This week, I had the exciting news that the fantastic Lorinda Taylor, author of The Termite Queen, wrote a really great piece about the rusalka, a creature from Slavic folklore, featuring Konstantin’s Gifts as part of the analysis! Read it here.
In Konstantin’s Gifts, I took the idea of the rusalka, which in folklore is primarily an aquatic entity (rather like a cross between Peg Powler, Jenny Greenteeth or grindylows of English folklore, and a siren), and extrapolated the idea of rusalki that could be connected to other elements. In my case, one of my characters becomes part fire rusalka. I had such fun, creating a new mythology and folkloric setting of stories and rumours relating to the nature of the fire rusalka.
Other semi-recent works featuring the rusalka include C.J. Cherryh’s Rusalka, which was set far earlier in Russian history, during the period of the Kievan Rus (and which I’ll confess I haven’t read…. yet!) and Dvorak’s opera. Here’s the justly celebrated aria, “Song to the Moon” from Mr. D’s work–a lovely, lyrical, wistfully yearning piece. This version features Lucia Popp (the chorus comes at about 1:24, and I suggest you wait for it… it gets me every time):