I’m upset I didn’t discover this sooner.
I went to Barnes & Noble more times in the last month than I probably did all year, and every time, this graphic novel stared me down until I finally bought it. And it had nothing to do with the premise, but the fact that I have so many books I need to read that I already bought…but here we are.
I haven’t done a graphic novel review in a long time and I hope to start reading more again.
*Trigger Warning for all kinds of abuse, cheating, anxiety, and many more. I’m not going to mention any but they are present in the book.*
The Goddess of Spring and the King of the Underworld
Most people know of the Greek Gods and Persephone and Hades and their story, and there have been retellings over the years, but this one is different, with twists, drama, and the forbidden love between the two. Lore Olympus started as a webtoon, which I didn’t know about, with its first 25 episodes in this book, along with a new short story about Hades and Hera.
It modernizes the Gods with colorful illustrations and adorable drawings. All of the characters are easy to tell a part, and I like how Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon are distinct from one another and drawn in different colors, like all of the characters.
Persephone’s character is my favorite, especially the way she’s drawn to be tiny compared to everyone else. She’s just adorable (I know I keep saying adorable.) She’s lived in the mortal world for all of her life and is now allowed to navigate through Olympus with her friend, Artemis. She meets Hades at a party and he’s instantly drawn to her.
Hades has a sophisticated but snooty vibe to him. He’s dating a nymph, but things aren’t going well, and once he sees Persephone, he’s confused and doesn’t know what to do, especially since he believes they won’t work well together.
Their current relationship, which is mostly flirting, is, again, adorable. Persephone is a bit awkward and Hades is pretty patient with her. And when Persephone is around someone who just wants to use or abuse her, you want her to go back to Hades.
Other Gods and Goddesses are introduced. Many have a connection to Persephone and Hades, many of which tell Persephone not to go down that road and for Hades, not to get near her. If her mother finds out, she’ll take Persephone away, but it’s so easy to root for them. Each one balances out the other.
More of the story is available online, and the book just covers a smidge of the 100+ episodes. I don’t think I’m going to be able to wait until…July (!) for the next physical copy to come out, but will for sure get it when it does.
If you like retellings, whether it be the Greek Gods or even fairytales, this one should be on the list. It reintroduces the Gods in modern world with colorful and bright illustrations. It’s funny, but also has serious moments like I mentioned in the trigger warnings.
Lore Olympus is a recommendation from me and if you want to check out the webtoon, you can here: Lore Olympus.