a Young Adult Novel by Sophie Masson

Hodder Headline (Sydney, NSW), June 2001
Paperback $16.95
isbn 0-7336-1307-1

Ivan and Tamara have known each other since they were small. They are in love, but Tamara is promised to another. There’s only one way they will be able to stay together. They must find the precious and exotic firebird. Based on the Russian fairytale “Prince Ivan, the Grey Wolf and the Firebird”.

The Firebird is a spellbinding story set in the splendours and savageries of old Russia. Ivan, son of the powerful and greedy Tsar Demyan, and Tamara, daughter of the gentle King Djoti, have known each other since they were small, and are in love. But Tamara has been promised to Ivan's eldest half-brother, Yuri, a rough and brutal man who delights in making Ivan's life a misery.

On the night of Yuri's engagement to Tamara, Ivan, griefstricken, slips out of the palace and into the gardens. Tamara joins him, and in the moonlight they are amazed to see a rare firebird come feast on a golden apple, then fly away. But as they stand there in delight, Igor sees them together and promptly tells the tsar that Ivan and Tamara are betraying him.

The tsar flies into a rage, and when Ivan and Tamara explain that they were gazing at a firebird, they are not believed. But when they all step into the gardens, they see that the bird has dropped one of its precious feathers...

This sends the tsar into an obsessive hunt for the bird, so that he can show it off with the rest of his exotic pets. He promises half the kingdom to whoever can find the bird, and everyone who is anyone joins in the search.

For Ivan and Tamara, this is their one chance to be together at last. Will they find the firebird and will love triumph in the end?

'[Masson] convincingly proves that reworked, traditional literature remains a potent feast for the imagination and naturally effective bedrock for fantasy writing.' Viewpoint

The Firebird cover art

Eidolon Publications 1995-2005

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