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Gamayun Tales Vol.1: The King of Birds
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Gamayun Tales Vol.1: The King of Birds

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  130 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Enter a world of magic and adventure in this stunningly illustrated comic based on traditional Russian folklore and myth.

The King of Birds has victoriously defeated the King of Animals, but he is left gravely injured. He promises a merchant a great reward if he can nurse him back to health. Upon his recovery, they travel far across the land to the domains of the King’s thr
Hardcover, 72 pages
Published 2018 by Nobrow
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  130 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Haven't really encountered anything published by Nobrow that's outright bad, but this is a little short. It was short but sweet, though it still felt like more could have been fitted into this graphic novel. I've read picture books published by Nobrow that feel more fulfilling than the King of Birds in 32 pages.

However, since it is short, I am looking forward to the next instalment!
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fast-paced, beautifully illustrated Russian folktales about loyalty, gratitude, family, and commitment that feel more hard-won than sentimentally-assumed.
Dean Simons
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There is often a worry I have when I read comics based on folklore and fairy tale that the adaptation will come across as clunky and stilted, that the illustration be flat and the story just a rigid skeleton ill-prepared for words and panels.

Thankfully this is gorgeous and I look forward to the second volume.
Kendall H
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This felt like an old tale being retold - which was the intent. The illustrations have an old-school feel to them, and the narrator conveys that traditional oral storytelling vibe. This story is simple - I could share it with my kids - and the "cliffhanger" sneaked up on me. I can't wait for the next one.
Aaron Flowers
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This volume is nothing short of fun, and so well paced my interest didn’t lapse for a single panel. And the art! So spot on, lends itself incredibly well to the fairytale realm—Golden Book era nostalgia ahoy.
An enjoyable story, and one with good art, but it feels a bit too short and simple. Also, there is a sort of misogynist tone to it (the older sister's are punished for not being immediately subservient to a request (the import of which is unclear)) that I'm sure is reflective of the original tale, but still feels a bit off. I was surprised that it is based on a Russian tale since the art seems like it is going for a sort of African vibe. I'm left really wondering what is in the box and hoping to ...more
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Childrens graphic novel-- fantasy. As soon as I opened this book, I suspected it was from another country. Sure enough it is a Slavic tale published from the UK. The artwork has a vintage look to it that goes with the mythological/ folk tale feeling. A young bird starts a war of the animals when his friend mouse doesn't share the golden apple. The king of the birds is injured in battle, and nursed back to health by a merchant and his wife. The king of the birds wishes to repay the merchant for h ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stunning art and a beautiful retelling of Russian folklore. The story meanders along in a pleasant fashion, creating the sense of someone reading it to you (complete with narrator interjections). There are one or two points where the narrator promises the full story in a further volume, which is a little frustrating and makes me wish that this was a compilation of tales instead of just one, but not enough that I minded too much. A short, yet beautiful read.
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story is simple as in many folk tales, but with a moral lesson and it will warm your heart. The most unique part of The King of Birds is the art. Dynamic sketch-like drawings with vibrant colors, that will pop out from every page. Last but not least – book design, cotton spine, amazing paper. Don't expect epic fantasy on 900 pages, this is comic and you should enjoy every frame, every page. Looking forward for the next volume.
Dakota Morgan
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
The King of Birds is a beautiful and enchanting adaptation of a piece of Russian folklore. Alexander Utkin's art alone is worth the price of admission. The narrative is notably crunched because Utkin is planning to spread the entire story over several volumes - it's safe to say that's the only bad part of this graphic novel, the fact that I don't have the second and third volume at hand right now.
May 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I really liked the modern telling of an old folk story and particularly enjoyed the narroration.
Most of the artwork was good, but the illustrator was clearly cribbing some Disney's Lion King for a portion of the story- unless Disney managed to crib his work prior to that film- it wouldn't be the first time that had happened.
I really appreciated the novelty of this book and loved the art. But. This has the air of a trickster tale or a fable. The point of the story often lies in the outcome, and since this is part of a series, there was no ending. No moral. It kind of fell flat for me when it just ended, with a "tune in next time."
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The art of this graphic novel feels heavily influenced by 40s and 50s Disney animation-it’s vivid and gorgeous and a bit retro. The story is fast-paced and engaging, but oh the cliffhangers! Feels almost like a marvel/DC tale that you know will pick up in the next issue.
Renato Pequito
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quick read and it's one of those books that makes you want to read the sequel right after. Based on Russian folklore it was a refreshing tale that I had never heard about before. The artwork is beautiful and the story is compelling. Can't wait for the next one.
Bethany Langley
Mostly I’m mad because I didn’t think this looked good at all, but now I have to read the second one and find out what happens 💁
Karen W
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Comic based on a Russian folktale with gorgeous illustrations? Consider me signed up for the next instalment!
Kelly Dashiell
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fun and awesome art!!
Meag McKeron
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I appreciated the artwork, but I wanted to know more about the actual folktales. A quick note at the end with good books/online resources to read more about the tales featured would have been helpful.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully illustrated first installment of a lengthier Russian folktale. Nicely paced and well-told, but it ends a bit abruptly.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Beautiful art and engaging story, but I was hoping for more conclusion and less cliff hanger.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Painterly, colorful illustrations, interwoven stories based on folk tales and myths. A good choice for pre-teen/middle school readers. A little too brief...I would have liked more narrative.
Liz Yerby
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nice but a quick read
Beautifully drawn, and written in the style of a folk-tale, King of The Birds is an easy to follow story. Could be longer and more developed.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, comics, animals
3.5. I didn't like that narration very much, due to its tone and sometimes odd twists in direction. But the art is lovely and the story, playing from Russian folklore, is fairly exciting.
Matthew Archibald
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a beautifully illustrated, interesting folk tale in graphic format. If you are a fan of both (or either) folktales and graphic novels, I suspect you will like this book.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Labyrinthian and gorgeously illustrated, with a clever, winking humor and storytelling style that is so needed and sometimes rare in retellings of traditional folktales.
Carla A
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
The art is nice but over all just average.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Picked this up by chance from the library and really enjoyed it. Lovely art and an intriguing way of telling Russian folklore.
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