Beauty and the Beast Retold by Chris Anne Wolfe 

A greedy father. A beautiful daughter. A faceless noble. With a word, Aloysius bargains away Angelique’s future for a hefty bride-price, and no one, not even Angelique’s beloved mother can save her. Angelique is taken to a strange and marvelous estate where she is befriended by Culdun, her Liege’s fey companion. And though Culdun hints at darker forces, Angelique is drawn to her host and ever so slowly, she wins Drew’s trust. But old fears and an older curse resurface, threatening to drive them apart and banish Drew into an eternity of loneliness. Will Angelique’s growing love be strong enough to save her Liege? Or will she flee once the secret is revealed?

The Little Mermaid

Another two great lesbian novels! First, Karen Kallmaker’s new adaptation takes its inspiration not only from the original but also from the Disney movie and Shakespeare’s Tempest, with both Caliba[n] and Princess Erica playing a role. While Julia Ember takes the story North, to the Nordic ice sheets, with Viking warriors and the trickster God, Loki helping and hindering our bisexual mermaid heroine.

9. The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

Having long wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the merfolks fortress. But when Ersels childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: Say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glaciers brutal king.Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from the divine Loki. But such deals are never straightforward, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection shes known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human shes come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.

10. A Fish Out of Water by Karin Kallmaker

An above sea hunt for the pleasure and song of human women turns disastrous when Ariel, 77th daughter of the Mer Queen, shares human passion with the forbidden Erica. Court rivals quickly report her transgression and Ariel finds herself an example of what happens to those who defy the Queen.

Stripped of her voice and placed under a powerful curse, Ariel makes her way above water to Erica’s side. Erica, who is now dying for want of the one thing they can never share again.

Selkie Folktales

11. One Saved to the Sea: A Lesbian Fairytale by Catt Kingsgrave

In the Orkney Islands, mothers tell their children of the selkies, seals who can shed their skins and dance on land. They also tell that whoever holds a selkie girl’s skin can trap her for a wife. From the lighthouse where she was raised, Mairead has watched the selkie girls secretly since she was small. She longs to leave the home that has never really been hers and join them. She could never have guessed that a limping selkie girl has been watching her too, nor what wildness the shapeshifter would draw her into. Their paths collide when most of the men including Mairead’s brothers have been called to war, the village idiot decides to catch himself a wife, and Mairead is the only one who can stop him.

So what did you think of this lesbian book list? How many of these love stories have you read? Have I left out any of your top lesbian fairy tale retellings? What fairy tale would you like to see get a lesbian remake?

Let me know in the comments!

If you loved this list, then why not check out this awesome list of pirate books next?


About Niamh Murphy

Hi there! I’m Niamh Murphy and I’m a bestselling author of adventure books with lesbian main characters!

Niamh Murphy Author

I tell romantic and exciting stories of gripping adventure and epic fantasy. My favourite places to explore are historical settings, science fiction landscapes, and fantasy worlds. My stories involve exciting characters such as knights, pirates, vampires, and mermaids. But I also tell more down-to-earth stories involving teenage angst, coming out, and exploring lesbian relationships for the first time.

I most enjoy rewriting fairy tales for the modern reader or re-telling mythical stories of old with a sapphic twist. But whatever the genre I choose to write in, my stories always include romance, love, and a lesbian main character.

Find out more about me…


6 thoughts on “11 Gorgeous Adaptations for Lesbians and Queer Girls who Love Fairy Tales!

  1. Beauty & Cruelty by Meredith Katz
    High & Mighty by S.S. Skye
    In Ageless Sleep by Arden Ellis
    Marian by Ella Lyons
    Ripped Page by M. Hollis
    Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
    Lost & Found by J. Hollis
    A Woman Scorned by Rachel Frank
    Beast by Rachel Frank
    Beating the Bounds by Parker Foye
    Nobility by Kayla Bain-Vrba
    Stolen Heart by Angie Bee
    Bonnie and the Beast by Alexa Black
    Walking on Knives by Maya Chhabra
    The Broken Forest by Megan Derr
    Brideprice.com by Eve Francis
    Witch, Cat, and Cobb by J.K. Pendragon
    The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
    Taliasman by Anastasia Vitsky

    1. Wow! That’s a lot of books! 😍
      I haven’t heard of some of them: it would be great to know which fairy tales these are all retellings of, and if they definitely have f/f pairings (I know the sleeper and the spindle can be quite a let down for readers looking for LGBT representation)
      I’m thinking of doing another list post with myth & legend retellings so some of these would definitely work for that, perhaps I should do a post for contemporary retellings too? That might be fun! 😆

      1. They’re all FF, I wouldn’t have listed them if they weren’t. As to which they’re all based on, I would have listed if I had more time, but I’ve got a guest coming in like 30 minutes so I’ll have to come back and do it later. Some of them are original, or like mine, is a mishmash of fairytales. But some are direct respins (Walking on Knives is Little Mermaid, Bonnie and the Beast is exactly what it seems, Ripped Pages is Rapunzel).

        A post for contemporary would be a lot of fun! ^_^

        1. What did you think of the sleeper and the spindle? I’ve avoided it due to reviews pointing to queer baiting. I’d love to get your thoughts if you have time! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *