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Persephone's OrchardReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Most people will tell you that the Greek gods and goddesses never really existed. That they were simply icons and heroes at a time when people needed them. That they existed to explain the inexplicable. If that’s what Sophie Darrow believes as well, she’s got another thing coming. On her first day of college, a day that should be stressful, but relatively uneventful, Sophie finds herself pulled into a Spirit Realm. A realm that comes complete with the Underworld. She meets a mysterious young man named Adrian who just so happens to want her to take a little taste of a pomegranate. Simple enough. Right?

Soon after Sophie returns to her regular life in the real world, her mind begins to come alive with dreams and memories of an ancient time she can’t possibly be remembering. She dreams of a love, long lost, between two Greeks named Persephone and Hades. Unfortunately for her, lethal danger has always followed closely behind the two immortals. Even more unfortunate is the fact that the danger appears to be stepping on her heels once more.

I have always been in love with the Greek myths and constantly wondered about the true relationship between Persephone and Hades. What if Persephone was a willing participant rather than a pitiful victim? What if Hades wasn’t such a bad guy after all? Persephone’s Orchard explores that thought and does a beautiful job of it. I love the romanticism of finding your soul mate in one reincarnation after another. I also enjoyed the factor that there might be a collection of people that don’t really care for the idea of all powerful and immortal beings living amongst them. There are so many new ideas and angles to the traditional Greek myth and Ringle did a marvelous job of showing us one of those possibilities.

The only downside to Persephone’s Orchard is the back and forth of real world versus dream world. It wasn’t necessarily faulty so much as it lacked a natural flow. I felt like a little bit of the focus was lost when it bounced back and forth. Again, not necessarily done badly, it was simply one of those things that took from the story rather than adding to it. If you’re a lover of the mythologies and their many, many interpretations, this is definitely a book for you.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 dogs and a cat called Number One Boots Kitten. She is a full time mom and enjoys writing short stories in her spare time. She also likes watching anime, reading books, and playing video games.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Central Avenue Publishing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.