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The Chrysomelia Stories #1

Persephone's Orchard

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The Greek gods never actually existed. Did they? Sophie Darrow finds she was wrong about that assumption when she's pulled into the spirit realm, complete with an Underworld, on her first day at college. Adrian, the mysterious young man who brought her there, simply wants her to taste a pomegranate.

Soon, though she returns to her regular life, her mind begins exploding with dreams and memories of ancient times; of a love between two Greeks named Persephone and Hades. But lethal danger has always surrounded the immortals, and now that she's tainted with the Underworld's magic, that danger is drawing closer to Sophie.

[Content warnings: one instance of non-consensual magic used on someone else's mind, a few instances of violence, discussions of death and grief]

370 pages, Paperback

First published June 25, 2013

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About the author

Molly Ringle

15 books405 followers
[Aug. 2022 note: I'm going dormant on Goodreads and moving over to Storygraph. Find me there! I'm under username mollyringle and would love to connect.]
Bio: Molly Ringle was one of the quiet, weird kids in school, and is now one of the quiet, weird writers of the world. She/her. Perv on the page, demisexual panromantic in RL.🏳️‍🌈

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 151 reviews
Profile Image for Nevaeh Lee.
Author 5 books362 followers
June 14, 2013
Okay, so when you think of Hades, the Greek god of the Underworld, you might picture someone like this:

hades hercules photo: hadesonfire.gif

Or this.....

hades percy jackson photo: Hades chat-percy-jackson-cast-friday-04.jpg

Or even this....

hades clash of titans photo: Hades Hades-3.jpg

But what if Hades looked more like this?

adrian grenier photo: Adrian Grenier adrian_grenier.jpg

Mm, hmm...that's what I thought. Being above ground is overrated, right? ;o)

Anyone who is fond of Greek mythology will absolutely love Persephone's Orchard, but you definitely do not have to be to enjoy this book, which definitely puts a different spin on the story of Hades and Persephone than you have ever come across or ever will again. And for the die-hard mythologists (did I just totally make up that word?) those two are not the only gods and goddesses that appear in the story. There's also Hermes (who is hilarious, by the way), Demeter, and Aphrodite, among others. Oh, and how could I forget to mention Adonis? ;o)

But the best part about this book is the clever way the author intertwines the past and the present, the real-life and the fiction. The story is more than just a modern spin on a myth, it actually fuses the two together.

She'd known her life was about to change when she arrived at college, but she hadn't imagined it would veer straight into the surreal.

Yeah, she's not kidding either! Beyond the story itself, the characters are really well done. I actually really liked Sophie, who is the exact opposite of a wishy-washy heroine. I can't come up with a word for this, but whatever it is, that's her. When she makes a decision, she sticks with it and doesn't back down. Straight-shooter, all the way.

The things he had shown her and told her seemed real. They felt real. Her instincts insisted he wasn't lying . Hiding things, sure, lots of them probably; but not lying.
And he had a dog, a nice dog. He couldn't be too evil or dangerous if he had such a great dog. She smirked at herself for thinking that, yet on some level it still struck her as a reliable deduction.

Actually, that sounds really reasonable to me too....And then there's Adrian, who says the most swoon-worthy things.

"Is that why you're trying to bring me on board? To help with the workload?"

"I'm trying to bring you on board because I've never lived a life without you. And I don't want to start now."
The sweet declaration warmed her heart. But she kept the lightness in her tone when she responded, "So it's because of who I used to be? What if I'd been born into this life as someone horrible and obnoxious?"
His beautiful eyes met hers. "With that soul, you couldn't have been."

The author uses alternating points-of-view, which guides the story through both the past and present of both characters particularly well. The writing is really good and overall, I just really enjoyed this book. And yes, it does have a bit of a cliffhanger but I've been informed that this is definitely part of a series, so I will look forward to more of Ms. Ringle's writing in the (hopefully) near future.

Profile Image for Kaitlin Bevis.
Author 15 books513 followers
July 19, 2013

I actually really liked this book! When I first realized that this was one of those "Persephone reincarnated into the modern day" things I have to admit, I was nervous. I've read a lot of versions of Persephone (though I waited until my first book was completely drafted and in queries until I did, just to be safe with the exception of L.J Smith's Forbidden Games that was my favorite book when I was twelve, seriously, read it.), and I've seen that done several times without it ever actually seeming to work (for me, lots of people love them and there's nothing wrong with that). Either Hades is always still Hades, but Persephone is somehow being reborn every so often, which feels really weird to me, or they're both not exactly reincarnations, but two people with similar powers who just so happen to repeat a similar story for no real, concrete reason.

This book succeeded where those books failed. Yes, the characters were reincarnations of Hades and Persephone, but they both were and they were also 100% themselves. Sophie was a character in her own right as well as being Persephone who managed to be a completely developed, independent character of her own that complimented Sophie in such a way that it felt natural that they were also the same person.

Ringle captures the complexities of the whole reincarnation thing without resorting to "Oh, we like, loved each other in another life, so we're in insta-love now" trope. Each lifetime felt like it happened, and it mattered, and that it happened independently of their prior lives. Sophie didn't like Adrian at first, it took her a long time to warm up to him, and when she did the pacing felt natural, not like she was forced into it by her prior lives.

