Clare Recommends:

Radiant Darkness                                                                            

By Emily Whitman

Persephone lives in a protected vale, completely closed off from the outside world. Her over-protective mother Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, has never let her do anything outside of the valley. She has never even seen a man until one day, a mysterious male being lands his golden chariot splat in the middle of her favorite field. Over time, Persephone falls in love with this beautiful stranger, and only later does she discover that her lover is Hades, the Lord of the Underworld.

Clare's review

The legend and myth of Persephone has been told and treasured for thousands of years. In all the stories, Hades forced Persephone to rule with him on his underworld throne, none of them mention that maybe she chose to accompany him to the realm of the dead. In this version, Demeter is not at all the loving mother, but a vain and egotistical goddess who cares more about the barely and wheat on Earth more than her own immortal daughter's well-being.  Hades does not suddenly fly out of the sky to kidnap the goddess, but instead courts her in secret, letting her choose whether or not she wants to rule at his side. She comes back not because Zeus forced her to, but to keep the promise she made to a deceased mother to find and protect her newborn child. The natural flow and style of the writing ensures that this is not a tale to forget, but one to pass down, along with the original tale of the goddess, Persephone.

I think the cover's OK, the girl is pretty and the flower is special, but I think that it could be more mysterious, in keeping with the content of the book - with darker colors and a more mature feel.


Clare Schuett is 13 and lives in Sebastopol California. She is a lover of books and a voracious reader. She reviews YA books, prior to their publication, for the American Library Association. We have the privilege of posting her reviews on our blog.


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