Author: Emily Whitman
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 288
My Rating: 5/5
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 entering their realm; therefore, Persephone has never seen a real live male before. She is fed up of being secluded from the rest of the world and as much as she begs, she is not allowed to go down to Earth. It is such a bore to be an immortal without any freedom.
One innocent day when her mother is away, Persephone catches an alluring scent that she does not recognize. Following it, it leads her to a man who has strong winged horses. The first time she sees him, she runs away in fear. How can there be a man in her mother's sanctuary? No male is allowed there! But her curiosity brings her back the next day. She sees him again. And it will not be her last.
Although I'm sure many will not agree that Radiant Darkness should be a 5/5 novel, I simply adore it too much. There is something so elegant and soft about this one, which I can't help but love.
I was so sure that Persephone was going to narrate in a refined and proper voice, using fancy big words. To my surprise, she spoke like a regular teenager, pissed off that she could not do anything because she was "too young". Demeter kept telling her how the world below was dark and cruel and she should not be exposed to it. I can totally sympathize and relate to Persephone because my parents are like that, too. It makes one want to rebel. And that, Persephone did when she fell in love with Hades.
I was most disappointed with Hades's and Persephone's relationship. They met and after a couple of times together, BAM!, they are like in love. I wished they went through some sort of hardship before they actually developed feelings for each other. But I could understand why Persephone was attracted to him in the beginning; he was the first person from the opposite sex she ever laid her eyes on. Plus, he was a very nice guy, completely different from legends.
One thing that had been bothering me though was Hades's "supposed appearance in age". He was described to have a beard, making me think that he was a much older man but without wrinkles (cause he was a god and all). The fact that I saw Persephone more as a teen in my mind, the picture of her and Hades together did not really work out. But somehow, Whitman made it work. And there were both immortal so I was sure either of them would age soon.
Despite my complaints, I still think Radiant Darkness is a fantastic debut by Emily Whitman. It is about a young goddess who chooses her own pathway, not letting anyone decide her fate. It is one of the rare books out there that has quite some flaws but still has that great power to make you love it. Therefore, I don't have a lot to gloat about for this one except that it is definitely a 5/5 in my eyes. Romantics will definitely like this one! (And don't you just adore the cover?)
You can take a sneak peek at the novel by clicking here!
Review ARC copy provided by HarperCollins.