The Disney Twisted Tales series is a collection of books that are designed for young adults but are also enjoyed by adult fans of Disney stories.
Each book takes a classic Disney story and gives it some alternative plot points, often with a darker theme than the original. The books are written by multiple authors.
Liz Braswell wrote 7 of the 14 books in the series – A Whole New World, Once Upon A Dream, As Old As Time, Part Of Your World, Straight On Till Morning, Unbirthday, and What Once Was Mine.
Liz Braswell is a successful young adult author whose series ‘The Nine Lives Of Chloe King’ has been adapted into a television series. Elizabeth Lim wrote 3 of the books – Reflection, So This Is Love, and When You Wish Upon A Star.
Elizabeth is a bestselling young adult fantasy novelist. Jen Calonita also wrote 3 books in the series – Mirror, Mirror, Conceal, Don’t Feel, and Go The Distance
Jen is a successful young adult author as well as a senior entertainment editor at Teen People. Farrah Rochon wrote one book – Almost There – and is a Romance author from Louisiana.
About Disney Twisted Tales Book Series
The Twisted Tale series takes well-known stories and changes them in unexpected ways – what if Jafar found the lamp instead of Aladdin? What if Ariel didn’t defeat the sea witch? What if Wendy never went to Neverland with Peter Pan?
What if Cinderella never married the prince? The books explore darker themes than the films did, and also give the characters a deeper back story and more complex personalities.
These books are perfect for teenagers who have grown out of the original Disney films but still want to get lost in a story. They are also very popular with adults who want a nostalgic reminder of their favorite stories, but with a twist.
Disney Twisted Tales Book Series In Order
This is the recommended reading order for the Disney Twisted Tales book series.
A Whole New World
This story explores the darker reality of Agrabah if Jafar had found the lamp instead of Aladdin. Jafar uses his first two wishes to become the sultan of Agrabah and to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world.
This turns him into a villain that is almost impossible to defeat… almost. Aladdin must team up with Princess Jasmine, who has been deposed from the crown. They unite the people of Agrabah and lead them in a rebellion against the evil sultan, Jafar.
The city erupts in civil war, but freedom comes at a heavy cost. In this alternate version of Aladdin’s story, he becomes a leader.
Jasmine is still the outspoken character that you know and love, but she is fighting for much more than her right to choose a husband- she is fighting for a revolution.
- Fans of the original Disney film and the live-action remake will recognize some iconic scenes and lines of dialogue, but it will leave them with an entirely new perspective on a well-known story
- The pace of the first half of the book is a little slow
Once Upon A Dream
What if Sleeping Beauty never woke up? When the prince finds her sleeping and kisses her lips, he is also sent into a deep slumber. Princess Aurora is stuck in a dream world, but her mind is being controlled by Maleficent’s curse.
Her mind is a dangerous place, and she is struggling to escape. When the Prince joins Aurora in her dream world, he is keen to help her. But the Princess doesn’t know who she can trust.
Maleficent has spies keeping watch over her, and she is running out of time to break free. The longer she is stuck in a dream, the more she loses touch with reality. Will she be able to break the curse in time?
This is a very interesting version of Sleeping Beauty that gives you a new perspective on the characters – the King and Queen are inattentive rather than doting, the fairies are meddlesome rather than kind-hearted, and Maleficent is not as evil as you might think.
- The narrative switches between Phillip and Aurora, so the reader can get to know both characters quite well
- This story seemed too long and could easily be trimmed down
As Old As Time
When Belle finds the mysterious, enchanted rose in the Beast’s castle, curiosity gets the better of her. She reaches out, and as she touches the rose she is overwhelmed with memories of her mother.
But there are new visions as well as memories, and Belle sees that her mother was the enchantress that placed a curse on the Prince and all of the inhabitants of the castle.
Belle and the Beast must work together to uncover a mystery from 21 years ago, a mystery that ties their families together somehow. But the truth is darker than they imagined.
This book explores the characters of Belle and the Beast much more than the film – you gain a deeper understanding of them both as people which makes you even more invested in their story.
- The plot of this book answers many questions that fans were left with after watching the film, and is very well thought out
- Some readers didn’t like the ending of this twisted tale
Whilst Mulan is still in disguise as Ping, a male soldier, she is faced with a harrowing mission that takes her into the depths of the Underworld. Captain Shang was fatally injured in battle by the enemy, Shan YU.
Mulan must travel to Diyu, the underworld, to save him. She is accompanied by ShiShi the lion, Shang’s guardian. When Mulan meets King Yama, ruler of Diyu, she realizes that getting Shang back is going to be harder than she thought.
She must travel far and wide to search for his spirit, overcoming dangerous challenges and maintaining her disguise. But if she is not out of Diyu by sunrise, she will be trapped in the Underworld forever.
In this version of Mulan, she is still struggling with her fake identity and the guilt she feels for lying to her comrades, especially Shang, But she also faces different struggles as she makes her way through the Underworld, and the reader learns how Mulan handles enemies of a darker nature.
