Friday, February 8, 2013

Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill (Audiobook review)

Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill
Released: Jan 15, 2013
Narrator: Simon Vance
Length: 7 hrs 21 min

I don't usually read fantasy, but when I saw this audiobook was narrated by Simon Vance, I decided to have a listen. And oh! What a narration! I now understand why he is so popular among audiobook listeners.

Author Kelly Barnhill knows how to spin a good story, beautifully written with wonderful imagery. This is the story of Violet, a plain odd-looking tween princess who is bright and reckless and who, along with her best friend Demetrius, makes the discovery of an evil being that is imprisoned in her two-mirrored world and must stop it before it gains power and overtakes her world. The story is told by the storyteller Cassian, whose stories are revered by all in the castle.

Simon Vance is a gifted narrator. I hung on every word as the story unfolded. His tone and voice modulated with each character from young to old, king to dragon, benevolent to sinister. I enjoyed the story, thought it slowed a little toward the middle and then picked up again toward the end. Like I said, fantasy is not my favorite genre, so I may not be the best judge of stories with fantastical elements, but I certainly liked the way the author told the tale, which is also infused with bits of dry humour that made me smile throughout.

Violet and Demetrius are wonderful characters, strong, bright and good-hearted. I truly liked the fact that the author chose not to make Violet pretty but reinforced her true self based on her qualities so that in the end the reader is cheering Violet completely for who she is. I think this is so important in children's fiction because we live in a world that celebrates beauty as success.

Overall, this was an adventurous and fantastical journey written by an author with a great imagination and told by a narrator whose obvious love for storytelling comes through in every word.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to Jill Ovren from AudioGo for sending me this audiobook for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Sound Bytes is hosted by Devourer of Books, a weekly Friday meme where you can link up your audio book reviews.

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