Casey is only fifteen years old when her stepfather plans to marry her to a perverted and brutal man twice her age. However, minutes before the wedding, Casey flees into the jungle where she is rescued by a mysterious woman who sets the young, scared girl on the path of an epic pirate life, full of adventures, twists, personal struggles, and world discovery.
Casey strives to win the trust of the 21 Butterflies, an elite group of female pirates waging war against the callous city leaders and their minions who wants to see them dead at any cost. She also discovers Butterfly Islands, a mystic place filled by day with dazzling butterflies, and by night with swarms of moths carrying atrocious parasites, and roamed by the twisted Five Sisters.
Struggling with her own fears and desires, Casey balances between being just a teenage girl confused about love and her own sexuality, and becoming a ruthless pirate seeking revenge over those who have taken all she had away from her. A disastrous trip to God’s Mercy, the floating city in the sky, changes everything. While trapped once more in the hands of her former husband-to-be, Casey suddenly finds out that there is a traitor in their midst. From then on, it is a race to save her new friends lives, in the process dragging the powerful Iron Sails and nimble Scavengers into the midst of the battle.
Set in tropical Gallows Sound, “Butterfly Islands” is the first book in the Chronicles of the Twenty-One Butterflies series.
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Usually when I finish a book like this I take a few minutes or even days to process all the information and then write the review. But with Butterfly Islands I can’t wait. There is so much to say about this book, it has female pirates, that should summarize most of it, but it’s a lot more than that.
The story starts when Casey, a fifteen-year old girl, is about to marry the town governor’s son against her will. Being torn between choosing her own happiness and her mother’s safety, she flees and promises herself to eventually come back and save her mother.
Uncertain of what her future will look like, she decides to join a group of female pirates known as the Twenty-One Butterflies. This decision gave her life the change she was seeking, but it didn’t last for long until chaos started to make her wonder if it was everything a big mistake.
This book is a different story about pirates, there were times that reminded me to “The Princess Bride”, times that reminded me of “Cutthroat Island” and even the well-known “Pirates of the Caribbean”, it’s full of action, sword fights, treasure (and ships) hunting and it addresses some important topics like betrayal, loyalty, love, slavery and even homosexuality.
However, it wasn’t all perfect. There were some chapters that explained the events occurring back in God’s Mercy that bored me a little. I know the author felt the need to explain those events, that would be important for the plot development, but during those chapters I found myself reading faster and even skipping a few sentences. Maybe it was that I liked Casey too much and wanted to go back to read about her. Nevertheless, the good parts surfaced and I really liked the story.
During the whole book, I thought that illustrations and maps would look really nice across its pages, when I finished reading and saw the author’s note at the end, I learned that there is some art on their website and rushed to look at it. It looks wonderful, to be honest, and I wish there were more of it, specially a Butterflies Island map and a map showing the whole Islands area.
I’m very excited to read the next 5 books in this series, I know there are still a lot of adventures to change the Butterflies’ lives and I wouldn’t like to miss them.
“One day they will regret what they have done and I will be there when it happens.”
Hi. I’m Chris Seabranch, science journalist and author of the ‘Chronicles of the 21 Butterflies’ series. Writing the series is a part of my Six Books in Six Months project where my goal is to write and publish six amazing YA-pirate-fantasy books in six months, starting January 1. 2016. It is a challenge I have given myself to show that a lot can be accomplished in a rather short period of time.
I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them and you are always welcome to contact me.