I'm sure I'm babbling, but this is seriously the only time I've seen reincarnated souls that actually had enough depth to be believable. It kind of reminded me of Soul Mates by L.J Smith, but for a more mature audience.

I also really enjoyed Ringle's vision of the Greek gods of being essentially gifted humans who happened to be immortal. They don't have limitless power, and they were kind of figuring everything out as they went along. I thought the whole Thanatos cult against the immortals thing was pretty interesting and kept the tension high, butt honestly I didn't even need conflict. I was so wrapped up in watching this world and all the lifetimes within it unfold that the conflict and tension was bonus. This was a beautiful story, and I'm really excited to see how it unfolds in future installments of the series.
Profile Image for Rachel Alexander.
Author 11 books439 followers
March 20, 2016
“It had to unleash some invisible magic, he thought; Hades and Persephone, joining together again within these black and holy stone walls, for the first time in millennia. As they indulged in enjoying one another, how could they not be reactivating some power within the Earth itself? Surely they were at least bringing autumn storm clouds rolling and thundering over the Mediterranean.

But probably every boy felt that way when finally in bed caressing the girl he loved.”

I quoted the excerpt above because it is just one of those magical pieces of prose that, in the Coleridgian sense, is poetry. In other words, it produces all the right words in all the right order.

I read Persephone's Orchard a year ago and it still remains one of the most unique and engaging retellings of the Hades and Persephone myth I've ever read. (Spoiler alert: I've read them ALL)

The tale sways back and forth between the present day with Adrian and Sophie, and to the distant Minoan past, where Molly Ringle gives a thoroughly plausible (if such a thing can be called that when we're talking about gods) explanation for why the gods are immortal.

More importantly, there is a refreshing lack of animosity between Demeter and Hades, a plot convention that is almost impossible to avoid when writing about the Persephone myth.

I especially loved Ringle's delving into the distant past from Hades' perspective. He starts out as a seemingly mortal farmer, and since he is a Khthonic god first and foremost, being from the earth, and most often portrayed by the ancient greeks as an agrarian deity, this fits him perfectly.

The characterizations an settings are splendid without being too wordy, and that is WITH a great deal of world building. It is, in and of itself, nearly impossible to achieve both those things in the same book, but Ringle does so with grace.

I very much look forward to the rest of the books in her series.
Profile Image for Molly Ringle.
Author 15 books405 followers
November 2, 2021
[First things first, content warnings for the book: one instance of non-consensual magic used on someone else's mind, a few instances of violence including fire and blood, discussions of death and grief]

Want an origin story for this book? Sure! I knew you did!

Long, long ago, when I had a dial-up modem, and Goodreads wasn't even a thing yet, I wrote a novel called Letters from Hades, about a young woman named Sophie who is seized and taken to the Underworld by, well, Hades. I had read D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths a zillion times since childhood, and knew that this was a traumatic event for poor Persephone, but even so, that Underworld sure fascinated me. Plus, Persephone ended up QUEEN of the place, not locked in a closet or anything, so there was clearly more going on here than just a sordid kidnapping.

Thus I found a way to make it a love story. (I've since learned that about 8,000 other authors were doing the same thing, but that's okay; none of us have done it exactly the same way.) My friends and family who read the novel, which I had printed out and stuck in a three-ring binder, really liked it. In fact, even though I never got it published back then, and started writing other books instead (which did get published), they'd still ask me about it from time to time: "What about Letters from Hades? I liked that."

They never stopped asking. There must be something to this idea. So in 2012 I opened up that old novel again, figured out a way to give it a full update, complete with text messages and a new set of characters, and began my rewrite from the ground up. And I had the time of my life and loved it even more than the first go-round, and the story sprawled out into a trilogy.

It doesn't take much research to find that there is no one "proper" way to tell any of the Greek myths. People developed their own favorite versions in different areas, with contradictory details cropping up between one story and another. Therefore, in taking a Greek myth and turning it on its ear, I figure I'm only adding to the longstanding tradition of creating a version of events I personally am fond of. I hope you like it too.
Profile Image for Anne-Marie.
32 reviews17 followers
October 25, 2013
Where is the sequel? I need the sequel!!!

To me, this book deserves a lot more recognition than what it currently gets. It is... marvellous, and this is coming from a history/mythology geek. From the moment I picked up the book with the intention to read a first few pages before going to bed... I couldn't put it down. I got wrapped up in the story and couldn't do anything but read this amazing book.

Molly did an amazing job with the memories from previous lives. I read a couple of stories attempting the same thing (remembering moments once forgotten) and it never got to me the way it did in this book.

I don't care that there are severous liberties taken when it comes to being true to the actual myth. It's an adaptation!

Seriously, Molly Ringle. I bow to your greatness and await the sequel impatiently. You left us all on a cliffhanger. Really woman, give birth to this sequel already :D

 photo mad_zps082b582e.gif
Profile Image for Danni.
118 reviews67 followers
July 19, 2014
I don't know why there is a hype about this. I couldn't even finish it. The writing is terrible. The characters unrealistic and unlikable and the complete story is out of whack. Phones in other dimensions???!?!? Was this not researched at all. Texts and calls work because of PHONE TOWERS, not radio frequencies and would absolutely NOT work in another dimension. And since when do those from the underworld have smart phones anyway. The whole plot is unrealistic and unbelievable. There is no scientific evidence to back up a single statement that is made. You can create supernatural beings but you can't defy the laws of physics without a pretty good excuse, another thing this lacked. The main characters were naive and unrealistic. Aiden behaved more like a child than anything else. And Sophie was completely naive and (honestly) dumb. She believed everything she was told even though it made no sense. It was like reading the dreams of a child. I received this for a review and could not find a redeeming quality to write about to help this book out.

