cover image Hades: Lord of the Dead

Hades: Lord of the Dead

George O’Connor. Roaring Brook/First Second, $9.99 trade paper (78p) ISBN 978-1-59643-434-9

The fourth book in O’Connor’s Olympians series retells the myth of Hades and Persephone as a dramatic, romantic saga of a controlling parent and a rebellious daughter. Although a more family friendly version than the darker source material, O’Connor’s version is still set in ancient Greece and opens with an introduction to the realm of the dead that sets a fittingly grand tone for the narrative. Hades, the lord of the dead, is a lonely ruler of the realm of mortals’ souls while the other Greek gods joyously celebrate on Mount Olympus. One of the most celebrated is Demeter, goddess of agriculture and also mother to Kore, a daughter tired of being kept away from anything that could possibly do her harm. When Kore wanders off, she’s kidnapped by Hades, who showers her with gifts and promises to make her his queen. Kore slowly begins to enjoy her newfound luxury, changing her name to Persephone, even as Demeter frantically searches for her daughter and becomes so distraught she allows the crops of mortals to wither and die. O’Connor’s brand of classical mythology for modern sensibilities serves as a good introduction to the gods and settings of the Greek myths. Ages 9–14. (Jan.)