Book Review: Thief of Spring by Katherine Macdonald

  • Title: Thief of Spring
  • Author: Katherine Macdonald
  • Genre: Fantasy, Mythology
  • Where to buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Would I recommend: If you like fae and mythology and a good retelling, oh, yes!

From Goodreads:

The Greek Gods are real.

But they aren’t gods.

They’re faeries.

When 17-year-old Persephone accidentally stumbles upon a revel, she’s chosen as a sacrifice, but is saved from this fate when the Lord of the Underworld tricks her into becoming his companion for seven months instead. Sephy is taken to his dark palace under the earth, but the Lord of Night isn’t exactly what she expected him to be…

And neither is she.

My thoughts:

Katherine Macdonald has knocked it out of the park again with this new vision of Hades and Persephone. If you’re familiar with Greek mythology, you know the story: Hades fell in love with the beautiful Persephone and stole her away to the underworld, and a deal was worked out where she could return to earth for part of each year. Thief of Spring is a modern retelling of this tale.

Persephone, or Sephy, prefers to keep mostly to herself. She and her father live alone, and she’s grown up with the idea that her mother abandoned them when she was a baby. She agrees to go out with her friend Libby, and receives a mysterious invitation to a private party. The party is not what she expected, though, and she finds herself offered up as some kind of sacrifice. Hades saves her life and claims her for his own, but then she’s trapped in the underworld with him for seven months.

Hades comes across a little bit intimidating, a little bit dark and broody (he makes me think a bit of Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer at first). But there is so much more to him (and some of his humor as the book progresses makes me think of my most favorite Buffy vampire, Spike). He was deeply wounded by someone who should have loved him, and his backstory made my heart hurt for the boy he was and the man he has become. Macdonald draws him as much more sympathetic than the Hades of mythology, and I adore her characterization of him.

And Sephy is no shrinking violet. She’s thrown into a different and somewhat frightening environment, but she doesn’t just sit in her room and cry. She occupies her time, she tries to be kind where she can, she learns to fight. And she finds herself falling hard and fast for Hades.

The romance between Hades and Sephy is a sweet, awkward slow burn. (Hades may be the Lord of the Underworld and immortal fae and all, but still, he’s very young as fae go.) I felt like it fit their characters and the situation, and the pace was right for the length of the book.

And oh my gosh, two things that I did not see coming. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Macdonald drew me in and then POW! Right in the kisser with two big ol’ plot twists. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for book two!

If you like mythology and fae and a good mash-up with characters you can love and hate, pick up Thief of Spring! Macdonald is rapidly finding her way onto my list of “authors whose books I’ll buy without even reading the blurb.”

Disclaimer: I received an advance reader copy of this book from Booksprout and the author. All opinions here are mine, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.

This entry was posted in ARC Reads, Book Reviews, Booksprout, Fairy Tale Retelling, Fantasy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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