Gamayun Tales I

An Anthology of Modern Russian Folk Tales

Publisher: Nobrow

Gamayun, the magical human-faced bird of Slavic mythology, narrates this vibrant and luxurious graphic novel for younger readers. Three classic folk tales intertwine in an anthologised version of Utkin’s original trilogy: The King of Birds, The Water Spirit and Tyna of the Lake.

The adventure begins with a magic apple, a mouse, a sparrow and an argument which starts a bitter war between the kingdom of animals and the kingdom of birds. Emerging victorious but wounded, the King of Birds is found by a merchant who nurses him back to health. As a reward, the merchant is flown through magical kingdoms and offered gifts beyond imagining. However, he fails to heed the warnings offered to him and his hubris leads to him promising his first born to an evil water spirit.

The latter stories follow the merchant’s son as he seeks to escape the clutches of the water spirit. Along the way he is aided by the spirit’s daughter – a magical spirit who can transform her appearance.

Alexander Utkin’s blue, orange and yellow-dominated visuals are both painterly and modern, and the stories they complement are magical and full of the strangeness of the original fairytales that inspired them.

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