“You will worship me. And I won’t even have to order you.” Let’s start with the caveat that I love Hades and Persephone (particularly Persephone) and have since I was a child. I even dressed as Persephone and told her story for my elementary school’s history fair. It was a whole thing and basically, they’ve always been my favorite. Scarlett St. Clair seems to have a similar love and has produced an amazing book with a modern twist on the myth. A fantastic retelling of Hades and Persephone, A Touch of Darkness follows investigative journalist intern Persephone in her journey to expose Hades’ supposedly immoral deals with mortals. After Persephone finds herself in her own deal with Hades, her lack of power frustrates her, but her growing attraction to Hades frustrates her more…. A Touch of Darkness from Scarlett St. Clair was a refreshingly modern twist on the myth! I really enjoyed the investigative reporter/mystery lover version of Persephone. Her determination and stubbornness, despite her apparent lack of Divine powers made her easy to like as a main character. Her humility and grace in dealing with people, specifically Hades’ employees and the souls in the Underworld also made her easy to like as a person.
Her naivety occasionally shown through, but that was to be expected given her sheltered life with Demeter, and it was tastefully done and never felt childish. The twist in the traditional myth aspects of the story that Persephone didn’t have any powers as the Goddess of Spring was new, and I really enjoyed how it played into the overall plot. While Hades was a bit more stereotypical God of the Dead, he was never boring or predictable, which was refreshing. Obviously, his character has a bit more mythology and development behind it than Persephone, but Scarlett was still able to make him a character for her story, rather than writing the story around an existing archetype of the God of the Dead. I really enjoyed the little things Scarlett included, like playing fetch with the dogs, or playing rock, paper, scissors with Persephone. For lack of a better term, she humanized him in a way that helped with his development. Hades and Persephone’s relationship never felt forced and the way it developed was well-written and seemed natural. It had ups and downs, they had arguments, but it always just felt right, which I’ve noticed is a very hard thing to do, especially with retellings. The way Scarlett writes her characters really brings them to life and again, just feels natural. I didn’t like Minthe and I didn’t like Adonis, even from the start. While Minthe obviously wanted Hades’ attention, Adonis just seemed sleazy even from the first meeting, and my dislike of him only grew throughout the story. I do want to know more about his motivations for being a giant jerk, as well as how Hades knows so much about him to go so far as to warn Persephone. I hope we get to learn more about this in the next book, but I’d also be fine with never seeing him again truthfully. I enjoyed the inclusion of Hecate (another favorite of mine) and her friendship and guidance to Persephone was well done. I enjoyed that Persephone had both Hecate and Lexa as friends and that both were such good friends to her, supporting her no matter what. I was a bit confused at the end when it was revealed Lexa didn’t know Persephone was a Goddess. I went back, and it was never explicitly stated one way or the other at the beginning, but it just felt to me like Lexa always knew, so that was a bite of a surprise to me at the end. Overall, this was a very fun and engaging read and if you love Greek mythology, retellings, or just some good romance, this is definitely one to check out. I can’t wait to see what happens next for Hades and Persephone and I will be picking up A Touch of Ruin immediately. Have you read A Touch of Darkness? Share your thoughts!