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20+ of Your Favorite Shifted Perspective Novels

Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

This Riot Recommendation is sponsored by Arrndgros by Pyotr Andreyev.
arrndgrosEvery fantasy reader thinks they know orcs. Savage and brutal. Ferocious in battle. Mindless monsters to be feared—or better yet, obliterated—by those who encounter them.

However, the truth, in both fantasy and reality, is more complex than first impressions suggest. Violent though they may be, orcs have their own rich cultures, spiritual lives, and traditions. Societies where strength, bravery, and skill in battle are prized.

Join the orcs of Arrndgros as they explore, reclaim lost lands, and march to war. Discover orcs as you’ve never seen them—proud, passionate, courageous, and, yes, brutal. Discover the warrior’s emotion. Discover Arrndgros.


A good shifted perspective novel lets you relive some of your favorite stories in a new, fresh, interesting way. These are reimagined versions of our favorite stories, told from the point of view of an under-appreciated side character, or even the villain. From the stepmother in the updated Snow White retelling Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi, to Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, which tells the story of the mad wife in the attic from Jane Eyre, readers can’t get enough of these novels.

We asked you to share your favorite shifted perspective novels, and you answered. Here are 20+ of your favorites:


Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen

Barabbas by Par Lagerkvist

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Falstaff by Robert Nye

Foe by J.M. Coetzee

Grendel by John Gardner

Grunts by Mary Gentle

Lamb by Christopher Moore

Longbourne by Jo Baker

March by Geraldine Brooks

Medea by Christa Wolf

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Nelly Dean by Alison Case

Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

Stepmother by Robert Coover

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

Wicked by Gregory Maguire (…most of Maguire’s books fit!)