Profile Image for Laura.
2,070 reviews16 followers
September 3, 2015
I've fought my way through half this book and I am just bored to tears! I love Greek mythology, especially the retellings of Hades and Persephone into a love story...but not here. The characters are boring, their romance is boring, the secret evil organization hardly comes into play and I give up.
Profile Image for Gnomie.
8 reviews3 followers
April 20, 2014
Strictly a YA book -- characters did not mature despite having centuries of memeories -- rather boring, would not read next book
Profile Image for Jenn.
597 reviews39 followers
July 7, 2014
First I would like to mention I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

The first thing that comes to mind is Holy Wow batman! I loved this book!! I am a huge fan of Greek Mythology and reading Persephone's Orchard put a whole new spin on it for me.

I'm also a huge believer in reincarnation a and have taken my own past lives test. Reading Hades's and Persephone's story going back and forth between realms was totally cool. Hades was just so loveable too in this story and I just felt for him missing Persephone so much.

Now when I knew it was Melissa who set them up I was a bit upset but when she said she wanted in on the immortality scene I was so ready to just reach through the book and beat her senseless.

As this is the 1st book in the series I would very much like to be notified when 2nd book comes out. Thank you very much for letting me read your book:)
Profile Image for Carla D..
121 reviews66 followers
October 19, 2015
Opinião em português no blog Pepita Mágica: http://pepitamagica.blogspot.pt/2015/...

I received a digital arc from the author through "Fangirls and Fanboys" group from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

I need to start this review by stating that I’m a huge Ancient Culture lover, especially Greek Culture – chiefly about its mythology. Therefore, while I was taking my degree I took several classes about this theme, even though the main focus of my degree was performing arts and cinema. Having said that, any book that uses mythology in general, and the Greek mythology in particular, it’s a must read book. I have a personal relationship with Dionysus (my surname is directly related to the god of wine, theatre and madness), but Hades is, without a doubt, one of the gods of the Greek pantheon that most fascinates me. Maybe because he is kind of “neglected” and poorly explores in the myths.

Persephone’s Orchard, for the reason I already stated, was an obligatory book for me. And I have to say that I was so happy that I liked this book so much. I must confess I was a bit worried that I wasn’t going to like it, for several reasons: its writing; the way the myths were going to be used; etc… but nothing like that happened. I enjoyed it a lot! Firstly, I think the author was very intelligent in the way she approached the myth about Persephone’s kidnap, because, as the author, I always thought it was more than just a kidnap. Maybe it was my naivety, but I always believed Hades had “kidnap” Persephone’s because he loved her (okay, it’s a twisted way of showing it) and, in my wildest dreams, that feeling was corresponded by Persephone. Hades always had a “bad reputation” among other gods, and maybe because of that, drastic measures were needed. For me, it was never an actual kidnap. And it was what Molly Ringle did. She created a beautiful love story between two Greek gods, who fought against everything and everyone, and from their several different lives, they always find each other.

Hades and Persephone’s myth is not the only myth in this book, there is more; and we have a lot more characters than just those two: Aphrodite, Hermes, Zeus, Hera, Apollo, among others, and I think it was a really good thing about the book. To be honest, the parts I most loved were the ones about the memories, the flashbacks about the gods’ lives and such, although the story that took in the present (Sophie and Adrian) was also really interesting and I liked it.

Albeit, I’d like to have seen more about the way the gods died and how they reincarnated in mortal people throughout the history of humankind. It’s a subject that is always present, but we never actually see it. How did Hades die? Or Persephone? Ou any other god in this book? And, on top of that, I thought that Thanatos was a bit poorly developed in the story. If we think deeply about it, it kind of makes sense, since not even the characters know much about it. Thanatos is just a scary omnipresent shadow of destruction – a bit like the actual idea of Thanatos in the mythology.

Molly Ringle has a fluid and interesting writing. Despite the several jumps in time, she has the ability to keep the story coherent and making sense all way until the end. It keeps us hooked to every word. Definitely, it’s a well written book and it’s notorious the author put a lot of thinking on those words. Since it’s a saga, I want to keep reading *so much*!


Profile Image for Fred.
274 reviews302 followers
July 12, 2013
Sophie Darrow has left her family's produce farm to start her freshman year at the University of Oregon. She's trying to turn over a new leaf, far from her old boyfriend and the tension she senses in her parents' relationship. The last thing she expects is to be drawn into the peculiar but intriguing world of a mysterious boy, Adrian, who keeps showing up in rather unlikely places and ways.

The story begins "in media res," a phrase I have loved since my high school Latin class, where I learned to love both epic literary devices and the mythical stories they embellished. And yes, the story begins (literally) with a bang, eschewing those pesky expository explanations that so tediously try a reader's patience. There's an immediate, "what happened, what will happen" reaction, that persists even as the story shifts gears to the complex and tangled relationship that Sophie and Adrian share.

