Kiss Of The Butterfly by James Lyon
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…
Amidst the violent breakup of Yugoslavia, a college student embarks on a journey into its war-torn lands. The narrative transports the reader from medieval Bosnia to enlightenment-era Vienna, from the bright beaches of modern-day Southern California to the exotically dark cityscapes of Budapest, Belgrade and Novi Sad, and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia.
Naively trusting the advice of his enigmatic academic mentor, the student unwittingly descends into a crucible of decay, destruction, passion, death, romance, lust, immorality, genocide, and forbidden knowledge promising immortality. As the journey grows ever more perilous, the protagonist realizes that he is being drawn into something sinister from which there is no turning back. He will be forced to confront an ancient evil that has been once again loosed upon the earth.
Meticulously researched and written, “Kiss of the Butterfly” is set against the backdrop of Yugoslavia’s breakup. It weaves together intricate threads from the 15th, 18th and 20th centuries to create a rich phantasmagorical tapestry of allegory and reality about divided loyalties, friendship and betrayal, virtue and innocence lost, obsession and devotion, desire and denial, lust and rejection. The book blends history and the terrors of the Balkans as it explores dark places of the soul, and is about the thirst for life and the hunger for death, rebirth and salvation. And vampires.
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 fantasy. “Kiss of the Butterfly” offers up the real, horrible creatures that existed long before Dracula and places them within a modern spectrum.