Love reading? Here is our selection of the top 17 fairy-tale themed novels that promise to whisk you away on captivating adventures! Here is the NerdiPop’s top 10 Fairy-tale themed novels based on popular fairy tales.

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#1. Before Midnight: A Retelling of “Cinderella” (Cameron Dokey)


“Before Midnight” by Cameron Dokey unfolds a poignant tale of love, loss, and destiny. Etienne de Brabant, shattered by his wife’s death in childbirth, grapples with the burden of raising their infant daughter alone. In a moment of profound decision, he brings another child into their home, a boy named Raoul, concealing his true identity.


Together, La Cendrillon (the daughter) and Raoul spend sixteen years under the care of servants, their lives irrevocably changed when a refined lady, accompanied by her daughters, enters their world. This woman becomes La Cendrillon’s new stepmother, setting in motion a series of events with far-reaching consequences.

As the family receives an invitation to a grand ball, the stepmother’s choice becomes pivotal, propelling La Cendrillon and Raoul towards their destined paths. Their journey challenges their perceptions of family, tests their loyalty and courage, and ultimately leads them to discover their true selves amidst the complexities of fate and choice.


#2. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (Gregory Maguire)

“Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister” by Gregory Maguire offers a unique perspective on the classic tale of Cinderella, delving into the narrative through the eyes of one of her “ugly stepsisters.” Set in Haarlem, the Netherlands, the story centers on Iris, the plain younger daughter of Margarethe Fisher, who cares for her mentally challenged older sister Ruth and her stepsister Clara.


As Iris navigates her complex family dynamics and grapples with questions of beauty and ugliness, she finds solace in her artistic pursuits under the guidance of a local painter known as The Master. Meanwhile, Margrethe orchestrates a scheme to send Clara and Ruth to the ball in hopes of winning the prince’s affection for Iris.

However, as events unfold at the ball, jealousy and love drive Ruth to commit an unthinkable act, altering the course of Cinderella’s fairy tale. The following morning, Cinderella’s prince arrives to claim her, marking the culmination of a story that challenges traditional notions of beauty, love, and destiny.


#3. Cinder (Marissa Meyer)

“Cinder” by Marissa Meyer is a futuristic retelling of the classic Cinderella story. Set in a world where humans and androids coexist, the story follows Cinder, a gifted mechanic who is also a cyborg.

Cinder (novel) - Wikipedia

As Cinder navigates her life in the Eastern Commonwealth, she becomes embroiled in political intrigue and discovers secrets about her own past. Along the way, she forms unlikely alliances and finds herself at the center of a brewing conflict between Earth and the oppressive Lunar colony. This book is part of a four book series.



#4. Scarlet (Marissa Meyer)

“Scarlet” by Marissa Meyer continues the story of The Lunar Chronicles series. In this installment, the focus shifts to Scarlet Benoit, a young woman living in rural France. Scarlet’s grandmother has mysteriously disappeared, and Scarlet is determined to find her.

Scarlet (novel) - Wikipedia

Along the way, she crosses paths with a street fighter named Wolf, who may have information about her grandmother’s whereabouts. As they embark on a perilous journey together, Scarlet discovers shocking truths about her family and becomes entangled in a larger conflict between Earth and the Lunar colony. The story intertwines elements of the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood with futuristic technology and political intrigue.



#5. Midnight Pearls (Debbie Viguié)


“In Midnight Pearls,” set in a serene fishing village seventeen years ago, a lone fisherman discovers a mysterious child washed ashore. Adopting her as their own, he and his wife raise the girl, Pearl, with unwavering love, oblivious to her unusual traits of silver hair, pale skin, and dark blue eyes.


As Pearl blossoms into a young woman, her uniqueness sets her apart, often leaving her isolated in the village. Amidst her solitude, she finds solace in her friendship with Prince James, her cherished confidant.

However, their bond faces upheaval as turmoil grips the kingdom, with conspiracies against the royal family and dark enchantments emerging from the depths of the sea. In the midst of these challenges, Pearl and James must rely on each other, but sinister forces and revelations about Pearl’s past threaten to sever their connection forever.



#6. Beastly (Alex Flinn)

In “Beastly,” the protagonist grapples with a profound transformation that renders him a monstrous creature, neither wolf nor bear, but a horrifying amalgamation of features. Set in the bustling streets of New York City, this modern tale defies traditional fairy tales, plunging readers into a contemporary narrative where curses and enchantments are all too real.


Once a privileged and admired figure named Kyle Kingsbury, with wealth, flawless looks, and an enviable life, the protagonist’s existence is irrevocably altered by a curse cast by a witch in his English class. Now trapped in a monstrous form, he must navigate the shadows of the city, hiding his true nature by day and prowling the streets by night.

Determined to break the curse and reclaim his former life, the protagonist embarks on a journey of self-discovery, grappling with questions of identity, appearance, and the true nature of beauty. Through his journey, he unveils the dark truths of his past and confronts the consequences of his actions, ultimately striving to find redemption amidst the chaos of his transformed existence.



