Genre(s): Erotic Fantasy
You’ve heard it was the pomegranate.
Those six juicy, ruby seeds, staining my lips and fingers. Sealing my fate. Damning me.
Well, maybe so.
But that’s not entirely the truth.
If there ever comes a day when Samantha MacLeod writes something that doesn’t delight me, I’ll start listening for the sounds of four sets of hooves.
But that day is not today. Today is the day I get to tell you about this delicious little retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth, which has always been a favourite of mine.
I’ve read retellings of this before, and I think it’s hard to go wrong. Hades is one of the most misunderstood gods there are, in my opinion, and it’s infinitely satisfying to see him redeemed over and over again in modern narratives. However, I have never seen somebody revamp Persephone in such a way. Normally she’s innocent and naive, and fears Hades before she grows to love him. She’s still innocent and naive here, but in a way that I think works better than any other way I’ve ever read. Persephone is springtime. She’s meant to be playful, adventurous, curious. Springtime doesn’t cower from the dark and seductive, she leaps toward it with open arms. And I don’t know why I never realized before this story that this was the Persephone I wanted to see. But here I am, and I’m damn happy about it.
And Hades, he’s different than most retellings too. Gentler. Calmer. Tender. MacLeod understands and promotes Hades’ character not as the evil, devil-like figure we’re used to. He’s just a dude that literally pulled the short straw and got stuck ruling the dead. But hey, it’s not so bad down there. And damned if he doesn’t do a great job of what he does.
The story was hella compelling. The writing was, as always, fluid, elegant, and engaging. And the characters had a breath of life in them that is normally difficult to convey in such few pages. And the steamy parts? Hubba-hubba.
Not normally one for short stories, I highly recommend this one to anyone and everyone who loves romance. Or Greek myths. Or just good writing.