Hey lovelies and another happy Sunday! I’m back again with another Sunday stack to share with you today. The prompt from this week was ‘Favourite Retellings’ and I had so much fun finding the reads for this post. I am such a sucker for a retelling. I have picked a range of Retellings from a range of different eras so there should be a little something for everyone here today.
This prompt came from my ‘Sunday Stack’ challenge that I run over on my bookstagram. I have had so much fun creating this over lockdown and have absolutely adored everyone’s posts. It’s welcome to all and I’d love to see your stacks too. Don’t forget to tag me if you do take part so I can appreciate all your recommendations! I’ll leave the prompts at the bottom of this post for you to check out.
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare.
Cassandra Clare must be a writer than defined my childhood. What I love about the Shadowhunter world is that it has grown up with me, and that can certainly be said for this latest series. Chain of Gold has clear elements of a retelling for Great Expectations, with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn a clear adaptation of the cruel temptress Estella. I absolutely adored the little nods to this Dickens tale, especially when combined with the 1900s backdrop and Shadowhunter politics that I’m obsessed with.
Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague.
James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love. – Good Reads
The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.
This is one of the best Retellings I have ever read. It was so dark and beautiful that I don’t think I have stopped singing its praises since I read it! The Deathless Girls is a Dracula retelling but focused on Dracula’s wives, three women who have so often been forgotten and pushed aside. This dark and twisting tale is steeped in folklore and the supernatural. I devoured it in a day and can’t wait to reread it.
They say the thirst of blood is like a madness – they must sate it. Even with their own kin.
On the eve of her divining, the day she’ll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.
Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn’t understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.
They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate… – Good Reads
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
I adore the Victorian period, particularly the Gothic. In this retelling, Goss creates a twisting and thrilling investigations, all centered around dark and devious investigations, creating monsters and hideous experiments. Including many famous figures from Victorian Gothic novels, this was one of my favourite reads of last month. I had so much fun reading it and can’t wait for the rest of the series.
Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.
But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.
When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous. – Good Reads
Circe by Madeline Miller
I’m an absolute sucker for Greek mythology and this book is the one that kicked it off for me. I first read this novel last year through the audiobook on audible and it was wonderful. I fell in love with the magic and the power of Circe as a character. I reread Circe last month as part of Tazmyn’s (from teabooksandtazmyn on YouTube) Patreon book club and fell in love with it even more!
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. – Good Reads
I will add a trigger warning for sexual assault for this read so that you are fully aware.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Man, I love this book. I do nothing but gush about it. This book broke me emotionally! A heartbreakingly beautiful retelling of Achilles, this book may just be one of my favourites for the year. Focused of Achilles and his relationship with Patroclus, this is a wonderful tale of companionship, loyalty, and destiny. You can read my full thoughts here.
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear. – Good Reads
And there with have it! I hope this post has given you lots of recommendations to go away and enjoy. What are some of your favourite retellings?
And here are the prompts is you want to take part or have a sneaky peak at what next week’s post will be.