#7. Cress (Marissa Meyer)

“Cress” by Marissa Meyer is the third book in The Lunar Chronicles series. It follows the story of Cress, a skilled hacker who has been imprisoned in a satellite orbiting Earth for years. Cress is tasked with aiding Queen Levana, the ruler of the Lunar colony, in her nefarious plans. However, Cress harbors a secret desire for freedom and longs to help Cinder, the cyborg mechanic and fugitive Lunar princess.

Cress (novel) - Wikipedia

When Cinder and her allies mount a daring rescue mission to save Cress, she joins forces with them to stop Queen Levana’s tyranny and prevent a war between Earth and Luna. As they navigate a dangerous journey across the globe, Cress must confront her fears and use her hacking skills to outsmart their enemies. Along the way, she forms unexpected friendships and discovers her own strength and courage. The story incorporates elements of the Rapunzel fairy tale while continuing to expand the richly imagined world of The Lunar Chronicles.      


#8. Towering – Alex Flinn  


In “Towering,” the protagonist finds herself confined to a tower, isolated from the world below. For eight long years, she has been hidden away by Mama, who is not her biological mother. Her only solace lies in her books, which offer glimpses into worlds of adventure, mystery, and romance that she yearns to experience firsthand.


Despite the absence of a fairy tale savior, the protagonist’s life takes a sudden turn when her hair starts growing rapidly, reaching towards the ground below. Alongside this physical change, she begins experiencing vivid dreams of a green-eyed boy, igniting a spark of hope within her.

In the quiet moments when Mama is absent, the protagonist plans her escape from the tower, driven by the belief that something—or someone—awaits her beyond its confines. As she dreams of breaking free from her towering prison, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery and longing for the world beyond, where she hopes to find the answers to her deepest desires.


#9. Golden (Cameron Dokey)

In “Golden,” a haunting tale unfolds before Rapunzel’s birth, where her mother strikes a perilous bargain with the sorceress Melisande. Bound by the terms of the agreement, Rapunzel’s mother must love her newborn daughter as she is, or surrender her to Melisande’s care. When Rapunzel enters the world completely bald, her mother’s horror compels her to send the child away with the sorceress, sealing Rapunzel’s fate to an uncertain future.


For sixteen years, Rapunzel grows under Melisande’s guardianship, unaware of her true heritage. However, the sorceress’s revelation of another daughter, Rue, cursed by a wizard, shatters Rapunzel’s world. With Rue’s fate hanging in the balance, Rapunzel and Rue must join forces to break the enchantment within a narrow timeframe.

Yet, as the deadline looms, bitterness and envy threaten to fracture their bond. With Rue’s curse hanging over them, Rapunzel and Rue must overcome their differences and work together to defy fate and secure their destinies. Failure could condemn Rue to a lifetime of suffering, casting a shadow of regret and despair over both girls’ lives forever.



#10. Beauty Sleep (Cameron Dokey)

“Beauty Sleep” follows the extraordinary journey of Princess Aurore, cursed from birth to prick her finger and sleep for a century until awakened by true love’s kiss. To shield her from this fate, her devoted parents forbid her from handling needles, leading Aurore to explore her world beyond traditional princess activities.


Despite her limitations, Aurore’s warmth and generosity win the hearts of the townspeople, who cherish her spirited nature. As she grows, so does their devotion to her, fostering a bond that transcends her impending curse.

On her sixteenth birthday, Aurore confronts the harsh reality that her curse threatens not only her but the entire kingdom. Driven by compassion and courage, she embarks on a quest to break the evil magic, braving adventure and enchantment along the way.

In her quest, Aurore discovers her inner strength and resilience, aided by the companionship of a handsome prince. Through trials and triumphs, she unravels the mysteries of her destiny, ultimately finding redemption and true love amidst the shadows of her cursed existence.


#11. A kiss in time (Alex Flinn) 

In “A Kiss in Time,” a modern twist on the Sleeping Beauty tale, Jack’s summer vacation takes an unexpected turn when he stumbles upon a centuries-old princess, Talia, trapped in a deep slumber.

Drawn to the allure of a forbidden spindle, Jack’s curiosity leads him to a comatose town where he discovers Talia, a sleeping beauty frozen in time. In a moment of impulse, Jack plants a kiss on her lips, unknowingly breaking the curse that has kept her asleep for three centuries.


However, Jack’s act of heroism quickly turns into a nightmare when he realizes the consequences of his actions. Branded as a bringer of ruin by his own father, the king, Jack is forced to flee with Talia, now awake but disoriented in a world centuries removed from her own.

As Jack and Talia navigate their newfound partnership, they grapple with the challenges of bridging the gap between their worlds. With a trunk full of ancient jewels and a princess who refuses to conform to his expectations, Jack finds himself embroiled in a whirlwind of adventure and chaos.

Amidst the chaos, Jack and Talia’s unlikely romance blossoms, challenging societal norms and defying the boundaries of time itself. As they confront their own dating dilemmas and familial pressures, they question whether a simple kiss can truly transcend the barriers that separate them.



