Monday, October 21, 2013

Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill

Violet knows she's not like a real princess.  Real princesses are beautiful with long golden hair like her mother.  Violet has unruly red curls and mismatched eyes and though people don't think of her as beautiful, her subjects love her as she is.  Violet's best friend is Demetrius the stable boy and his lack of nobility doesn't matter to Violet at all.  One day the two friends discover a secret room in the palace with a book that speaks of a 13th god of the multiverse, one whose name is never spoken.  Violet becomes fascinated with the story of the Nybbas and unwittingly awakens the destructive god.  Playing on insecurities the Nybbas uses Violet and others to begin bringing about his return and destabilizing the kingdom.  This is an odd story with some dark themes presented in a way that makes them seem less threatening.  Although it wasn't a favorite overall I did enjoy Violet's eventual ability to claim herself as she was and how that acceptance of herself led to so many great events.