A Magical Story about a Not-So-Pretty Princess

Posted on July 18, 2016 «
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book review iron hearted violet barnhill

Book Review
Iron Hearted Violet
by Kelly Barnhill

Since I started listening to audiobooks more consistently, I’ve taken up perusing what’s in stock each time we visit Half Price Books. This hidden gem, Iron Hearted Violet, was on the shelf after several visits. And since I have a soft spot for books about dragons and it was relatively short (just over 7 hours) I decided to give it a shot.

book review iron hearted violet barnhill

After only two or three drives, I knew I had to have the physical copy of this book for my collection. There were just TOO many quotes I wanted save. This is a book about STORIES specifically LOST stories and a not-so-pretty princess. I HAD to have it. So I headed over to Amazon, used a gift card and purchased a physical copy of the book to accompany my audio CDs. Much to my surprise, after it arrived, I found the story was studded with line drawings illustrating the happenings in the novel. As I got further and further into the story, like Violet, I felt I had discovered something special.

book review iron hearted violet barnhill


Iron Hearted Violet is a story about forgotten stories, friends, the sacrifices you make for them and doing what is right. The story is told from the point of view of an older court storyteller. Simon Vance did an excellent job of setting the stage and telling the story. I was always anxious to learn more about the Nybbas and Demetrius and Violet. The adults in the story learn a great deal from the courage of the children in their lives. Everyone learns the power of stories.

book review iron hearted violet barnhill


Fans of Harry Potter, readers who love dragons and those who love twists on the traditional princess storyline will love Iron Hearted Violet. If you have young children, you might try reading this one aloud to them. This little middle-grade novel caught me by surprise and I’m happy I took a chance to listen to it as well as page through the physical copy. It’s sure to stick with me for a long time. 

book review iron hearted violet barnhill


The Quick Book Review

A Magical Story about a Not-So-Pretty Princess

Iron Hearted Violet

Author: Kelly Barnhill
Illustrator: Iacopo Bruno
Narrator: Simon Vance
Published on: October 9, 2012
Pages: 428
Length: 7 hours, 22 minutes
Genres: middle grade, fantasy
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Up

About Kelly Barnhill

I'm a writer, a mom, a wife, a dog owner, a reader, a thinker, a hiker, a friend, a runner, a teacher, a listener, terrible gardener, a lover of nature. Sometimes I'm all of these things at once.

I'm also a former bartender, former park ranger, former waitress, former church janitor, former kosher meat slicer, former wild-eyed activist, former wildland firefighter, former coffee jerk, former phone-book delivery girl and a former dull-eyed office slave. Sometimes I am still these things. Sometimes all at once.

(from GoodReads)


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6 responses to “A Magical Story about a Not-So-Pretty Princess

  1. Ooh wonderful review and I love the way you shared quotes. Must be quite awesome indeed to get you to own it in two different versions 🙂 I feel like I miss out on these hidden gems like illustrations when I mostly do audio.

  2. oh this sounds spectacular! I definitely want to read it!! EEEEP. I do like a good magical middle-grade novel and the cover is divine and did you say dragons?!? *signs self up immediately*

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!