Three Weddings and A War (A Touch of Malice – A Book Review)

A Touch of Malice (Hades x Persephone #3)

Author: Scarlett St. Clair

Published: 2021

On Goodreads

My Rating:

Rated for corruption of the mortal mind and cults cutting the flesh of gods.

Nothing is certain but the promise of war.

Persephone and Hades are officially engaged. While it should be celebrated, it isn’t. Demeter, enraged, summons a snowstorm that cripples the city. It’ll only get worse unless the engagement is called off. Even other gods are contemplating whether the two should be allowed to marry.

Persephone didn’t expect her future to be in the hands of the gods. She’ll be damned if they get to make any decisions about her life. Still, as she and Hades stand defiant and determined, the only thing that does become certain is that war is coming and sides will be chosen.

Hades x Persephone Reviews

A Touch of Darkness

A Touch of Ruin

The third book of the series started out speedy between her mother’s unforgiving wrath and the marriage to Hades. Even the engagement seemed to move at a fast pace. All of this moved to get to the excitement of the war between gods. And, so much of the life Persephone once knew and embraced with thrill was forgotten. I was left feeling at odds yet excited. Hades’s and Persephone’s marriage is one of the great pinpoints of their mythos and I was excited to read it coming to fruition. I didn’t even care that it seemed too soon. Who am I to question how long Gods should date and have an engagement period? LOL. I just wish Clair had relished in the ways she’s done in the past with the previous two novels.

Side Note: I was stunned-like bug-eyed-when Hecate brought up that Persephone would possibly be having three weddings: an Underworld, a mortal, and an Olympian. I can’t fathom the idea of having one and this book dabbled at the possibility of three. It made sense, but holy hell. LOL. I got anxious for Persephone really fast.

Suggy Emotions

While that may have bothered me, the evolution of Hades’s and Persephone’s relationship was divine. The two are continuously growing the way a relationship should. They continue to learn and open up to each other. Persephone’s trauma after being assaulted and more plagued her understandably. I can imagine many people saying, “Okay, we get it. We don’t have to keep living it.”. But, here’s the thing: this is how it is for those who have been through it. There is no moving along and skipping it. If we could we would. Clair keeps her story realistic by following not only the romantic and exhilarating parts but the tragic and traumatic ones as well. For this, Brava. Life isn’t easy, but Clair walks her characters through it, relishing in every part. More so, her characters are godly and experience so much outside their typical. She continues to break the mythos norm by having them taste humanity and I’m loving that.

Getting to finally meet other gods was exciting. I had been starting to wonder when the others would come into play. With this cult under Demeter’s whim, nobody could remain neutral. Sure, they were uptight, sarcastic, rude, and eccentric, but that wasn’t all. Some were more than that. Hypnos, Aphrodite, and Apollo are prime examples. Because Persephone was naturally caring, they’d opened up a bit. Persephone has given chances and kindness and it has changed the Greek mythos world; I believe for the better.

The coming battle between the gods crackled with electricity and anticipation. The first stepping stone, a cult, was unexpected and shocking. The way it was able to suck in those who were vulnerable and in the midst of grief and rage, using it to gain followers; it was horrifying. I figured Jaison, Lexa’s ex who I officially hate and thought was shifty to begin with, was a part of it. But my unease grew from minor deities being attacked and so many falling under the thrall of this darkness.

A major plus for this book? It has deleted scenes!! Cue my happy dance! This was such a delicious addition to the book. I love when book add extras like deleted scenes or a playlist or even artwork. It gives so much to the universe the author created. Expands it. Deepens it. Also, extra goodies!!!

Overall

Pretty sure I covered the big bits that really captured my swooning heart as well as the bits that tilted me a tad off-kilter. You don’t need me swooning all over the world-build again. I’ve told you twice how mesmerizing and glorious it is. No need for a third rake through, but daaammnnn is it ever fresh and breathtaking. And, I couldn’t talk about a few things without spoiling you, but hey, if you’ve read it and want to go deeper, get a hold of me.

The battle of the gods shifted this series into something more than just a heated romance. It expanded into something so much bigger and that’s typically what you hope for in a series. Yes, there were some elements that felt off, but so much more made up for it. I also assumed this was the final book in the collection. From the way this one ended, that is definitely not the case and I’m so thrilled.

Quotables:

“Grief was a cruel god.” (p. 16)

I am not unkind. But I do not do well in the presence of idiots…” (Hypnos, p. 185)

“No one ever said you had to pretend everything was okay. Grief means we loved fiercely…and if that is all anyone ever has to say about either one of us in the end, I think we lived our best live.” (Hermes to Persephone, p. 221)

“I am the beginning and end of worlds.” (Persephone, p. 338)

More to come soon…                                                                                               

  -K.

Song Today? Angel On Fire by Halsey.

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