Customer Review

7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, September 16, 2010
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This review is from: Firebird (The Elemental Masters Fairy Tales) (Mass Market Paperback)
If Ilya Ivanovitch was the hero of a European Fairy Tale, Sleeping Beauty would still be snoozing and Cinderella would spend her days scrubbing floors. The despised middle son of Tzar Ivan spends the entire first third of the book bemoaning his fate and pretending to be a Fool. He finally escapes from his cruel home through the malice of his brothers rather than leaving an impossible situation through his own get-up-and-go.

Ilya stumbles through the second part of the book with the assistance of various birds and animals, which he can hear and speak to through a gift bestowed upon him by the lovely Firebird. Without help, Ilya would have drowned in the lake on his very first day of freedom. With help, the Foolish son makes it through an impassable maze and into the presence of the Firebird, whom he frees from a magical trap. Does Ilya, at this point, realize what a fantastic maiden the Firebird is and sweep her off her feet? Of course not! Having dreamed of or tumbled every pretty maiden he sees up to this juncture, Ilya suddenly decides to ignore the beautiful Firebird in favor of a vain and selfish princess, with whom he falls in love. In a stroke of true irony, the Firebird actually helps Ilya win the hand of the selfish princess. It isn't until after the engagement is announced that Ilya realizes that his princess is less-than-ideal.

In the end, Ilya is saved from a loveless marriage by sheer luck when the princess betrays him with his brother on their wedding day. Having finally gotten it through his thick head that it takes more than good looks to make a good marriage, this not-so-pretend Fool summons the Firebird with the intention of living happily ever after with her. And happily ever after may indeed happen, at least for Ilya, because he gets an amiable wife and a magic kingdom out of the bargain. But pity the poor Firebird who has to spend the rest of her life married to this man. If I were the Firebird, I'd stay single.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 18, 2013 8:32:59 AM PDT
Might I suggest you post a spoiler warning at the top of your review? You've practically given away the entire plot here...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2014 4:39:15 PM PST
Marjorie-Ann says:
To be fair...there has to be a plot in order for it to be spoiled. This book had none.
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