Iron Hearted Violet

Iron Hearted Violet

Book - 2012
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2012
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316056731
0316056731
Characteristics: 424 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Bruno, Iacopo

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IndyPL_CarrieS Apr 30, 2020

Kelly Barnhill has a gift for storytelling. She sucks you right in to her weird and charming worlds. Lonely princesses, dragons and even ever-changing castles are not new ideas, but Barnhill tells them in a fresh way. This seems a perfect fairy tale for the age of social media. This story is set in a kingdom totally unlike our world, but basic human nature remains the same. Characters are manipulated both by suggestions that their deepest fears about themselves are really true - a real princess should be beautiful - or, through flattery that tells you all the things you want to hear. For me, it mirrored the way social media can feed into self-doubt or self-absorption, and how hard it can be to tell truth from lies. My family listened to the audio version together on a car trip and the story is engaging on a surface level - it's just a great, fun story - but also lead to some deeper conversations with my tweens about putting too much value on what other people think of you.

IndyPL_SteveB Dec 26, 2019

Intellectually challenging, creative fantasy novel, completely enjoyable by both adult and older child readers. Violet is a princess, but not the lovely, kindly princess with long beautiful hair she hears about in princess stories. Violet’s face is a bit lop-sided with blotchy skin. Her eyes don’t match; her hair is uncontrollable. Actually, Violet herself is uncontrollable. She constantly sneaks away from her teachers to hear stories from Cassian, the royal storyteller. She often sneaks out of the castle completely, where she becomes intense friends with Demetrius, son of the royal stockman.

As we observe Violet and Demetrius explore hidden parts of the castle and hear stories about the 12 gods who supposedly created their peculiar world, they also discover that there was a 13th god that no one speaks about. It is the Nybbas, an evil, destructive god who is locked inside the castle’s mirrors. An unwise interaction with a strange mirror and a mysterious book places Violet under the control of the Nybbas. When Violet’s father mounts an expedition to capture the last living dragon, the security of their castle – and of the world itself – begins to unravel. The Nybbas wants out of his mirrored prison.

There are odd, unexpected twists to the story and we wonder if this is a fantasy that will change into a science fiction novel or some new synthesis of old traditions. The characters are deep and striking. It’s hard to stop reading.

v
violet_bird_1969
Feb 28, 2019

This book is soooo good! I also love "The Girl Who Drank the Moon" and they're equally great. I love the depth of character.

JCLChrisK Aug 16, 2017

Kelly Barnhill is now definitely at the top of my list of favorite writers of original fairy tales. Complex, eloquent, and stellar.

sorenkrane Jan 10, 2015

I don't know why, but I got serious "The Princess and the Gobin" vibes. It read very much like an old-world fairy tale. Not exactly immersive, yet relateable.

Unfortunately, I did not connect to any of the characters. That does not mean I did not connect to the story. In fact, there were many elements that I did like. It began simply, then blossomed to complex. I admire what Barnhill was writing.

The ending was satisfying and flowed much more quickly than the beginning. I did feel as though the book could've been shorter...

All in all, a solid fairy tale.

HanakoGal Jan 01, 2013

Violet is not like the beautiful princesses in stories but she is a real princess and she is the one they need the most. I loved this new world and mythology of a Mirrored Sky and a dragon missing it's heart. It was fun to read and I look forward to more by this author.

ChristchurchLib Dec 26, 2012

Kids' Books December 2012 Newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=584592

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blue_cat_7869
Jun 10, 2015

blue_cat_7869 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 11 and 14

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joycemas
Jul 07, 2014

joycemas thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12

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joycemas
Jul 07, 2014

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.

a
AMELIE FETHER
Dec 23, 2013

Princess Violet is not like the princesses in the stories she is ugly, at least on the outside, plain, reckless and quit possibly to clever for her own good especially when it comes to telling stories.

Her and her best friend Demetrius have been exploring the castle since they met. Finding hidden passageways and secret rooms but some secrets are better left un-found unnoticed and un-thought.

There world was created to fail, created to hold what must not be released. Can Voilet save there mirrored world. Or will they all be enslaved like has happened before.

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JCLChrisK Aug 16, 2017

There's no such thing as complete when it comes to stories. Stories are infinite. They are as infinite as worlds.

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