In a certain land, in a certain kingdom -- as they say in old Russia -- on the far side of a certain tangled wood, a garden shimmered like a green jewel....
Inside that jewellike garden, an evil wizard named Kostchei the Deathless holds a princess and her nine maidens captive, turning all those who attempt to save them to stone. But help is nearby -- Prince Ivan searching the nearby tangled wood for food, finds the young women and vows to save them. And with some help from the powerful and mischievous Firebird, as well as with much true courage from within, Prince Ivan will slay a horde of demons and Kostchei himself in order to free the damsels.
Jane Yolen's rich, mystical narrative is based on both the well-known Russian folktale and the famous Balanchine/Stravinsky ballet. Enhancing that theme, Vladimir Vagin has created exquisite paintings with a double focus: The folktale takes center stage, while intricate vignettes of the ballet serve as a border. The result is a seamlessly woven multilayered tapestry of story and art that will make this book a treasure for ballet lovers new and old.