The best Persephone books

6 authors have picked their favorite books about Persephone and why they recommend each book.

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The Dark Wife

By S.E. Diemer,

Book cover of The Dark Wife

The story of Persephone and Hades is my favorite Greek myth—and a lot of other people’s, to judge from how many of us have written about it. Therefore I’ve read lots of the novels that retell it, but The Dark Wife stands out for being the only Sapphic version I’ve found! Here Hades is a goddess rather than a god, and rather than abducting Persephone, she shelters her in the Underworld, where Persephone can avoid the sexual predators among the gods above. (Of which there are a lot, in canonical myth; let’s be honest.) Though set in the deliciously spooky land of the dead, the romance between the two goddesses is sweet and comforting, and the writing is as lyrically pretty as a classical poem.

The Dark Wife

By S.E. Diemer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dark Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I’ve been making up magical worlds ever since childhood, when I populated the creekbanks and vacant lots in my hometown with ghosts, fae, Land of Oz residents, and other creatures from my imagination. Fantasy and forbidden love have always been my two main allures in reading, and different varieties of sexuality and gender identity also fascinated me once I became more aware of such issues in college, through books as well as my anthropology classes. I was recently pleased to learn there’s at least one cool label for me as well—demisexual—and nowadays I love populating my fantasy novels with queer characters. Everyone deserves adventures in the otherworld!


I wrote...

Lava Red Feather Blue

By Molly Ringle,

Book cover of Lava Red Feather Blue

What is my book about?

On a magical island nation in the north Pacific, Prince Larkin has lain under an enchanted sleep since 1799, until Merrick Highvalley, a modern-day man tinkering with forbidden magic, accidentally awakens him. But the Sleeping Beauty romance comes with a complicated twist: a dangerous faery awakens at the same moment, bent on destroying the island’s humans. Using clues and magic charms left by Merrick’s ancestor, Larkin and Merrick set off into the fae realm with the aim of capturing the enemy.

They view themselves as unlikely heroes, and an even unlikelier couple—but in the territory of the fae, near-miracles do happen.

Type and Cross

By J.L. DeLozier,

Book cover of Type and Cross

This book, in this day and age, might actually hit a little too close to home, but it is worthy of a read anyway. Delozier writes a thrilling tale about a mad scientist that has created a deadly virus that could wipe out half the population. It's up to psychologist and empath Dr. Persephone Smith to track him down and stop him. Type and Cross, Delozier's debut novel, is a medical thriller that intermixes just enough medical terminology to make the premise sound plausible without losing the reader. Delozier's writing isn't overburdened by over-embellished description or unwieldy dialog which makes the book a pleasure to read.

Unlike your traditional trilogy, the second book in the series acts as an origin story of sorts, while the third wraps up the storyline from this book.

Type and Cross

By J.L. DeLozier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Type and Cross as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I fell in love with the mystery genre at a young age, starting with Donald J. Sobol's Encyclopedia Brown series. It didn't take long to graduate to the likes of Sherlock Holmes, particularly once PBS began broadcasting the series with Jeremy Brett in the titular role. Over the years, my passion for mystery and suspense stories has branched out into numerous sub-genres and a variety of classics from such superb authors like Agatha Christie, Leslie Charteris, P. D. James, and Charles Todd. As much as I enjoy individual mystery and suspense novels, I enjoy even more a series with a cast of characters that I can follow from book to book. 


I wrote...

Dead Air: A Novel of Suspense

By Michael Bradley,

Book cover of Dead Air: A Novel of Suspense

What is my book about?

Three can keep a secret, but only if two are dead. No one knows that better than Kaitlyn Ashe, who has been running from a childhood secret her whole life. Until now. Crowned the top-rated radio DJ in Philadelphia, she is finally ready to settle down with her lawyer fiancée and a whole new set of friends who know nothing about her past. When she suddenly receives anonymous letters threatening her, she realizes that someone out there knows. But who? Isn’t her secret buried with the dead? When the threats reveal murderous intent, Kaitlyn has no choice but to trust Detective Rodney Shapiro as her life spirals toward a reunion in the one place she’d hoped to never visit again: The Shallows.

Winner of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards and the 2020 Foreword INDIES Awards, Dead Air weaves a suspenseful tale of past misdeeds and present murderous instincts as Kaitlyn plays a game of cat and mouse with a mysterious killer who will stop at nothing to get revenge.

Promises and Pomegranates

By Sav R. Miller,

Book cover of Promises and Pomegranates

It’s amazing to see a new author soar high like this. I loved the darkness of this book, the viciousness of the antihero, the taboo, and, of course, the high steam dosage. Promises and Pomegranates is a Hades and Persephone modern retelling turned into a sizzling forced marriage mafia romance worthy of your time.

Promises and Pomegranates

By Sav R. Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Promises and Pomegranates as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

As a woman who comes from a culture that normalizes arranged/forced marriages, turning it into a more delicious fantasy in books rather than a bitter harsh reality has become an obsession of mine. Now, as I’ve written an entire series in the trope, I read and enjoy many by other awesome authors, too. I hope you enjoy the books on the list as much as I have.


