Book Review: The Butterfly Crest by Eva Vanrell
Title: The Butterfly Crest (The Protogenoi Series #1)
Author: Eva Vanrell
Genre: Fantasy & Magic
Amazon rating: 4.3 stars
Between the shadows of the human world, a war as old as time is being fought. Ageless pantheons scheme to obtain or keep control, provoked by the weight of human belief which has altered the realm of the divine.
An ancient prophecy speaks of a human woman who will alter the course of this divine war, a descendant of a Great House mired in misfortune and blood, whose history was shaped by the cruelty of the gods.
On a day as unremarkable as any other, Elena Vicens, a young woman living a seemingly ordinary life, receives a letter about a deposit box belonging to her mother, nineteen years after her mother’s death. When this letter sends her on a journey halfway across the world from New Orleans to Japan, Elena unknowingly comes into possession of a cursed inheritance. She is suddenly thrust into a world of myths and legends, where the intangible and the strange are the fabric of everyday life, and deathless gods vie for victory at any cost.
As allies converge to help Elena fulfill the prophecy, one of whom is struggling with his own inheritance, Elena must choose for herself the measure of her own destiny.
Reviewed by: Katheryn J. Avila
The Butterfly Crest is a great read. Beautifully written with exquisite imagery and attention to detail, it sucks you right in until the very end, immersing you into a world both familiar and strange. I’ll admit, I had some trouble with it at first, but that’s just personal preference for brevity. The author’s description of the scenery and creatures really puts you right into the scene with Elena, and that’s not a quality many authors have. A few times she ran the risk of over-description (if that’s a thing), but she always balanced the scenery with witty banter or internal dialogue. I can’t get enough of Elena’s conversations with the strange beings around her – most of all the antagonistically friendly gods that help her (I’m looking at you, Galen and Bryce) – and all the dialog really does come across as natural, going a long way in the character development department for me.
Elena is a great protagonist: well-developed, strong, and yet vulnerable and capable of asking for help. Eiry is the perfect leading man: caring, protective, but willing to concede to Elena and not falling to the “Edward Cullen” type of male character. Not only are the two main characters very well-written and developed, but the entire supporting cast – from the most minor demon to the larger gods – were well-researched, developed, and given personalities. Eva Vanrell does an incredible job of juggling a large number of characters without letting any of them feel flat. A few examples: Bryce, Galen, and Gavin. Without risking spoilers, they’re on the peripheral for most of the story, not extremely central characters, and yet their personalities come through in every gesture, every word, so that, while not as expounded upon as the two main characters, they feel just as real. The same can be said for any of the other minor characters. From their descriptions to their dialogue – they are supremely vivid and alive.
Just like the characters, the plot was complex, intricate, and compelling. The deeper the author drew me into the story and the world around Elena, the more questions popped into my head, mirroring Elena’s own thought process and experience as she did her best to navigate what was now her life. The mythology behind Elena’s situation is creative and inventive – completely inspired! Every twist and turn, while unexpected, made complete sense, and as the story went on, everything fell in place like puzzle pieces. It’s such a great story, I really cannot wait until the sequel! And, although I already own a digital copy, I might be investing in a paperback – just because I can.
Conclusion: I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s into any kind of mythology. It’s an epic fantasy that reads and feels like a mix between the epic poems of old (Iliad, Odyssey) and some current globe-trotter novels (The Da Vinci Code). I can’t wait to see what’s in store next for Elena![bctt tweet=”Beautifully written with exquisite imagery! #amreading #bookreview @katheryn_avila #ourwriteside” username=”OurWriteSide”]