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Radiant Darkness

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  2,701 ratings  ·  298 reviews
He smiles. "Hello."

It's a deep voice. I can feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes.

I know I should leave, but I don't want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I'm all eye, all ear, all skin.

Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother's a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become
Hardcover, 274 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  2,701 ratings  ·  298 reviews

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Anne Osterlund
Dec 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Persephone is trapped in the vale. OK, the vale is filled with beautiful flowers and rich greenery and her best friends, but still . . . trapped is trapped.

Especially when your mother is a Greek goddess.

But then HE arrives. At the reins of a speeding chariot. Behind a horse dark as night. He doesn’t care about her mother. He listens to Persephone. And he may be her only chance for escape.

So she takes it. Straight to Hades.

I loved the vibrance in this book. Persephone is very much the teller of h
Kokomo-Howard County  Public Libary
Mar 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teens interested in mythology or fantasy
In this stunning debut, Whiteman elaborates on the myth often called The Rape of Persephone. Whiteman’s Persephone however, is not the damsel in distress that you often find in the traditional myth. What sets Whiteman’s Persephone apart is that everything that happens to her is by her own choice.

Tired of being treated like a child and ignored by her mother the goddess Demeter, Persephone silently rebels against her mother who refuses to acknowledge that her daughter is no longer a child, but a
 Lissa Smith Reads'~A Bookaholics Bookshelf
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adult & Young Adult Reader of Parnaomal Romance and Mythology
Recommended to Lissa Smith Reads'~A Bookaholics Bookshelf by: Book 4 Review Club
4 Stars:
I am such a sucker for mythology, and the so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to review this novel with my reading group. Having already known the story of Persephone I was intrigued to see the twists Emily Whitman would add to the tale. In Radiant Darkness Whitman contradicts the myth of Persephone by allowing her to choose of her own free will her fate with Hades.

We only think you know true story. Poor, sweet and innocent Persephone snatched away from her beloved mother Demeter, by
Helena Paris
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
There was a period of time, where the YA publishing industry released mythological retellings left, right and centre. This is one such book that I wanted to cross off the list. Hades and Persephone? YES PLEASE!!!

On the plus side...this was short. Unfortunately, it also happened to be utter drivel. You win some and you lose some when you try to make headway on your backlist, and I'm sorry to say that this is a loss. Persephone was insufferable and Hades was foolish. I'd pass on this instalovey no
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mythology
I really liked this book. I’ve always loved Greek mythology and didn’t realize when I picked this up that it was a retelling of the story of Persephone. I just thought the cover looked good and checked it out. All the old myths claim that Persephone was kidnapped by Hades, God of the Underworld. This story is told in the voice of Persephone and how she fell in love with Hades and willingly chose to become his queen. I thought it was very well written, and still had the same feel as the old stori ...more
Vanessa *Bluest Ribbon*
There are many ways to mess up a totally fine Greek Myth, like, I don't know, making Hades a virgin? Fortunately, this book did not suffer from that atrocity. This sad novel, however, suffered from a yawn-inducing syndrome I like to call brought-nothing-new-or-special-to-the-table-story.

Let me make it clear though, I did NOT hate this book. I just didn't like it.

But if you want me to be a straightforward brute, this is how I will describe this book:

Diana Dang
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Persephone is the only daughter to the harvest goddess, Demeter. In texts and legends, she was kidnapped and forced against her will to marry the underworld god, Hades.

But that is not right! She wasn't forced into doing anything at all!

So why don't you lend an ear and let Persephone tells you what really happened?

Living in the beautiful and tranquil vale her whole life, Persephone has never seen what it is like outside the garden gates. Her mother has spoken ill of men and keeps them out from en
Ashlyn Rae (TeenageReader)
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
First of all, do NOT read the summary of the book. You know that page where the copyright info is and who published the book and what genre the book is in? Yeah, don’t read the summary part because it will tell you the story in one sentence. I was maybe forty pages into the book when I read the summary, and I thought, “Really? Do you have to tell me the story in one sentence?” I pretty much read the story knowing what would happen in the end, but I enjoyed reading it anyway. I love Greek mytholo ...more
Feb 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Out of all the stories of Persephone and out of all the different versions, Radiant Darkness is definitely the best.

What I loved about Radiant Darkness was the uniqueness of the plot. Though Emily had obviously used the original Greek myth as a reference, the story she had to say was completely different.

I loved how Persephone was a more daring character and how she had the guts to go with the one she loved. Unlike the original where Persephone was taken against her will by Hades and dragged dow
Steph Su
Mar 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: debs09
Teenage goddess Persephone lives in the loveliest vale created especially for her by her mother, Demeter, to protect her from the influences of men. But Persephone is not happy in her own little heaven. Demeter is belittling and babying, never allowing Persephone to attend any functions of mortal worship, always buying her toys that Persephone had loved as a child but now find childish.

One day, a dark and alluring stranger appears in the vale with his chariot. Persephone is imperceptibly drawn t
Rebecca Owen
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 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 ...more
Short Review: I picked up this book at 11pm for light night reading. At 4am I was done.

Long Review:

I read this right on the heels of Abandoned by Meg Cabot and God bless my aunt for buying it for me. If Abandoned is rotted meat, this is like a sweet, sweet Shirley Temple drink.

It's hard to review a good book because you don't want to reveal anything, but let others read it for themselves knowing nothing going in, like you. So what can I say?

