Here’s a theory I’ve been mulling over after my third read-through of the book. It might seem a bit out there, but bear with me. Violet only receives the Book of Brennan after she’s seriously injured. Yes, Yarros explicitly mentions that the note was in Mira’s handwriting, even highlighting the difference in writing styles when Violet begins to read the journal.
But there’s more to it. Why didn’t Mira hand over the book to Violet when they crossed the parapet? She gave her the protective vest, so why not the book at that moment? One reason could be to avoid burdening Violet. Another could be to prevent the loss of Brennan’s book if Violet were to die on the parapet. But that doesn’t quite add up, as Violet could die at any point, yet Mira still gave her the book.
I find it hard to believe that any scribe would have access to the Riders Quadrant dorms. They’d have no reason to be there, and someone would surely have noticed. It’s a peculiar risk to take. Given Mira’s trust in Dain Aetos, it would make more sense for her to ask him to deliver the book, rather than a random scribe.
The timing of the book’s delivery is also odd, arriving after Violet is severely injured on assessment day. It almost feels like someone else was evaluating her and her abilities from a distance and wanted to lend a hand.
Moreover, Mira, as Violet describes her, is as stern as her mother. Since the belongings of the deceased must be incinerated, this book shouldn’t exist and I find no reason for Mira to keep the book. Especially considering Brennan died five years ago and Violet was training to be a scribe at that time. Once Mira became a rider, there would be no need for this book.
However, as we discover later, Brennan is alive, providing a cliffhanger at the end of the book. I suspect some of his possessions were preserved and returned to him. Could Lilith Sorrengail be involved? I think it’s likely. Is it possible that Mira, after her first year as a rider, returned the book to Brennan? That’s also a possibility. Either way, I believe it was Brennan who wanted to give this book to Violet.
This theory might seem a bit far-fetched, but I can’t shake the feeling that someone (cough, Xaden Riorson, cough) slipped this journal to Violet to aid her. I’m not entirely convinced, but it’s a hunch I have.
Chapter 4, page 74 – When Violet pulls out a small book in Mira’s handwriting
“Violet, I stayed long enough to read the rolls this morning, and you aren’t on them, thank gods. […] He’s want you to live. Love, Mira
UPDATE: Was I right about it? Please note that spoilers will follow and you should read Iron Flame first! Iron Flame Verdict: Violet and the Book of Brennan Theory from Fourth Wing