Hades & Persephone Retellings: From YA to Steamy and Everything in Between


The story of Hades & Persephone has exploded in fiction recently, but the beauty of this new trend is that there's a unique spin on each one that makes them stand out. It isn't the myth repeating itself over and over—it's the concept of arranged marriage, enemies to lovers, and opposites attract spun in the author's own unique view of the myth. How cool is that? That we get to see some of our favorite tropes being spun and woven into these epic worlds and plotlines is just one of the many, many reasons I adore reading fantasy.


So, without further ado, here is the most comprehensive list of Hades & Persephone retellings. Everything from traditional to indie, YA to steamy, and everything in between!


 

A Touch of Darkness

SCARLETT ST. CLAIR

Heat Level: 🌶🌶🌶 (18+)

This is a unique urban fantasy take on Hades & Persephone that, for the most part, maintains the accuracy of the world (Demeter is Persephone's mom, Hecate is there, other gods make appearances, etc). Persephone is an up-and-coming journalist who meets Hades, the owner of a prestigious night club.


The writing is simple, as is the plot, but the romance is quite steamy. So if that's your thing, then this book is totally for you.








Stolen by the Shadow King

ALISHA KLALPHEKE

Heat Level: 🌶 (YA-friendly)

This is a fun, fast-paced epic fantasy romance! Maren is a delightful character—proud, loyal, loving, and sarcastic. She really adds flair to the story. She's a human witch, who is feared by the people for her ability to converse with the dead, and she struggles to find her place in the world. Then Maren finds herself abducted by the Shadow King, who she challenges verbally at every opportunity. King Kynan is a dark elf and believes in decorum at all times, which inspires some comical exchanges and banter with Maren.


The romance is sizzling but not too steamy, and the strong friendships are beautiful. There are appearances from other characters in Klapheke's Kingdom of Lore series, but you don't need to read those books to enjoy this one. The underworld is described with such beauty and vibrance that the world really seemed to come to life. Klapheke did a marvelous job with this one. But be warned, the book ends on a cliffhanger!







The Power of Hades

ELIZA RAINE & ROSE WILSON

Heat Level: 🌶🌶 (some steam, 18+)

Persephone has no memory of being Queen of the Underworld. For all she knows, she's a human barista minding her own business when Zeus abducts her, forcing her to compete in a trial to become Hades's wife. The competition was a fun twist on the myth, almost adding a Hunger Games-esque feel to it.


As expected, there is lots of violence in this one. But it was a fun, wild ride! Hades, of course, is dark and brooding and full of secrets, and Persephone is tough and full of sass, making this an altogether enjoyable read. Be warned, this ends on a cliffhanger!







Ivy & Bone

R.L. PEREZ

Heat Level: 🌶🌶 (some steam, 18+)

This book is like Kingdom of the Wicked meets A Touch of Darkness with more action and plot thrown in. Prue, an earth witch, summons Cyrus, the god of the Underworld, in order to bring her sister back from the dead. She binds herself to Cyrus, not realizing that this means they are married through their magic. But the transfer of power is only complete once the marriage is consummated (see where this is going? *wiggles eyebrows*).


With the god of the dead in the mortal realm, the spirits roam free, and Prue and Cyrus have to work together to close the gates to the Underworld before both realms are torn apart. As they work together, they, of course, fall for each other, inspiring several steamy scenes. The banter and angst and sexual tension between the two is just stellar. If you like fast-paced slow burn enemies-to-lovers + steam, then this book is definitely for you.


This book is part of a series and ends on a cliffhanger.






A Deal with the Elf King

ELISE KOVA

Heat Level: 🌶 (YA-friendly)

Luella is a healer with spunk and gumption, unknowingly marked as the Human Queen to be married off to the Elf King in order to preserve the magic in their lands. The worldbuilding behind the magic of the Human Queens is fantastic and complex, and I loved the way Luella learned more about that fascinating history as she unraveled the secrets behind it. The romance between her and Eldas was slow burn with a few satisfying but not over-the-top love scenes.


