Synopsis: When a storm brings the dashing Prince Richard to her family's farm, Violet falls in love at first sight. Richard also gives Violet his heart, but he knows his marriage is destined to be an affair of the state, not of passion. For the king and queen have devised a contest to determine who will win their son's hand in marriage. To be reunited with her prince, Violet must compete against princesses from across the land. It will take all of her wits - and a little help from an unexpected source - if Violet is to demonstrate that depth of her character and become Richard's bride.
Review: Cons first: I was not impressed with the writing style too much; it felt a little too step-by-step, too explanatory (i.e. characters constantly explain why they are doing something, as if the Reader could not figure it out themselves), and even a little juvenile (there are other names for animals beyond Bessie and Duke). Richard is a pretty typical prince when it comes to looks, which made me feel rather disappointed. When I read a fairy-tale retelling, I don't want to encounter a Disney-drawn Prince Charming.
However, the writing does seem to improve as time goes on, and if I am mistaken in that fact, it is because the storyline becomes so engaging that I could easily ignore the style. Yes, the ending is predictable, but the Author plays on the "pea" aspect of the story in an interesting way, and presents a far more pleasing, and logical, fairy-tale than the original. While Richard is all handsomeness in a way only a fairy-tale prince can be, his personality is not as cardboard, though I confess out of all the princes in this book series, Richard was the least memorable.
The Author also seems to have a bit of a hard time deciding whether or not Richard's parents are good, decent people or "everything for the kingdom" types. They set up this contest to determine who will marry their son, regardless of his opinion, and always talk about royal marriage being for the kingdom, and not love. And yet, at the same time, the king and queen - the queen especially - come across as very decent, caring parents at times, and I have a hard time believing that such parents wouldn't at least feel grieved over the fact that their son cannot marry for love. It also seems that Richard doesn't know his parents very well at all (which would not be unusual, but considering how caring his parents seem, I think their relationship would be different).
Despite my complaints, Violet Eyes was an intriguing new look at The Princess and the Pea, and I think it well worth reading.
Ovearll Rating: JJJ
Others in the Once Upon A Time Series:
The Storyteller's Daughter (Cameron Dokey)
Beauty Sleep (Cameron Dokey)
Snow (Tracy Lynn)
Midnight Pearls (Debbie Viguie)
Scarlet Moon (Debbie Viguie)
Sunlight and Shadow (Cameron Dokey)
Spirited (Nancy Holder)
The Night Dance (Suzanne Weyn)
Golden (Cameron Dokey)
Water Song (Suzanne Weyn)
Before Midnight (Cameron Dokey)
The Rose Bride (Nancy Holder)
The Crimson Thread (Suzanne Weyn)
Belle (Cameron Dokey)
Wild Orchid (Cameron Dokey)
The Diamond Secret (Suzanne Weyn)
Winter's Child (Cameron Dokey)
Violet Eyes (Debbie Viguie)
The World Above (Cameron Dokey)