I wrote...

The Italian Marriage: Billionaire Mafia Arranged Marriage Standalone

By N.J. Adel,

Book cover of The Italian Marriage: Billionaire Mafia Arranged Marriage Standalone

What is my book about?

Enzio Lanza is the most vicious animal in the city. The killer of my husband, his own twin brother, and the new Mafia boss. Oh…and he wants me as his bride. One-Click this revenge, enemies to lovers, arranged marriage Mafia romance now.

Seeds of the Pomegranate

By Sherry Lazarus Ross,

Book cover of Seeds of the Pomegranate

Sherry Ross is an American poet who writes about loss, motherhood, and rebirth. Her nature poems reverberate with extraordinary detail and imagery, for instance, the running girl who finds the field has ended in a "party dress of hunter green," where "the trance of sunlight breaks, brings forgetfulness of open fields, distant voices, summer games." She ventures into the forest, with its ‘palate of light and dark’. Read these poems for their aching blend of sadness and joy. 

Seeds of the Pomegranate

By Sherry Lazarus Ross,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seeds of the Pomegranate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I’ve been writing poems since an inspirational period of study in Stirling in my twenties, when I did a lot of hill walking in the Scottish Highlands. For me, poetry that doesn’t move you, that doesn’t make you feel, is just words on a page. I love poems that make you shiver as they incongruously bear the full load of life’s mystery. I like all kinds of poetry but have a special place reserved for nature poems, poems that find the heart and soul in the landscape, rivers, and wildlife.


I wrote...

The Things We Thought Were Beautiful

By Steve Griffin,

Book cover of The Things We Thought Were Beautiful

What is my book about?

The Things We Thought Were Beautiful includes poems about our changing feelings and connection to nature and the world around us, the beauty and strangeness of travel, and the places we look for meaning. There are also poems that explore the difficulty of living without love, as well as the redemption of home and family.

Persephone's Mare

By Iza Moreau,

Book cover of Persephone's Mare

For readers who love fantasy, the story of Persephone and her discovery of the magical world of Equidona will be a favorite. After the sudden and inexplicable loss of her mother, who was a devoted horsewoman, Persephone finds herself swept into a world in which horses are at the center of a society at a crossroads. The widespread use of magic has put people at odds with some of the longest and most cherished traditions of horsemanship. Persephone must discover her own powers in order to help control the forces that killed her mother. I love this story for its careful sketching of the values of a life with horses. LGBTQ theme.

Persephone's Mare

By Iza Moreau,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Persephone's Mare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I am a lifelong horsewoman, environmental researcher, and writer. After a career with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, working to protect wild rivers and streams, I “retired” to become a dressage teacher, trainer, and judge, and I regularly travel the Gulf Coast, teaching dressage clinics. I have taught literature and writing at the college level. I have bred and trained champion horses and helped horses rescued from dire situations. Together with my husband, I also organized a rescue operation for horses on the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina. I have a PhD in History, Theory, and Culture from Emory University. All in all, I’ve had an adventurous and wonderful life which I try to share in my writing.


I wrote...

Still Waters

By Sara Warner,

Book cover of Still Waters

What is my book about?

When environmental researcher and would-be writer Teena Shostekovich returns home to find her computer files stolen, she suspects it has to do with the “hot potato” case she’s been working. But a call from the thief complicates things. Nothing gets any clearer when Detective Logan Deo comes to her door and news from her ex-husband Mack alerts her to peril that seems a world away. Meanwhile, the story of Jessie Weston, a cowgirl turned biologist, unfolds on the shores of Lake Ponder, where a dike her father built is bringing nothing but trouble from state officials. As Teena’s and Jessie’s paths veer ever closer, the dangers in their lives threaten to explode.

Winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards’ Grand Prize for Fiction.

River of Shadows

By Karina Halle,

Book cover of River of Shadows

River of Shadows is a romance-leaning fantasy series starter, but here, the quest story comes first. It’s a fairy tale retelling with a bit of everything: a Beauty & The Beast arc, Hades & Persephone vibes, morbid humor, steamy scenes featuring the hapless Hanna and the God of Death… I could go on!

It’s an adult dark fantasy with horror elements that’s also chock-full of humor, mixing the tragic with the comic in an artful way. What’s not to love?

I will admit, Halle could have made her heroine a little less Mary-Sue, but we can forgive her that because the wondrous worldbuilding, plot, and varied characters more than make up for it. It was fun to read, making me LOL with every turn of the page.

River of Shadows

By Karina Halle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked River of Shadows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I can’t lay claim to expertise in the fantasy genre, but I am passionate about it! My best friend introduced me to fantasy a few years ago, and my life has never been the same. As a nerdy kid, I read high-brow books like Wuthering Heights and War & Peace, but it wasn’t until I started reading, writing, and watching fantasy stories like LOTR that my imagination really ignited. I’m a woman with picky tastes, so finding a good story that I can relate to is an ongoing and satisfying quest. Most importantly, if I can make even one person’s day brighter with my own writing, it’s all worth it.


