What If? is a powerful question, one that can reshape a story, transform a destiny, destroy a happy end, and much much more. It’s a question that explores the alternate history, considering what would have happened if the war were won by the enemy (like in The Man in The High Castle), if Steve Rogers didn’t become Captain America, or, in a very classic Christmas Tale, if George Bailey were never born?
A Twisted Tale is a young adult Disney anthology series asking, with each book, a What If question and giving us a possible answer. Based on classic animated Disney films like Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Mulan, or Frozen, each book is stand-alone and can be read independently from the other.
How to read the “A Twisted Tale” Books in Order?
All of the Twisted Tales are not written by the same author. The author of The Nine Lives of Chloe King series Liz Braswell started it and was joined by Elizabeth Lim and Jen Calonita.
- A Whole New World – written by Liz Braswell. What if Aladdin had never found the lamp? When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish. To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon, their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war. What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.
- Once Upon a Dream – written by Liz Braswell. What if the Sleeping Beauty never woke up? It should be simple–a dragon defeated, a slumbering princess in a castle, a prince poised to wake her. But when the prince falls asleep as his lips touch the fair maiden’s, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over. With a desperate fairy’s last curse controlling her mind, Princess Aurora must escape from a different castle of thorns and navigate a dangerously magical landscape–created from her very own dreams. Aurora isn’t alone–a charming prince is eager to join her quest, and old friends offer their help. But as Maleficent’s agents follow her every move, Aurora struggles to discover who her true allies are and, moreover, who she truly is. Time is running out. Will the sleeping beauty be able to wake herself up?
- As Old as Time – written by Liz Braswell. What if Belle’s mother cursed the Beast? When Belle touches the Beast’s enchanted rose, memories flood through Belle’s mind-memories of a mother she thought she would never see again. And, stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful enchantress who cursed the castle and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast will have to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is 21 years in the making.
- Reflection – written by Elizabeth Lim. What if Mulan had to travel to the Underworld? When Captain Shang is mortally wounded by Shan Yu in battle, Mulan must travel to the Underworld, Diyu, in order to save him from certain death. But King Yama, the ruler of Diyu, is not willing to give Shang up easily. With the help of Shang’s great lion guardian ShiShi, Mulan must traverse Diyu to find Shang’s spirit, face harrowing obstacles, and leave by sunrise–or become King Yama’s prisoner forever. Moreover, Mulan is still disguised as the soldier called Ping, wrestling with the decision to reveal her true identity to her closest friend. Will Mulan be able to save Shang before it’s too late? Will he ever be able to trust her again? Or will she lose him–and be lost in the Underworld–forever?
- Part of Your World – written by Liz Braswell. What if Ariel had never defeated Ursula? It’s been five years since the infamous sea witch defeated the little mermaid… and took King Triton’s life in the process. Ariel is now the voiceless queen of Atlantica, while Ursula runs Prince Eric’s kingdom on land. But when Ariel discovers that her father might still be alive, she finds herself returning to a world–and a prince–she never imagined she would see again.
- Mirror, Mirror – written by Jen Calonita. What if the Evil Queen poisoned the prince? Following her beloved mother’s death, the kingdom falls into the hands of Snow White’s stepmother, commonly referred to as “the Evil Queen” by those she rules. Snow keeps her head down at the castle, hoping to make the best of her situation. But when new information about her parents resurfaces and a plot to kill her goes haywire, everything changes for Snow. With the help of a group of wary dwarfs, a kind Prince she thought she’d never see again, and a mysterious stranger from her past, Snow embarks on a quest to stop the Evil Queen and take back her kingdom. But can she stop an enemy who knows her every move and will stop at nothing to retain her power . . . including going after the ones Snow loves?
- Conceal, Don’t Feel – written by Jen Calonita. What if Anna and Elsa never knew each other? As the future Queen of Arendelle, Princess Elsa’s life is full of expectation and responsibility-not to mention, questions. What type of ruler will she be? When will she have to pick a suitor? And why has she always harbored the feeling that some critical piece of herself is missing? Following the unexpected death of her parents, Elsa is forced to answer those questions sooner than she’d hoped, becoming the sole ruler of her kingdom and growing lonelier than ever. But when mysterious powers begin to reveal themselves, Elsa starts to remember fragments of her childhood that seem to have been erased-pieces that include a very familiar-looking girl. Determined to fill the void she has always felt, Elsa must take a harrowing journey across her icy kingdom to undo a terrible curse . . . and find the missing Princess of Arendelle.
- Straight On Till Morning – written by Liz Braswell. What if Wendy first traveled to Neverland…with Captain Hook? Sixteen-year-old Wendy Darling’s life is not what she imagined it would be. The doldrums of an empty house after her brothers have gone to school, the dull parties where everyone thinks she talks too much, and the fact that her parents have decided to send her away to Ireland as a governess-it all makes her wish things could be different. So when an opportunity to travel to Never Land via pirate ship presents itself, Wendy makes a deal with the devil. But Never Land isn’t quite the place she imagined it would be. Unexpected dangers and strange foes pop up at every turn, and a little pixie named Tinker Bell seems less than willing to help. But when Captain Hook reveals some rather permanent and evil plans for Never Land, it’s up to the two of them to save Peter Pan-and his world.
