One’s disbelief in vampires will be suspended once you start reading this book. The classic myths of the vampire are both exposed and expounded upon like no other tale before it. This story was carefully researched and the time and understanding that went into learning the local mythology and folklore of the Balkans is amazing.
Kiss of the Butterfly is not your typical shiny vampire story, it is something more, something real and visceral. It even leaves the reader questioning their faith and beliefs. At the very least it may make you thankful for what you have. It is not often that a book will have me wondering about my surroundings, but when it does happen it might make me ask Do vampires exist? How have they kept themselves hidden for so many centuries? Give anything enough time, experience and money, and most anything could be possible.
As I read more I found myself naturally questioning the stories. With local myths that have the deceased being staked and decapitated I was left with my first question. How does a body decompose? I asked a good friend who studied forensic anthropology. When I compared the tales to our current burial methods, I found something shocking. One of three things occured with the dead. The first, insects, or rodents gnawed at the body. The body became bloated during decomposition. The second the body froze before burial, this was the Balkans an area not typically known for warmth. The freezing body would prolong the decaying process, and may account for some of the superstition. The third was the one I did not want to face. That was that there simply was not a reason for why a dead body would be smiling with blood on its mouth, scream when staked, and gush blood, save for a comatose person. These questions drove my curiosity to read the book further.
The more I read the more I found myself getting lost down the rabbit hole. Every fact presented I had to cross reference, and research. From secret orders to Vlad Dracul father of Vlad Tepes, and all my research led me to the same thought. What if vampires were real.
This is why I chose a vampire book in the sea of over developed ethnography. Because, knowing the origins of any belief will only empower me to make myself better. Should a vampire ever rear its ugly head then I will know the only thing I can do is run. Run, or stake it with a hawthorn wood stake, cut off its head and burn it. Because, the true Balkan Vampire, the one that predates, Bram Stoker, is not only a scary thought, but disturbing. Disturbing to know what one culture has kept close to its heart for so many centuries. This book separates fact from fiction and leaves the reader to decide for themselves Are vampires real and why would anyone want to be one?