The Firebird by Julia Gousseva
This is a great story with a wonderful message within that being a good person maybe more beneficial to yourself. If only my neighbour Dieter would listen. In Firebird: Adventure One we first encounter Alex and Katie as they get to go over to Aunt Karina's house, which they assume will be thoroughly boring. How wrong they were! There's a magical painting which is a portal to another land where a firebird lives. They go into this land to fetch a feather that they hope will heal their aunt's leg, unfortunately they disobey their aunt's rules and get into a situation with the grumpy and slightly evil, Baba Yaga. This is a wonderfully told story with a light, descriptive narrative that really makes you feel you're in this magical place. Combined with the moral, this is a great bedtime story. Five stars!
There's something in this story that just reminds me of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and it's not just how our protagonists Alex and Katie enter the magical world - through a golden frame in this book, which is rather novel and highly inventive - or that there's a witch there - though she's more grumpy than evil - however, I can't quite seem to put my finger on it. I shall have to ask my slugs what they think. The story is also novel as it comes across as quite realistic even though it's set in a fantasy world and it's filled with many logical solutions - the wearing of glasses for one. I guess that's the message within, that most things can be explained by reason rather than the supernatural? Well, that's my interpretation.
The writing is crisp and nicely detailed and will give the reader a clear impression of the world they're encountering. Overall, this is highly recommended and I can't wait to read the author's other books.
P.S. And yes, dragons are animals too and so shouldn't be harmed! Jellybean the Dragon would wholeheartedly agree with that statement.
Choosing books worthy enough to be read and reviewed by Elias Zapple.