I was nervous when I saw Molly was using the story of Hades and Persephone as a framework, not gonna lie. Persephone has been one of the popular girls lately, and quite a few have taken her to the prom, including mega author Meg Cabot. How are you going to work around that, I worried. But one of the amazing things about myths (and Molly's literary skills) is their elasticity, their ability to be reimagined in ways that speak to our contemporary concerns and worldview. And so it is with this telling. Adrian and Sophie are amazingly and achingly real feeling, with their vulnerability amid the swirling ghosts of the past entangling them and bringing them together, even as a dark antagonist seeks to thwart them. This feels like a new story, albeit one with echoes of a former life giving it added resonance and depth as it pleasurably unfolds. Molly's prose is, as always, luminous and lyrical, a true joy to read. I urge you to experience this fresh and evocative NA PNR.
Profile Image for Mallory.
337 reviews47 followers
June 21, 2017
An absolutely enthralling read. It was all-consuming while I was reading.

I have always been fascinated with the myth of Hades and Persephone and this was such a sweet and fun twist on the story. I also really appreciated the way that Molly Ringle slowly introduced the complicated parts of the story (i.e., reincarnation, gaining memories of past lives, becoming immortal, tracking other people through magic, and more). Fantasy can be difficult to read if the author assumes you come in knowing more than you know. Ringle did a great job of making this an easy fantasy read by not inundating the reader all at once with the information.

I'm very excited to read the next installment!
Profile Image for Ellen Ekstrom.
Author 8 books66 followers
July 13, 2013
Wow. Just wow. Did I say wow?

"Persephone's Orchard" is amazing. Ms. Ringle gives us a clever and new retelling of the myth of Persephone and Hades and in addition, gives us their modern counterparts in two very real, very likable characters. Books like this and Suzanne Collins' "Hunger Games" turned me on to YA books. I wish they'd been around when I was reading "B is for Betsy" and "The Pink Dress," I wouldn't have had to read those books, because "Persephone's Orchard" is my kind of story: romance, character driven, suspenseful and damn good writing.

The story: Sophie Darrow, college freshman, first meets Nico and then Adrian, two handsome and strange young men who have ties to her life - past and present. As the story progresses we learn that Sophie has had a life more interesting that the daughter of Washington State produce sellers and it happens to go back centuries and into what we call mythology.

The poetic yet simple flow of the storytelling keeps you enthralled both in Sophie and Adrian's story and the parallel story about Persephone and Hades. Her descriptions of the Underworld and the Spirit realm gave me chills and had me dreaming about them - one imagines the pure and startling light, the colors, the boldness of the sun. Yep, this is what I've always thought heaven should be - no fluffy clouds and angels with harps, but another dimension where the souls of the departed live in harmony waiting to return again, where the plants and animals are like no others on earth.

The romance was sweet and rang true, moved at just the right pace; no Romeo & Juliet hystrionics, and the sexual encounters were implied, not spelled out, leaving it to one's imagination - I like that.

The adventure part was a perfect element - just enough to get the pages turning and a couple of surprises - there was one BIG one that I didn't see coming! I can't wait to find out what Ms. Ringle does with it.

I hope you're working on the sequel, Molly Ringle, because I want it NOW.

Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.8k followers
Want to read
July 11, 2013
Ok, this seems different than my usual but still potentially awesome. It's a modern retelling of Hades & Persephone's story... I'm totally intrigued!

The Greek gods never actually existed. Did they? Sophie Darrow finds she was wrong about that assumption when she's pulled into the spirit realm, complete with an Underworld, on her first day at college. Adrian, the mysterious young man who brought her there, simply wants her to taste a pomegranate.

Soon, though she returns to her regular life, her mind begins exploding with dreams and memories of ancient times; of a love between two Greeks named Persephone and Hades. But lethal danger has always surrounded the immortals, and now that she's tainted with the Underworld's magic, that danger is drawing closer to Sophie.

And I thought the author's note on Amazon was really interesting:

It doesn't take much research to find that there is no one "proper" way to tell any of the Greek myths. People developed their own favorite versions in different areas, with contradictory details cropping up between one story and another. Therefore, in taking a Greek myth and turning it on its ear, I figure I'm only adding to the longstanding tradition of creating a version of events I personally am fond of.

The ancient myths all tend to agree that Hades kidnapped Persephone, completely against her will, traumatizing her and breaking her mother Demeter's heart. But for reasons I can't fathom (maybe I simply wanted a prettier story?), ever since I was a teenager I wanted to see a version where Persephone loved Hades, and he loved her too. (It's possible he did in the original myth, and just had an unhealthy way of showing it. We don't get a lot of glances into Hades' mind in those old stories.) But in rewriting the myth that way, it became clear that if Hades wasn't the villain in the triangle, someone else would have to be.
Profile Image for Abbie Williams.
Author 17 books87 followers
May 21, 2014
I crave intense books, and Persephone's Orchard is INTENSE from the start. Immediate exciting action. Intricately detailed stories within stories. Complex characters. Mystery and danger. Ghosts. Reincarnation. True love so strong that not even millennia can destroy it. I knew I was in for it (meaning, I would have to read non-stop until I finished) after Adrian's statement at the end of chapter two.

