The Saturday Reading List: The Butterfly Crest

The Butterfly Crest (Book 1 of the Protogenoi Series) by Eva Vanrell


The Stats:

  • Publication Date: November 11, 2014
  • Upcoming Book: Sometime late 2016/early 2017
  • Fantasy, mythology, Japanese mythology, Greek mythology, other types of mythology, new adult
  • 3.2/5
  • Warning: This book has a lot of details so if you have a short attention span, this may not be the book for you… Also, this book is targeted towards a slightly older audience. I would say 20s and up, but hey, if you’re up for it, go for it.

From Amazon:

“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.”

Zo’s Review:

Okay, I’m going to be totally upfront. I didn’t finish this book. Usually that’s fine with me – If I don’t like a book, I don’t like it –  but this book has a lot of potential and it’s not even that it’s poorly written. It’s actually written very well. At some point, I’ll finish it over the year and maybe give this review an update. However, I’ve had this book for months now and I think it’s fair to give my first impressions, so…here we go!

First off, l really like mythology. That’s what initially attracted me to this book so that was an instant like for me. Also, as you read, you can definitely pick up Vanrell’s interests in mythology as well. As someone who had read about many of the mythological beings in the book, I thought she did a good job of displaying her knowledge in depicting these characters. However, though Vanrell pays amazing attention to details, more often than not, I felt overwhelmed by all of it.

Sometimes there would be pages that described a historical site or a group of people that, while interesting, felt somewhat out of place. It was as if I was reading two books, one with the main character Elena and the plot, and the other was a history/mythology textbook spouting facts that I’m not sure if I’ll be quizzed on later. It was jarring sometimes to switch back and forth between the plot and these beautiful but long and sometimes seemingly oddly placed details. Obviously, Vanrell is 1.) showing her love and appreciation for the culture and mythology  and 2.) trying to make sure all of her readers are on the same playing field in terms of understanding these wonderful characters backgrounds but it felt oddly edited. Honestly, if it wasn’t that I was pretty sure that something in this truckload of information would be important to the plot I would have skipped over the overly detail parts and get straight back to the plot.

Like I said, though, this book is very well written and I’m very interested in seeing how Elena is developed as a character, especially since she’s slightly older than the heroines of the books that I usually read which are still in their teens. I was slightly nervous about possibly having a “white savior stereotype” in Elena – there are still some issues but I’m not going to nit-pick at every one of them – but as I said, Vanrell does an seemingly good job of appreciating Japanese culture through her attention to detail and also through the reactions and responses of her main character Elena, though if you disagree, let me know in the comments.

Even though I didn’t finish The Butterfly Crest (yet!), I still think it’s worth a try for those who like fantasy with very descriptive parts.

I received a copy of this book from the NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

What do you all think? Have you read The Butterfly Crest already? Have any other book suggestions that I should add to my Saturday Reading List? Leave your thoughts behind in the comments. Just be respectful please.


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