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

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 merchant set out to the Fair, and he purchased the pair of satin shoes and the silken petticoat, and then he bethought himself of the scarlet flower and went all about inquiring for one. But search as he might, he could find not a single blossom of that color in the whole town, and drove home sorrowful that he must disappoint his youngest daughter for the third time.

And as he rode along wondering where he might find the flower, he met by the roadside in the forest a little old man whom he had never seen, with a hooked nose, one eye, and a face covered with a golden beard like moss, who carried on his back a box.

“What dost thou carry, old man?” he asked.

“In my box,” answered the old man, “is a little scarlet flower which I am keeping for a present to the maiden who is to marry my son, Finist the Falcon.”

“I do not know thy son, old man,” said the merchant, “nor yet the maiden whom he is to marry. But a scarlet blossom is no great thing. Come, sell it to me, and with the money thou mayest buy a more suitable gift for the bridal.”

“Nay,” replied the little old man. “It has no price, for wherever it goeth there goeth the love of my son, and I have sworn it shall be his wife’s.”

The merchant argued and persuaded, for now that he had found the flower he was loath to go home without it, and ended by offering in exchange for it both the satin shoes and the silken petticoat, till at length the little old man said: “Thou canst have the scarlet flower for thy daughter only on condition that she weds my son, Finist the Falcon.”

The merchant thought a moment. Not to bring the flower would grieve his daughter, yet as the price of it he must promise to wed her to a stranger.

“Well, old man,” he said, “give me the flower, and if my daughter will take thy son, he shall have her.”

“Have no fear,” said the little old man. “Whom my son woos, her will he wed!” and giving the box to the other, he instantly vanished.

The merchant, greatly disturbed at his sudden disappearance, hurried home, where his three daughters came out to greet him. He gave to the eldest the satin shoes and to the second the silken petticoat, and to see them they clapped their hands for delight. Then he gave to his youngest daughter the little box and said: “Here is thy scarlet flower, my daughter, but as for me, I take no joy of it, for I had it of a stranger, though it was not for sale, and in return for it I have promised that thou shalt wed his son, Finist the Falcon.”

(Continued… https://fairytalesbylediar.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/russian-fairy-tales-the-feather-of-finist-the-falcon-part-three/)


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

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