- So This is Love – written by Elizabeth Lim. What if Cinderella never tried on the glass slipper? Unable to prove that she’s the missing princess, and unable to bear life under Lady Tremaine any longer, Cinderella attempts a fresh start, looking for work at the palace as a seamstress. But when the Grand Duke appoints her to serve under the king’s visiting sister, Cinderella becomes witness to a grand conspiracy to take the king-and the prince-out of power, as well as a longstanding prejudice against fairies, including Cinderella’s own Fairy Godmother. Faced with questions of love and loyalty to the kingdom, Cinderella must find a way to stop the villains of past and present . . . before it’s too late.
- Unbirthday – written by Liz Braswell. What if Wonderland was in peril and Alice was very, very late? Alice is different than other eighteen-year-old ladies in Kexford, which is perfectly fine with her. She’d rather spend golden afternoons with her trusty camera or in her aunt Vivian’s lively salon, ignoring her sister’s wishes that she stop all that “nonsense” and become a “respectable” member of society. But when Alice develops photographs she has recently taken about town, familiar faces of old suddenly appear in the place of her actual subjects-the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar. There’s something eerily off about them, even for Wonderland creatures. And as Alice develops a self-portrait, she finds the most disturbing image of all-a badly-injured dark-haired girl asking for Alice’s help. Mary Ann. Returning to the place of nonsense from her childhood, Alice finds herself on a mission to stop the Queen of Hearts’ tyrannical rule and to find her place in both worlds. But will she able to do so . . . before the End of Time?
- Go the Distance – written by Jen Calonita. What if Meg had to become a Greek god? After Hercules proves he’s a true hero and regains his godship, all seems right in the world. That is, until Zeus tells Meg that she can’t be with Hercules because she’s, well, mortal. Luckily, Hera has a solution, offering Meg a chance to prove herself worthy of a spot on Mt. Olympus–as a god. All Meg has to do is complete a mysterious quest. The mission? Rescue her ex’s current wife from the Underworld. Can Meg put her past behind her and use her quick-wit to defeat monsters and gods alike, including the nefarious Hades? Will she finally figure out her place and contribution to the world? Or will her fear of commitment have her running away from an eternity of godhood with Herc?
- What Once Was Mine – written by Liz Braswell. What if Rapunzel’s mother drank a potion from the wrong flower? Desperate to save the life of their queen and her unborn child, the good people of Corona search for the all-healing Sundrop flower to cure her-but mistakenly acquire the shimmering Moondrop flower instead. Nonetheless, it heals the queen, and she delivers a healthy baby girl with hair as silver and gray as the moon. With it comes dangerous magical powers: the power to hurt, not heal. For her safety and the safety of the kingdom, Rapunzel is locked in a tower and put under the care of a powerful goodwife, Mother Gothel. For eighteen years Rapunzel stays locked away, knowing she must protect others from her magical hair. But when she leaves the only home she’s ever known, wanting only to see the floating lights that appear on her birthday, she gets caught up in an adventure across the kingdom with two thieves-a young woman named Gina, and Flynn Rider, a rogue on the run. Before she can reach her happy ending, Rapunzel learns that there may be more to her story, and her magical tresses, than she ever knew.
- Almost There – written by Farrah Rochon. What if Tiana made a deal that changed everything? Sometimes life in the Big Easy is tough. No one knows that better than Tiana, though she also believes that hard work can go a long way. But when the notorious Dr. Facilier backs her into a corner, she has no choice but to accept an offer that will alter the course of her life in an instant. Soon Tiana finds herself in a new reality where all her deepest desires are realized: she finally gets her restaurant, her friends are safe and sound, and most miraculous of all, her beloved father is still alive. She’s got everything she’s ever wanted. . . . But after a while, her hometown grows increasingly eerie, with new threats cropping up in unlikely places. Navigating through this strange new New Orleans, Tiana must work alongside Naveen and Charlotte to set things right-or risk losing everything she holds dear.
- When You Wish Upon a Star – The Blue Fairy isn’t supposed to grant wishes in the small village of Pariva, but something about this one awakens some long-buried flicker within. She defies the rules of magic to help an old friend. But she’s discovered by the Scarlet Fairy, formerly Ilaria, who, amid a decades-long grudge, holds the transgression against her sister. They decide to settle things through a good old-fashioned bet, with Pinocchio and Geppetto’s fate hanging in the balance. Will the sisters find a way back to one another? Or is this, like many matters of the heart, a gamble that comes with strings?
If you like our article about the Twisted Tales series in order, don’t forget to bookmark it! If you like the Twisted Tales, you may also want to take a look at Marissa Meyer’s books, Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society series, or The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer