Firebird by Mercedes Lackey

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            Ilya, son of a Russian prince, is largely ignored by his father and tormented by his larger, older brothers.  His only friends are three old people: a priest, a magician, and a woman who toils in the palace dairy.  From them Ilya learns faith, a smattering of magic, and the power of love--all of which he will need desperately, for his life is about to be turned upside-down.
            The prince's magnificent cherry orchard is visited at midnight by the legendary Firebird, whose wings are made of flame.  Ilya's brothers' attempts capture the magical creature fail.  When Ilya tries to catch the Firebird, he sees her as a beautiful woman and earns a magical gift:  the speech of animals. 
            Banished, the young man journeys through a fantastical Russia full of magical mazes, enchanted creatures, and untold dangers.  As happens in the best fairy tales, Ilya falls in love with an enchanted princess, but to win her freedom will be no easy task. 

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About Mercedes Lackey

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Fantasy fiction author Mercedes Lackey was born in Chicago on June 24, 1950, and she received a B.S. from Purdue University in 1972. She is also a professional lyricist and has rehabilitated raptors. Lackey started writing her own short stories when her favorite science fiction and fantasy authors weren't producing new books fast enough for her. She began writing professionally with the encouragement of author C.J. Cherryh, whom Lackey had met at a science fiction convention. Many of Lackey's books, including the Queen's Own trilogy, the Vows and Honor series, and the Last Herald-Mage and Mage Winds trilogies, take place in the imaginary world of Valdemar. She has authored numerous series, including the Bardic Voices series and a series of occult mysteries featuring Diana Tregarde, a modern-day witch. Lackey enjoys collaborating and has co-written books with authors such as C.J. Cherryh, Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mark Shepherd, and Ru Emerson. Her title Redoubt made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.
Published January 8, 2008 by Tor Books. 352 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Taking a vacation from the Vale, the setting of her popular fantasy trilogies (Last Herald-Mage, Mage Winds and Mage Storms), Lackey draws inspiration for her resonant new novel from classic Russian folktales.

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