5 Books Inspired by the Cinderella Fairytale

Fairy tales have acted as inspirations for writers across the generations, and Cinderella is no exception to this rule. Here are five stories that took inspiration from Cinderella.

Fairy tales have acted as inspirations for writers across the generations, and Cinderella is no exception to this rule. One can easily find variants of Cinderella in Welsh mythology, old Greek stories, Chinese tales, and then one traces the story back to Giambattista Basile’s PentameroneCinderella is a story that has echoed across generations and cultures.

It should come as little surprise then that more contemporary writers would also take inspiration from this story and use it in their own work.

Here are five books that took inspiration from Cinderella.



1. “cinder

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Marissa Meyer‘s sci-fi fantasy novel is a fascinating twist on the old fairy tale. Cinder follows a cyborg mechanic with the same name. Shortly after she was adopted by her father, he dies of Letumosis, the pandemic that is wreaking havoc across the Earth. She is left with a stepmother who blames her for the passing of her husband, and all of the money she earns as a mechanic goes straight back into her stepmother’s bank account. When Cinder is approached by the young prince Kai, who requests that she repair his android, and when her stepsister suddenly contracts Letumosis, Cinder is thrust into a new world of turmoil. However, with this turmoil also comes the opportunity for Cinder to finally escape her stepmother’s control.

2. “ella enchanted

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Ella Enchanted is one of those books that I will happily suggest to anyone interested in fantasy. Gail Carson Levine‘s book follows Ella, a young girl who was given the “gift” of obedience by a fairy when she was a baby. The fairy thought that Ella would be the most obedient child ever, but she didn’t consider the ramifications of what would happen if a person demanded that Ella hurt herself–she would be forced to obey that order, even if her life hung in the balance. After the death of her mother, Ella’s father remarries, and Ella gains not only a stepmother, but also two stepsisters–all of whom are more than happy to take advantage of Ella’s curse without knowing of its existence. In order to regain her personal autonomy, Ella sets out on a quest to find the fairy godmother who “blessed” her as a baby. She meets ogres, elves, and even a charming prince on the way.


3. “cinderella is dead

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Technically, Cinderella is Dead hasn’t been released just yet–it is set to do so this coming month, however. Kalynn Bayron‘s story follows Sophia, a girl who lives in a world where Cinderella didn’t get her happy ending–and because of how that fairy tale ended in this world, the women in this world are selected for marriage, but they have no say in the matter. If they are not chosen during this selection, they disappear and are never heard from again. Sophia would rather marry her childhood friend Erin, and because of this, she flees from the selection and hides herself in Cinderella’s mausoleum. She meets descendants of Cinderella there, and together, they swear an oath to topple the system.



4. “confessions of an ugly stepsister

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Gregory Maguire‘s fairy tale adaptations always promise fun reads, and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister doesn’t differ in that regard. This story follows Iris and Ruth as they are employed by a merchant’s household and they befriend the merchant’s daughter, Clara. When Clara’s mother dies, Iris and Ruth’s mother steps in to act as the matron of the household, and she is most definitely a wicked stepmother to young Clara. This is a new twist on an old tale, and it is definitely worth checking out.

5. “witches abroad

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Sir Terry Pratchett is just one of those writers who knows how to spin a phenomenal tale. Witches Abroad is the twelfth book in the Discworld series, but fret not–you can read these stories out of order. This story follows Desiderata, a fairy godmother who is a wonderful person with garbage planning skills… so when Desiderata dies, Princess Emberella is left in the care of her other godmother. It’s up to Discworld’s trio of witches to ensure that the princess doesn’t get married to the prince–even if it means destroying the kingdom in the process.

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