Review: Kiss of the Butterfly by James Lyon

on Sep 21, 2012
Blurb: A dying man’s cryptic letter to an enigmatic professor launches student Steven Roberts on an unwitting quest, shrouded in mystery, into the war-torn labyrinth of a disintegrating Eastern European country. Steven plunges into the maelstrom to unearth long-forgotten documents holding clues to an ancient Emperor’s deeply buried secret, an inconceivable and long-forgotten evil that has slumbered for centuries. Steven’s perilous journey stretches from Southern California’s sunny beaches, to the exotically dystopian city-scapes of Budapest, Belgrade, and Bosnia, as it plays out against a backdrop of events that occurred centuries before in the Balkans.

Genre(s): Historical / Paranormal / Vampires

Review: I'll be honest, before I started reading this novel, I wasn't sure that I was going to like it. Many times a historical novel is either a hit or a miss. But Kiss of the Butterfly is definitely a hit! 

The story follows Steven, an American college student on his trip to Europe where he discovers more than he expected. 

I loved this book! It was so incredibly interesting, I could hardly put it down. Suffice it to say these are not your teenage daughter's vampires. The vampires in Kiss of the Butterfly are bad, human eating/killing creatures of darkness. Which was awesome! 

The historical aspects are there in abundance, everything was very detailed and while the story itself is obviously fiction, the background situations are accurate. It was all very fascinating, including the actual vampire folklore.  

Steven was a great main character, very real. I was rooting for him the whole book, which doesn't always happen. In every situation you see him struggle and can relate to his fight on some level. Marko Slatina, Steven's professor was also an interesting character. You can tell he's hiding something but you almost don't know if his intentions are bad or good. Though you discover his motivation and reasons later in the novel. You also feel sort of happy for Slatina at the end, I'd say more but it would be a spoiler. :) 

I have to say the ending left me wanting more! I hope there will be a sequel, I would love to see what happens to Steven. :) 

About the Author: 
James Lyon is an accidental Balkanologist, having spent the better part of 32 years studying and working with the lands of the former Yugoslavia. He has a Ph.D. in Modern Balkan History from UCLA and a B.A. in Russian from BYU.

He has lived in Germany, Russia, England, Massachusetts, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Utah, and California, and spent the better part of 18 years living in the lands of the former Yugoslavia, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia, and has worked in Macedonia and Kosovo. He has traveled widely, from Africa to Latin America to the Middle East, and all over Europe. He currently works in Sarajevo and bounces back and forth to Belgrade.

James and his novel were also mentioned in a recent ABC news piece,
which can be found here!

About the reviewer:  M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since earl 2012 she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at She spends her time reading, gaming, drinking tea, writing, and reading to her young cousins. M lives in Upstate New York, and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab


Anonymous said...

And beautiful cover art! I used to read a ton of historical fiction and historical fantasy, this looks like a good one to get back into it with.

James Lyon said...

Dear Little Red Reviewer,

Thanks you for the kind words about the cover art. I hired a well-known designer from London who usually does best-seller covers for major publishing houses. He read the book, liked it, and decided to design a cover for me (it cost me, though). He also designed an alternative cover, which you can find in the photos on my facebook page at: It has a red butterfly on the cover. Tell me which cover you prefer.



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