Radiant Darkness

First Lines: “Stay here, Persephone,” says my mother.  “I have some work to do.”  As if I could go anywhere.

Ok, so this is actually a reread of mine.  It’s one of my favorite Hades/Persephone stories and probably the one that kicked off my fascination with it all.  I try not to read too many new books in a row (so I can keep the stories straight), so I throw in a reread every now and again.  That’s what this was.

A prison is a prison, no matter how pretty.  Persephone has been trapped inside the vale her entire life.  Her mother sees her as a child, even though Persephone knows she’s old enough to be going with her mother to festivals and celebrations.  Then Persephone finds a man in the vale, the first man she’s ever seen.  She knows he’s powerful, but she doesn’t know who he is.  But much more is at stake than Persephone’s heart…

This is one of the first books I can remember reading that dealt with this myth.  This came out in 2009, way before these new trilogies and stories that change the myth.  This is pure, 100% Hades and Persephone myth retelling.  She was born a goddess and he has always been Lord of the Underworld.  Does that make sense?

Admittedly, some parts of the story are slow or really have no relevance to the overall plot.  And since I’ve read this before, I just tend to skip over those parts.  I read it because I love the myth and the characters.  Persephone is strong-willed and caring, curious and innocent.  Hades is dark and mysterious, just as you would expect from a ruler of the dead.

I just like reading this story when I feel the need for a little Greek in my life again.  There are funny moments in the story and some characters it’s always fun to see.  Like Cerberus and Hermes.  Well, particularly Hermes.  He always seems to show up in Greek stories, yet no one really focuses on him.  And he’s always so different because of this.

Anyway, it’s not maybe the best Hades/Persephone retelling, but it is one of the only ones I’ve read that stays true to the time period and the myth.

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