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Violet Eyes

Violet Eyes is a YA retelling of The Princess and the Pea, one of the Once Upon a Time books, by Debbie Viguie.

Contented, simple farm girl Violet’s life is made more complicated when she and her family take in a wounded stranger – who turns out to Prince Richard of the realm.

Once he is returned to full health, he’ll have to head to the kingdom after a year abroad locating princesses for his parents, the king and queen, to enter into a competition for his hand in marriage.

Reluctant to do such a thing, Richard instead finds himself intrigued by Violet’s straightforward, strong personality and they quickly fall in love.

Yet in order to have a chance to be together, Violet will need to compete against the many princesses in odd, enigmatic tests that range from the ridiculous to the dangerous…

Violet Eyes moves swiftly, as it sort of has to since it’s just shy of 200 pages.

I’m never a fan of love at first sight – finding it superficial, improbable and irritating – but for the case of a little book like this, I set that quibble aside to enjoy it for what it is. Thankfully the characters aren’t hopelessly mushy about their feelings.

The interesting twist, where the princesses have to compete for the prince’s hand rather than the other way around, made me more willing to play along. It definitely becomes increasingly fun to read as the competition begins!

There were a couple smile-worthy little allusions to Viguie’s other books in the series – Midnight Pearls and Scarlet Moon – when mermaids and werewolves are referred to.

Violet Eyes happily shows that there is more to the strange royal competition than you initially think – making for a good little story with a decent plot and execution.

If you want to divert your attention for a short period – maybe after an emotionally draining novel – this could be an affable choice

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