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The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic…
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The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic Ring

by Ruth Sanderson

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Wonderful detailed illustration make the reader feel like they are right there. I wasn't impressed with this book. How arrogant the King was in sending Alexi to do deeds or be put to death. I would not recommend this book for young readers. ( )
  jdieder104 | Oct 8, 2010 |
When Alexi spares the life of a mysterious horse, he is rewarded for his kindness. The Golden Mare promises to help the young man become a huntsman for the Tsar. But the greedy ruler wants more than Alexi’s services; he wants the Golden Mare. The Tsar demands that Alexi capture the elusive Firebird, bring Yelena the Fair to his palace, and find her ring so that she will marry. Each time the Golden Mare saves Alexi, until the young man and Yelena trick the Tsar into jumping into a cauldron of boiling water. He changes from an old man to a baby, and is adopted by the new Tsar, Alexi, and his queen, Yelena.

Both Sanderson’s story and artwork are rich and detailed. The illustrations are oil on canvas on double-page spreads. The feathers of the firebird glow, the czar’s jewels sparkle, and the waters of the Lake of the Sun reflect back the beauty of Sanderson’s landscapes. The text is unobtrusive and often decorated with intricate borders. Readers may find the story somewhat long – according to the author’s note, this book is a retelling of four different Russian fairy tales – but will be encouraged by the illustrations and exciting plot. As with most fairy tales, the characters are somewhat two-dimensional, though Alexi ponders issues of freedom and captivity. ( )
  tiamatq | Mar 20, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316769061, Hardcover)

Brave deeds and wondrous magic come together in this tale based on a classic Russian folktale. A young huntsman named Alexi leaves home seeking adventure and fortune. Instead, he finds the Golden Mare, who pledges eternal loyalty in exchange for sparing her life. With the mare's help, Alexi becomes the Tsar's best huntsman, but then the jealous Tsar presents him with several impossible tasks, threatening to have him killed if he fails. Each time, Alexi secretly enlists the help of the Golden Mare - and succeeds. But his final task is to win Yelena the Fair, a lovely young maiden whom the old Tsar wants as his bride. Will Alexi be able to use his own powers to save himself and Yelena?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:21 -0400)

A young huntsman is helped by a golden mare when he tries to perform the seemingly impossible feats commanded by the Tsar.

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