Once Upon a Time…Fairytales and Legends for Adults

Written by Melissa Mason

What child didn’t grow up hearing fairy tales and legends? Whether our parents told us stories, we read books in school, or maybe watched Disney movies, we became familiar with these beloved stories from a young age. Travel around the world with these magical books that re-imagine fairy tales and legends, all the way from Mexico to Russia, then back to Canada.

 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.

 

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father is not a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has left his family on the edge of poverty–until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what is owed, and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when an ill-advised boast brings her to the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood, nothing will be the same again. For words have power, and the fate of a kingdom will be forever altered by the challenge she is issued.

 

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

When Casiopea accidentally releases the spirit of the Mayan god of death, he sends her on a life-changing journey to recover his throne in this dark fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore.

 

 

 

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty 

A young con artist in eighteenth century Cairo discovers she’s the last descendant of a powerful family of djinn healers. With the help of an outcast immortal warrior and a rebellious prince, she must claim her magical birthright in order to prevent a war that threatens to destroy the entire djinn kingdom.

 

 

 

 

The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror by Mallory Ortberg

Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children’s stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson

Meet Jared Martin: sixteen-year-old pot cookie dealer, smoker, drinker and son with the scariest mom ever. But Jared’s the pot dealer with a heart of gold–really. Compassionate, caring, and nurturing by nature, Jared’s determined to help hold his family together–whether that means supporting his dad’s new family with the proceeds from his baking or caring for his elderly neighbours. But when it comes to being cared and loved, Jared knows he can’t rely on his family. His only source of love and support was his flatulent pit bull Baby, but she’s dead. And then there’s the talking ravens and the black outs and his grandmother’s perpetual suspicion that he is not human, but the son of a trickster.