There are truly two sets of main characters (though they are very much connected), and both are fascinating. I loved the 'what-if' exploration of the Hades/Persephone relationship, and the depth and complexity of the story that develops on two fronts. Adrian and Sophie's storyline is sexy, fast-paced and again, totally intense. I also especially liked the passages about Hades as an unusually strong youth, whose eventual love for Persephone sparks right off the page. I could not read fast enough and need the sequel to be out tomorrow.

This is a book written with a great deal of passion and a feeling of authenticity. I loved "meeting" the Greek gods/goddesses I thought I knew so well. Turns out I don't! I can't wait to read more.

Profile Image for Ashley.
199 reviews149 followers
July 13, 2014
I am a huge Greek Mythology fan. Like, huuuge. And chief among my Greek mythology obsessions is the tale of Hades and Persephone; I snap up every piece of written work I can written about this interesting couple. I don't know why it's my favorite myth, but it just is. I'm always looking for new things about them and go into these novels hoping against hope they don't fall back on the same tropes that tend to fill even the worst Hades and Persephone fanfiction that can be found on the internet. (Don't get me wrong, I love angst sexual tension as much as the next gal but there's only so much I can handle of the "he abducted me for perfectly justifiable reasons but I don't trust him even though I definitely want to have sex with him oh no am I falling in love with him look at all this angst" plotlines before I have to say enough is enough.

Persephone's Orchard pleasantly--nay, fantastically--surprised me by bringing the freshest and most innovative take on Hades and Persephone (and all the Greeks gods in general) I've ever read. It does almost completely shake off the original myths, using them as a sort of bare bones structure for each god and their stories, which was a little frustrating for me as someone so well-versed in the myths. But I grew accustomed to it and in the end really quite enjoyed the changes.

On the topic of the gods, or the immortals as they're more appropriately called, I thought Molly Ringle did a brilliant job of creating the premise of them. As I said, Ringle didn't stick to the original myths but made up her own characters based off the myths but she did it in such a way that the reality of her characters became the myths. The one thing that bothered me about the immortals was that there was no explanation as to how the originals came to be. I hold my tongue from saying it was a fault of the book because that could be the grand overarching mystery the series seeks to solve, in which case I will surely be mollified. But I just hope the author doesn't plan to leave that unknown dangling there. It was very interesting to get to meet all the gods though, and not just focus on Hades and Persephone. It certainly gave the narrative, and the world, a more fleshed out feel.

Now, onto the meat and potatoes. I will start with the main characters, Sophie and Adrian. I think it would be appropriate to comment on them first individually, and then as a couple. I loved Sophie, I thought she was intelligent and strong-willed. Although some may not like how easily she went along with the situation she was placed in, I actually understood it and didn't fault her for placing her trust in Adrian so quickly. She was literally whisked into an entirely different world and made to confront things almost impossible to believe, and here's a guy who says he can explain everything. With nowhere else to turn for answers, you sorta have to trust him even if you're scared witless. Speaking of, Adrian. It's no secret I'm easily swayed by attractive boys in books and from the beginning Adrian had me. He's like a cool dork if that makes any sense. And him and Sophie together was steamy to say the least. I very much enjoyed the unfolding of their romance just as I enjoyed the unfolding of their past lives' romance as Hades and Persephone.

Perfect segue, don't you think?

Ah, Hades and Persephone. As always, infuriatingly stupid when it comes to realizing they both felt the same way and more than once I just sat there going "oh for god's sake just freaking kiss already". The way their story was told in parallel to Sophie and Adrian's worked amazingly well, and I'm quite impressed that Ringle was able to make sure the story was totally coherent and nothing got confused or jumbled. Hades isn't your the stereotypical dark, brooding, and stoic man that most retellings of his story cast him as. He's actually quite sweet and, well, quite the opposite of what you'd expect from the king of the Underworld.

I read this book in one day, that's how much I was drawn into it. Although I will warn, this is not a fast moving book in the sense of Sophie and Adrian's story. Much of it is flashbacks to Hades and Persephone, which was honestly fine with me. But if you're someone who likes a fast moving plot, this is perhaps not the book for you. Still, Ringle's skill in reimagining this old tale had me hooked. I give this book 5 stars. Can't wait for the next book!

Review can be found at: http://www.whatsyourstorybookreviews....
Profile Image for Jess at Such a Novel Idea.
597 reviews178 followers
June 21, 2013
Come see my author spotlight and interview, along with a giveaway of one signed copy June 20-27, 2013 at Such A Novel Idea!

Why You Should Buy It

This reinvention of Hades, Persephone, and the rest of the Greek gods is fascinating, creative, and breath-taking. A perfect blend of the old myth and the present day. And the love between the two main characters is aww-worthy. You will laugh, cry, and wish for more.

My Thoughts

*I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review.*

As you all know, I’m a huge Greek mythology re-imagined fan. Not to mention the Hades/Persephone story. So when I was asked to review this book, I was a bit giddy. Not only that, but it was a new adult book! Sometimes I wonder if reading all these books about the same myth will get redundant. But luckily, every single one of them has brought something new and intriguing to the table. And this book was no exception! This was sort of a mix of Grasping at Eternity* and Persephone**, both favorites of mine!

