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Mythological retelling is very popular in the media, especially in books. You can really find a variety of different mythological retellings across most genres. Take the Percy Jackson franchise, for example, and the success it’s had. Another major Greek myth that is often featured in the media is the kidnapping of Persephone. While the myth is quite problematic in its original form, writers have taken it and created stories that touched our hearts from the very first page. For the mythology fans, here are eight enchanting books about Hades and Persephone.
Why is the story of Hades and Persephone such a popular myth to tell? We’ve seen thousands of people yearn for more and more stories featuring these two characters in every way imaginable. We can see the success of Madeline Miller and her popular books inspired by Greek mythology, as well as the success of the Lore Olympus series. On all sides of social media, fans have been asking for a book featuring Hades and Persephone for so many years. Why though?
I feel like people love this couple because they are very opposites and somehow found their missing piece with each other. Perhaps one can say that Hades saved Persephone, but one can also argue that she saved him. Both characters have very lonely lives and I think people can relate to that. A person wants to find his group, which will always be in his corner. And I think Hades and Persephone did just that.
After Pain of Death by Suzanne Clay
By Pain of Death is a low heat M/M novella that retells Hades and Persephone. It follows Hades, a lonely god who spends his life sorting the dead into their eternal homes. It’s an isolated existence, but he’s used to it. Everything changes when Hermes arrives in the underworld alongside a deity whom Hades has never encountered before. Seph needs a place to hide where his mother can’t follow him… and maybe Hades needs to finally believe that being alone isn’t the only thing that speaks for himself.
Pull Me Up by RM Virtues
If you’re looking for more of a contemporary retelling, RM Virtues’ A Gods of Hunger series is for you. The series begins with Drag Me Up, the story of Hades and Persephone, but you can expect Aphrodite and Hephaestus (Keep Me Close) and Athena and Dionysus (Let Me In) to star in their own books as well.
This series is set in a Vegas-like town where Hades is the owner of a very successful casino and Persephone is the new acrobat on his show.
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The Startouched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
One of my all time favorite fantasy books is The Star-Touched Queen and it also happens to be a Hades and Persephone inspired book. It also has a beautiful writing style and a magical story to devour.
Maya has been cursed all her life. The stars have promised her a marriage of death in the future. Because of this, her father decides to arrange a political union for her, and soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and the wife of Amar, the king. But Akaran has his own secrets, and the ruler is the one who keeps them all behind closed doors and gardens of glass.
The North Wind by Alexandria Warwick
The North Wind begins a new series from Alexandra Warwick, featuring Greek lore, foe-to-lover romances, and lush and beautiful worldbuilding. You have a little time before the sequel comes out, so start reading it!
In this book you meet Wren of Edgewood who knows only survival. For 300 years, their land has been surrounded by an eternal cold, and the only thing separating them from the Deadlands is a great barrier called the Shade. But the shadow is getting weaker by the day and the only one who can save her city is her. Someone must marry the dark god who rules the Deadlands, and who better to do that than a mortal woman for whom no one waits?
Persephone: Hades’ Torment by Allison Shaw
I wanted to shake it up a bit and bring you a graphic novel that will instantly enchant you. Persephone: Hades’ Torment is cute, but also surprisingly hot! The art is very beautiful and full of life. And the story? The story is as old as time and you know it by heart: Hades sees Persephone and is struck by Eros’ arrow, causing him to fall madly in love with her.
A Villain by Other Name by Sarah MacLean
How about we talk about a historical romance? Certainly one of the best books about Hades and Persephone is A Rogue By Any Other Name. MacLean’s novel is inspired by Greek myth, and it’s fairly easy to see the similarities once you start reading it. It’s not said explicitly and the characters don’t take the names of the gods, but the story of Bourne and Penelope follows a similar story arc of the myth.
Winter Song by S. Jae-Jones
Wintersong draws inspiration from Greek Myth and Labyrinth (1986), the film starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. It’s definitely an interesting take! Jae-Jones crafts a beautiful, character-driven story in which a girl who used to dream suddenly has her own adventure.
The goblin king is looking for a bride. When he takes Liesl’s sister away, Liesl has to travel to his world, the underground, to get her back.
Bow to the Fairy Queen by JM Kearl
Finally, Arch of the Elf Queen follows Layala, who awaits revenge on the High Elf King after the death of her parents. When he finally comes to win her as his bride, she makes plans to end his life. But Thane has a secret that makes it impossible for Layala to kill him.
This forbidden romance is everything you have been looking for. If you love The Lord of the Rings, you will love this book.
Reading a retelling is a good option when you want to revisit a popular story. It can be a retelling that stays close to the original source. But it can also be one that draws inspiration from it. Either way, you’ll fall in love all over again with the characters and plot of the original work. Hades and Persephone is a very popular myth for many people. And it was slowly becoming popular when it comes to retelling in fiction.
*whispers* I would also like to point out that if a book says it is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, you can add it to this list.
Looking for tailored recommendations based on your favorite myths? Check out TBR, our bespoke book recommendation service!