Monday, October 22, 2012

Iron Hearted Violet, by Kelly Barnhill (fiction) - a plain princess, evil whispers, lying mirrors

book cover of Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill published by Little Brown
Must every princess be beautiful?
Must every king be brave?
If they aren't, can the realm survive?

Secret rooms in the castle, glinting hints in mirrors, lost dragons under the two-sunned sky - Princess Violet lives in a world where stories have more power than anyone living can imagine, and no one living can imagine the threat that lies just ahead for the kingdom.

Find this September-published adventure of a most-unusual princess,  a clever stableboy, a forbidden book, and a long-suppressed god of the metaverse at your local library or independent bookstore today.

Book info: Iron Hearted Violet / Kelly Barnhill; illustrator: Iacopo Bruno. Little Brown, 2012. [author's blog] [publisher site] [illustrator interview]

My Recommendation: Princess Violet isn’t beautiful, but she is brave and clever and loved by all. If royal storyteller Cassian hadn’t always made the princesses in his stories beautiful, perhaps plain-looking Violet might not have listened to the sinister whispers from mirror corners, might not have searched deep below the castle with her friend Demetrius, might not have found the evil something that wants to destroy their world.

In the Old World, there were twelve gods (no one dares speak of the thirteenth) and dragons and such. Now, the King has gone searching for the possible last dragon, taking Demetrius along for his amazing skill with animals, little realizing that the Mountain King is preparing to invade the Andulan Realms or that the something beneath the castle is spreading evil thoughts like a fog.

Perhaps Violet can change her mismatched eyes to the blue of the sky, if she discovers enough secrets in the hidden library. Perhaps she can be a “real princess” if she becomes beautiful, the unwanted thought sneaks in. Perhaps the evil Nybbas will be able to control everything if it leads Violet along the selfish path that makes her neglect the kingdom…

A mournful dragon who can’t remember where it has hidden its heart, the ill-health of Queen Rose, three very worried ancient guardians, and the twisty stories used by Nybbas to turn people on one another – is Violet strong enough to discover her true path and save her kingdom? Can the wrong stories be turned right before both suns set forever?

This epic tale of adventure and forgiveness introduces an unforgettable princess, as she and Demetrius discover the true power of stories in creating the world.  (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

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