Publisher's Note:  

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.

Iron Hearted Violet

by Kelly Barnhill

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Overall Review:  

Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill is an original fairy tale with soul.  This middle grade fantasy has two likeable main characters:  Violet, a not beautiful, but strong princess and Demetrius, a likeable and loyal stable boy.  The voicing is lyrical and classical in style and would probably lend itself well to a read-aloud.  (However, the book is a bit lengthy for a read aloud.)  Complementing the narration are illustrations by Iacopo Bruno, some of which have a slight manga-feel.  Iron Hearted Violet is a fresh fantasy that is highly recommended for ages 9+, with an emphasis on the plus.  A younger reader can enjoy the tale of evil and dragons, but there are layered themes and symbols for a discerning older reader.  Elegant storytelling!  Iron Hearted Violet is just the right kind of story to get lost in!

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  2 religious exclamations; 1 mild obscenity.


Violence/Gore: Stories told about gods, mythical creatures, and their wars; report of death in childbirth; character is stabbed with a knife; character held at sword point, drawing blood; brief skirmish with swords, report of deaths, but no details; a character's hand is injured, no details; report of a skirmish; report of death by fire; report of character being knocked unconscious; frightening scene involving magic; character is shot with arrow, very little detail, but a mention of blood; fantasy creature is cut in half (but regenerates); battle against fantasy creatures with biting and hitting, no details; character falls and is injured; battle with fantasy creature with sword; death of a fantasy creature.


Sex/Nudity:  None

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None noted

Reviewed By Cindy
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