So what is a Lesbian Fairytale? They take a traditional or well-known Fairytale that we all know and love and then put a spin on it by having a f/f pairing, along with having some other plot changes to bring an unexpected twist to a classic.
Here is a list of 10 Fairytale retellings with lesbian characters that also offer an audiobook option! 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. Of course, if you prefer reading a book rather then listening, these are all available to purchase in paperback and/or Kindle.
I hope you love them all as much as I do!Looking for a sapphic take on a classic? Here are 10 beautiful Lesbian retellings of classic Fairytales that you can read or listen to today! Quote This
1. Gretel: A Fairytale Retold by Niamh Murphy
Gretel: A Fairytale Retold is a Lesbian retelling of the classic Hansel and Gretel, by Niamh Murphy.
When torment by a pack of wolves bring fear to siblings Hans and Gretel, they run to escape to find themselves meeting a beautiful woman who greets them with kindness. While Gretel finds herself drawn to the seductress, Hans becomes increasingly suspicious. Gretel now has to make the choice between her trustworthy brother and the lure of a newfound love.
If you like an exciting story with strong female lead characters, historical plots and lesbian romance, you will absolutely love Gretel! Learn more about Gretel by Niamh Murphy here.
2. Winterglass (Her Pitiless Command Book 1) by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
Winterglass is a beautifully written Fairytale about one women’s love for her Homeland and her defeating the Winter Queen who has conquered it. Winterglass is set in an Asian fantasy homeland Sirapirat, which was once known as warmth and a Monsoon but has turned into a country of snow since the Queens reign. The Queen not only wants an empire but seeks power from the fragments of a mirror that will then grant her deepest desire. Winterglass draws on elements of the 1844 Snowqueen fairytale but this version features many changes including a WLW relationship.
3. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Melissa Bashardoust is a young adult fantasy writer who published Girls Made of Snow and Glass as her first Novel.
Following the relationship between two young and empowering rivals who need to find a way to reshape themselves and their story, this is a Feminist adaptation of Snow White featuring themes of magic, mother-daughter conflict, self-identity and discovery.
“Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale.”
4. In the Vanishers’ Palace by Aliette de Bodard
Aliette de Bodard is a French-American fantasy and science-fiction writer. In the Vanishers’ Place is an atmospheric, Vietnamese retelling of Beauty and the Beast with a Dragon as the Beast and a dark Sapphic relationship.
In the Vanishers’ Palace was a Finalist for Lammy Award 2018, “LGBTQ SF/F/Horror”. If the idea of this enchanting Novel appeals, then you can find mood boards, fan art and cover art on Aliette De Bodard’s website here.
5. The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett
“An enchanted tale of intrigue where a duke’s daughter is the only survivor of a magical curse.”
Ekata’s brother is about to become heir of Kylma Above. but on the night before her brother’s occupancy to the throne, her entire family is cursed under a magic spell putting them all to sleep. Ekata is therefore named the Duke of Kylma Above. Can she survive the challenges that come her way and save her family from the curse?
This feminist fantasy is a spellbinding take on Sleeping Beauty and Anastasia with Lesbian and nonbinary representation, politics and a captivating plot.
6. Adara and the Beast by Emily Sharp
Emily Sharp is a contemporary lesbian romance Author providing women with stories that feature real women experiencing love, heartbreak and everything in between.
If you like romance, adventure and modern-day fairytales, you will love this retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Louise (beast) resides in a castle when Adara comes to live with her and a relationship between them blossoms with love, hatred and forgiveness.
7. Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
This is a new and innovative version of the classic Cinderella story which takes twists and turns, has a dark plot and an overall dystopian storyline.
Read about girls coming together and taking down the patriarchy because they don’t agree with the traditional rules of men selecting their wives, that are put into place. When bringing down the king, they learn that there is more to the story of Cinderella then they thought.
8. Ash by Malinda Lo
Ash is a Lesbian retelling of Cinderella and was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award, and the Lambda Literary Award.
After her father’s death, Ash is now left with her cruel stepmother. Her only joy comes from re-reading the fairytales she used to read with her mother and imaging a world with them. When dreaming, Ash meets dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean. However Ash then meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress so instead of chasing fairies, she learns to hunt with Kaisa. Ash must choose between fairy tales and love.
“Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.”
Malinda Lo has also released Huntress, an exciting adventure prequel to Ash, that is filled with action and romance and has Chinese influences and details inspired by I Ching.
9. Thorn by Anna Burke
You may already be familiar with Anna’s first release, Compass, the fantasy 26th-century adventure novel featuring queer romance.
Anna Burke’s Thorn is a Beauty and The Beast inspired tale written from the protagonists point of view with themes of f/f relationships, strong female leads, bravery and adventure.
On a coldWinters day, Rowan, a merchants daughter is given a single white rose from her fathers hunting trip, the Huntress follows and brings Rowan back with her to a mountain area populated by the creatures of the hunt and a curse of eternal winter ruled by old magic. Rowan must find a way to break this curse and save her loved ones, but will this mean leaving the life that she has left behind?
10. 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 marvellous 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?
Do you have a favourite retelling of a classic Fairytale? Let me know about it in the comments below!
Want more like this? Then you will love my last book list of 10 Scarily good Halloween themed reads for WLW!
Lucy is Marketing Assistant to Niamh Murphy. You can contact Lucy via the ‘Contact’ page if you have any questions about Niamh’s books, website and newsletters.