Review: Iron Hearted Violet

Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill, read by Simon Vance
Genre: Children’s fiction, Young YA
ISBN: 9780316056731
Published October 9th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Rating: 5
Amazon | Goodreads

The end of their world begins with a story.
This one.

In most fairy tales, princesses are beautiful, dragons are terrifying, and stories are harmless. This isn't most fairy tales.

Princess Violet is plain, reckless, and quite possibly too clever for her own good. Particularly when it comes to telling stories. One day she and her best friend, Demetrius, stumble upon a hidden room and find a peculiar book. A forbidden book. It tells a story of an evil being -- called the Nybbas -- imprisoned in their world. The story cannot be true -- not really. But then the whispers start. Violet and Demetrius, along with an ancient, scarred dragon, may hold the key to the Nybbas's triumph . . . or its demise. It all depends on how they tell the story. After all, stories make their own rules.
Iron Hearted Violet is a story of a princess unlike any other. It is a story of the last dragon in existence, deathly afraid of its own reflection. Above all, it is a story about the power of stories, our belief in them, and how one enchanted tale changed the course of an entire kingdom.

I read a lot of fairy tails as a kid, but never have I read one this profound and unique: an ugly princess, a helpful dragon, a gifted farm-hand, a crazy story-teller, and an evil god trapped in the stones of an ever-changing castle. The language was beautiful and fluid and enchanting, the characters were all unique and special, and the plot itself had me sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time. I never wanted it to end but I was so happy with the conclusion. On top of it all, the audio-book was wonderfully read, full of character and voice, and Simon Vance nailed the personalities of the characters. I have no doubt I will re-read this book eventually, and I am adding Barnhill to my Author Watch list.

Content/Recommendation: Clean and suitable for ages 9-Adult

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