Honestly, this was the most unique presentation/explanation of the myth I’ve read. The beginning of the book starts like any other contemporary romance, but quickly diverges into the myth. The first few chapters were awkward, because Sophie is in an awkward phase of her life. She has just left her family, boyfriend, and best friend to start college. On her first day in the dorm she is kidnapped by this stranger and meets Adrian in a parallel-type universe. Adrian tries to convince her he isn’t a stalker, but someone who cares about her. Once Sophie realizes she isn’t be tricked, things get a bit easier.

I loved the memories that she regains over the years — even the sad ones were so captivating and interesting. Ringle did some amazing world-building in this book — I think that was my favorite part by far. Without giving too much away, the evolution of the gods and the Underworld was absolutely fascinating. I kept thinking MAN, I wish I would have thought of that!

The book was long, which allowed the characters to build and develop over the course of the book. It is currently listed as a stand-alone, but has the possibility for future books, which of course I am all for. If you like contemporary romances, greek mythology, or new adult books, you will NOT be disappointed with this choice.


Four point five out of Five Stars
Profile Image for Heather.
856 reviews263 followers
January 29, 2016
I love this book! I have so much fun reading books about mythology. This one being about Persephone and Hades was the best!

It starts when Sophie is kidnapped but ends up being taken to another dimension. There she meets Adrian. He's sexy and mysterious. He tells her that there are secrets about them but can't yet explain them to her. "You have to discover the answers on your own." Finally, memories begin, she dreams of all her past lives until she remembers her first. Sophie and Adrian were originally Persephone and Hades. Adrian confesses he's immortal and wants Sophie to become immortal too. Yes, he has a way to make it happen. He wants them to live together, forever like they were meant to. But there are people out there that don't want them to live. They believe that to be immortal is the greatest sin and they want to kill them.

There are SO many things I loved about this book! The love story between Sophie & Adrian. Their underworld adventures. Them wondering if they were going to be found out. And the other mythological 'greats', like, Zeus, Posiden, Athena & more, also had their part in this story! I recommend this book to everyone that loves mythology, excitement and romance. I can't wait for the next book in this series!

I give this 5 Sexy Hades Stars!!
Profile Image for Kat Nicholson.
52 reviews3 followers
July 2, 2014
Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sophie Darrow (A wonderful name), is an average college freshman, nervous about moving into her dorm and leaving her family and trying to decide what to do about her boyfriend who is away at a different college. She doesn't put much stock in stories about the ancient gods, who does? Imagine her surprise when she is kidnapped and whisked into the spirit realm her very first day at college! Soon she learns the secrets of the other realm and what really goes on with gods and goddesses, and that the danger that is stalking them is closing in on her too.

I don't do it justice in that synopsis. It's a fantastic book! Detailed and lovingly crafted, Molly Ringle's story captured me from page one. I could imagine myself in the those places, watching the story unfold. I emphasized with Sophie and laughed at Niko's jokes and I fell in love with Adrian and his funny accent. It was one of the best books I have read in quite some time.

I highly recommend it to all who like coming of age stories, and love stories and greek mythology. Read it! You won't regret it!
121 reviews2 followers
July 6, 2013
Persephone's Orchard is an intriguing and fun re-interpretation of the classic Greek story. The author builds a world in which the mythic elements are grounded in a logical, self-consistent framework that propels the story from what at first seems to be a simple romance to a full-blown tale of mystery and drama. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
Profile Image for RO Mejia.
118 reviews95 followers
June 21, 2013
Persephone's Orchard is about Sophie Darrow, a curvaceous beauty, that has just been delivered to her dorm on Oregon State University campus. Out of nowhere, Sophie comes face to face with this odd fellow named, Nikolaos, who acted as though he was lost. He asked for Sophie's help with his Greek accent, looking helpless, and when she says "yes," he puts his arms around her, and they vanish in to another realm. She has been kidnapped by this odd character. When they land in a golden field somewhere, he now has a British-English accent, and the Greek accent is completely gone. He tells her she shouldn't be so trusting with strangers. There weren't any people, nor civilization, as she knows it, only enormous scary lions that were evolved to this new realm, and she was far from her new college campus. Sophie didn't know what Nikolaos had done to her. She didn't know if he had drugged her, she was dreaming, or dead? She was thrown for a loop, and was completely caught off guard. Nikolaos kidnapped Sophie for his friend, Adrian Watson. Adrian, and his dog, Kiri, knew Sophie in a past life, though the details are kept from her, and the reader. Adrian is about 21 years old, with beautiful curly black hair, very thoughtful face, with dark shiny eyes, perfect skin, and hot, hot hot! The Greek tragedy of Persephone and Hades is brought to light, in the mind of Sophie, though nothing is confirmed at the beginning. Sophie wants out, and Adrian bribes her with seeing her long deceased Grandpa, if she will stay and hear him out. He gives her time to think about his proposal. Sophie calls him back to get her, because she wants to see her Grandfather so badly. Adrian takes her to the spirit realm, and everything has a lesson and an explanation. Adrian takes her to the, "Cave of Souls."

I found this story intriguing. The way Ms. Ringle explains the mysteries of the afterlife, the green light that zooms like a meteor in the sky when another soul has passed was magical. It was a great explanation, and it was very insightful. I loved the prose, and the characters were amazing, and well rounded. The Greek Mythology, and the questions of another realm, another dimension, an afterlife, the underworld, the ghost like spirits, was something that everyone questions at sometime in their lives. This was an amazing journey, with so many secrets, twists and turns, and hope for seeing your loved ones again, once they have passed. The idea of being able to see your loved one, one more time, and tell them you love them, and any other unfinished business was a mixture of emotions, such as, sadness, happiness, and great joy.

