Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman
rating: 4 of 5 stars
In this stunning debut, Whiteman elaborates on the myth often called The Rape of Persephone. Whiteman’s Persephone however, is not the damsel in distress that you often find in the traditional myth. What sets Whiteman’s Persephone apart is that everything that happens to her is by her own choice.
Tired of being treated like a child and ignored by her mother the goddess Demeter, Persephone silently rebels against her mother who refuses to acknowledge that her daughter is no longer a child, but a young woman. When Hades appears to Persephone in the protected vale Demeter has created, Persephone finally has someone who treats her as an adult rather than a child. Hades offers her the choice to stay in the vale or become his queen, and Persephone makes her choice. What follows is the story of how Persephone transitions from self absorbed child to a caring and determined young woman and finally to a radiant queen.
Radiant Darkness was a quick read. I have always loved mythology and truly enjoyed this version of the story. It was engaging from the beginning. Although I felt that it took Persephone a little too long to catch on to both her husband and her mother’s desire for more power, the story is still entertaining. Persephone’s chafing at the beginning under her mother’s over-protectiveness will be something that teens ready to experience their own independence will easily empathize with.
I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Cautions for sensitive readers: Persephone is married to Hades, sex is implied, but not detailed or mentioned in the text. There is no language and no violence.
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