The Surrender of Persephone by Selena Kitt

The Surrender of Persephone by Selena Kitt
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (182 pgs)
Other: M/F, Multiple Partners, Menage, BDSM, D/s, F/F/F
Rating: 3 Cherries
Review by Phlox

Sheltered Persephone, Goddess of Spring, never gets to do anything— thanks to the suffocating love of her mother, Demeter. Sephie is being carefully groomed to follow in the footsteps of the two “virgin” goddesses, Athena and Artemis, and while they sure do have a lot of fun together, she longs for something deeper—and darker. When Aidon, the God of the Underworld—generally known as Hades—appears in his chariot to claim Persephone for his bride, the young goddess gets more than she wished for.

Held captive in the Underworld, she suddenly longs to return to the safety and security of her mother’s protection, but the dark and commanding Aidon binds her to him, claiming her bit by glorious bit as his own. Her coming of age is one of sexual awakening as she learns the bondage her new master imposes fulfills her darkest desires. Persephone finds herself submitting to and obeying Aidon’s command and discovers being taken and consumed in the heat of passion by a man—a god—is what she was truly made for. Persephone can’t deny her own nature, or her growing feelings for Aidon, as she submits to his domination and surrenders as his wife and prepares to rule as his Queen.

As she finally admits her own feelings, Persephone faces the looming specter of her history, which threatens to shatter the newly formed bonds between the couple. She must now face not only her past, but her present, and her future—no longer only the Goddess of Spring, but also as the wife of Aidon and Queen of the Underworld—and the choices she will be forced to make will change the world forever.

The Greek myth of Persephone’s abduction and subsequent desperate courtship by Hades has always been one of my favorite stories, but the reader can’t approach this book expecting that story. The dark, lonely god who abducts the maiden on a sudden whim, the dutiful daughter who longs to return to her mother, and the terrible depravations that occur during her mother’s anguished mourning, these elements are largely missing. This is, instead, a story of dominance and the need of one male-starved girl to be dominated.

The sex is imaginative, abundant and super-heated and liberally peppered with magical toys conveniently made by Hephaestus-boy he sure was busy! If you happen to be a reader of erotic fiction who prefers extra Scoville units in your sex scenes (scotch bonnet, habanero, Thai chili pepper hot) you will not be disappointed. This Hades is an unquestioned Alpha as well, with the requisite hot body and deep voice one expects and though the Underworld is a necessarily dark place, the work has its humorous moments, such as the revelation that the handsome, scary god of death, Thanatos, is something of a dim bulb. Kitt obviously knows her mythology and all the important players are in place, with the story playing out against an imaginative recreation of the Greek land of the dead.

Unfortunately, much of the story could have been any BDSM surrender story, set in any time period. The dialogue waffles between attempts at an archaic style and overt anachronisms such as Hermes blurting out “works for me!” While some readers may find this amusing, it can be distracting and pulled this reader from the story.

The initial surrender scene yanked me out of the story as well since Persephone surrenders without any trust or feeling for her abductor. Love comes much later but only well after her supposed submission, which seemed, for me, difficult to believe. This scene could be overlooked if the character herself were more sympathetic but she is, in essence, self-absorbed and immature, someone who doesn’t experience growth but rather has a sudden and equally unbelievable transformation into someone mature who makes wise decisions. Even then, she spares little thought to her grieving mother, much too consumed by her own needs, and even less thought to the masses of people suffering and starving while she refuses to deal with the world. The end, while an interesting solution, makes one wonder if perhaps it could have been made better if she had been forced to take some responsibility.

An interesting take on the familiar myth, this story is peppered with quirky characters and an abundance of sensuality. Even if you read it for the pomegranate scene alone, it’s worth a peek.

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