- The author of this book has carefully researched the Chinese mythology surrounding the Diyu which is a nice touch, and the story ties in with the second Mulan film
- Some of the humor misses the mark
Part Of Your World
This book begins five years after the events of the film, but in an alternate reality where Ariel did not defeat Ursula. Ursula killed King Triton and left Ariel without her voice, staying human and ruling Eric’s kingdom alongside him.
Ariel is now Queen of Atlantica. When Ariel discovers that her father might still be alive, she must search for him.
This takes her back up to the surface, where she comes face to face with Eric, her lost love and the kingdom above water that she never imagined she would see again.
This story gives you an insight into how the characters might have developed under different circumstances. Ariel is heartbroken but finds a renewed sense of purpose when she thinks she can find her Dad.
Ursula seems less powerful after living on land and no longer being a sea witch. And Eric is much less likable after spending 5 years with Ursula.
- The book is still a classic fight between good vs evil, but the motivations of the characters are not the same as they were in the film, which is very interesting
- The characters don’t seem as well developed as they were in the film
This twisted tale sticks quite closely to the events of the original film, but with much more character development and less of a clear line between good vs evil.
It also gives the prince a much bigger part, as he helps Snow White and the dwarves plot against the evil queen to take back the kingdom.
The narrative switches between Snow White and the Queen, giving the reader two different perspectives of the story.
This helps you to understand the motives behind their actions and is also a useful tool for building tension and creating the right pace for the story.
- One of the great things about this book is that you learn a lot more about the magic mirror. The backstory of the magic mirror is explained, and you understand why it has such a powerful influence over the characters and what happens to them
- Some readers found that this twisted tale stuck too closely to the original story
Conceal, Don’t Feel
In this re-telling of Frozen, when Elsa accidentally hurts Anna with her powers the sisters are separated. The incident wiped their memories of Elsa’s magic, but also their memories of each other.
Elsa grows up in the castle, growing lonelier each year. When her parents die unexpectedly, she is forced to grow up quickly and take on her role as ruler of Arendelle.
As Elsa’s powers get stronger and begin to reveal themselves, she begins to remember parts of her childhood that had been lost until now. She remembers a girl.
That girl’s face in her mind seems to fill the loneliness inside of her, and she decides to set out on a mission to track down the missing princess of Arendelle. But her journey is arduous, and she still needs to figure out how to break the curse.
Will the sisters ever be reunited? Fans will notice some iconic scenes from the movie have made their way into the book. This is a great example of a twisted tale – the events have been altered, but the overarching message of the story is the same.
- This is a tale about the power of the love and friendship that can exist between sisters
- Despite the sisters not growing up together, the plot feels very similar to the film
Straight On Till Morning
In this version of Peter Pan, Wendy never goes to Neverland with Peter. She almost got the chance to meet him, but all she has left of that night is his shadow. Wendy still dreams of Neverland even as she grows older.
Her brothers grow up and leave home and Wendy is bored with her life. She longs for excitement and adventure. Wendy’s parents send her to Ireland to be a governess.
She enjoys visiting somewhere other than London, but soon an even better adventure presents itself. She gets the opportunity to travel to Neverland on a pirate ship, so she strikes up a bargain with the infamous Captain Hook.
When Wendy arrives in Neverland it is not like she had imagined – it’s dangerous and there are enemies at every turn. She meets Tinkerbell, a little pixie with a big attitude who is incredibly unhelpful.
But when Captain Hook’s evil plans for Neverland are revealed, Wendy and Tinkerbell must work together to save Peter Pan.
- The friendship between Wendy and Tinkerbell is a nice twist on the original story
- Peter doesn’t feature much in the story which some readers won’t like
So This Is Love
In this story, Cinderella never got the chance to try on the glass slipper and prove her identity. She manages to escape from her evil Stepmother, Lady Tremaine and starts a new life working as a seamstress at the palace.
Everything seems to be going well until Cinderella becomes a witness to a conspiracy against the King. Not only do the King’s enemies want to take power away from him and the Prince, but they also plan to act on their prejudice against fairies.
Lives are in danger, including Cinderella’s own Fairy Godmother. She must find a way to stop the evil plan, but time is running out and she doesn’t know who she can trust.
This story takes some of the common criticisms of the classic Cinderella story and turns them around.
- Cinderella is given a more three-dimensional character, with gumption and determination. She is fighting for more than just love- she is trying to protect the kingdom and the lives of the fairies
- The pace of this book was quite slow
This is an alternative sequel to the original Alice In Wonderland story shown in the original Disney animation. Alice is 18, and though she has moved on from her Wonderland adventure, she struggles to fit in with other women her age.
She spends her time visiting the tea shop, joining in with children’s games in the town square, or taking photographs of the people and places she sees day to day. One day, whilst developing a roll of camera film, she notices something strange.
The subjects of her photographs have been replaced with familiar faces, faces she hasn’t seen in a long time – the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, and the Caterpillar. But there’s something wrong, they don’t look the same.