I wrote...

Faelaw: A Modern New Adult Fantasy

By Autumn Stevens,

Book cover of Faelaw: A Modern New Adult Fantasy

What is my book about?

A personal tragedy thrust her into a mystical realm. Will this bewildered mortal find her purpose by saving its people from destruction? Gwen Findlay is emotionally spent. After losing her last living family member on her birthday, the heartbroken young woman breaks down in her beloved aunt’s home. But in the midst of her tidal wave of grief, she’s transported to a magical world—and into the bloodthirsty jaws of a sea bear.

As her destiny unfolds, will she survive the cruel trials ahead? Faelaw is the wholesome first book in the Faelaw Chronicles epic fantasy series. If you like resilient heroines, crackling chemistry, and action-packed quests, then you’ll love this modern twist on a classic tale.

The Goblin’s Bride

By Leigh Kelsey, Lysandra Glass,

Book cover of The Goblin’s Bride

I loved this book because it is both captivating and well written with different worlds and forbidden romance. This story is based not only on enemies who become lovers but also has sizzling tension and an epic dark mystery element, all beautifully written and combined. 

This book immediately pulled me into the author's world. The tension inside was just as unique as the storyline itself. There is nothing quite like reading a book that has you on the edge of your seat but melting your heart at the same time; definitely, a surprising and unique twist combining many elements.

The Goblin’s Bride

By Leigh Kelsey, Lysandra Glass,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Goblin’s Bride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I especially love reading fantasy stories and stories based on actual historical events. I've been an avid reader since I was a little girl; while my siblings were playing outside or inside with toys I was the one sat curled up in the corner reading. I've also worked hard and gained qualifications in creative writing. I've also had a passion for writing and have written my own fantasy novels; being an author is simply amazing because you can create characters that are unique and special as well as true to life, plus you get to create worlds that are entirely different to our own. 


I wrote...

The Realm of Witches

By Laurie Bowler,

Book cover of The Realm of Witches

What is my book about?

Seraphina is a low-level worker for The Agency, an organisation of witches that controls the world of the supernatural. Growing up an orphan with normal human parents, she knows she is different and is drawn to the Realm of Witches Agency. As the dangers deepen and the truth behind Seraphina's past is revealed, it becomes clear that the world's fate is at stake and that Seraphina may be the only one to prevent the world's destruction. But at what cost?

An epic novel by Laurie Bowler of betrayal, romance and worlds that will make you forget reality.

The Iron Queen

By Julie Kagawa,

Book cover of The Iron Queen

This book is the third in the Iron Fey series, following the adventures of half-fae/half-human Meghan Chase in the various realms of the Fae. One of the things I love about this series, which is particularly brought out in this installment, is the subtle environmental message. The Iron Fey that threaten the complete destruction of the other fairy realms are the result of humanity’s obsession with technological progress; it’s not hard to make the association with the similar threat now posed to our own world by the relentless exploitation of resources. Our hero, Meghan, finally grows into her power – both fae and human – in this book, becoming the Iron Queen of the title. Also, this series has one of my favourite love triangles ever. Puck, or Ash? An impossible choice!

The Iron Queen

By Julie Kagawa,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Iron Queen as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In less than twenty-four hours I'll be seventeen. Although, technically, I won't actually be turning seventeen. I've been in the Nevernever too long.

When you're in Faery, you don't age. So while a year has passed in the real world, agewise I'm probably only a few days older than when I went in. In real life, I've changed so much I don't even recognize myself. MY NAME IS MEGHAN CHASE. I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm…


Who am I?

I write YA fantasy novels with my sister, Liz. A Throne of Swans (our fourth book) is the first in a duology which features two fierce, shape-shifting queens. Since we both studied history at university, we’re particularly drawn to fantasy settings with a historical element, whether that’s a royal court or tall ships from the age of sail. In real history, queens wielding power tend to be rare or at least overlooked; Catherine of Aragon’s divorce is common knowledge, her wartime regency of England less so. Writing about and reading about powerful queens in fantasy novels is, I think, one small way of redressing the balance.  


I wrote...

A Throne Of Swans

By Katharine Corr,

Book cover of A Throne Of Swans

What is my book about?

When her father dies just before her birthday, seventeen-year-old Aderyn inherits the role of Protector of Atratys, a dominion in a kingdom where nobles are able to transform at will into the bird that represents their family bloodline. Aderyn's ancestral bird is a swan. But she has not transformed for years, not since witnessing the death of her mother - ripped apart by hawks that have supposedly been extinct since the long-ago War of the Raptors.

Aderyn is at the mercy of her brutal uncle, the King, and his royal court. She must venture into the malevolent heart of the Citadel in order to seek the truth about the attack that nearly destroyed her, to fight for the only home she has ever known and for the land she has vowed to protect.

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