It befell at length that the merchants‘ ship returned from its voyage and cast anchor at the island. The Tsaritsa met and welcomed them, giving them to eat and drink till for rich feasting they scarce remembered their names. “O shipmen and merchants,” she said, “what merchandise do ye bear and whither fare ye from here?”
They answered: “We are laden with steel swords and with precious armor which we have traded through the whole world, and our way is eastward, to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan the Magnificent.”
“A fair wind to you,” said the Tsaritsa. “Carry my greeting, and that of my son Guidon, to Tsar Saltan.”
So they sailed on to the Tsar’s dominions and a third time were summoned to his presence and feasted; and before they left him he said: “O merchants and travelers, in all your wayfaring what new sights have ye seen? And is there any fresh marvel in the white world?”
“O Tsar’s Majesty!” they replied. “We told thee before of the island with its Palace, its self-grinding mill, its golden column and its learned cat. On this voyage also we visited it and were entertained right royally. And now, in addition to the other wonders we recounted, there is there a fir tree, on which sits a squirrel, cracking with its teeth nuts, whose shells are gold and whose kernels are emerald. The squirrel lives in a crystal summer-house and the gold and emeralds are piled in the Palace treasury till it overflows with such riches that the like is surely not to be seen in the whole world. The noble Tsarevitch Guidon showed us these things, and we bear to thee a greeting from him and from the Tsaritsa, his mother.”
The Tsar was astonished to hear of this and said to his wife: “In truth, the wonders of which thou hast told me are all to be found in this surpassing island. Canst thou recall any marvel to match this?”
She answered spitefully: “That is not so hard. There is in a dense forest, under a crooked oak tree, a great flat stone which covers an underground room, and in the room are six Tsarevitches, more beautiful than can be told. Each has legs golden to the knee, arms silver to the elbow, and in his hair are little stars. A witch keeps them hidden, and there lives in the white world no man clever enough to find them out or to learn who they are.”
Ivan Bilibin’s art: “Chernomor and the thirty-three bogatīrs”
During a time of civil war, Karasu Hinata is born the son of a powerful warlord. When he is still a child, his family castle is taken by a rival clan. His father and mother are murdered right before his eyes.
Barely escaping with his life, he is spirited away by the king of the tengu. The shape-shifting raven leads him to the hidden mountain retreat of a sect of mystic warriors. Mountain priests who practice the magic of Shugendo.
Ten years have passed. The time has come for Karasu to leave the mystic’s protective lair and face his demons in the world beyond. But the fiend that haunts his nightmares is also the one that shattered his life. More than a bad dream, it wants him dead.
In Legend of the Tengu Prince, nothing is as it seems. Shape-shifting creatures, both good and evil, populate the magical world of feudal Japan. And a young man will pay the ultima
te price for a deadly rival spawned in the mists time. This riveting first volume of a epic fantasy adventure will leave you stunned and begging for more.