We all know how the story goes: poor, innocent Persephone is snatched away from her beloved mother, Demeter, by Hades and imprisoned in the Underworld as his queen. Demeter is grief stricken, and wreaks havoc on the earth until Persephone is thankfully allowed to come back for a few months out of every year. Right?
Wrong. Demeter is smothering Persephone, who yearns for a chance to prove that she is no longer a child, and to explore the world beyond her sheltered vale where her mother has kept her "safe from men" for all her life. So when she encounters Hades by chance and they fall in love, her decision to leave her mother is not a hard one. At first, everything is just fine, and Persephone is adjusting to her new life wonderfully—except now Demeter is killing mortals in a desperate attempt to get Persephone back, and the only way Persephone can stop her is if she leaves her new home and husband...and never returns.
Radiant Darkness is a different look at the ancient tale, but infused with new life and a new attitude. Persephone's voice has a modern edge to it that is easy to read and relate to and her wishes and hopes aren't different from those of any other girl her age. Demeter’s overbearing presence in Persephone’s life will elicit sympathy from many, and Persephone’s courage to make her own decisions in life is admirable. Though the romance between her and Hades isn't portrayed in very deep or meaningful manner, it's electrifying enough to send shivers down your back and make you wish for your own lord of the Underworld to whisk you away from ordinary life. Whitman has created a pleasantly enjoyable read that stays quite true to most of the original Ancient Greek tales and explores both filial and romantic love, friendship, and the coming of age and self confidence in a more modern and catchy voice that will set your heart racing.
This book will be available on April 29th, 2009 from HarperTeen!