Radiant Darkness

Emily Whitman, Author . Greenwillow $16.99 (274p) ISBN 978-0-06-172449-7

In Whitman's debut, a retelling of the Persephone myth, Persephone feels trapped by her overbearing mother, Demeter (“Mrs. Even-the-grain-greets-me-with-lowered-head”), who wants to keep Persephone a child forever, confined in a “world devoid of men.” When Hades lands his chariot in her valley, Persephone is immediately attracted to him and after a brief courtship, she chooses to be his bride and queen of the underworld. Persephone is a relatable character—her first appearance as queen has her tripping in front of the entire court. Though Hades calls her powerful and she does have an impressive ability to grow plants, Persephone's relationship with him is very much that of the child bride, with Hades protecting her from knowing of the damage her mother is inflicting on earth and his allowing her to make policy changes in the underworld, rather than her doing so of her own accord. Her attempt to stop her mother's destruction has Persephone relying on those more powerful than her, in this case Zeus. Persephone's narration entertains, but overall the story does not give readers an especially strong heroine or the resonance of the original myth. Ages 14–up. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/11/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 978-0-06-172450-3
Library Binding - 274 pages - 978-0-06-178035-6
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 288 pages - 978-0-06-185834-5
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-185830-7
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-06-172451-0
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-185831-4
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-185836-9
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