Gilded Butterfly (Rockin’ Fairy Tales 2)


What is fame, but an ephemeral cage for the gilded butterfly? In the rock-and-roll world of Midas Lear, the future of his music empire depends on passing his magical Golden Guitar to the worthiest of his three daughters, Glissanda, Rubata, and Chorda. This enchanted event takes place in front of millions of fans in a televised reality show, Kickin’ It With Midas.  While Lear’s elder daughters lavish sycophantic praise upon their Da, the youngest refuses to add her voice to the flattery. Chorda’s humble plea for authenticity infuriates Midas and earns her banishment from the family. Adair Holliday, the young producer of  the show and Chorda’s best friend, is caught in the controversy. It is his job to broach a compromise between Midas and Chorda and save the show, but his feelings for Chorda point him in a different direction.

“Gilded Butterfly” is a fashionably self-aware blend of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, King Midas, and King Lear. The relationship between the Lear family members’ musical talents and their respective deities hint at magical influence. In fact, the three sisters engage in an uncanny ritual moments before the choosing ceremony is filmed. Readers are left wondering if they are truly witches. Chorda and Adair cling to their faith in family even in the face of ever mounting evidence of treachery. Chorda is especially sympathetic, being at one with nature and worshipping her own goddess with sincerity. This Lear retelling is a must-read for anyone who hopes for a kinder ending for the original Cordelia. Leslie O’Sullivan’s narrative style celebrates truth, love, and heritage, and reads as pure poetry from the opening line until the end.

Joan Lai