In a Certain Kingdom show

In a Certain Kingdom

Summary: Deathless villains that can’t help dying, idiots who are wiser than kings, and everyone’s favorite pestle-riding hag… Welcome to the perilous land of Slavic myths and legends, a land of wonder and adventure. In a Certain Kingdom is a podcast where storyteller and award-winning fantasy novelist Nicholas Kotar translates and retells Slavic fairy tales and myths, then delves into the symbolic structure of the story. Featuring original music composed by Natalie Wilson.

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  • Artist: Dn. Nicholas Kotar and Ancient Faith Radio
  • Copyright: Dn. Nicholas Kotar and Ancient Faith Ministries


 A Special Announcement! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 03:29

Dn. Nicholas will be taking a brief hiatus from his podcast. Click here to find out what he is working on in the meantime!

 The Wooden Eagle | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 21:54

A certain Tsar collects artisans like trinkets. And what do you think? Of course they all compete for his attention. But once a goldsmith and a carpenter argue so much they nearly come to blows. The Tsar, never one to avoid an exciting opportunity, orders them to create the greatest work of art ever made. The result? Well, a hero's journey, two thwarted executions, a princess in a tower. And a story that is sure to stay with you for a long time. In the analysis section, Deacon Nicholas wonders about creativity and how it can help inner transformation toward the good, the true, and the beautiful.

 Prince Ivan, the Firebird, and Koschei the Deathless | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 23:27

In a variation on a familiar story, Prince Ivan is the only one of his three brothers with the vigilance to find the thief of his father's golden apples. But when he tries to catch the thief - a firebird - he catches nothing but a tail feather. His father, overcome by the feather's beauty, promises riches to the son who brings back the firebird. Ivan repeatedly fails, and only through the help of a speaking wolf can he undertake the most difficult journey of all, through the dark forest of Baba Yaga, ending finally at the battlefield of the most dangerous foe of all: Koschei the Deathless Himself!

 Prince Ivan, the Witch Baby, and the Little Prince of the Sun | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 27:41

Little Prince Ivan was born dumb, and his parents couldn't wait to have another child. Anything was better than a voiceless future Tsar! But you should be careful what you wish for. They did have another child. A girl. But she had iron teeth. And an unfortunate taste for... well, everything! This strange, wonderful story has some of the most unusual and vivid images in all of Russian folklore. Instead of an analysis section, Deacon Nicholas is soliciting your feedback, dear listeners! Do you have any ideas for how to make the analysis section of the podcast better? Let me know!

 Just Like Salt and Baba Yaga | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:33

Today we're happy to share two shorter stories, one called "Just Like Salt" and the other the return of everyone's favorite villain: Baba Yaga. In the analysis section, Deacon Nicholas recommends a wonderful new book that has some fascinating things to say about early Christian poetry and imaginative fictions. Be sure to check out "She Who Loved Much" by Fr Kevin Kalish, from Holy Trinity Publications.

 The Tale of Vasilisa Mikulishna | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 22:22

This week we return to the world of mythical Kiev for another tale of the bogatyrs and... their wives? The Tale of Vasilisa Mikulishna is a wonderfully fun gender-swapping tale that puts masculine and feminine tropes on their head... only to put them all back in glorious order by the end. In the analysis section, Deacon Nicholas offers a real-life example of someone who was conquered by Christ through a life of storytelling.

 The Proud Bride | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 19:41

In "The Proud Bride," we see the classic trope of the shrewish bride who is impossible to marry off (think King Thrushbeard and the Taming of the Shrew) being tamed by a trickster figure of a groom. But this time, it's the Russian fairy tale version. In the analysis, Deacon Nicholas reflects on some of the difficulties of the creative life by reading a wonderful essay by Ivan Ilyin on "A Wasted Day." Sounds depressing, perhaps, but in the beautiful words of Ilyin, it's a truly comforting reminder of the importance of seeking beauty every day.

