Ledia Runnels' "World of Fantasy Fiction"

In ancient days, long before our time, in a certain Tsardom of a realm far beyond the blue sea-ocean, there was a Tsar, young in years, named Saltan, who was so hand some and so clever that songs were sung and tales told of him, and beautiful maidens everywhere dreamt of him at night. Minded to rule his Tsardom well, he used to wander forth at dusk in all four directions of his capital, in order to see and hear, and thus he perceived much good and much evil and saw many strange sights. One evening, as he passed the house of a rich merchant, he saw through the window three lovely damsels, the merchant’s daughters, sitting at their needlework, and drawing near he overheard their conversation.

The eldest said: “If the Tsar were to wed me, I would grind flour so fine that the like of the bread I would bake from it could not be found in the whole world.”

The Tsar, hearing, thought: “That would be good bread truly; however, the bread I eat now is not so bad.”

The second said: “If the Tsar were to wed me, I would weave for him a kaftan [Great-Coat] of gold and silver thread, so that he would shine like the Fire Bird.”

“That would be good weaving, indeed,” thought the Tsar; “though little enough need have I for such a splendid coat.”

Then the youngest daughter, who was named Marfa, said: “As for me, if the Little Father Tsar became my husband, I know how neither to spin nor to weave, but I would bear him seven hero-sons like bright falcons, that should be the comeliest in his Tsardom; and their legs should be golden to the knee and their arms silver to the elbow, and in their hair should be little stars.”

Tsar Saltan, listening, was well pleased with this speech. “Glad would I be to be the father of seven such sons,” he said to himself; and returning to his Palace, he summoned his Boyars [Noblemen] and Court Ministers, and despatched them to the house of the merchant to bring his youngest daughter, whom he purposed to make his Tsaritsa. He ordered a great festival and spread tables of oak, at which all the folk of the Tsardom ate, drank and made merry.

On the third day he and the merchant’s daughter were married, and slept on an ivory bed, and began to live together, soul with soul, in all joy and contentment. The two elder daughters of the merchant, however, were envious; one sulked over her oven and the other wept over her loom, and both hated their sister because the Tsar had preferred her over them.

Now there was war in those days and whether after a long time or a short time, it became necessary for Tsar. Saltan to take the field. Tsaritsa Marfa wept long and would not be comforted; so before he departed he sent for her two sisters to remain with her until his return. And they, although they hated their sister, pretending great love for her, came at once to the Palace. So the Tsar mounted his good horse and bid ding his wife care for herself for his sake, rode away to the fight.

(Continued…  https://fairytalesbylediar.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/the-tale-of-tsar-saltan-part-two/)



“Sur La Lune Fairy Tales: Russian Wonder Tales”



Ivan Bilibin’s art:



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



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

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et cetera