To explain a little about what this post will be about, I’m taking the intro I did for the last one: In every romance book you read there are tropes or archetypes. You can also see them in shows, movies, plays, etc. Romantic tropes are everywhere, and they are fabulous. I adore them and I always tend to find my favorite ones in romance books so I can enjoy them more. I decided to do a sort of Trope Tuesday piece where I will be talking about many tropes and recommend you all some of my favorites that fit.
What is a trope? Urban Dictionary explains it best I think: “Despite the erroneous definitions already published here, tropeon the interwebs really refers to an often overused plot device. It can also be described as another variation on the same theme. TV shows, movies, comics, games, anime’, & books are full of tropes & many rabid fan-sites now name & track said tropes with a self-explanatory title for each one.” We can name a few: accidental pregnancy, best friends to lovers, sibling’s best friend, marriage of convenience, and so many more for sure. Your favorite couples? They probably got a trope too! It’s always so nice to realize or find out your favorite romance trope and keep searching for books with the same theme.
More than a retelling I will be talking about the trope. Because the Hades and Persephone trope is a good one. Let’s talk about the epic love story between these two, their arranged marriage, their dislike at the beginning of their marriage, but eventually their love growth for each other as the time passes. Both king and queen of the Underworld hold so much power between them you really cannot stop rooting for them. I also want to say for the ones who really know the myth, I won’t be mentioning books that feature the abuse that holds the myth or the stealing. So you will be not seeing that in the books below!
When talking about Greek myths, you probably can name a few: Odysseus, Circe, Cupid, Aphrodite and Hephaestus, and Hades and Persephone. Hades is the ruler of a very dark kingdom where most people don’t go unless they are dead. Persephone, the goddess of vegetation, deals with living instead death. Most of the retellings you might see in books, show a Persephone who can grow plants and flowers all around her while Hades is so far from that.
Ranging from YA to Adult fiction, here are some books that feature a Hades x Persephone relationship between their two main characters.
A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
Sarah MacLean is known for writing some of the best romances out there. You will always find yourself clutching your chest whenever a love scene, a declaration, a kiss, is on the page. She gives us so much and A Rogue by Any Other Name is not different.
It’s honestly the best example of this trope to be found in a non-fantasy world. Forced to get married, Penelope and Bourne live very different lives. He is known as the prince of the London’s underworld, while Penelope is a very sincere and lonely person (I relate so much wow) who just wants to have her childhood friend back.
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Meet the Goblin King. He’s looking for a bride, but what everyone doesn’t know is that he has found her since long ago. When the Goblin King takes Liesl’s sister, Liesl follows them to the dark places below. That unravels a series of events that will alter history and Liesl’s life. As well as the Goblin King’s.
This story is such a luscious tale. It’s holds a romance story in the very center of it all. It reminds me of Hades and Persephone but maybe many won’t agree with me. But it’s definitely a Labyrinth inspired fantasy and you cannot not get into this world.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
It’s not a secret that Roshani Chokshi writes beautiful tales. The Star-Touched Queen is literally a story about Death and a princess and with that, their marriage.
Maya’s promises of marriage have been cursed to have death and destruction and in all her life she has been alienated from all the kingdom and its people. She’s surprised when her father decides to arrange a marriage between her and a king of a distant land. But Amar holds too many secrets and Maya soon enough feels like she is in danger.
The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer
This is really a Hades and Persephone retelling so technically I’m cheating but who cares. This is a F/F Hades and Persephone retelling tho! That’s so exciting and we should hype it up.
Persephone has lived her life under her watchful mother’s eyes, Demeter, and all Olympus. She then meets Hades, lady of the Underworld. As we all know Hades is no friend of Olympus or Zeus, so she offers sanctuary to Persephone to keep her out of Olympus and all the gods’s eyes. But inside this land, she might find something else than safety, she might find love…