The reader realizes from Sophie's point of view that she really has nothing to lose, (because she is so lonely, and sad about what is happening in her real life.)'' It took a huge amount of trust to get to that point, brought on by some vivid dreams that help reveal her past to her. There is danger lurking around the corner, but what could it be? The dreams were so real, and the author put the reader right there beside the characters.

Persephone's Orchard will take you on the journey of a lifetime. This story is brilliant, insightful, magical, alluring, and breathtaking. Ms. Ringle has done a wonderful job of teaching her readers life lessons, giving them a great perspective on how things might really work when we leave this world for the next. She makes her readers think about the spirits and the souls of the departed, past lives, and consequences for deeds done on earth. I felt a deep connection with this beautiful retelling of this Greek Myth, (which is my favorite) and how she has wound it all together into this delectable story. I believe Ms. Ringle's readers will be enthralled by this journey too!

I give Persephone's Orchard, by Molly Ringle, 5 Magical, Mystical, Brilliant Stars!

Favorite Quotes:

"As she observed them in return, she noticed some of them holding hands. At least upon death you and your fellow departed could still touch each other, even if you couldn't touch the world of the living." (eARC pg. 49)

"And every year, when Persephone had to return to Hades, Demeter repeated her withdrawal of fertility in the Earth. The myth explained the seasons." (eARC pg. 63)

For more reviews visit, A Bookish Escape at Http://www.abookishescape.com

Profile Image for Lee (Rally the Readers).
321 reviews51 followers
June 25, 2013
Also posted on Rally the Readers.

* An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

4.5 Stars

I’ve had some very good luck with mythology retellings lately, and that streak continues with Persephone’s Orchard. I absolutely loved Molly Ringle’s inventive reimagining of Greek mythology, in which deities are reborn into new lives throughout time, and the Underworld isn’t that scary a place (and neither is the god usually associated with it, Hades). I really liked the idea of the gods and goddesses living in the present day under different identities. It was fresh and creative, plus you still get to spend plenty of pages reading about them during their lifetimes as the figures you might be familiar with from mythology. It was this clever, seamless blending of the traditional images I have of these legendary characters with more contemporary versions of them that really sold me on this book. Needless to say, Ringle pulled it off effortlessly.

One of the things I most look forward to whenever I read a mythology retelling is how the author characterizes the gods and goddesses. Each of the characters in Persephone’s Orchard has a unique personality, and I was especially fond of a hilarious and roguish Hermes. Hades, given quite a tragic past here, wasn’t all, “Your soul is mine for eternity, mwahaha!” He’s the total opposite of that; instead, he’s into seeking justice for murdered souls and finding out if the plants that only grow in the spirit realm can be used to cure disease. Persephone is a very relatable character, with her jumble of confused feelings when she begins seeing Hades, whom she’s grown up around, in a different, and romantic, light. As interested as I was to read about Sophie and Adrian in the present, I was completely engrossed in the flashbacks to Persephone and Hades’s past.

The romance in the book leaned a little more toward the epic, swoony side than I normally go for, but I was okay with that because it worked so well for the novel. I’m not a firm believer in soul mates and such, but even I found myself rooting for Sophie and Adrian. It’s difficult not to with a remarkable history like theirs.

I admit that I was a tad skeptical of this book at the beginning because Sophie wasn’t in hysterics over being transported by a stranger to another realm to meet another stranger spouting some babble about souls and a spirit realm. She was startled all right but didn’t have a meltdown, which would have been my reaction. Since Sophie got through it, I decided to shove my doubts away and give this Adrian fellow a chance, too. This proved to be a wise choice because Persephone’s Orchard was a fantastic read, from its take on mythology to the literally timeless love story.
Profile Image for Nay Denise.
1,529 reviews81 followers
July 26, 2014
**I received this book in exchange for an honest review**

OMG. I've always read books on Greek mythology in modern times, but Persephone's Orchard is hot, intense and gripping in many ways. Molly Ringle has created something so profound that my interest in Greek mythology has increased.

Persephone's Orchad is a something of a retelling of the story of Persephone and Hades. Usually when hearing about Hades you think of an evil, ugly guy, but this spin made Hades a hot, early twenties man. I feel in love with Hades or Adrian had me hyper active. Persephone or Sophie, as she is in this modern twist, is so young, sweet and naive. However, the minute she drunk the juice with the pomegranate juice in it she was able to unlock everything she ever knew.

The romance between the two of them was so amazing. Even though it was instalove for Adrian, Sophie took her time because not only was she already in a relationship, but being human she was only getting used to her past lives meshing with her future.

Besides Adrian, Sophie, the romance and drama, I loved Rhea and Nikolaos aka Hermes. Rhea at first didn't seem too important, but finding that she was there for Adrian when he first sacrificed himself up until he was a young man. To me she seemed like a mother figure. Nikolaos was such a funny character. I loved him from start to finish. I especially enjoyed when Sophie described his outfit -- priceless and hilarious. The underworld was beautiful in the way it was described. Nothing I would ever imagine for it to be, but Molly created it so beautifully.