This book is the myth of Persephone and Hades. The real
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Persephone feels trapped in her mother's vale. Demeter, her mother and goddess, never wants her child to grow up and therefore only treats her like a child who does not know the ways of the world. And it is true, Persephone doesn't know much of the world, but it is because Demeter doesn't allow her to. Persephone finds her way out of this vicious cycle when Hades happens upon her vale and they fall in love. In this twist on the classic myth, Persephone finds love, and is given the chance to find ...more
May 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Greek mythology fans, Lydia
There are about three reasons why I like Greek mythology a million times more than Roman. 1) The Greeks came first and the Romans stole their gods and gave them different names. 2) They have the coolest names like Zeus, Artemis (goddess of the hunt), and Aphrodite. And 3) Disney's Hercules kicks butt.

Which leads me into Radiant Darkness. It's the story of Persephone, daughter of Demeter (who was the goddess of harvest in case you didn't know). Persephone was "kidnapped" by Hades, god of the unde
May 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I fell completely in love with this novel. It captivated me within its first few pages and held me, spellbound, until the closing paragraph.

It was lovely to see how Whitman took the ancient myth of Persephone and Hades and turned it around to make it a story of love, strength, and independence. The author took the important details of the original story, such as the pomegranate seeds, and weaved them together beautifully to create a story that felt rich with history and legend.

I very much enjoye
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love the way Persephone's Greek myth is seen in this book. Emily Whitman took the original myth and shaped it to be a new and interesting stories that the readers would adore. This book show exactly how one story can have more than one sides. If you know the Greek mythology then you know about Persephone being capture and taken to the underworld by Hades. During this time Demeter, Persephone's mother, went into a breakdown to find her daughter and forgot about the earth. Then when Demeter foun ...more
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It was a brilliant take on the Persephone and Hades myth! But then I love Persephone! It might have been nice to see more of Persephone's realationship with Hades but, then, you can't have everything. I liked the fact that Hermes was seen as a friend to both Hades and Persephone, instead of just the messenger her brings her back and forth every six months. Melita was a good, solid character. I also enjoyed the fact that Persephone visited her daughter at the end. I can practicly picture Persepho ...more
Samantha St. Myer
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reading Vacation
Mar 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was fabulous! It was an interesting way to spice up an ancient tale. Who would have every expected that Persephone would leave Demeter on her own.

I found the title of the book to be fitting for the story. Persephone lives in both the upper and lower world - Radiant and Dark. She actually ends up with the best of both worlds.

Persephone becomes independent and strong. She makes her own decisions, but is able to stay close to her mother. I like that.
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great book! I recommend this to 8th-11th graders or people that just adore to read! It's a Hades and Persephone book (that alone is enough to make me give it AT LEAST a 3 star) You don't really see that much of Hades in the book but when ever he shows up you can't help but smile cause he's so good with Persephone :) It's a quick read like Emily Whitman's other book Wilddwing it took me less then a day finish. ...more
Shreya Kishore
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love Greek mythology but only if it is narrated well. And Radiant Darkness was one hell of a well narrated story. A perfect example that a story changes with perspective. Persephone is not a damsel in distress nor is Demeter an epitome of great mother and Hades is someone whom no one can hate in this book. It also shows some teenage issues which are common in our modern world too. I would recommend it to everyone who loves a good story.
Brittany Terrazas
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Writing this brief review from memory since its been a while since I've read this. I thought it was a cute children's story about the relationship between Hades and Persephone. I didn't know anything from Greek mythology about Persephone's relationship with her mom but that was well done too. I liked the kinder side of Hades shown in this story. He seemed more lovable than his usual villainous depictions. ...more
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, and the sweet refreshing twist on Persephone and Hades stories. I've read about what happened when she left him but none showed that she loved him. I didn't like the fact that she and Hades were not together a lot during her time in the Underworld but other than that it was great! I loved Hermes and Melita they, along with Persephone and Hades were my favorite characters! I would love to read more by her! ...more
May 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
A YA version the story of Persephone. Fun to read, with some very chaste but steamy romance. Not super complex, but I think those younger readers that enjoyed Twilight would appreciate this. The moral though is, if you are going to run away with your secret boyfriend to the Underworld, leave mom a note.
Ai Li Angelo
Dec 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
After I finished this book, I wanted to cry because I knew reading it again would never be a new experience. I wish I hadn't read it yet, just so I could read it again. I am definitely going to wait until I forget about the story so I can read it again and hopefully get a fraction of the first time experience this book gave me. ...more
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book. I love how whitman puts her own twist on the story of Persephone and Hades. Its romantic in a Bella Edward kinda way. I was sad when the pages started getting less and less. I was really hoping this story would never come to an end. if you like daughters of moon and books like such. def pick this book up.
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It has always been my opinion that Hades just got a lot of bad rep because he's the god of the dead. In this book it shows that, while he's not perfect, he's really a good guy. And that he didn't kidnap Persephone, she went willingly. I love this book. ...more
Mrs. Kenyon
Mar 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, wannabees-11-12
This is a myth retelling. The story was captivating and kept me reading until the book was finished. Many myths are short songs, this is an expansion of the myth with a twist. What if the song was wrong to make the people happy.
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was debating between giving this book a four or a five. I really had nothing against it, so I gave it a five.

This twist on Persephone's tale was both intriguing but borderline bland. I did like the different play though...quite interesting.

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Anyone else LOVE this book??? 1 6 May 03, 2013 10:03AM  

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In Emily Whitman’s novels for kids and teens, myth and magic are part of everyday life. The Turning, based on Celtic folklore, is a Junior Library Guild selection. Radiant Darkness was number one on the IndieBound Kid’s Next List. Wildwing won the Oregon Book Award and was a Bankstreet College Best Children’s Book. Emily grew up in Colorado and studied history at Harvard and UC Berkeley. She's wor ...more

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