When Hades fell in love with Persephone, in order to get around her mother Demeter who would oppose the match, he kidnapped her and took her to the UnWhen Hades fell in love with Persephone, in order to get around her mother Demeter who would oppose the match, he kidnapped her and took her to the Underworld. There, he tricked her into eating the seeds of a pomegranate, forcing her to remain with him. In Demeter's despair and anger, the earth was barren and thousands died. So, as a compromise, it was decided that Persephone would spend half of the year in the Underworld with her husband and half of the year on earth with her mother. The latter half, when Demeter was happy, became the spring and summer, and those months when Persephone was no longer by her side became winter and fall. Or so the myth goes. But what if Persephone wasn't kidnapped but actually chose to become the Queen of the Underworld? At the beginning of the book, Persephone lives in the world her mother created for Persephone's protection. And despite being at the age when mortal girls are sacrificing their toys to enter adulthood, Demeter won't allow her to do so, forcing her to remain in that state between adulthood and childhood. A world where no men are allowed--and in such a place, how will Persephone ever fall in love? Until the day a mysterious stranger appears in the field. Though she doesn't know his name, she sneaks every day to meet him, hoping all the time that her mother won't find out. And when she discovers his identity and he asks her to come with him, she immediately says yes. The Persephone-Hades myth is my all time favorite, so of course I had to read this book. I really love the idea of Persephone not being kidnapped but actually choosing to join Hades....more
Helen of Sparta (before she became the more famous Helen of Troy) craves to be more than just a pretty face. Even though princesses are supposed to beHelen of Sparta (before she became the more famous Helen of Troy) craves to be more than just a pretty face. Even though princesses are supposed to be dainty and spend all of their time sitting around the castle sewing, all Helen wants to do is hunt like her mother and sword fight like her brothers (plus, her sewing is atrocious). All of this leads Helen on an adventure to gain her independence and her dreams.
I had a little trouble getting into this book at first. I think part of the problem was that, from the description on the back of the book, I thought Helen was a teenager throughout but she actually spends about the first half of the book as a child. That being said, I really liked that Helen didn’t want her life to be dictated by her appearance (even though the reader knows throughout that this is what will inevitably happen). It also presents an interesting view into life of women who had very little options in life and were most often essentially sold into marriage. Even though the Spartan crown passed down through the female line (Helen), she still was expected to do the things princesses did. However, Helen manages to learn sword-fighting from her brothers’ teacher and hunting from her mother. Helen can also come off as a little spoiled. None of her actions would have been allowed if she wasn’t a princess, female or not. (view spoiler)[And, at the end, when her brothers go off to join Jason and the Argonauts for their battle, despite having been told to go home, Helen manages to get people to help her follow them. Even though, in doing so, these same people could be killed for their disobedience. But Helen only considers this briefly but ultimately continues with her plan. (hide spoiler)]
However, I definitely plan to read the second book, if only because of the cliffhanger at the end of this one. I must admit to being curious how Friesner will continue to weave Helen’s story. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more