This book is part of a series, but each is a stand-alone that can be read separately.







Thief of Spring

KATHERINE MACDONALD

Heat Level: 🌶 (YA-friendly)

Greek mythology mixed with Faeries... What more could you want?!


When 17-year-old Sephy accidentally stumbles upon a revel, she’s chosen as a sacrifice. But she's saved from this fate when the Lord of the Underworld tricks her into becoming his companion for seven months instead.


Sephy and Hades are compelling characters, each with their own complex and tragic backstories. Their distinct personalities complement each other perfectly, creating a deliciously slow burn romance. The story is a bit slow as it focuses heavily on the romance, but there is action at the end, resulting in a cliffhanger to lead in to book 2.







Asterion

ALESSA THORN

Heat Level: 🌶🌶🌶 (18+)

Ariadne is an assassin sent to kill Asterion, the dangerously sexy owner of a club and fighting arena. But, of course, neither of them can deny the chemistry between each other.


This book is a modern re-telling of the Greek Minotaur Myth, but the sequels in the series feature different characters (Hades and Persephone is book 3). There is a bit of insta-love, but the main characters are so complex and damaged that you can't help but root for them.







Abandon

MEG CABOT

Heat Level: 🚫 (YA-friendly)

A year-and-a-half after surviving a near-death experience, Pierce still feels haunted by the Underworld...and the strange presence she feels is watching her. Is it a guardian angel? Or something more sinister?


This is loosely based on the myth, very clean and YA with high school and simple relationships.









Infernal

LINSEY HALL

Heat Level: 🌶🌶 (some steam, 18+)

This story follows Seraphia and Hades, who has been haunting her in her dreams and in the library where she works. One night she is kidnapped and brought to the Underworld by Hades. He needs her help to complete his mission to walk on the Earth and transform it into another underworld. Seraphia fights him and tries to escape, but she can't ignore the spark between them.


This story is fast-paced with a delightfully fun twist on the Underworld and the mythology.







Tempting Hades

EMMA HAMM

Heat Level: 🚫 (YA-friendly)

Kore's mother is controlling, limiting what she does and who she spends time with, all while keeping her away from Olympus and the other gods. Then Kore meets another, someone who promises her so much more... and steals her away.


Calling her Persephone, a new name for a new life, Hades is determined to fight to keep her, even against the other gods who are demanding her return.


The book is told in both Hades' and Persephone's point of view; and Hades is absolutely swoon-worthy in his attempts to woo the goddess of spring. And Kore's journey and growth is a wonderful progression. A sweet romance between flawed and relatable characters!







Abducted

BELLA KLAUS

Heat Level: 🌶🌶🌶 (18+)

Kora, a witch with no magic, is trapped inside her home. When she sneaks away to attend a masquerade ball, she shares a hot encounter with a masked stranger... not knowing it is actually Hades. He comes to retrieve her, claiming they are married now.


This book has it all: dueling gods from Norse, and Greek mythology, vampires, demons, dryads, and more. Action, adventure, deception, and the possibility of a long lost love with amnesia set the stage for one adrenaline-filled ride. I did find the pacing and dialogue a bit off with this one, but overall, an enjoyable read.


Be warned, this book ends on a cliffhanger!







 

This article was written by R.L. Perez.


R.L. Perez is a YA fantasy romance author, perfectionist, anxious Type A worrier, and proud Hufflepuff. She's published three series: the Timecaster Chronicles, the Nightcaster Chronicles, and the Bloodcaster Chronicles - three separate series set in the same world, featuring witches, romance, and time travel. She's currently working on her Ivy & Bone series, a steamy Hades and Persephone retelling with dark, paranormal, and witchy vibes.

When she's not working on her books, she's either napping, diving into a good book, obsessively watching Netflix, or playing with her two kids. She loves chocolate, loud laughter, and alternative rock music.




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