#12. Winter (Marissa Meyer)

“Winter” by Marissa Meyer is the fourth and final book in The Lunar Chronicles series. The story centers around Princess Winter, the stepdaughter of Queen Levana and the Lunar princess of Luna. Despite her beauty and kindness, Winter refuses to use her Lunar gift of mind manipulation, causing her to slowly descend into madness.

Winter (Meyer novel) - Wikipedia

As Queen Levana’s grip on power tightens, Winter finds herself drawn into a rebellion led by Cinder, the cyborg mechanic and rightful Lunar princess. With the help of Cinder and her allies, Winter must navigate the dangerous Lunar court and confront her stepmother in a final showdown for control of the moon. Along the way, Winter forms alliances, discovers her own inner strength, and fights for a future where justice and freedom prevail. The story weaves elements of the Snow White fairy tale with futuristic technology and themes of courage, love, and sacrifice.


#13 Fairest (Marissa Meyer)

“Fairest” by Marissa Meyer delves into the complex psyche of Queen Levana, a character readers first encountered in the Lunar Chronicles series. Set in the Lunar kingdom, Levana’s tale explores her tragic backstory, revealing the roots of her ruthless ambition and the depths of her insecurities. Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles): 9781250073556: Meyer, Marissa:  Books

As she grapples with her desires for power and love, Levana’s journey takes her down a dark path filled with manipulation, betrayal, and ultimately, self-discovery. Meyer masterfully crafts a narrative that challenges traditional notions of villainy, inviting readers to empathize with Levana’s struggles while never excusing her actions. With its rich world-building and compelling character development, “Fairest” offers a captivating glimpse into the origins of one of literature’s most intriguing antagonists.



#14. Cloaked – Alex Flinn

In “Cloaked,” the tale of an unconventional hero unfolds as he grapples with the unexpected twists and turns of a fantastical adventure. Far from the typical protagonist, this young man leads a humble life, working in a shoe repair shop to support his family.

However, his ordinary existence is upended when he becomes entangled in a web of magic, curses, and a daring rescue mission. With no fairy godmother to guide him, he embarks on a journey filled with unexpected allies and perilous encounters.


As he navigates through enchanted swans, a talking fox named Todd, and encounters with giants in the Everglades, our hero finds himself caught in a whirlwind of fantastical events that defy belief.

Despite his initial disbelief, the protagonist soon realizes the truth of his extraordinary journey, embracing his newfound role as a hero in a tale unlike any fairy tale he has ever known. Through courage, wit, and a dash of magic, he discovers that even the most unlikely of heroes can rise to the challenge when destiny calls.



#15. The Crimson Thread

In “The Crimson Thread,” set in 1880 New York, Bertie finds herself thrust into a world of wealth and opportunity when she secures a position as a seamstress in the home of textile magnate J. P. Wellington. With her family’s fortune on the line, Bertie’s father boldly proclaims her skillfulness, likening her talent to the ability to “practically spin straw into gold.”


Driven by the urgency to save the Wellington family business, Bertie astounds all with her ability to create breathtaking evening gowns seemingly woven with real gold. Yet, behind the scenes, Bertie’s secret helper, Ray Stalls, a man from her tenement, uses an ancient spinning wheel to imbue the dresses with a crimson thread, lending them an otherworldly beauty.

Grateful for Ray’s assistance, Bertie seeks to repay his kindness. However, when Ray requests her firstborn child as payment, Bertie, unaware of his true intentions, agrees without hesitation. Little does she realize the gravity of her promise, setting into motion a fateful chain of events that will test her resolve and challenge her understanding of sacrifice and redemption.


#16 Gilded (Marissa Meyer)

In Marissa Meyer’s haunting retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, a miller’s daughter cursed by the god of lies weaves fantastical tales that captivate all who hear them. When her stories draw the attention of the sinister Erlking, she is thrust into a dark realm where ghouls and phantoms lurk.

Gilded (Gilded, #1) by Marissa Meyer | Goodreads

Tasked with spinning straw into gold under threat of death, she unwittingly summons a mysterious boy who offers his aid—for a price. As secrets unravel, Serilda must break an ancient curse to end the king’s tyranny and the wild hunt forever. Meyer’s spellbinding narrative delivers a captivating twist on a timeless fairytale.



#17 Heartless (Marissa Meyer)

“Heartless” is a standalone novel that serves as a prequel to Lewis Carroll’s classic tale. It explores the origin story of the Queen of Hearts from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” In Meyer’s reimagining, the Queen of Hearts is known as Catherine Pinkerton, a young woman with dreams of opening a bakery with her best friend.

Heartless eBook by Marissa Meyer - EPUB Book | Rakuten Kobo South Africa

However, societal expectations and the pressures of her royal position lead Catherine down a different path. As she navigates palace intrigues and encounters the mysterious Jest, Catherine’s journey ultimately transforms her into the feared and infamous Queen of Hearts. “Heartless” blends elements of fantasy, romance, and whimsy, while delving into the complexities of love, destiny, and the nature of villainy.