The end of their world begins with a story.
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.
©2012 Kelly Barnhill (P)2012 Hachette Audio
I chose this after enjoying Barnhill's The Witch's Boy. Like that novel, the author takes common fantasy elements: princess, a dragon, a foolish king, an evil entity bound to take over the universe (or multiverse, in this case). But Barnhill turns the cliches on their heads with a pair of young surprising heroes and a dragon who may or may not want to help them.
The theme, Love can make anyone a Hero. It is beautifully narrated and written; loved every minute of both reading and listening. I am now purchasing the printed book to give as holiday gifts. This book is sure to be a classic all children (and grandparents :) should read/listen to.
Devourer of all books fantasy
I listened to this on audiobook. It was an okay fairy tale about how being ugly on the outside doesn’t mean you are an ugly person. I had some issues with the story and the narration.
I listened to this on audiobook and wasn't a huge fan of the narrator. All the women's voices sounded like men with clogged up throats.
This was a fairy tale like fantasy about Violent, an ugly young princess, who gets drawn in by an evil banished God. As a result she almost destroys the kingdom in her search for beauty. It's also the story about a King obsessed with a Dragon.
It is interesting how a storyteller narrates the whole story. I enjoyed the fairy tale feel to it. I loved the inclusion of dragons. The story ends with an interesting twist to it that will leave readers surprised and intrigued.
It does bother me a bit though how Violet is so beautiful on the cover of the book, yet throughout it a point is made to constantly described her ugliness. In the end it is the beauty of her personality that makes people love her, but I didn't enjoy the emphasis put on looks and how her main feature was her ugliness.
I didn’t enjoy or engage with most of the characters in this book. The exception was Dimitri who is a stable boy who is trying to solve the mystery of why the things are going so horribly in the castle. He was an engaging and interesting character and also pretty much the only “good” character in the story.
Overall it was a decently done story and decently written, I just never really enjoyed the characters all that much. I did like the fairy tale feel to it and the twist at the end of the story. I didn’t enjoy the inconsistency between the illustration and the description of Violet in the book. I personally wouldn’t recommend this unless you are really into the ugly princess type of story.
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