Saturday, August 4, 2012

Book Review: The Dark Wife

Three thousand years ago, a god told a lie. Now, only a goddess can tell the truth.

Persephone has everything a daughter of Zeus could want--except for freedom. She lives on the green earth with her mother, Demeter, growing up beneath the ever-watchful eyes of the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. But when Persephone meets the enigmatic Hades, she experiences something new: choice.

Zeus calls Hades "lord" of the dead as a joke. In truth, Hades is the goddess of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus. She offers Persephone sanctuary in her land of the dead, so the young goddess may escape her Olympian destiny.

But Persephone finds more than freedom in the underworld. She finds love, and herself.

The Dark Wife is a YA novel, a lesbian revisionist retelling of the Persephone and Hades myth.

I was first introduced to The Dark Wife when Sarah Diemer emailed me about reviewing it. She sent me a copy, and... it sat and sat and sat... I finally picked it up almost a year later, and I can't believe it sat on my shelf for so long. It was amazing!!!

The Dark Wife tells a story most of us know. The story of Hades and Persephone, and how she ended up in the underworld, married to the god of the dead. But in this book, Persephone (our narrator), tells us that the story we know is wrong. Starting with the fact that Hades is female. She is the sister of Zeus and Poseidon, and because she prefers women, they use the term "lord" of the underworld. Subsequently, Persephone is not raped and kidnapped. She is not forced into a marriage. But, instead, this book tells a beautiful love story.

The novel takes place mostly in the underworld. It's not a place I thought I'd want to visit... until I got to know it. Obviously this story tells a very different one than what we've learned from Greek mythology, and it works. I love mythology, and I don't always love when it's messed with too much. But The Dark Wife was fantastic. I loved Persephone and Hades, and the story was believable.

One of the biggest complaints I've heard for self published books is the amount of spelling and grammatical errors. I don't recall one such error in this entire novel. Another way this self-published book stands out is the cover. Out of all the self-pubbed books I've seen, this one has the prettiest cover.

Be sure to check out Sarah Diemer's site and the blog she shares with her wife, Muse Rising. You can read The Dark Wife for free and hear the free audiobook over here!


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