Firebird | Modern Interpretations

The story of Firebird and its themes have appeared in literature and other forms of art. This page provides a small discussion of some of the better known treatments by authors and other artists.

Modern Interpretations

Firebird by Susanna Kearsley Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

Kearsley, Susanna. The Firebird. New York: Tor Books, 1996. Buy the book in ebookhardcover, or paperback.


Two Women. 
One Mysterious Relic.
Separated By Centuries.

Nicola Marter was born with a gift so rare and dangerous, she kept it buried deep. When she encounters a desperate woman trying to sell a small wooden carving called "The Firebird," claiming it belonged to Russia's Empress Catherine, it's a problem. There's no proof.

But Nicola's held the object. She knows the woman is telling the truth.

Beloved by readers as varied and adventurous as her novels, you will never forget spending time in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Susanna Kearsley's world.

Prince Ivan by Peter MorwoodFirebird by Peter MorwoodThe Golden Horde by Peter MorwoodPrince Ivan by Peter MorwoodFirebird by Peter MorwoodThe Golden Horde by Peter Morwood

Morwood, Peter. Prince Ivan. New York: Legend, 1993. Buy the book in ebook or paperback.

Morwood, Peter. Firebird. New York: Legend, 1993. Buy the book in ebook or paperback.

Morwood, Peter. The Golden Horde. New York: Legend, 1993. Buy the book in ebook or paperback.


These books are available in ebook format from Morwood's site at Prince IvanFirebird, and The Golden Horde.


NOVEL: A trilogy featuring the Firebird tale. Description for the second book, Firebird:

In the dark winter of 1235 the Teutonic Knights are plotting a crusade against Russia. Their secret weapon is the foul witch Baba Yaga, out for revenge against her old enemy, Ivan, Prince of Khorlov.

In his second spectacular fantasy adventure in the lands of Old Russia, Prince Ivan finds himself battling against civil war at home, foreign invaders, the dreadful powers of the Inquisition, and the soured magic of an evil old woman.

But Ivan is not without allies. And the forces arrayed against him soon discover that they may have miscalculated when they find themselves up against not only Ivan and the forces of Khorlov, but a cranky sorceress-wife who may or may not be pregnant, a fabulous and deadly bird with its own agenda... and Volk Volkhovitch, the opposite of a werewolf.


Firebird by Mercedes Lackey Firebird by Mercedes Lackey

Lackey, Mercedes. Firebird. New York: Tor Books, 1996. Buy the book in ebookhardcover, or paperback.

NOVEL: From "Mercedes Lackey never puts a foot wrong in this confident, funny fairy-tale adaptation. Tsar Ivan has eight sons; all are brutes like himself except for happy-go-lucky, least-favored Ilya. Cast out through the machinations of his jealous, competitive brothers, Ilya stumbles onto an enchanted castle, distressed damsels, a garden of questing princes turned to stone, and the secret of the shapeshifting woman called the Firebird. In love with a captive princess, Ilya enlists the Firebird and a charming, crafty vixen to help him battle the sorcerer. But is settling down with a princess what "happily ever after" really means?"

The Cygnet and the Firebird by Patricia A. McKillip

McKillip, Patricia A. The Cygnet and the Firebird. New York: Ace Books, 1993. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

NOVEL: From Kirkus Reviews through "Not quite a sequel to The Sorceress and the Cygnet (1991), but set in the same intriguing fantasy world, and with some of the characters in common. Meguet, cousin of the sorceress Nyx, stands guard outside a council meeting at Ro Holding when a powerful sorcerer gains entry to the chamber. Although lacking magic herself, Meguet somehow is able to resist the sorcerer's spell--as is Nyx. The sorcerer, Rad Ilex, is searching for an ancient object of enormous magical power hidden, unsuspected, somewhere in the castle. But Nyx will not let Rad search without knowing what it is he hopes to find. Later, a magical firebird arrives, his fiery breath transforming people and things into jeweled trees, his outcries painful to hear. Then, in the moonlight, the firebird regains human shape, as his victims regain their forms. He is Brand, and--though he remembers little- -heir to the remote kingdom Saphier, which is ruled by his half- dragon father, Draken. Rad, returning, fights with Brand, is wounded, and flees, taking Meguet with him. Nyx, meanwhile, locates Rad's object: a magical key that contains the spells of the supremely powerful dead mage, Chrysom. So Nyx must travel to Saphier to find Meguet and resolve the mysteries of who ensorcelled Brand, why Rad and Draken are enemies, and what Rad and Draken really want, the latter apparently intent on awakening all the dragons slumbering in the eerie magical desert, Luxour."

In the Forests of Serre by Patricia A. McKillip

McKillip, Patricia A. In the Forests of Serre. New York: Ace, 2003. Buy the book in hardcover or paperback.

NOVEL: "In the tales of World Fantasy Award-winning author Patricia McKillip, nothing is ever as it seems. A mirror is never just a mirror; a forest is never just a forest. Here, it is a place where a witch can hide in her house of bones and a prince can bargain with his heart...where good and evil entwine and wear each others' faces...and where a bird with feathers of fire can quench the fiercest longing... "

Firebird by R. Garcia y Robertson

Robertson, R. Garcia y. Firebird. New York: Tor Books, 2006. Buy the book in hardcover.

NOVEL: From "In the fantastic land of Markovy east of Europe, in the Iron Wood filled with werewolves and other unpleasant creatures, in the house of the dreaded Bone Witch, lives a young orphan girl named Aria. Her life is changed forever when a foreign knight, Sir Roye de Roye, enters the forest pursued by enemies, carrying with him the most precious artifact of the kingdom, the egg of the Firebird. Aria saves him and falls in love with him, and it becomes her mission in life to restore the egg to the firebirds nest. And so she and her knight set out on a wonderful quest, filled with spectacle, romance, and hairs-breadth escapes, to save the land and find a life together."

Yershov, Pyotr Pavlovich. The Little Humpback Horse.

Cooke, Rose Terry "Blue-Beard's Closet." Poems. 1861.

Read the poem on this site at Blue-Beard's Closet.

I have listed primarily classical compositions of music using the themes of this fairy tale in either ballet, opera or some other musical style. I have also provided links to popular recordings of the music when available at The advantage to these links is that you can listen to samples of the music at no charge.


Stravinsky: The Firebird (Complete Ballet); Fireworks; Song of the NightingaleStravinsky: The Firebird  and Borodin: Prince IgorFirebird in Full Score (Original 1910 Version) by Igor Stravinsky


Stravinsky, Igor. "The Firebird Suite." 1910.

BALLET. Read more about it on Wikipedia: The Firebird.

To learn more about these films, please visit the
Internet Movie Database.


The Fantasia Anthology

"The Firebird." Fantasia 2000 (2000).

None so far!


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