Updated: Jul 7, 2021
This month we are going to highlight a series that takes the classic Disney fairytales and makes them a little….twisted. I’m a pretty big fan of twisted fairytales in general, Cinderella ones are especially my favorite, so this series easily caught my eye while I was working. The series is called A Twisted Tale and it’s written by three separate authors: Liz Braswell, Elizabeth Lim, and Jen Calonita. Each one has written their own books that contribute to the overall series. So far they have written stories about “Cinderella,” “Hercules,” “Aladdin,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Mulan,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Snow White,” “Frozen,” ”Peter Pan,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and ‘Tangled” (Coming out September 2021).
I’ve read about 3 books from this series and each seems to follow a certain theme. You definitely recognize various elements of the associated Disney movie while reading the books, but each one tells the story with its own twist. As Old As Time, by Liz Braswell, follows the movie “Beauty and the Beast” almost exactly for the first part of the book, before straying in the second half to add in its own twist. Conceal, Don’t Feel, by Jen Calonita, has elements of Frozen in the book, but largely tells the story in its own way, adding a fresh element to make the story a little different. The books are mostly geared toward teens but I also enjoyed them as an adult. Below is some more information on some of the books in the series.
So This is Love by Elizabeth Lim
So This is Love follows the story of Cinderella after her stepmother, Lady Tremaine, succeeds in preventing Cinderella from trying on the glass slipper. Cinderella then runs away and ends up at the castle as a seamstress in an attempt to start a new life away from her wicked step-family. She has no hope in proving that she is the girl the prince is looking for, since the prince can’t seem to remember her face, so she becomes content with making this new life for herself and regards her time with the prince as a lovely dream. She then uncovers a plot against the prince and the king that she must stop, thus bringing her closer to the prince she had let go of. This book definitely has its share of romance, as implied in the title, but it also provides a refreshing take on the story of Cinderella as she tries to stand up for herself and better her life herself. There is also a bit of action as Cinderella attempts to thwart the plot she uncovers.
Reflection by Elizabeth Lim
Reflection is a mostly action-packed novel that follows Mulan. In Reflection, Mulan must travel to the underworld to save Li Shang after he is injured by Shan Yu. Mulan travels to the underworld, called Diyu, with the Li’s family guardian, ShiShi. There she strikes a deal with the king of Diyu, King Yama, where she must find Shang’s spirit and escape before the sun rises, otherwise, she will be stuck in Diyu forever. Still disguising herself as Ping, Mulan faces many obstacles in Diyu, including the struggle highlighted in the movie where she tries to accept herself as she is. Unfortunately, this novel does not feature the fan-favorite character, MuShu, in most of the novel but ShiShi seems to add that touch of seriousness that is appropriate in a place such as the Underworld.
A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
A Whole New World follows Aladdin. This is the first book in the series and it introduces a darker twist to the story. In this novel, Jaffar is the one to find the lamp and takes control of Agrabah, and Aladdin and Jasmine must team together in order to stop him before he makes his third wish. The first part of the book follows the movie pretty closely before branching off to do its own thing. There’s a bit of a revolutionary spin on this as the people fight to take back their kingdom and the princess fights for her family’s throne.
Let us know if you have any twisted tales that you enjoy!