Ledia Runnels' "World of Fantasy Fiction"











Ivan Bilibin 102

Ivan Bilibin 102 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tsar Saltan, hearing, was silent, thinking of his dead wife and of her promise to bear him such hero-sons. He dismissed the merchants with rich gifts and they bought goods to fill their ships and sailed away again on the wide sea-ocean.

In time they touched at the island of Tsaritsa Marfa, and being entertained, recounted to her their visit to Tsar Saltan’s court and told how, for a third time, he had purposed to voyage thither, until his wife had told of the underground room, and of the six Tsarevitches with legs golden, arms of silver, and with stars in their hair.

When the shipmen had departed on their way, Tsaritsa Marfa told Tsarevitch Guidon the story of her life with Tsar Saltan and what she had suffered at the hands of her wicked sisters. “These six Tsarevitches,” she said, “whom the witch hides in the forest, are surely none other than my own dear sons and thy little brothers. Let us depart to search for them.”

So the Tsarevitch struck together his flint and steel and bade the ax and hammer build a ship which would fly either on land or sea and which should take them to the witch’s forest. Next morning all was ready, and they straightway embarked and sailed over the sea-ocean, and over the open steppe to the edge of the forest, where the Baba Yaga had hidden the stolen Princes.

Whether the journey was long or short, whether it took a twelvemonth or a day, they found the crooked oak tree and the Tsarevitch lifted the great flat stone and they entered the underground room. They looked here and there and presently saw six little soiled shirts lying on chairs. The Tsaritsa took them, washed them clean, rinsed, wrung and hung them to dry. Six little plates sat on a table unwashed. She washed them all and dried them and swept the floor. Hearing a noise outside, she said: “Someone is coming. Let us hide behind the stove.”

They hid themselves, and the six Tsarevitches entered, all with legs golden to the knee, arms silver to the elbow, and with little stars in their hair. They saw how the room had been swept and the plates and shirts made clean, and were glad. “Show thyself,” they cried, “thou who hast washed and tidied our house. If thou art a beautiful girl, thou shalt be our little sister, and if thou art a Tsaritsa, thou shalt be our little mother!”

Then Tsaritsa Marfa showed herself, and the six Tsarevitches ran to her, and she took them in her arms and kissed and caressed them and told them who they were-that she was indeed their mother and Tsarevitch Guidon their little brother. She brought them from the forest to the magic ship and it sailed with them like a white swan, over the open steppe and the blue sea-ocean to the Tsaritsa’s island, to her Palace of white stone, and there they began to live happily together.

Now when its voyage was finished, the ship of the merchants came back from the ends of the world and put in at the island. The Tsaritsa welcomed them and she and her seven Sons gave them such feasts and amusements that for delight they would have remained there forever. “O merchant-travelers,” she asked them, “in what cargoes do ye traffic, and whither go ye from here?”

“We have sailed about the whole world,” they answered, “with goods of every sort that tradesmen carry, and from here our course lies eastward to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan the Splendid.”

“Fair weather to you,” she said, “and take a greeting to Tsar Saltan from me and from these my seven sons.”

The ship departed, and when it was come to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan, he made the merchants yet again his guests. And as they ate and drank and made merry, he said to them: “O tradesmen and far-journeying adventurers, ye have sailed to the uttermost lands. What strange thing have ye seen, and is there any new wonder in the white world?”

“O great Tsar Saltan!” they replied, “thou didst hear from us before of the island in the blue sea-ocean, of its Tsaritsa and her Tsarevitch, and their Palace of white stone, with the marvels there to be seen. On our way hither we again stopped there, and now the lady hath with her not one Tsarevitch but seven, so handsome that we know no words o tell thee of them, and each has legs golden to the knee, and arms silver to the elbow, and in their hair are little stars set close together. And when we departed the Tsaritsa sent to thee greeting from herself and these seven sons.”

When the merchants spoke thus the wicked wife of Tsar Saltan opened her mouth to speak, but the Tsar rose up and silenced her.

“Tell me no more of thy marvels,” he said to her. “What am I, a Tsar or a child?” And having dismissed the merchants with presents, he sent for his Ministers and Boyars and bade a fleet to be prepared, and that same day set sail for the island.

