The wolf looked at me impassively. We stood in a quiet meadow, tall grasses waving among the flowers, bees buzzing in lazy air currents. The wood lay leafy and ordinary behind us, not even a hint of snow in sight. Ahead rose a lone hill, sharp and brown against the sky. It was midmorning, or a little past.
"Where are we?" I whispered, my voice hoarse and my lungs aching. The enormity of what I had done threatened to overwhelm me. All I could see was my father, hurtling away on Tinker's cart.
"The house under the mountain," returned the wolf. "My house."
"I don't know much. She controls the frost, or the frost controls her, or they're the same thing. They say she made a deal with the dark powers, that love would never hurt her again. . . . The devil took her heart and turned it cold. Now she loves however she likes, and when she's tired of them, she wraps them in ice. She keeps them in her palace in the farthest north, they say, all pretty boys like frozen flowers." p. 96
There were twelve of us: the Thaumas Dozen. Now we stood in a small line, my seven sisters and I, and I couldn't help but wonder if there was a ring of truth to the grim speculations. Had we somehow angered the gods? Had a darkness branded itself on our family, taking us out one by one? Or was it simply a series of terrible and unlucky coincidences? p. 4
Towering by Alex Flinn Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale Adaptation, YA Fiction
I had not been outside in years. I wasn’t sure how many, exactly, because I didn’t keep track from the beginning. I didn’t realize I’d need to. But my dresses had been replaced many times, at least six or seven, and I could tell I’d become taller. The top of my head didn’t reach the bottom of my window when I came here. I could see the sky, the sky and nothing else, blue sky some days, gray sky most. Then, I could see out only if I stood on my toes. But finally, at seventeen, I could see out easily. The birds, which are often below me, the clouds above, and the tall, green forest with miles and miles of trees. - Towering, chapter 1, opening lines
Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale Adaptation, Magical Realism
A gingerbread addict once told Harriet that eating her gingerbread is like eating revenge. “It’s like noshing on the actual and anatomical heart of somebody who scarred your beloved and thought they’d got away with it,” the gingerbread addict said. “That heart, ground to ash and shot through with darts of heat, salt, spice, and sulfurous syrup, as if honey was measured out, set ablaze, and trickled through the dough along with the liquefied spoon. You are phenomenal. You’ve ruined my life forever. Thank you.” p. 1
Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale Adaptation, Young Adult Fiction
Before Diribani could put down the jar to assist, claw hands closed over Diribani’s elbows, and the old woman pulled herself upright. Either the coughing or the abrupt upward movement must have cleared an obstruction from her throat. Strangely, the crone’s voice emerged as sweet as a flute’s. “Such kindness merits a gift. What is your soul’s desire, my daughter?” p. 33
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale Adaptation
"Wait!" I said, as he began to turn away. "Why would you take me? You must know I have no magic, not really: I can't change silver to gold for you in your kingdom, if you take me away."
"Of course you can, mortal girl," he said over his shoulder, as if I was the one being a fool. "A power claimed and challenged and thrice carried out is true; the proving makes it so." And then he stepped forward and the heavy door swung shut in my face, leaving me with a casket full of silver coins and a belly full of dismay.
Snow White and the Borgias, illustration by Douglas Smith for Mirror, Mirror
Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire Genre: Historical Fantasy, Fairy Tale Adaptation (Adult)
But I have come out of one death, the one whose walls were glass; I have awakened into a second life dearer for being both unpromised and undeserved. Anyone who walks from her own grave relies on the unexpected. Anyone who walks from her own grave knows that death is more patient than Gesù Cristo. Death can afford to wait. But now the track turns again, and my view momentarily spins back along the slopes I've climbed so far. My eye traces the foothills already gained, considers the alphabet of light that spells its unreadable words on the surface of the river. My eyes also moves along the past, to my early misapprehensions committed to memory on this isolated outcropping. The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say. - "The roofs of Montefiore," Mirror Mirror