Blurb: Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shrivelled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist. Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favourite bets are rumoured to be impossible. After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever. The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a Goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—and it’s forbidden.
Title: A Touch of Darkness
Author: Scarlett St Clair
Publisher: Independently published
Genre: Fiction, Mythology, Romance
Think you know the story of Hades and Persephone? Maybe it’s time to see it through a new lens. Persephone has finally found some freedom from his mother’s greenhouse and is ready to embrace a mortal life in New Athens. But not everything is as simple as it seems when she accidentally makes the acquaintance of the elusive Hades during a game of cards. When Persephone loses, Hades makes her a wager to create life in the Underworld, or else she’ll be trapped there for all eternity…
It probably comes as no surprise by now just how much I love Greek myth, and Hades and Persephone in particular. So, when I discovered this book (which is part of a series!) I just had to read it. This retelling of the well known myth takes place in a sort of limbo between the modern world and the timeless settings of classical myth – we jump between New Athens which is very much 21st century to the Underworld where people wear classical dress and make jams. I loved the contemporary twist on ancient characters and it was really fun to see these gods and goddesses in a new setting – very much Lore Olympus vibes. I also really appreciated that we got to see other gods and the way that they were described at the Gala was such a fun scene! I also liked the touch that they all had horns as part of their divine form which is something I hadn’t seen before.
The main stand out of this book is obviously the blossoming romance between Hades and Persephone. It’s a little bit of a slow burn with lots of spice (👀) that just confirmed Hades as my favourite Olympian. There’s a bit of back and forth between them and some fluffy moments as well as the more intimate scenes and St Clair makes them an adorable yet badass couple. I’d happily continue their story by reading the rest of this series!
As for what I disliked, it’s not anything huge but I would have loved a little bit more of the traditional myths being weaved into this retelling. I thoroughly enjoyed the little nods to the stories that we got to see (for example, the mention of Orpheus and Eurydice) but as a big of a mythology buff I wanted a bit more detail or for them to just be more than a quick mention. Like, a scene of the gods coming together in Olympia would have been fun. Now, this didn’t really take away from the main story of Hades and Persephone and may not be anything of note to other readers so it’s probably just me being picky! I’d also note that there were some instances of miscommunication that keeps Hades and Persephone apart at times so if that’s something that bothers you, it does happen here. However, if you know the original myth it’ll come as no surprise that they end up together anyway.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book to any Greek mythology (or specifically Hades and Persephone) fans who are looking for something that’s more romance than traditional myth.
Have you read this book? Or maybe you’ve read something similar? What did you think? I’d love to know!
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