Tsarevitch Guidon, sitting with his brothers at the window, saw the ships of Tsar Saltan coming over the blue sea- ocean, and called to his mother, “See, our little father is coming!” He went to meet him and brought him into the Palace to the Tsaritsa.

Seeing her, Tsar Saltan recognized her, and his breath stopped and his face flowed with tears. He kissed her and embraced his seven sons and all began to weep and rejoice together.

When they had spent some days in such happiness, they went aboard the ships and sailed back to Tsar Saltan’s realm. He summoned his Ministers and Boyars, his Princes and Judges, and they condemned his evil wife, and she and her sister were put into a chest barred and bound with iron, and the chest was thrown into the sea-ocean. But God did not protect them as He had protected the Tsaritsa and her son, for they sank at once into the lowest abyss and were drowned.

But Tsar Saltan and Tsaritsa Marfa, with the seven Tsarevitches, lived always together in bright-faced joy, and increased in all good things. And Tsaritsa Marfa was as beautiful in her old age as she had been in her youth.

Continued…

Enjoy!

Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/tsarsaltan.html

Images

Ivan Bilibin’s art:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

EXTRA

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!

http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/2012/04/15/legend-of-the-tengu-prince-finally-available-on-amazon-com/

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

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.

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The Merchants visit Tsar Saltan (Act 3)

The Merchants visit Tsar Saltan (Act 3) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, before many days it befell that a ship came sailing that way, and the shipmen wondered greatly to see there, on what had been an uninhabited island, a stately Palace, with golden domes and walls of white stone, and they landed to see this marvel.

The Tsaritsa met them and made them her guests, giving them food and drink to their hearts’ desire.

“O merchants,” she said, “in what trade are ye concerned, and whither sail ye from here?”

They answered: “We have traded in the skins of sables and black foxes in foreign marts; now we sail to the east, to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan the Glorious.”

“A happy voyage to you,” said the Tsaritsa, “and give a greeting from me to Tsar Saltan.”

The merchants re-embarked and sailed to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan, who called them to be his guests; and they came before him, where he sat sad-faced on his golden throne, with his new wife and her sister by his side. As they sat at table the Tsar said: “O merchants and tradesmen! Have ye voyaged far, and to what lands went ye? Is it well or ill across the blue sea-ocean? And what new wonder is there in the white world?”

The shipmen replied: “O Tsar’s Majesty! We traveled over all the world, and were on our way hither when we saw a new wonder more marvelous than any. There has been of old time in the sea-ocean an island, without inhabitants, save they were wizards or wild beasts. It had a great flat meadow on which grew a single oak tree, and about it was a dense forest. So hath it always been; yet but now, as we came to it, we found there a splendid Palace, with towers whose tops were golden, and with green gardens about it. In it dwells a beautiful Tsaritsa and a Tsarevitch, and the Tsarevitch has legs golden to the knee, and arms silver to the elbow, and in his hair are little stars. We landed there, and the Tsaritsa entertained us royally, and sent a greeting to thee.”

Tsar Saltan wondered greatly to hear, and said: “As God lets me live, I will visit this wonderful island and see it with my own eyes.” But his wicked wife, not wishing him to go, began to sneer.

“A Palace on an island! What is that to be compared to a marvel of which I can tell thee?”

“What marvel is that?” asked the Tsar.

She answered: “Across three times nine countries, in the thirtieth Tsardom, there is a green garden, and in the gar den is a mill which grinds of itself. It winnows the grain and throws the chaff a hundred versts away. By the mill stands a golden column, and up and down the column climbs a learned cat. As it goes up it sings songs, and as it comes down it tells stories.”

Continued… https://fairytalesbylediar.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/the-tale-of-tsar-saltan-part-six/

Enjoy!

Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/tsarsaltan.html

Images

Ivan Bilibin’s art:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

EXTRA

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!

http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/2012/04/15/legend-of-the-tengu-prince-finally-available-on-amazon-com/

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

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.



Buyan Island, by Ivan Bilibin.

Buyan Island, by Ivan Bilibin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The messenger delivered the letter, and at once the Boyars came to the Tsaritsa and told her the cruel decree. They pitied her and wept with her, but there was nothing to be done, since the Tsar‘s will was law, and the same day, with the babe still hidden in her sleeve, she was put into a chest bound with iron, and it was thrown into the wide sea-ocean.