 The Three Sons Serbian | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 20:46

When a mysterious old woman visits the house of three brothers, unexpected gifts begin to abound. But the greatest gift is sometimes the smallest, least expected thing... In the analysis section, Deacon Nicholas continues his examination of the poetry of St Gregory the Theologian and finds some unexpected insight in a poem... about poetry.

 Ivan the Peasant’s Son | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:18

Ivan, the third son of a peasant family, refuses to be left behind when his brothers go to war against a dragonish monster. And a good thing, too! For his brothers prefer snoring to swordplay. After coming into a land scorched by the attacks of the monster, Ivan becomes the last man standing between the monster and the people of the Rus. But the trouble is, there's not one... but three dragonish monsters! And they have dragon-brides too... And a great dragon-mother, the most dangerous serpent of all... In the analysis section, Deacon Nicholas reads some poetry of St Gregory the Theologian that demonstrates a proper patristic approach to reading the parables of Christ. In his heart-felt poetry, St Gregory begins to reveal something very important about the role of the heart in properly reading stories.

 The Third Son | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 26:48

The Third Son, a Carpatho-Russian fairy tale, starts like the well-known parable of the talents. But this time, we're looking at it from the perspective of the lazy, third son who did nothing with the talent given to him. What happened to that poor son? Well, in this tale, he goes on a transformative journey where his own adventures and redemption ends up saving an entire land from the scourge of dark powers. In the analysis section, Deacon Nicholas begins his apology for imaginative storytelling by setting up several ground rules for his investigation. If you're interested in learning what the Church does or doesn't say about the value of stories, you don't want to miss this episode!

 Season 3 Trailer | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 08:48

After a long wait, In a Certain Kingdom is back! And thanks to the show's patrons, it will now be an ongoing bi-monthly podcast with no limit to the number of episodes. Not only that, but Nicholas Kotar is going to include stories not only from Russia, but from Ukraine, Carpatho-Russia, Georgia, Romania, and maybe a few others. In addition, wonderful composer Natalie Wilson has written new music for this season that is the most beautiful so far! Look for In a Certain Kingdom to return with full length episodes in May.

 The Return of Ilya Muromets | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 19:05

As the Tatar horde lords it over Kiev, Ilya slowly digs himself out of his prison. There is no one else left between Batu-khan and total domination. Batu decides to try to woo Ilya, instead of keeping him imprisoned. But Ilya will have none of it, and Batu orders him to be executed. At the place of execution in the field of Kulikovo, the rebirth of the Rus begins. Be sure to listen to the end of this episode to find out Nicholas Kotar's plans for the future of this podcast.

 Ilya Muromets and Batu Khan | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 13:31

Ilya Muromets's fateful words to Vladimir prove true. A massive army led by the terrifying Batu-Khan approaches Kiev, intent on destroying it and feasting in its streets. Vladimir, in his terror, agrees to let the Tatars into the city, in return for his life. But Ilya Muromets will have none of it. He attacks the army on his own, and almost defeats it singlehandedly. But Batu Khan is a trickster. He has one last trick up his sleeve, and even the great Ilya Muromets may find himself powerless in the end. As Kiev stands on the brink of collapse, betrayed by its own prince, all the people rise up for one final, desperate battle against the foe...

 Ilya Muromets Quarrels with Prince Vladimir | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 15:24

After the untimely death of Sukhmann the young warrior, Ilya Muromets is furious with Vladimir of Kiev. He plans to take revenge on the prince, but Vladimir manages to pacify him for a short time. But the boyars of Kiev are at it again. Jealous of Ilya's preferred position in court, they slander Ilya Muromets to Prince Vladimir. The hot-headed prince does the unthinkable: he imprisons Ilya, just as he did Sukhmann. But a new threat is on the horizon: King Kalin, a new leader of the Tatars. And not a single bogatyr of the Rus remains to protect Kiev the great city . . .

 Sukhmann the Young Warrior | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 13:11

When Sukhmann the young warrior comes to Vladimir's feast, he feels a sudden desire to thank his host with a special gift. A white swan caught with his own two hands. But his hunting does not go at all as he planned. Unexpectedly, he is faced with a new enemy of the Rus. A never-before seen fighting force called the Tatars.


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