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Into the Underworld

10 Rich Retellings of the Myth of Hades and Persephone

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • October 21, 2021

The Greek myth of Hades and Persephone is one of our favorites—especially this time of year. As days grow shorter and temperatures drop, we recall the story of the king of the underworld turning his dark gaze on the goddess of spring. Here are some of our favorite books reimagining this ancient tale.

Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe

Experience the propulsive love story of Hades and Persephone—brought to life with lavish artwork and an irresistible contemporary voice. This new graphic novel, coming out November 2 and available for preorder, compiles the first twenty-five episodes of the popular webtoon comic.

A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair

After moving to New Athens, Persephone hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist. But after a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in an intractable contract with him. As she struggles for her freedom, her feelings for the God of the Dead grow.

The Power of Hades by Eliza Raine and Rose Wilson

Plucked from the streets of Manhattan, barista and botanical gardener Persephone is just trying to figure out how to get home to her brother. She has no interest in marrying Hades, yet she's being forced to compete in the deadly trials to become the Queen of the Underworld.

Receiver of Many by Rachel Alexander

As the daughter of Demeter and Zeus, Persephone has had a sheltered life among verdant fields. Now she is a woman, yearning for freedom. When Hades arrives to claim his betrothed, he finds a young goddess eager to unearth her divine potential—and a powerful mother unwilling to let go.

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. At the same time, she feels like someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead may be impossible when someone there wants you back.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

In the second installment of this bestselling series, Feyre's return to the Spring Court comes with a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, she can't forget the horrors she faced under the mountain. Nor has she forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

Goddess of Spring by P. C. Cast

Lina's trendy bakery in Tulsa is proving to be less than lucrative and she needs to come up with a plan. When she stumbles upon an Italian Goddess cookbook, Lina can't help but think she's found the answer to her problem—even if it means trading souls with a goddess.

Harvest Moon

This anthology of stories features the novella A Tangled Web by Mercedes Lackey: Kidnapping Persephone should have been an easy task. But the wrong blonde goddess is stolen by mistake. Now Prince Leopold must brave the realm of the dead to get his new bride back.

Persephone's Orchard by Molly Ringle

Sophie Darrow may have returned to her regular life at college, but her mind is consumed by dreams and memories of her fleeting time in the Underworld. Lethal danger has always surrounded the immortals and now that she's been tainted by their dark magic, Sophie's own life may be at risk.

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

It's always been just Kate and her mom—and now her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won't live past the fall. Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing.

So many different takes! We've enjoyed this deep dive into the literature surrounding one of our favorite Greek myths. And while you're reading, enjoy the original Broadway cast recording of Hadestown, a musical by Anaïs Mitchell featuring Persephone and Hades as characters in the related myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.

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Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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