This was the first of Lackey's books that I read, and to this day it remains my favorite. The story is fairly simple, and the motivated reader can probably get through it in one or two sittings. While in most books this probably wouldn't add to the story, it works for Firebird, because from the first couple pages, Lackey draws the reader into a unique world, with an ambience all its own. I also fell in love with the characters. Ilya is likeable, but he's also a typical boy of that age: generally good-hearted, but also honest in his desires. The people around him are unique and have quirks all their own, and they come to life on the page. I must have read Firebird seven or eight times by now, and I'm still not tired of it. I fell in love with it back before I became jaded by what the technical details of a fantasy novel should be, and whenever I read it, it reminds me why I love reading in the first place: I love hearing a good story. It will always remain one of my favorite books, and I'm enthusiastically giving it five stars.
Mercedes Lackey spews out yet another excellent novel...
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 19 years ago
Being the ballet fanatic that I am, I expected the story of the Firebird to be similar to that of the ballet, and recieved a pleasant surprise when I found that there were several very interesting deviations. For example, they made it much more difficult from Ilya to get to the magician's soul (in this case his heart) which definitely made it more interesting. The beginning dragged a little, but as Ilya left his home and went out on his own, the story took on a completely new atmosphere, and it picked up from there. I definitely would recommened this to anyone looking for a good fantasy book to drown themselves in.
More than OK
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 20 years ago
Mercedes Lackey is one of todays greatest fantasy writers and this book continues her legacy of great writing. Set in the middle of Russia, the story takes on a magical essence as more and more fables creatures come to life. The reader is honestly transported to another time and place where everything tempts the senses.Not only are there fantastical settings but Ilya, the main character, is fascinating. He's full of charm, witt, and most importantly kindness which has the reader cheering him on. He continues from one adventure to the next climaxing with a powerful wizard in a magnificent story.In all it is a beautiful story. Some readers do not appreciate the fact it has a "happily ever after" ending. Yet this ending is still refreshing and after all....it is a fairy tale.
A light and wonderful retelling
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 21 years ago
The Firebird was my first book by Mercedes Lackey and it was a wonderful introduction to her unique attention to detail and readability. The original fairy tale was full of cliches-- the beautiful but bland princess, the heroic young prince, talking animals and unlikely happenings. Lackey transforms these into a full-bodied and enchanting (though not very realistic) fairy tale set in a Russia filled with perilous magical beasts and sorcerers. One of Lackey's greatest talents is embellishing, and the many descriptions in The Firebird add to the charm and semi-believable fairy tale background. I loved the twist of the ending-- a just-right departure from the Grimm version. If you like the Russian mythology and ambiance in The Firebird, Josepha Sherman's The Shining Falcon is definitely worth the find to read.
One of the absolute best books I've ever read!!!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 22 years ago
What I love about this book is that it has reality and fantasy all in one book. It's on our earth and in a country that we all know of. Yet it brings us to know about magic. Russian magic and all their beliefs about it. At the same time it is a fairytale but in a more grown up way. I really love this book. I could not put it down, I was screaming with the characters and so forth. You really get taken into the story and you really start to love the main character in the book.
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