This book… I have to preface this review by mentioning that I know VERY LITTLE about the story of Hades and Persephone. I would recommend doing some research on that myth before diving into this book as some of the references went right over my little blonde head. It’s basically the super sexy, twisted modern take on this myth and I am SO HERE FOR IT!
I have to say, I absolutely loved this book.
King of Shadows is a modern retelling of The Stories of the Seasons – the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades. In this version, Persephone is a young woman who has been sheltered by her overbearing, and exceedingly paranoid, mother Demeter. Demeter runs a wildflower field but the flower that’s discussed across the board is the Poppy. Throughout Persephone’s childhood, Demeter has warned her about the man named Luther Hades and how dangerous he is – warning her to stay away from him no matter what.
As Persephone becomes more and more restless within the confines of her mothers’ compound, she comes in contact with a young man who she seems to see as her ticket away from her mothers’ controlling ways. But upon her escape, she runs into the dangerous man, Luther Hades, and is taken from the compound.
Luther Hades is a business mogul who seems to have endless power and money. His home is literally built into a mountain where, it seems, his main enterprise is the mining of gold. As you ascend deeper into his layer, you come in contact with an endless amount of people – all at his compound as a result of them signing “themselves” over to his control. He instills fear in all of those around him but garners their respect all in the same breath.
The Hero and the Heroine
Luther Hades: He is a man that literally exists in the shadows. He has multiple places throughout his layer that allow him to secretly view those around him. He also prevents any direct light from entering his layer. It seems his only true companion is his dog and he’s not afraid to go full JOHN WICK on someone who messes with this trusty canine. Throughout the book, you learn more about the dynamic he has with his brother Zeus and the growing conflict he has with Demeter.
Persephone believes I’ll destroy her, and I fucking will – in every possible way that will still let me enjoy her.
Persephone: All she wants is to escape her home and the overbearing reign of her mother. Normally, when I encounter a naive heroine, I tend to get annoyed by their lack of worldly experience. But Wilde’s character development makes Persephone likable.
Let’s Talk About (the) Sex, Baby!
A dominating and dark anti-hero who seems like he can pick you up and throw you around the bedroom? Yes. PLEASE. From the first time Hades and Persephone come in contact with one another, he’s drawn to her lightness. The two have a deep sexual chemistry that is off the FREAKING charts.
He’s going to take the panties off and then he’ll be able to do everything. He lowers the waistband, and the spiky edges of anticipation tear through me like a clawed beast.
Hades fights the temptation that is Persephone after their first encounter. He wants to take her but knows that building her up to a point that her mind matches her wanting body will make the deed that much sweeter.
I am destroyed already. I am nothing but a throbbing bundle of nerves on the verge of an even more drastic destruction.
Throughout the entire book, there is a constant theme of light and dark. Hades is the darkness and Persephone is the light. But what I love about this tale is what they have in opposites, is what they see in one another. Hades is attracted to Persephone’s lightness, and Persephone wants to go in and out of the shadows with Hades.
No one appears out of darkness so brightly, like a light source is beneath her skin and woven into the fabric of her dress.
Wilde’s ability to transform this story from something rather simple to a multi-dimensional tale speaks volumes about her ability to create truly engaging – and sexy as f*ck – stories.
Only Luther Hades could suck all the light from around him, turning moonlight into dark.
This is my first book of Wilde’s but IT WILL ABSOLUTELY not be my last. The Shadow King is one of those books where you know that the wait for them to finally give in to one another is TOTALLY FREAKING WORTH IT. This CLIFFHANGER (ugh) makes me anxious for the next installment of Wilde’s interpretation of Hades and Persephone’s story.