Sunday, June 17, 2012

Book review: Goddess of Spring

Disclaimer: This review first appeared on Women24.com. Women24.com is a South African women's lifestyle website where I manage, amongst other things, an online book section.

A modern, sexy and swoon-worthy retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth.

Goddess of Spring by P.C. Cast (Piatkus)
Lina’s Italian bakery is in financial trouble.

With no real solution within reach, she resorts to different measures and - inadvertently after stumbling across an Italian Goddess cook book - invokes the help of a goddess to get her out of her sticky situation.

Demeter, the goddess whom she has summoned, seems to have a plan of her own and proposes that she (Lina) exchanges souls with Persephone and restore order in the Underworld, the realm where the brooding Hades resides and rules over.

In return, Persephone will head out into the mortal world and restore Lina’s business.

Having reluctantly accepted her part in the exchange made, Lina - in the role of the enchantingly gorgeous Persephone, soon finds herself more than a little intrigued with the god of the Underworld.

Dark, sexy and brooding, Lina quickly finds out that he’s not as dour and as asexual as everyone else seems to think; and before long, wonders just how - knowing that he just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to her - she’s going to cope once she has to return to the mortal realm.

My thoughts:

I have to confess that I’m seriously becoming addicted to P.C. Cast’s Goddess summoning book series. The spunky heroines, the fantastical settings and the sizzling romance in each of the novels I’ve read so far have been nothing short of blistering and blush-inducing.

Cast, known as one half of the duo responsible for the House of Night series, really writes some of the sexiest fiction for adults and I highly recommend that all whose read any of the books in her Young Adult series, give the Goddess summoning series a try.

Having previously read Goddess of Legend and Goddess of the Rose, I think that Goddess of Spring has got to be my favourite by far.

I have always loved the Hades and Persephone myth, so you can imagine my excitement when I discovered that aside from a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, P.C. has also written a modern adaptation of the classic Greek legend.

If you’re a student or a connoisseur of Classic Greek mythology, you’d probably want to steer clear of this book. This book is no dissertation or intellectual discussion about tragic subtext and metaphorical nuances within the myth.

If that’s what you’re looking for, then you will be disappointed.

However, if, like me, you’re looking for a more romantic version of a story that is shrouded in suggested ambiguity, then Goddess of Spring is the book you’ll want to read.

One of the things I love most about this series, is that for each and every book I’ve read so far, P.C. has always managed to create likeable, strongly independent women in the prime of their lives.

She usually adds a feminist twist and makes sure that her heroines are gutsy, brave and successful, while still remaining grounded. All the while, these women, strong and assertive as they may be, long for the one elusive thing that most women crave: someone to love, and to be loved in return.

Lina, the protagonist in Goddess of the Spring, is by far, one of my favourite characters. She’s sweet, kind, but no pushover. With a remarkable gift for “communicating” with animals, she’s a soul with a strong sense of empathy.

When she meets Hades, she’s the first person to look beyond what everyone assumes and sees that there’s much, much more to the man who’s been buried underneath layers of stereotypes and misguided assumptions.

Hades, as a character, will definitely have all you ladies out there swooning. After all, what girl can really resist a man shrouded in darkness, secrets and shadows? I don’t know about you, but that kind of guy gets to me every time.

Which is why, the chemistry factor between these two characters came across as being downright sizzling to me.

The intimacy, the shared looks, the explosively intimate scenes - all very electrifying. In fact, you might want to wear a pair of gloves reading this. Your fingers will burn; and your face will heat up in the midst of reading some of those sexy scenes.

Aside from that, what makes this such a highly entertaining and sexy read is that Cast, perfectly blends ancient Greek elements with modern day life.

She’s done her research and put a tremendous amount of effort into creating a dazzling and beautifully descriptive world, bringing life to an underworld that one might easily assume is carved in shades of black and white.

Sexy, modern and above all, playful and very romantic, Goddess of the Spring is a book that will appeal to romantics at heart. I really hope Cast will bring out more books in this series - it just keeps getting better and better.

... Heads on off to daydream about Hades again...

1 comments:

The Young Book Collector said...

This will be my first time reading the works of P.C. Cast, so hopefully I don't get turned off [laughs]. But have read Radiant Darkness, by Emily Whitman, or Abandon by Meg Cabot? I herd those are based on the Persephone and Hades phenomena.