Rating 4.5 Stars
What’s the book about?
Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled 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 favorite bets are rumored 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.
The story of Hades and Persephone is without a doubt my favourite Greek myth so I went in to this book with high expectations… and A Touch of Darkness absolutely delivered! This was such a wonderful and creative interpretation and retelling of the classic myth and I loved every moment.
In this interpretation, Persephone is an unknown Goddess with no powers. Since I’ve read a lot of paranormal stories involving gods and goddesses, I knew immediately why she was without powers but that in no way detracted from the story. Persephone disguises herself as a mortal to live a simple life as a student and aspiring journalist. By chance (or fate), she meets the mysterious and enigmatic Hades at his club one night and unwittingly finds herself bound in a contract with the devious God of the Dead. The contract: she must create life in the Underworld within six months or be bound to the Underworld forever.
I don’t know where to begin with this story.
Firstly, I felt so much nostalgia for this beloved story. It had so many of the elements I know and love about the classic while still adding it’s own flair and creativity. I loved seeing so many of the other classic Greek mythological characters making their appearances throughout the story too, including but not limited to Apollo, Zeus, Demeter, Athena, Adonis, Hecate and Hermes.
Then the was the central love story between Persephone and Hades. Persephone is a young and inexperienced Goddess and it shows. She grows throughout the story (with the help of Hades and her friends) to become a Goddess in her own right. While she begins the story by slowly removing herself from her overprotective, domineering mother (Demeter), she uses her newfound experiences to understand the true definition of freedom and really push away from letting other people control her life. Hades is the complete opposite. He is a God who understands and uses his full power. He’s handsome, charming, very Alpha male, and secretive. He’s not the God of the Dead that everyone thinks they know and he’s got so many hidden depths that I loved getting to explore in this story. Hades and Persephone may have opposing personalities but together they are magic.
The settings in this story was also incredible. I loved seeing the author’s interpretation of the ‘modern’ world with both mortals and Gods/Goddesses/Divinity all living their lives above ground. No-one except Hades, a select few trusted by Hades, and now Persephone know what the Underworld is truly like. It’s not the place to fear as so many assume (unless Hades sees that a person is truly dark within) and with Persephone’s guidance, the Underworld continues to bloom. I loved seeing so many of the classic qualities of the Underworld such as the rivers, the ferry, and the guardians. It made the experience feel so much more real and well thought out.
Overall, I loved this one a lot! It’s the first story I’ve read by Scarlett St Clair but definitely not my last. I’m eager to read book two now, although I have no idea what’s going to happen in it but I’m excited to find out. Bring on more Hades and Persephone!
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Please note: I regularly get asked about this specific book cover (shown above) and where to purchase it. My understanding is that it’s no longer available due to the author transitioning to a traditional publisher (covers often get changed for legal reasons). If you’re looking for this specific cover, I would recommend checking online stores that sell secondhand books (e.g. Abe Books, Ebay, or Fishpond) or politely asking Scarlett St Clair if she knows where you could find this edition.
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