The Dark Wife by SE Diemer is a romance novel. I KNOW I KNOW! I don’t usually DO romance. But this one I LOVED. I am fond of Greek Mythology so it caught my attention and was recommended by a good friend of mine I met on our Lesbian Review Book Club Facebook group. If you aren’t on there than what are you waiting for?? Go join it’s loads of fun.
This is the retelling of the story of Persephone.
Persephone is the Daughter of the goddess Demeter.
The first time Persephone finds loves her heart is broken by the cruel actions of Zeus king of the Gods.
To escape him and rebel Persephone flees to the one place Zeus cannot touch her, the underworld where Hades rules.
There Persephone finds more than just death in the Underworld
Persephone is the daughter of Demeter who is the goddess of all things that bloom. She is raised in the Sacred Forest where everything is practically sunshine and daisies. This gives her a virgin like quality but she also possesses strength of character and resilience.
Hades is solemn from residing in the underworld alone for so many years as well as kind and elegant.
The Writing Style
This is a romance book. Those of you who know me know that I am not the fondest of romance. Those of you who don’t know…well I’m not a big fan.
This book is different. The way it was written feels, poetic. In a beautiful way not like every line or other line rhymes.
This is a lovely retelling of a classic Greek myth. It was so well done I am officially a fan of S.E. Diemer and will be seeking out more of her books!
Now I wish this is really how the myth went! I’m tempted to just believe that the story I learned originally is all a lie.
Heads up, there is mention of rape.
This was such a good book! The romance was so beautiful and the story so intriguing! Please, please, pick this book up and pass it around!
Excerpt from The Dark Wife by SE Diemer
It was not sudden, how the room behind me grew dark, throwing long shadows from the torchlight upon the balcony floor. It was a gradual thing, and I almost failed to notice it, but for the silence. No one laughed or spoke; there was no clink of goblet or twang of lyre. Everything, everything fell to a silence that crawled into my ears and roared.
I shook my head, straightened, peered again around the column at the great room. All throughout the palace, a deep quiet crept, cold as a chill. I saw the gods and goddesses shudder, and then the darkness fell like a curtain, became complete. The stars themselves were blotted out for three terrible heartbeats.
There was the sound of footsteps upon the marble, and the light returned.
“Hades has come.” I heard the whisper—Athena’s whisper—and I started. Hades? I stood on the tips of my toes, trying to catch a glimpse.
All of us there had been touched by Zeus’ cruelty, in some form or another. We were meaningless to him, toys to be played with and tossed. But the story of Zeus’s ultimate betrayal was well known.
Zeus and Poseidon and Hades were created from the earth in the time before time—the time of the Titans. They cast lots to determine which of them would rule the kingdom of the sea, the kingdom of the dead, and the kingdom of the sky. Poseidon and Zeus chose the longest straws, so Hades was left with no choice but to reign over the kingdom of the dead, the Underworld.
It did not come to light until later that Zeus had fixed the proceedings to make certain he would get his way—to become ruler of the greatest kingdom, as well as all of the gods. He would never have risked a fair game of chance. Could never have hidden away his splendor in that world of endless darkness.
I shivered, wrapping my arms about my middle. Hades rarely appeared at Olympus, choosing to spend his time, instead, sequestered away in that place of shadows, alone.
My eyes searched the murmuring crowd. Though I was uncertain as to Hades’ appearance, I assumed I would recognize the god of the Underworld when I saw him.
But where was he? Over there were Poseidon and Athena, whispering behind their hands. I saw Artemis and Apollo break apart as Zeus moved between them, climbed several high steps and staggered into his towering throne, hefting his goblet of ambrosia aloft.
“Persephone.” I jumped, heart racing, and Hermes grinned down at me, his face a handbreadth from my own.
“You have a habit of startling me,” I whispered to him, but he shook his head, pressed a finger to his lips. My brow furrowed as he took my hand and led me out onto the floor of the great room, to linger again amidst the gods. I felt naked, misplaced, but Hermes stood behind me and elbowed me forward. I yielded and stumbled a step, two steps. Finally, my frustration rising, I turned to admonish him but paused mid-motion because—I had run into someone.
Life slowed, slowed, slowed. I muttered, “Excuse me,” looked up at the woman I did not recognize, had never before seen, my heart slack until it thundered in one gigantic leap against my bones.
Her eyes were black, every part of them, her skin pale, like milk. Her hair dropped to the small of her back, night-colored curls that shone, smooth and liquid, as she cocked her head, as she gazed down at me without a change of expression. She wasn’t beautiful—the lines of her jaw, her nose, were too proud, too sharp and straight. But she was mesmerizing, like a whirlpool of dark water, where secrets lurked.
I looked up at her, and I was lost in the black of her eyes, and I did not see her take my hand, but I felt her hold it, as if it were meant to be in the cage of her fingers, gently cradled.
“Hello,” she said, her voice softer than a whisper. I blinked once, twice, trying to shake the feeling I had heard her speak before—perhaps in a dream.
And then, “I am Hades,” she said.
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9781461179931