Fractured fairy tales
Three new books gather real-life and reimagined mythic stories.
Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories From History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings (Quirk) by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie recounts the real lives of princesses from all over the world who were tragic, villainous, shocking or heroic — and nothing like those insipid Disney dames.
Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales (Little, Brown), edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt, showcases bestselling authors like Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Kami Garcia and Rick Yancey recasting such stories as Sleeping Beauty and The Monkey's Paw.
XO Orpheus: Fifty New Myths (Penguin), edited by Kate Bernheimer, gathers new versions of myths — Greek, Indian, Aztec, Norse, more — by such award-winning authors as Aimee Bender, Edith Pearlman, Benjamin Percy, Kit Reed and Peter Straub.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor