Russian Folk Tales

The Twelve Months (illustration n.1)

I’m working on a series of illustrations for my portfolio. I choose a couple of fairy tales. This is the first illustration of the russian tales titled The Twelve Months. I struggling so much on this series but the story is very magical so i’m incredible happy.


this is a really fun series in Russian of traditional folk tales from Russia as well as ethnic minorities in Russia and its surrounding neighbours. they often include dialect items and pronunciation variations from that region in the story too which is cool.

this is my little sister’s favourite one because it includes a fat Ukrainian catfish who only eats salo. 


A bit of Soviet animation in the blog: this is Snegurochka from The Snow Maiden, 1952 (directed by I. Ivanov-Vano)

The Snow Maiden is based on the traditional Russian tale about a girl made of  snow, who tried to live among normal people. The tale ends unhappily: Snegurochka melts from warmth of a fire (or love, in different versions). 


Conte du Coq d’or, Pouchkine.1910.
Skazka o zolotom petouchke, Aleksandr Sergeevič Puskin.(1799-1837).
Source : BnF.

Illustrations by Ivan Bilibin.(1876-1942).

SPN Fic Rec with caveats

I think this fic needs more hits, kudos and comments:

Samuel Winchester and the Death of Azazel the Deathless
By ninsurhag (Ao3)
Words: 28,514 (flows/reads quickly)

I get that this story may not be to everyone’s taste. That this isn’t what they expect or want from their Wincest. But I liked this a lot, and it brought tears to my eyes twice.

I liked it because I have 40 years of studying and loving fairy tales to my name, but I’ve only been reading SPN fanfic (like a ravenous beast) for just 4 months. The thing with most tellings of the old tales is that they are not subtle. They have little subtext or subplot. They are straightforward and you know how they will end. The differences are in how you get there. Which set of three tries the hero gets and who helps them along the way.

While I might have constructive feedback for this author if they asked, I think this is very much worth reading…if you love the modern tale of two brothers in love, but also love the old tales, the cadence and the bluntness of them. (If not, you might find it a little flat.) If you set yourself to the right headspace, with the right expectations, this story carries you along nicely, with only a few bumps along the way.

Vera Pavlova - Koliada 

Koliada was a pre-Christian winter festival later incorporated into Christmas. On the night from 6th to 7th January (Orthodox Christmas) evil spirit were believed to be active. People disguised and strolled from house to house with songs asking hosts for food. Also people used to tell fortunes on this night.

ACOWAR References

I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite references in ACOWAR because it really does make the story way more fun! (These are mostly my own observations/ideas and nothing too official). 

I’ll add more tomorrow when I have time… but off the top of my head I remember:

  • Koeschi: probably from the Russian folk tale Koschei the Deathless
  • Stryga: the same name as that main chimera on Notre Dame!
  • Vassa: a reference to the Russian folk tale The Firebird and Princess Vasilia (although her story also sounds like it’s blended with Swan Lake). So that would mean that Koeschi is her kidnapper…
  • I got serious Exodus vibes from Nephelle’s story
  • Lord Thanatos. lol
  • Thesan, the Etruscan Goddess of dawn
  • the Morrigan (which still makes me so happy)
  • Andromache
  • pretty sure Azriel is named after Azrael, the Angel of Death
  • Madja the healer: I read about an ancient Egyptian archeological site where they found a healer’s body and named her Madja but maybe that’s a total coincidence
  • not sure if Dagdan is a reference to The Dagda but that was my first thought… especially the association with the cauldron
  • Idk if Elain is a reference to the Arthurian legend where Elaine the Fair (or The Lady of Shallott if you’re an Anne of Green Gables fan) dies of unrequited love… but that kind of fits.
  • the Myrmidons: I’m taking this in the Achilles context
  • Eris, the Greek goddess of discord
  • I think the Illyrian stuff is obvious but there’s that
  • Helion’s probably a form of Helios, the Titan god of the sun
  • I totally googled this after a certain plot point: Lucien means “light/illumination” and that’s rather fitting haha. He’s also a prince in Persian mythology buuut I don’t think that really fits.
  • the Naga
  • And this is old news but still makes me sad when people don’t know it, so: the ancient Scottish ballad of Tam Lin
  • Ouroboros!
  • and then there are the obvious influences in earlier books of Beauty & the Beast, Hades/Persephone, Cinderella (with how she had to pick the lentils out of the fireplace before she could go to the “ball” in ACOTAR), East of the Sun West of the Moon, etc…

Ok I feel like I’m forgetting a ton and I know I’ve read about a Brannagh before, so let me think on a few and add more later! I just love mythology and how many reference Maas can throw into one book.