The end of my world began with a story. It also began with a birth. 

Iron Hearted Violet is a recently published middle grade fantasy. It is the story of Violet, the intelligent but not-so-beautiful princess. When she is thirteen, her world begins crumbling. Nybbas, the thirteenth god, has risen again, and is bent on the destruction of everything that Violet loves. She and her best friend Demetrius, and a scarred dragon who’s afraid of his own reflection, may be their only hope of saving their kingdom and their world.

Interestingly, the book is narrated in the first person- by Cassian, the court storyteller. I guess, it makes sense, if you think about. He’s the storyteller, and he’s telling this story. Violet herself loves to tell stories; she learns from Cassian and often sneaks away from her lessons to learn from him. It’s one of those cases of the student surpassing the teacher. She’s even better at telling stories than he is.

I liked Iron Hearted Violet; it was a fresh and easy new fantasy. A lot goes on in the book; there’s the dragon hunt, there’s the Mountain King who’s bent on invading their kingdom, and of course, there’s Nybbas, the central evil in the story.

Kelly Barnhill creates an interesting world. It’s mirrored, so there are two suns, the Lesser and the Greater. They rise at different times of day. I would imagine there are two moons too. This book has a fairly original plot, though obviously the un-traditional princess card has been played often, like Cimorene from Dealing With Dragons. But Cimorene actually is pretty, just not in the traditional blonde empty-headed way. Violet is not pretty all (though actually, in the drawings in the book, she looks pretty good).

Iron Hearted Violet was fairly suspenseful. It certainly kept me reading, and went by quickly. The characters are all well portrayed, and the setting well developed. I’m glad I checked this out of the library, though I don’t think it’s worth buying, until you see if you love it.

Read Iron Hearted Violet:

  • if you like fantasy
  • if you like a certain sub-genre of fantasy (it’s hard to describe)

424 pages.

 
Very Good! I would recommend this book!
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