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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
"Iron Hearted Violet" by Kelly Barnhill is a beautifully written story about a princess who lacks exterior beauty but has a heart of gold. Little Violet was born into a kingdom which was not as it appeared. Most of the residents of the Kingdom believe themselves to lead charmed lives but there is a long-hidden secret which threatens to destroy each and every person in the Kingdom. There is a wicked god about to be unleashed and the only way to save the Kingdom is to learn the secrets of the gods and then plot a means to destroy the seemingly indestructible creature. Violet teams up with her best friend Demetrius and together they discover the last dragon in existence. They believe the aging and damaged dragon to be the key to destroying the evil god but they lack the clues as to what part the dragon must play.
This is a tale which will keep the young reader guessing and plotting along with the heroes of the story. The plain and ordinary princess and the stable boy actually reverse roles for a while and this is something to add to the interest of the young reader. The major characters are real and believable and the reader will want to jump into the story and assist them on their way to making the Kingdom right and true. It is just a lovely story from start to finish.