From the flying and farce of the first part of [The Adventures of Strong Vanya], as Vanya's brothers try to provoke him to speech and Vanya tries to lift the roof to prove his strength, the author moves to a swifter, broader narrative as the hero travels through cold and heat, tangling with Baba Yaga, riding for a time with the Knights of Kiev and coming finally to a palace where the fair Vasilissa awaits him—and an old ruler who is strangely familiar. Romantic, comic, energetic and fantastic by turns, this is a fascinating plait of Russian folk tales and legends.
Margery Fisher, "'The Adventures of Strong Vanya'," in her Growing Point, Vol. 9, No. 4, October, 1970, p. 1604.