Review: The Butterfly On Fire: both contemporary and fantasy at the same time

E.L. Croucher, the author of The Butterfly on Fire, reached out to me to do a review on her book. The Butterfly on Fire is a seemingly strange mix of contemporary and fantasy, the story lines do however fit together. I think I would consider this a New Adult book, since the characters are in their twenties.



The Butterfly on Fire is the story of three different lives, each linked together by a tragic, unchanging truth.

Eric is growing up and realizing how different he is to those around him. How much longer can he hide from himself?

Beam is trying to balance work and romance like everyone else living in London. When embarking on such a journey, anything could happen.

Fubuki is Queen of a magnificent world known as Macha Land, but finds herself struggling to maintain the peace after an innocent man mysteriously dies at one of her Songshows. Will her utopia last with death at her doorstep?


This story is about Beam and Fubuki, who both live in a very different world. Beam lives in the contemporary world, just the world you and I live in. Fubuki, however, is queen of Macha Land. The dual story lines worked pretty well together I think, it was, however, very confusing in the beginning. During the story, you find out more about why it is that way and I loved seeing the way both stories somehow had similarities. They were contrasting as well. The characters were different and you could definitely see how Fubuki was everything Beam would want to be and more.

I loved Beam’s story the most, much more than I loved Fubuki’s. Fubuki’s character felt a little flat and sometimes I found the story to be a bit irrealistic. In the fantasy story we get introduced to a utopia-like land with a queen who is willing to risk everything for an innocent’s death. She is very driven and in want of attention, she loves being loved. Beam, however, was very well-written and rounded. I loved to see her struggles, relations and to see her strive. Beam struggles with depression and with her past. She grew up as a boy, but has realized she’s transgender and is now in the middle of her road to being a “real” woman.

I also loved all the side characters in Beam’s story. I loved seeing how they dealt with her situation and there were some characters, such as Georgina, that were just amazing. She’s such an amazing friend and I loved her.

“Do I think you can do this? Yes, I do. Do I think it is the right choice? That, my darling, is entirely your decision. Judging by tonight, I imagine it’s not going to be easy. But if it’s what you want, I will support you. Every step of the way. Ok?” She grabbed my hands and held them tightly. Her eyes locked on mine and I felt myself overflow with love again.

“It’s not what I want to do, it’s what  I need to do.”

The writing style of the two stories were very different. I really enjoyed the contemporary writing style, but the fantasy writing style a little less. I think that that part of the story was just not for me. I can’t really describe why, but I found it a little interrupting of Beam’s story line. I think the story would have been strong without the fantasy story, but I can see why the author included it.


Overall, I am giving this book 3,5 stars out of 5. I loved Beam’s story a lot, but Fubuki’s, sadly, a bit less. I did like to see how they were integrated into one book and I thought it was overall a really interesting book. It was diverse and engaging and I would recommend this if you want to read more diverse and if you’re interested in the life of a transgender person. That was one of the things I enjoyed most. I have read about transgender characters before, but that is often from way after the transition and not during it.

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