Title: A Touch of Malice
Author: Scarlett St. Clair
Pub. Date: May 25, 2021
Pub: Not Listed
Genre: Fantasy Romance Retelling
Persephone and Hades are engaged. In retaliation, Demeter summons a snowstorm that cripples New Greece, and refuses to lift the blizzard unless her daughter calls off her engagement.
When the Olympians intervene, Persephone finds her future in the hands of ancient gods, and they are divided. Do they allow Persephone to marry Hades and go to war with Demeter or prohibit their union and take up arms against the God of the Dead?
Nothing is certain but the promise of war.
This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible. I’m a sucker for Hades & Persephone retellings (and Greek Mythology as a whole) so I’ve been enjoying this series so far. You can check out my spoiler free reviews for A Touch of Darkness and A Touch of Ruin – I’ll link them above.
I had to go back and read my review for A Touch of Ruin because I for sure thought I liked this third installment more. Turns out, I had a bunch of raving things to say about A Touch of Ruin, but I’m still a bit fuzzy on my feelings for this third book.
I’ve been thinking about it for days, and I still don’t know why this book left me so angry. But upon finishing it, I was just angry. Maybe I was angry because it’s over and the wait for the next one is a long time coming. But I don’t know. Something about it made me angry. .
Which is strange, because as a whole, I enjoyed the book. I thought the plot flowed nicely, that the new trauma that Persephone is now dealing with was handled in a believable and emotional way. I think the way Hades is portrayed was good – how his character growth since just the first book is clearly evident. I liked that Persephone worked hard to set her boundaries with people and then held firm. I liked the new dose of confidence she had and the fact that it was juxtaposed with her trauma induced insecurities.
I liked that we got more of Hermes (I still love him so much) and more Apollo. I loved that his character growth was evident as well. The two of them together and their friendships with Persephone are so much fun to read. And I love that when Persephone scolds them, they listen…eventually. They’re kind of like puppies in that regard. I love them.
As for the growing conflict between the humans and the Gods – I thought that was well done and enjoyable. Well, enjoyable in the sense that it was well done, frustrating from a reader perspective being wholly immersed in the story and wanting to shake sense into a whole bunch of people.
I thought it was really interesting in how St. Clair played up the rivalries/dynamics between the Gods and how that all tied into the humans rising up. Events that unfolded in this book – especially towards the end are going to have some really interesting outcomes in the next book and I can’t wait to see how it all goes down. I definitely have concerns, questions and desires. And lowkey, I’m freaking out about the situation that one character is in, and I’m pretty sure no one knows what’s happened.
It’s killing me.
Absolutely killing me.
I think that might be were my anger stems from – because the ending was wholly satisfying and also somehow unfair as fuck lol.
If I think about this for too long, I’ll just drive myself insane with questions and worry.
I definitely think St. Clair stepped up her game in this book. I think it’s been the strongest one, and how trauma, grief and pain are dealt with is done really well (in my opinion). You really feel for the characters and watching them navigate these hurdles and communicate with each other makes for a really good arc.
Prior to this book my interest in reading the series from Hades’ POV was minimal, but now I really want to know what’s really going on in his head – to see how he views all of this. I might actually have to dive in – I have the first book already loaded onto my Kindle.
I’m really excited for the next book and so interested in seeing where St. Clair takes us next. This series has been addicting and enjoyable since I started it, and I would kill to be in Persephone’s shoes.