April 19, 2024

REVIEW A Touch of Darkness (Hades x Persephone Saga #1) by Scarlett St. Clair

A Touch of Darkness (Hades x Persephone Saga #1) by Scarlett St. Clair
Rating: 3.5 Stars (or ~4 Stars)
Release Date: May 24, 2019
Format: Audiobook (Library) + eBook (Kindle Unlimited)
Publisher: Bloom Books

With the recent release of the last book in the Hades x Persephone saga by Scarlett St. Clair, I figured it was a good time to go back and revisit the entire series. Starting with A Touch of Darkness, I actually increased my original rating from 3.5 stars to 4 stars, as I really enjoyed the re-read. 

In Ms. St. Clair’s world, Persephone knows she is a goddess, but she’s been sheltered her entire life by her mother Demeter and is left unable to access any type of godly power. When she finally convinces her mother to grant her freedom (albeit temporarily and with conditions), she becomes a writer in New Athens working for the local newspaper and hiding her true nature from all of those around her. However, a chance encounter with the Lord of the Underworld at his club ends up changing her life forever. 

As a lifelong fan of Greek mythology and a Bookstagrammer, I’ve always loved getting to read retellings of the various myths I already know and love. Hades and Persephone’s story is one of the most famous romances in Greek mythology, and Ms. St. Clair does a great job honoring the original myth while still putting her own unique stamp on it. For example, the setting of New Athens is a location that is modern while still honoring some ancient elements. All of the gods in this book are easily recognizable by their horns (when they aren’t using a glamour). Demeter’s protective nature over Persephone is a hallmark of almost every retelling, and it was nice as a reader to get to see Persephone’s journey from the timid Goddess of Spring towards her eventual fate as the Queen of the Underworld. 

The characters were another highlight of this book. As the book is told from Persephone’s perspective, we are getting to learn more about the elusive god of the Underworld at the same time she does. As Thanatos says in the book, “Lord Hades is not in the habit of trying to convince the world he is a good god.” He doesn’t really care much about what others outside of his inner circle think of him, but over time he opens up to Persephone and shows a different side of himself. For example, there’s more to the games he plays with mortals and the deals he makes than initially meets the eye. In addition to the main characters, I also enjoyed the various side characters that make an appearance throughout the book. Demeter is an easy villain to hate, and Hecate was a lot of fun. 

Overall, this was an excellent read. I was super engaged throughout the read, and audiobook narrator Meg Sylvan did a great job bringing the story to life with her performance.  I’m excited to work my way through the rest of the series towards the final book, A Touch of Chaos. I would recommend this book to adult romance readers who enjoy books that are retellings of myths and with a little bit of spice in them. 

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