It had to unleash some invisible magic, he thought; Hades and Persephone, joining together again within these black and holy stone walls, for the first time in millennia. As they indulged in enjoying one another, how could they not be reactivating some power within the Earth itself? Surely they were at least bringing autumn storm clouds rolling and thundering over the Mediterranean.
Initial thoughts: I was browsing through the sale section of the Kobo store where I came across Persephone’s Orchard. It was less than $2 and so I quickly bought the book. One thing you should know about me, I love reading retellings of the Persephone & Hades myth. Out of every retelling out there, this is one story that I can’t get enough of. So far, my favorite Hades & Persephone retelling is the Abandon series by Meg Cabot.
The Greek gods never actually existed. Did they? Sophie Darrow finds she was wrong about that assumption when she’s pulled into the spirit realm, complete with an Underworld, on her first day at college. Adrian, the mysterious young man who brought her there, simply wants her to taste a pomegranate.
Soon, though she returns to her regular life, her mind begins exploding with dreams and memories of ancient times; of a love between two Greeks named Persephone and Hades. But lethal danger has always surrounded the immortals, and now that she’s tainted with the Underworld’s magic, that danger is drawing closer to Sophie.” Goodreads
After reading quite a few retellings of the Persephone & Hades myth, Persephone’s Orchard is a good retelling. Although I have read a better retelling (the Abandon series by Meg Cabot), this one is a close second.
Sophie Darrow is just an ordinary girl trying to adjust to her new life as a university student. Then suddenly, she is whisked away to the spirit realm where she meets the mysterious Adrian. Adrian wants nothing more than for Sophie to eat one of his pomegranates in the underworld in order to unlock the memories of her past lives to discover the truth about her true identity.
Out of all the Persephone & Hades retellings, this one was one of the most imaginative adaptations of the myth that I had ever read. There are many new surprises in this version which will astonish and delight readers who are familiar with greek mythology or the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I really liked how Ringle had woven in reincarnation into the myth. I loved reading the flashback scenes between Hades and Persephone. In most of the novels I read, flashback scenes tend to be dull and I feel ready to skip through them while yawning. In this case, I was drawn to these scenes like a moth to a flame. Come on, I kept thinking while reading, kiss already!
The characters were interesting, but, a little bland for my taste and could have been given a little more personality. The new reincarnated Hades of this book is not the brooding charismatic Hades of the other retellings. This one is a loveable geek who is both handsome and sweet. His lack of a dark and brooding nature was quite refreshing. I liked Sophie as a character – she’s a blogger, after all. But, I found that she did not have much of a defined personality, and it was difficult to figure out when she fell for the reincarnated Hades. I was waiting for a moment where Sophie would realize that she is in love with the reincarnated Hades. This moment is quickly glossed over, and she suddenly becomes all lovey dovey.
Not only is this retelling fresh and new with its revision of the original myth, the villains in the story were interestingly mysterious and freaky. The villains are a group of people who call themselves Thanatos. Thanatos wants nothing more than to put an end to the immortals, and to prevent Sophie from taking her place as queen of the Underworld. The ending was full of action and there was lots of nail biting on my part. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!
Overall, I was really happy to find this book by chance in the Kobo sale section. Ringel’s writing is decent for a young adult novel, and her attention to detail is impressive. I would recommend this book to fans of The Goddess Test by: Aimee Carter, Persephone by: Kaitlin Bevis, and Abandon by: Meg Cabot.
Final Rating: B
Until Next Time,
About the Book
Title: Persephone’s Orchard
Author: Molly Ringle
Series: The Chrysomelia Stories (book #1 Persephone’s Orchard, book #2 Underworld’s Daughter, book #3 Immortal’s Spring)
Year Published: 2013
Genres & Subjects: Fiction, Romance, Retelling, Persephone & Hades, Fantasy, Young Adult