Soon after, the Tsar returned, ready, so great was his love, to forgive his wife a third time. But it was then too late, and, thinking that the Tsaritsa was drowned, he at length married the elder of the two sisters, and brought them both to live in his Palace.

Whether the chest floated a long time or a short time in the sea-ocean, on smooth water or rough water, the little Guidon, who had been hidden in the Tsaritsa’s sleeve, was growing like wheat-flour when new yeast is added to it, not by days but by hours, until at length he began to speak.

“Little mother,” he said, “I have not room enough. Let me stretch myself!”

“Nay, little soul,” she answered. “I hear no sound of the waves lapping on the sand. The water is deep beneath us. If thou dost stretch we shall be drowned.”

The chest floated on and on, and at length its bottom began to scratch against hard pebbles. Then the little boy said: “We touch something, little mother. May I stretch myself?”

She gave him permission, and he began to stretch himself, and so strong and sturdy was he that the iron bands broke asunder and the chest fell to pieces. Looking about them, they saw that they were on an island, which had a high hill, sloping down to a green field, surrounded by a forest. The mother and her son crossed the field and entered the forest, searching for a path that should lead them to some habitation. They found none, however, and were about to return wearied to the meadow, when Tsarevitch Guidon came upon a purse lying on the ground.

Opening it, they found a flint and steel, and were glad, thinking that with a fire they could protect themselves against cold and wild beasts. Tsarevitch Guidon struck the flint and steel together, when instantly there appeared a sharp ax and a huge hammer.

“Here we are, Master,” said the ax and hammer. “By God‘s blessing, by the Order of the Pike, what command wilt thou be pleased to lay upon us?”

“Build us a Palace to live in,” answered Guidon, “and fetch us food and drink.”

At once the ax flew at the trees and began to chop, square, and sharpen them, and the hammer to pound them into the earth for a foundation; and while the Tsaritsa and the Tsarevitch watched, there began to rise on the edge of the forest a Palace of white stone, with battlemented walls, more splendid than has ever been seen in any Tsardom, richer than can be guessed or imagined, whose like can neither be told in a tale nor written with a pen. They entered it, and found therein whatever the soul could ask.

Continued… https://fairytalesbylediar.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/the-tale-of-tsar-saltan-part-five/

Enjoy!

Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/tsarsaltan.html

Images

Ivan Bilibin’s art:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

EXTRA

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!

http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/2012/04/15/legend-of-the-tengu-prince-finally-available-on-amazon-com/

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

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.



The Tsaritsa and her son afloat in the barrel,...

The Tsaritsa and her son afloat in the barrel, by Bilibin, corresponds to the Introduction to Act 2, and the second movement of Rimsky-Korsakov's suite from the opera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the messenger brought him this message, the Tsar‘s anger waxed hot. He ordered the puppies to be thrown into the seaocean, and would have slain his wife but for his great love. However, after his anger had softened, he said to him self: “This second fault also I will pass over. Perchance even yet she will bear me sons fit for a Tsar.” And, returning to his capital, he lived happily with her as before.

It happened at length that the Tsar went to a distant Tsardom to pay a visit of ceremony, and this time he set a strong guard about the Palace, with strict command to allow no one whatever to go in or out. When he had been absent six months, two more babes were born to the Tsaritsa-sons of a loveliness that is known only in a tale, with legs golden to the knee, arms silver to the elbow, and with little stars in their hair. And the Tsaritsa, deeming herself safe by reason of the guard about the Palace, bade them peal all the bells for joy.

Hearing the rejoicing, the sisters guessed what had occurred, and sent at once for the Baba Yaga, who by a witch’s charm caused a deep sleep to fall upon all the guardsmen so that each slumbered where he stood, and she herself entered the Palace. When the Tsaritsa saw her, however, she hid one of the babes, whom she had named Guidon, in her sleeve, so that the Baba Yaga, though she carried away the other, did not see it. In place of the babe, the old witch left a piece of wood, and the sisters, as before, bribed the attendants, and sent a messenger to the Tsar to say: “Thy Tsaritsa, our sister, who boasted that she would bear thee sons of gold and silver, hath borne thee now neither son nor daughter, neither is it a frog nor a snake, but a little log of wood.”

