Vasilisa the Beautiful is a classic Russian folktale of a girl who is sent out to get a fire from an evil witch Baba Yaga. Along the way Vasilisa is being helped by a magic wooden doll given to her by her mother.
Vasilisa is of Greek origin and mean “Queen”. Its use was inspired by a third-century Christian child martyr, Vasilisa, and several other early saints who are venerated by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. It was the name of several early princesses. Today the name is also associated with a fairy tale princess because of its frequent use in Russian fairy tales. The princess Vasilisa Prekrasnaya (Vasilisa the Beautiful) or Vasilisa the Wise is a stock character in Russian fairy tales, including The Frog Tsarevna and Vasilisa The Beautiful. The character often rises in status from a peasant girl to the wife of a prince or is a princess who marries the hero after helping him to accomplish difficult tasks. Unlike other fairy tale heroines who wait to be rescued, Vasilisa often accomplishes a series of tasks that help her defeat the villain of the story. In the tales, the character is also usually a successful housekeeper, which helps her win the love of the prince. Vasilisa is also the name of a character in the book series The Vampire academy by Richelle Mead. In the series, Vasilisa Dragomir is a princess and best friend to the protagonist and narrator, Rose Hathaway.