Mythology retellings are very popular in media, especially in books. You can really find a variety of different mythology retellings in most of the genres. Take for example the Percy Jackson franchise and the success it has had. Another big Greek myth that is often seen in media is the Abduction of Persephone. While the myth is rather problematic in its original form, authors have taken it and created stories that have touched our hearts from the very first page. For the mythology fans, here are eight enchanting books about Hades and Persephone.
Why is the story of Hades and Persephone such a well-loved myth to retell? We’ve seen thousands of people craving more and more stories that feature these two characters in any way possible. We can look at the success of Madeline Miller and her popular books, which are inspired by Greek mythology, as well as the success of the Lore Olympus series. On all sides of social media, fans have been asking for a book with Hades and Persephone for so many years. Why, though?
I feel people adore this pair because they’re very much opposites who somehow found their missing piece with each other. Maybe you can say that Hades saved Persephone, but you can also argue that she saved him. Both characters have very lonely lives, and I think people can relate. A person wants to find their group, the ones who will always be in their corner. And for me, I think Hades and Persephone did just that.
By Pain of Death by Suzanne Clay
By Pain of Death is a low-heat novella M/M retelling about Hades and Persephone. It follows Hades, a lonely god, who spends his life sorting the deceased into their eternal homes. It’s an isolated existence, but he is used to it. Everything changes when Hermes arrives in the Underworld alongside a deity Hades has never met before. Seph needs a place to hide where his mother cannot follow…and maybe Hades finally needs to believe that being alone is not the only thing going for him.
Drag Me Up by R.M. Virtues
If you want more of a contemporary retelling, R.M. Virtues’s A Gods of Hunger series is what you’re looking for. The series starts with Drag Me Up which is Hades and Persephone’s story, but you can expect Aphrodite and Hephaestus (Keep Me Close) and Athena and Dionysos (Let Me In) to also star in their own books.
This series is set in a Vegas-like city where Hades is the owner of a very successful casino and Persephone is the new acrobat in his show.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
One of my all-time favorite fantasy books is The Star-Touched Queen and it just so happens to be a Hades and Persephone-inspired book as well. It also has beautiful writing and a magical story to devour.
Maya has been cursed her entire life. The stars have promised a marriage of death in her future. Because of this, her father decides to arrange a political union for her, and soon, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and the wife of Amar, the king. But Akaran has its own secrets, and the ruler is the one who keeps them all behind closed doors and gardens of glass.
The North Wind by Alexandria Warwick
The North Wind is the start of a new series by Alexandra Warwick with Greek lore, enemies-to-lovers romance, and lush and beautiful worldbuilding. You have a little bit of time before the sequel comes out, so you better start reading it!
In this book, you’ll meet Wren of Edgewood, who only knows survival. For 300 years, her land has been encased in an eternal cold, and the only thing that separates them from the Deadlands is a great barrier named the Shade. But the Shade is getting weaker day by day, and the only one who can save her town is her. Someone has to marry the dark god who reigns over the Deadlands, and who better to do it than a mortal woman who has no one waiting for her?
Persephone: Hades’ Torment by Allison Shaw
I wanted to mix it up a bit and show you a graphic novel that will enchant you instantly. Persephone: Hades’ Torment is sweet but also surprisingly steamy! The art is quite beautiful and full of life. And the story? The story is old as time and you know it by heart: Hades sees Persephone and is struck by Eros’s arrow, making him fall madly in love with her.
A Rogue By Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
How about we talk about a historical romance? One of the best books about Hades and Persephone is surely A Rogue By Any Other Name. MacLean’s novel is inspired by the Greek myth and it’s quite easy to see the similarities when you start reading it. It’s not explicitly said and the characters do not bear the names of the gods, but Bourne and Penelope’s story does follow a similar story arc of the myth.
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Wintersong takes inspiration from the Greek myth and Labyrinth (1986), the movie starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. It’s an interesting take, for sure! Jae-Jones crafts a beautifully character-driven story where one girl who was used to dreaming suddenly finds herself having her own adventure.
The Goblin King is looking for a bride. When he takes Liesl’s sister, Liesl has to travel to his world, the Underground, in order to get her back.
Bow Before the Elf Queen by J.M. Kearl
And finally, Bow Before the Elf Queen follows Layala, who has been waiting to get revenge on the High Elf King after her parents’ deaths. When he finally comes to get her to be his bride, she makes plans to end his life. But Thane has a secret that makes it impossible for Layala to slay him.
This forbidden romance is everything you’ve been searching for. If you love The Lord of the Rings, you can also find yourself loving this book as well.
Reading a retelling is a nice option if you want to revisit a well-loved story. It can be a retelling that stays close to the original source. But it can also be one that takes inspiration from it. Either way, you’ll get to fall in love again with the characters and plot from the original work. Hades and Persephone is a very well-loved myth for a lot of people. And it has slowly been pushed to popularity when it comes to retellings in fiction.
*whispers* I also want to point out that if a book says it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, you can add it to this list.
Looking for made-for-you recommendations based on your favorite myths? Check out TBR, our tailored book recommendations service!