When the Tsar heard this message, he well-nigh lost his senses in the violence of his rage. After his anger had some what subsided, he ordered the log of wood to be thrown into the sea-ocean, and sent a letter to his Prime Minister, bidding him call together his Boyars and Princes of all the Realm to consider the matter on his return.

The messenger rode back with the royal letter, but the two wicked sisters met him on his way, and by stealth stole the letter from his pocket and put in its place another, which read: “I, Tsar Saltan, bid my Boyars without delay to seize the Tsaritsa, put her into a chest bound with iron, and cast it into the deepest abyss of the sea-ocean.”

(Continued… https://fairytalesbylediar.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/the-tale-of-tsar-saltan-part-four/)

Enjoy!

Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”

http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/tsarsaltan.html

Images

Ivan Bilibin’s art:

https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

EXTRA

Legend of the Tengu Prince — Finally Available on Amazon.com!

http://creativemusingsoflediar.com/2012/04/15/legend-of-the-tengu-prince-finally-available-on-amazon-com/

Synopsis:

Fantasy Action Adventure set in feudal Japan.

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.



Ivan Bilibin 086

Ivan Bilibin 086 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The old woman gave the girl to eat and drink, a portion of all God had given her, and a bed to sleep on, and in the morning when the dawn began to break, she awoke her. “Finist, who flies as the falcon with colored feathers,” she said, “is now in the fiftieth Tsardom of the eightieth land from here. He has recently proposed marriage to a Tsar‘s daughter. Thou mayest, perhaps, reach there in time for the wedding-feast. Take thou this silver spindle; when thou usest it, it will spin thee a thread of pure gold. Thou mayest give it to his wife for a wedding-gift. Go now with God across three times nine lands to the house of my second cousin. I am bad-tempered but she is worse than I. However, speak her fair and she may direct thee further.”

The girl thanked the old woman and bidding her fare well, set out again, though with a heavier heart, on her journey. She walked and walked, whether for a short time or a long time, across green steppe and barren wilderness, until at length, when a second pair of iron shoes were worn through, a second staff broken to pieces and a second stone church-loaf gnawed away, she came one evening, on the edge of a swamp, to a little hut on whose door-step sat a second old woman, sourer than the first.

“Whither goest thou, lovely girl?” asked the dame.

“O Grandmother,” she answered, “grant me thy kindness. Be my hostess and protect me from the dark night. I seek my dear friend, who is called Finist the Falcon, whom my cruel sisters wounded and drove from me.”

“He is a relative of mine,” said the old woman, “but thou wilt have to walk many versts further to find him. He is to marry a Tsar’s daughter and today is her last maiden feast. But enter and rest. The morning is wiser than the evening.”

The old woman put food and drink before her and gave her a place to sleep. Early on the morrow she woke her. “Finist the Falcon,” she said, “lives in the fiftieth land from here. Take with thee this golden hammer and these ten little diamond nails. When thou usest them, the hammer will drive the nails of itself. If thou choosest thou mayest give them to his wife for a wedding-gift. Go now with God to the house of my fourth cousin. I am crabbed but she is more ill-tempered than I. However, greet her with politeness and perhaps she will direct thee further. She lives across three times nine lands, beside a deep river.”

The girl took the golden hammer and the ten little diamond nails, thanked the old woman and went on her way. She walked a long way and she walked a short way, and at last, when the third pair of iron shoes were worn through, and the third iron staff broken to pieces and the third stone church-loaf gnawed away, she came, in a dark wood where the tops of the trees touched the sky, to a deep river and on its hank stood a little hut, on whose door-step sat a third old woman, uglier and sourer than the other two put together.

(Continued… https://fairytalesbylediar.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/russian-fairy-tales-the-feather-of-finist-the-falcon-part-seven/)

Enjoy!

Image Links:

The Feather of Finist the Falcon by Ivan Bilibin”                                                                                                                                                                               http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Bilibin

More Images of Ivan Bilibin’s art:                                                                                                                                                                                                                         https://www.google.com/search?q=ivan+bilibin+finist+the+falcon+images&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=1R6AT4uFBMiG2gX_v82EBw&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQsAQ&biw=1600&bih=775

Research Links:

“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales:Russian Wonder Tales” http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/russian/russianwondertales/featherfinistfalcon.html



et cetera