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The Sea King's Daughter: A Russian Legend
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The Sea King's Daughter: A Russian Legend

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Long ago in the river port city of Novgorod the Great, there lived a musician named Sadko. Called daily to the feasts of the city's rich merchants, Sadko would play his twelve-string gusli to the gay dancing of many a fair maiden. But the Maidens were rich and Sadko was poor, and not one it them would think of being his.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Atheneum Books
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really liked it 4.00  · 
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 ·  211 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Sea King

4.5 stars

I would like to thank NetGalley and Skyhook Press for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have always loved reading Russian folktales and when NetGalley offered the timeless classic “The Sea King’s Daughter” by Aaron Shepard along with gorgeous artwork by Gennady Spirin, I was so excited to check this little baby out and I was not disappointed by the results!

Once upon a time, in the city of Novgorod the Great in Russia, there lived a poor but contente
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Book: The Sea King’s Daughter
Author: Aaron Shepard
Publisher: Skyhook Press
Genre: Children’s/ Folk Tales and Legends
Publication Date: December 6, 2010
Rating: Image result for four stars

Image result for the sea king's daughter

*Thank you NetGalley and Random House for a copy of this book in exchange for a review!*

The Low Down:

A tale straight from Russia. Sadko is an amazing musician living in Novgorod, Russia. He loves his music and his city, but he wishes to meet and marry a maiden. However, he is poor and no one will take him. That is, until he is swept to
This Russian story is a bit boring and disappointing because we Americans are always used to the tale of the Little Mermaid having a HEA with her prince unlike the original where she turned into Sea Foam and went to heaven. In this story, Sadko from Novgorod the Great has a HEA of his own while the sea Nymph is left longing for her beloved Sadko. The artwork is beautiful but the story is lacking; a Russian ending indeed.
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sea King’s Daughter- A Russian Legend told by Aaron Shephard and Illustrated by Gennady Spirin is a beautifully told and wonderfully illustrated folk-tale. It takes place in the city of Novgorod, which was the richest port city in medieval Russia. There a young musician named Sadko was called frequently to play his gusli for all the dances but he was too poor for any of the young girls to notice. In despair, Sadko goes to the river to play his music and the Sea King invites him to play for h ...more
The thing about folk tales, done in picture books, is that they should be well written yes, but beautifully illustrated, and this fulfills both categories.

Gorgeously illustrated, with great detail to the Russian folk costume. Just staring at the pictures to see everything that is going on, is a great delight.

Throughly enjoyed this one.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing this book for an honest review.
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
As usual, the illustration by Gennady Spirin was spectacular. The story line was an interesting look into Russian folklore and fairytales. I particularly appreciate the notes at the back of the book which help an American reader like me understand the context of there story. "Music is worth far more than gold. If the world were fair, you would have your fill of riches!"
Izabella (Pages Full of Stars)
"Music is worth far more than gold."

The Sea King's Daughter by Aaron Shepard is a beautifully woven retelling of one of the most known Russian legends.

Sadko, a gifted musician, lives in Novgorod and plays on a different feast each day. He's happy that he can share his music, but he often feels lonely and thinks about whether he will ever find a woman who will love him. One day, as he plays near the river Volkhov, surprised Sadko meets the Sea King who asks him to play at the feast in his under
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is beautifully illustrated and a well told Russian tale.
Candlewick Books
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful book.
I wish I had this book when I was a child, but I had the joy to see my young niece's eyes light up as she saw the illustrations. I was an odd child, one who carried a history book wherever I went, and poured over the illustrations in them. My niece is also a quirky child, and needless to say, this book is meant for the quirky ones.
The illustrations in this story was stunning, vivid and capturing. The oil paints used were able to yield great details that my niece enjoyed
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review, netgalley
Received from NetGalley for review.

The Sea King’s Daughter is a Russian legend that tells the story of Sadko, a poor musician who is unable to find a wife due to his lack of wealth. One night he plays by a river and is visited by the Sea King, who invites him to play at his underground palace, but will he be able to get there and how will he return? Will he even want to return when he sees the King’s daughters?

This was a wonderful reading experience. The story is only short – around thirty pa
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rich illustrations adorn this fairytale. It feels like a fairytale in its narrative style, and its near-miss ending. I also enjoyed the historical information the author included at the end.

Possible Objectionable Material:
A man jumps into the sea and would have drowned were this not a fairytale.

Who Might Like This Book:
Lovers of fairytales and Russian stories.

Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC. This book also reviewed at
Andrea Cain
I love that this is a Russian fairytale and I like that it is not the typical Disney styled fairytale. The book is a bit wordy and wouldn’t recommend it for smaller children and the illustrations are a bit in depth and dark. There are no bright colors and that is why I would not recommend it for younger children. This book does have a good fairytale story.
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fairy tale not quite following the usual recipe, which was refreshing to read. Beyond that, it's a book filled with stunningly beautiful art!
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
well-told story with gorgeous illustrations
In medieval times, the city of Novgorod the Great, there is a poor musician who sits by the river Volkhov playing his music and longing for love. He is often called upon by the rich to perform. His payment for music is "eat all the food you want"and is given a few coins. One day as he is playing by the river, the Sea King appears and invites him to his palace to play his music. The Sea King gives him a gold fish in payment before he goes to play his music for him. When he does go down and plays ...more
Jenna Mills
Beautiful illustrations. Confusing how it was never explained how he could breathe under water.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting legend. I find it interesting what’s included in legends from other countries. Wow.
Morgan Sohl
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
beautiful story and amazing illustrations
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Russian folktale retold, with stunningly beautiful illustrations.
Kali Hilliard
4-6; modern fantasy; Beautiful love story between a man, his country, and a woman. It provides an astounding lesson on making the right decisions. Could be easily used in a Christian school about how God has a plan for us, and even though we hate to give some things up, his plan provides us with more than we could ever ask for in the long run!
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a NetGalley copy in exchange for an honest review.
This was an an enjoyable Russian Fairytale that I had not yet heard of, and I love Fairytales of all sorts and from all places.
It was shorter than I had expected, though that was by no means a bad thing. It meant that I didn't know when or how it was going to end.
The writing was perfect for the story; it would be easy for children to understand but would be equally as good if it were read by an adult; there was nothing simple or childi
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Sea King’s Daughter is a lovely Russian tale about a famous legendary figure, Sadko, a merchant-musician who finds himself playing for the Sea King in his deep-sea kingdom. Delighted by his music, the Sea King offers him one of his daughters in marriage. Torn between his love for Novgorod, his hometown, and the promise of love from this beautiful princess, Sadko must decide which world he wants to live in.

This reedition is a beautiful picture book. Not only are the illustrations beautiful an
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sea King's Daughter: A Russian Legend (Paperback)
by Aaron Shepard
This is a beautiful book, the art work is amazing. I found the story sad and complicated as all Russian folk lore, that the hero gets the girl but looses her to some tradition or ideal. He spends the rest of his life longing for what he has lost. In this he is able to forge a life for himself without his love, as he morns the loss.
J.M. Knight
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
I chose this book because of the interesting cover. It is not usually a book I would chose so I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. The illustrations are beautiful and unique and could pass for the classic paintings in museums. The story reminded me a bit of the story of Persephone but with merfolk with other legends and fairy tales adding elements.

I received a copy from netgalley.
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Aaron Shepard's version of The Sea King’s Daughter (Russian Legend) is truly beautiful to read and look at. It tells the story of Sadko, a poor musician who plays the gusli. He plays at many parties and festivals but he is unable to get any of the fine women to look at him outside of the event due to his lack of wealth. One night he plays by the River Volkhov and laments that if it were a woman, he would marry her. Suddenly a figure arises from the river, the Sea King, who invites him to play at ...more
I enjoy folktales and sharing them with my classes. One of the biggest issues I gave with folktale retellings is when a tale brings me out of my willful suspension of disbelief. Sometimes the issue is with something seeming to be incomplete. Sometimes, the issue is more a matter of sense--as in, it doesn't make sense for a character to do something. Reading folktales to kids tends to bring these kinds of issues to the forefront. I suspect that this retelling will bring some serious questions fro ...more
Paul Franco
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
A poor musician in Russia loves his city but is lonely, cuz girls—or their families—only care about money. The Sea King hears him playing and invites him to give a royal recital, but he has to find his own way to the underwater kingdom, which is the hard part. But it’s the artwork that is vastly more important here than the actual story.
The illustrations are said to be done in “fairy-tale realism,” which sounds awesome. They do come off as dreamy; even the title page has the city walls on all fo
Wayne McCoy
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
'The Sea King's Daughter: A Russian Legend' by Aaron Shepard and illustrated by Gennady Spirin is a wonderfully told and illustrated story from another time and place.

Sadko loves to play his twelve-strig gusli. He's good so he gets invited to play at feasts. He also like to play beside the River Vokhov that runs through his town of Novgorod. This is what leads him to meet the Kind of the Sea, and eventually his daughter. The rest you will have to find out for yourself.

It's a beautiful story told
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a really cool Russian legendary story about the merchant- musician Sadko. The musician would play for the sea and one day the King of the Sea came and asked him to play. The queen whispered what he needed know and the princess let him free. But he lived to be a rich man with a family and wife.
I'd be interested to know if there is a American tale of this too.
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a gorgeous book. While this is an old Russian legend, the rich art makes this feel as if it was published a long time ago and not in this current lifetime. Gennady Spirin's illustrations are so detailed that you can see the texture of the tapestry and fabrics worn by background characters -- meaning the artist's fine touch goes from page corner to page corner and doesn't slack anywhere.

It's clear that author Aaron Shepard loves researching long ago tales and shaping them afresh for our con
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Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of numerous children's books, as well as books on reader's theater, children's writing, and publishing. He lives with his wife and fellow author, Anne L. Watson, in Bellingham, Washington.