As she develops the final photograph, a self-portrait, her image is replaced by a picture of a dark-haired girl. A girl who is asking Alice for her help.
- The social commentary in this book makes it an interesting read
- The story feels quite disjointed at times
Go The Distance
Hercules faces every challenge sent his way and proves himself to Zeus, earning the right to be reinstated as a God. There’s only one problem – Meg is mortal.
Hera strikes a deal with Meg- in order to be with Hercules, she must complete a mysterious quest to prove that she deserves a place on Mount Olympus alongside him. Meg agrees, but the mission is not what she expected.
She has to rescue her ex-boyfriend’s wife from the underworld. This opens up old wounds for Meg- he moved on so quickly when she was taken to the underworld. Will she be able to put her past aside to complete the task at hand?
Can she use her wit and charm to outsmart the monsters and overcome Hades? Or will she give up on her dream to be with Hercules? One of the great things about this book is the depth of emotion.
Hera recognizes the love between Meg and Hercules and wants to give them a chance to be together. But in order to make that happen, Meg must face her own fears of commitment and prove the lengths that she will go to in order to be with Hercules.
- Meg’s character is explored more deeply in this book than it was in the film
- Hercules doesn’t feature much in this book
What Once Was Mine
In this dark re-telling of Tangled, Disney’s Rapunzel story, the Queen drinks a potion made from the moon drop flower instead of the sun drop flower. Her daughter, Rapunzel, is born with shimmering silver hair instead.
Her hair is as beautiful as the moon but possesses dark powers – powers to harm instead of heal. For the safety of the kingdom, Rapunzel is locked away in a tower where she will be watched over by Mother Gothel.
Rapunzel stays in the tower for 18 years, knowing that she must protect the kingdom from her dangerous powers. But on her 18th birthday, she leaves the tower to watch the floating lights.
She meets Gina and Flynn, an outlaw and a rogue, and realizes that there is much more to life than she could ever have imagined.
- The introduction of a new character, Gina, really lifts this story and gives it a different feel to the film. It is also interesting to see how Rapunzel’s character is altered by the pressure of having to protect people from her powers rather than using them for good
- More could have been done with Mother Gothel’s character
When Tiana makes a deal with Dr. Facilier, she believes she is doing what she has to in order to survive. He has her backed into a corner, and life has been tough on her.
It seems like she made the right decision when everything she ever wanted seemed to fall into place. She opens her own restaurant, her friends are all happy, and her father is alive and well.
Things take a strange turn when New Orleans becomes creepier and more dangerous, with a new danger lurking on every corner. Tiana must find a way to put things right, but how can she do that without losing everything, and everyone, that she loves?
She will need the help of Naveen and Charlotte to get things back to normal.
- This fast-paced and gripping story has an interesting message- if something seems too good to be true, then maybe it is! But you can always find the strength and courage to do the right thing when you have help from your friends
- The second half of the book is not as well-paced as the first half
When You Wish Upon A Star
This is the story of Pinocchio but told from the perspective of the blue fairy. She was once a woman called Chiara who lived in the same village where Geppetto now creates his wooden puppets.
She lived a simple life with one wish – to make other people happy. Her sister, Ilaria, had bigger dreams. She wanted to leave the village and become an opera singer. The sisters loved each other, but never quite saw eye to eye.
Many years later, Chiara is the Blue fairy and Ilaria is the Scarlet fairy. When Chiara breaks the rule of magic and grants Geppetto’s wish, her sister is furious.
They decide to settle the disagreement with a bet that leaves the lives of Pinocchio and Geppetto in the balance. Will the sisters be able to set aside their differences? Or will their gamble have deadly consequences?
- This is a fascinating take on a classic story that is exciting to read
- There was a lot going on and it was hard to keep up with all of the plot points
The best order to read the Disney Twisted Tales series is the order it was published. However, each book is a self-contained story and they are not linked in any way.
This means that you can read them at random or choose your own order if you prefer. Some readers choose to read the books in the order that the original animated films were released. This would be as follows:
- Mirror, Mirror
- When You Wish Upon A Star
- So This Is Love
- Straight On Till Morning
- Once Upon A Dream
- Part Of Your World
- As Old As Time
- A Whole New World
- Go The Distance
- Almost There
- What Once Was Mine
- Conceal, Don’t Feel
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Disney Twisted Tales book series.
Who Wrote The Twisted Tales Book Series?
Different books in the series were written by different authors. Liz Braswell wrote 7 of the books, Elizabeth Lim and Jen Calonita each wrote 3 of the books, and Farrah Rochon wrote 1 of them.
Which Twisted Tales Book Is The Best?
The book that each reader prefers often depends on which author’s style they prefer, and which story is most nostalgic to them. However, fan favorites include What Once Was Mine, So This Is Love, Go The Distance, and Reflection.
Do You Have To Read The Twisted Tales Books In Order?
The easiest way to read the series is in the order that the books were published. However, each book is a self-contained story so you can read them in a different order if you prefer.
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