O’Sullivan, Leslie. Gilded Butterfly. Rockin’ Fairy Tales #2. City Owl Press, 2022. pp. ISBN 9781648982125. $4.99
Musician Chorda is already a pop superstar. She’s the fan favorite on Kickin’ It With Midas, the the reality television series that follows the trials and tribulations of her influencer sisters and their rock star dad. Showrunner Adair is secretly in love with her and their friendship turns to romance after Chorda is exiled for her unscripted response on the show–it turns out Chorda isn’t sure she wants to win the coveted Golden Guitar.
Gilded Butterfly takes off at nearly breakneck speed with details about plot, setting, and character coming so fast it’s difficult to keep it all straight. The author comes off as trying too hard or not having a good editor; there are so many allusions it’s sensory overload. The vocabulary was repetitive — “shitiot” was only clever the first time, not three times in twenty pages.
Told uniquely from a guy’s perspective, this plot loosely follows Shakespeare’s King Lear with a little bit of King Midas’s Golden Touch thrown in. The title comes from a famous quote “and laugh / At gilded butterflies.” They are laughing at people who think that value can be created by just wrapping something in an outer layer to give it the appearance of something valuable, but end up destroying the beauty that it had in the first place. The reality television show construct, the magical reality and witchcraftiness, and the themes of wealth and privilege, image, and integrity support the quote.
Second in a series, I didn’t feel I was missing something in my unfamiliarity with the previous book.
I received a free review copy of #GildedButterfly.