I hated Thanatos so much. I wish they were never created. I know immortality is not good, but their hatred was insane. I didn't like how they killed Apollo and how they told his wife. Was not cool at all.

Overall, the storyline, the drama, romance, the world and characters were simply fabulous and this will remain a favorite for me.
Profile Image for WTF Are You Reading?.
1,303 reviews89 followers
September 27, 2013
Persephone's Orchard is the perfect blend of mythology, action, mystery, suspense, and New Adult romance.
Sophie Darrow knew that going away to study at the University of Oregon would change her life, but she had no idea that change would happen as soon as her first day. Or that the life she has been so anxious to start will lead her to a love and a destiny that she had known forever.

The stories told within Presephone's Orchard (and yes, there are many) come together to form a complete saga/love-story that spans hundreds of years; bringing the legendary love match of Hades and Persephone into contemporary focus, while still managing to remain true to the original story.

One can't help falling in love with the irrepressible youth, resourcefulness, and open-mindedness of Sophie. When faced with the realization that she may be the reincarnation of the Goddess Persephone, she plunges headlong into the mysteries that await her, with only her wits and a very handsome stranger as her guide.

O.K. You've met Persephone....here's Hades!
Or Adrian, as he's known now days. Adrian Watts has the looks charm and charisma that girls dream of, and to top things off, he has a fleet of spirit horses that travel at the speed of souls and he speaks every language known to man...including the language of the dead.
Sorry girls, it looks like you're going to have to keep dreaming, because Adrian, um...Hades only has eyes (and everything else) for Sophie.

As if all of the afore mentioned goodness is not enough, there is also a secret society that seeks to end the lives of our lovebirds and all immortals.
This is a book for all mythology fans who seek a modern spin on tales from the Golden Age of Greece. - See more at: http://www.wtfareyoureading.com/#stha...
Profile Image for Cocktails and Books.
4,089 reviews314 followers
June 29, 2013
New Adult novels are somewhat new to me as a reader. I’ve read only one other and was surprised at how well I enjoyed it. So when I found out that this book was in the same genre, I had high hopes. And let me just say, it was so much more than I expected.

Persephone’s Orchard is a wonderful modern take on the centuries old mythological romance between Hades and Persephone. The author’s beautiful blend of contemporary romance with the legendary story of the Greek God and Goddess is artfully done, as she builds an extraordinary world that not even dreams are made of. Each and every character in the story is written with intricate detail and care, transporting the reader into the story through the lives of those in it. Her two main characters, Sophie and Adrian, are exciting. Their journey, both together and individually, is what makes the story so great.

It’s incredibly hard to review a book that is so packed with intense emotion and moments that, if told, would make the book less enjoyable for others to read. So, with that being said, the story of Persephone’s Orchard will make you laugh, cry and leave you hoping that there is much more to come from this incredibly talented author. It’s definitely a book you don’t want to miss.

Reviewed by Marie for Cocktails and Books
Profile Image for Wendy Hines.
1,322 reviews259 followers
July 10, 2013

If you enjoy stories based on mythology, you will want to read Persephone's Orchard. On Sophie's first day at college, a day that already has her flummoxed missing her boyfriend and family, she meets a cute, but strange boy. He needs some help, so she decides to show him where he is wanting to go, but instead, everything goes wonky and Sophie finds herself in a field in a different world.

There, Adrian beseeches her to try a pomegranate. It's said to bring forth all of your old lives and memories and Sophie does. She then returns to her own time and world but nothing is the same. Sophie keeps having memories of Hades and Persephone, who she believes she is. A love story that transcends time and worlds, Persephone's Orchard is a compelling read with vividly painted worlds and intriguing characters. I can't wait to read the next installment!
Profile Image for Monica.
172 reviews15 followers
April 24, 2018
I randomly found this book on a search for a Greek retelling. I’ve always been fascinated by the Hades / Persephone mythology.
This book was everything I was hoping to find and more.
The fact that it’s not just a current time retelling but that they have past lives they’ve lived and you get to be immersed in those lives too is amazing.
I love the characters and the whole story line in current days is brilliant.
Totally rec this to everything. Such a good book honestly. The rest of the series just gets better!
Profile Image for Nicki Markus.
Author 63 books267 followers
May 15, 2016
Persephone's Orchard is an interesting read. I really enjoyed the premise of the story and liked the way Ringle wove the original myths into a fresh new tale. Adrian and Sophia are great characters, and on the whole I found their blooming relationship believable, given their past connections. The pacing of this book was good and there was plenty of action and advancement of the plot and characters.

I received this book as a free review copy from the publisher.
Profile Image for Jill.
289 reviews1 follower
July 1, 2014
this book was....amazing. when I first wanted to read it, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. But reading it, I was sucked into this world. new love, old love, betrayal. it was all there. the writing was perfect. the characters, for the first time I can say this, were all perfect. even the villains. the plot line was awesome, makes me want more. I cant wait to read the sequel. I will def read more from this author and I've already recommended this book to friends.
Profile Image for Tracey.
751 reviews12 followers
July 9, 2013
4.5 Stars. A brilliant adaptation of the Greek Myth of Hades and Persephone. Unlike any other retelling of this tale the author creates a unique, intriguing tale populated with exceptional characters and mature dialogue. This story was a joy to read, and although this tale continues in the next book,the story feels completed and doesn't leave any dissatisfaction or story hanging.
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