Sunday, January 20, 2013

Review: Kiss of the Butterfly

Summary from Goodreads:
"The smell of blood is in the air, I sense it even now. People thirst for it; the entire country is mad with desire for it. And now we are going to war with our brothers because they look like us, and because we can smell our blood coursing through their veins...” A mysterious letter starts a university student on a journey into the war-torn lands of rapidly disintegrating Yugoslavia. Naively trusting his enigmatic professor, the student unwittingly descends into a dystopian crucible of decay, destruction, passion, death, romance, lust, immorality, genocide, and forbidden knowledge promising immortality. As the journey grows ever more perilous, he realizes he must confront an ancient evil that has been once again loosed upon the earth: from medieval Bosnia to enlightenment-era Vienna, from the bright beaches of modern-day Southern California to the exotically dark cityscapes of Budapest and Belgrade, and horrors of Bosnia.

Vampires have formed an integral part of Balkan folklore for over a thousand years. "Kiss" represents a radical departure from popular vampire legend, based as it is on genuine Balkan folklore from as far back as the 14th century, not on pop culture or fantasy. "Kiss of the Butterfly" offers up the real, horrible creatures that existed long before Dracula and places them within a modern spectrum.

Meticulously researched, “Kiss of the Butterfly” weaves together intricate threads from the 15th, 18th and 20th centuries to create a rich phantasmagorical tapestry of allegory and reality. It is about divided loyalties, friendship and betrayal, virtue and innocence lost, obsession and devotion, desire and denial, the thirst for life and hunger for death, rebirth and salvation. “Kiss” blends history and the terrors of the Balkans as it explores dark corners of the soul.

“Kiss of the Butterfly” is based on true historical events. In the year of his death, 1476, the Prince of Wallachia -- Vlad III (Dracula) -- committed atrocities under the cloak of medieval Bosnia’s forested mountains, culminating in a bloody massacre in the mining town of Srebrenica. A little over 500 years later, in July 1995, history repeated itself when troops commanded by General Ratko Mladic entered Srebrenica and slaughtered nearly 8,000 people, making it the worst massacre Europe had seen since the Second World War. For most people, the two events seemed unconnected…

I really enjoyed reading this book and learning pieces of history as I read along. As the story was being set up, it was slow going, mainly because the language was a bit more formal than I am used to reading and a lot of information was being explained.  But, as soon as Steven gets overseas and really starts his research, he is met with brick wall after brick wall. The story starts to take off as we are shown two different time periods. We see through Steven's eyes as he tries to uncover the truth behind the vampire myths. And we also see through the eyes of 11 vampires who have been kept in an underground chamber for over 200 years.

This story reveals interesting pieces of history while setting up for an exciting ending. I enjoyed trying to figure out who was trying to stop Steven's research as he travels all over the country in hopes of understanding the myths of vampires.  As soon as I thought I had it all figured out, something would happen to throw everything into chaos again. This story is full of betrayal, revelations, and loss in a great story that author James Lyon has created.

-"Kiss of the Butterfly" by James Lyon
Published July 22, 2012

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Buy the book now for only $3.99 on Kindle! 

The following article talks about a Vampire threat that terrorizes a Serbian villiage and they mention the book and quote the author, James Lyon. 
ABC News Article

1 comment:

  1. Dear Stephanie,

    Thanks for hosting "Kiss of the Butterfly" as it wings its way through the blogosphere. Your generosity is truly appreciated, as are you kind words about "Kiss" in the review.