Iron Hearted Violet
Iron Hearted Violet
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Annotation: Discovering a forbidden book that reveals the existence of an evil being imprisoned in their world, reckless and clever princess Violet and her best friend, Demetrius, investigate rumors and accept help from an ancient, scarred dragon to discern the creature's true story.
Catalog Number: #96455
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition Date: 2014
Illustrator: Bruno, Iacopo,
Pages: 424 pages
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 0-316-05675-8 Perma-Bound: 0-605-85596-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-316-05675-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-85596-0
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2011053213
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
The end of my world began with a story. So says royal bard Cassian as he recounts the passing of the Andulan kingdom, where the evil thirteenth god (who had been imprisoned for 2,000 years) was destroyed by an ugly princess, a stable boy, and the very last dragon. Barnhill has created a traditional fairy tale with wonderful read-aloud potential. The language has a faint Lemony Snicket tang, which works well for this story about the loss of illusions and the acceptance of self. Other than Violet (the unattractive princess), the characters are largely one-dimensional, but this is consistent with the genre, and Barnhill does a fine job of keeping readers' attention with a likable hero and heroine, a well-paced plot, and a daunting villain. Bruno's illustrations are scattered throughout. (The final art was unavailable for review.)
Horn Book
Princess Violet and her best friend (the stable master's son) discover a hidden room in the castle, with murals hinting at the forbidden story of "the thirteenth god." They unwittingly set into motion events leading to that evil god. Barnhill is willing to show even her most sympathetic characters governed by the worst in their natures, making the triumphant conclusion all the more satisfying.
Kirkus Reviews
Although she uses the standard set of ingredients (spunky princess, stable boy, two-dimensional villain, dragon, small helpful magical creatures, etc.), Barnhill's latest never quite lives up to its potential. Violet is not an attractive princess in the least, but that's A-OK with her parents, her people and her best friend, Demetrius the stable boy. Violet's fine with it too, until she and Demetrius stumble across a hidden room in her castle containing a terrifying painting and a malignant book. When Violet mistakenly releases an evil god of hidden legend in an attempt to become beautiful, she must sacrifice everything in order to rectify her mistake. Alas, it takes at least 90 pages to begin to feel any kind of proper sympathy for Violet since a key spell causes her to become unpleasant and obsessive early on. Though a prominent theme is of the power of storytelling, it is unclear what Barnhill is trying to say about it. On the face of it, it appears that she's saying that some stories, even dangerous ones, need to be told. Yet as the tale continues and characters rail against storytelling, the opposite seems to be true, and the lesson--surely unintended--is that all stories are lies and falsehoods. Though infinitely readable from the first page onward, this is one tale that never quite finds its footing. Art not seen. (Fiction. 9-12)
Publishers Weekly
Barnhill (The Mostly True Story of Jack) creates a splendid fantasy around a story-s power to change the world. Princess Violet deeply loves reading and telling tales of all sorts, even ones about beautiful and graceful princesses-which she is not. She is fascinated when a strange book and magical painting discovered
School Library Journal
Gr 5&11;9&12; With her pug nose, mismatched eyes, and untamable hair, Princess Violet is not beautiful, but she is much beloved by her doting parents, friend Demetrius, and the Andulan people. Intelligent, imaginative, and often reckless, she is "a girl of her own ideas," mesmerizing audiences with her storytelling and shirking her studies to explore the castle. When she and Demetrius happen upon a mysterious book in a hidden-away room, they begin to unearth a forbidden tale about the Nybbas, an evil god that tried to take over all the worlds in the multiverse eons ago and was defeated and imprisoned by the other 12 gods. Fascinated, Violet yearns to know more. When tragedy strikes and she is left feeling isolated, she turns to the Nybbas, embracing its insidiously whispered promises of beauty and inadvertently unleashing its power. It will take much self-realization, sacrifice, and stoutheartedness to set things right. Fortunately, Violet is helped by steadfast Demetrius and an ancient dragon-the last of its kind. Filled with themes about the power of story, the book is appropriately narrated by Cassian, the cowardly court storyteller. The action unfolds at a leisurely pace, with complex subplots and mysteries gradually revealed. Violet's realm is richly imagined; mirror-related imagery is effectively employed throughout, encouraging readers to reflect upon the importance of exterior appearances and the many ways that truth can be refracted. Black-and-white sketches depict dramatic moments. This satisfying fantasy combines adventure with food for thought.&12; Joy Fleishhacker , School Library Journal
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
Word Count: 68,742
Reading Level: 5.3
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.3 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 155950 / grade: Middle Grades
Guided Reading Level: U
Newbery Medal winner Kelly Barnhill spins a wondrously different kind of fairy-tale: In most fairy tales, princesses are beautiful, dragons are terrifying, and stories are harmless. But 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-the last dragon in existence, in fact-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 about the power of stories, our belief in them, and how one enchanted tale changed the course of an entire kingdom.

A 2012 Andre Norton Award Finalist
A Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner

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