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A Game of Fate by Scarlett St. Clair is A Touch of Darkness from Hade’s POV. While the two books occur at the same time with many of the same scenes, there’s a lot of new things. Scenes are expanded upon or shown completely differently. As Hades picks up on things that Persephone doesn’t, and some additional ones that don’t make appearances at all in A Touch of Darkness. So even though they are essentially the same books, they are different enough where you could enjoy both. Plus, the plot regarding what they do apart is different. Which makes A Game of Fate a good read.
Hades, God of the Underworld, is known for his inflexible rule, luxurious night clubs, and impossible bargains. Used to control, he is not prepared to discover the Fates have chosen his future wife and Queen—Persephone, Goddess of Spring. Despite her attraction to the god, Persephone, an ambitious journalism student, is determined to expose Hades for his cruel and ruthless ways. Hades finds himself faced with the impossible—proving his future bride wrong. Regardless of his efforts, there are forces who wish to keep the two apart and Hades comes to realize he will do anything for his forbidden love, even defy Fate.
- Published: September 12, 2020
- Page Count: 371
- Genre: Mythology, Fantasy Romance
Thoughts on A Game of Fate
The book starts out with Hades trying to keep balance in the Upperworld. By that, I mean, he gives an individual a choice of turning 3 million dollars over to charities that help the homeless before a criminal is going to die in a matter of time. Since Hades is able to see how much time an individual has before they will die and enter his domain in the Underworld. I thought this was interesting to see. Mostly as Persephone is jaded in regards to Hades’ bargains that we don’t see the full picture of what he does. Whereas, A Gate of Fate shows it. Not just that but the part of his character we only are hinted at or shown glimpses of.
Then it cuts to Aphrodite making her bargain with Hades after he loses blackjack to her. Mostly as she was angry he shared his opinion regarding her marriage. So, Hades is challenged with making someone fall in love with him in six months. Something Hades gives absolutely no thought to. Like he doesn’t care about it one way or another. I suppose we hear him say to Persephone at one point, but A Game of Fate really makes clear. Especially since not even a few minutes after Aphrodite leaves, he spots Persephone and has the instinctual desire to claim her as his. He notes that their fates are tied together, and after she leaves he returns to the Underworld and discovers the truth. That she’s Demeter’s daughter and will become his future bride. Something Demeter has been aware of since the moment Persephone was born as it was the bargain she made with the Fates in order to have Persephone. Like we knew Demeter was controlling and hated Hades, but this just puts it in a whole new light. Demeter was trying to defy the Fates of a bargain they made.
When Hades isn’t with Persephone, he is forced to deal with the fact that someone is trying to avoid death using a spindle that allows them to cheat the Fates. Who are furious since it resulted in their golden spears that cut life threads to break. Not only that but the souls that are killed as a result are damaged beyond repair. The Fates tell Hades that he has to put a stop to it, or they will take Persephone out of his future. Something that he does not want. Even before the two fell in love, Hades does not want to lose his potential bride because he wants a future with her. Since it’s the first time anyone has been written in his fate as a lover. He’s tried forcing that before with Minthe (something he very much regrets) and Leuce (nymph who ultimately cheats on him with Apollo). So, Hades is determined to make sure the Fates don’t take Persephone away by any means necessary including stealing the prized ox of another god. This entire storyline makes A Game of Fate feel like a completely different story, rather than an exact rewrite of A Touch of Darkness just from a different POV.
We also get to see the summit of the Gods which was caused by said ox thief. And the confrontation of Demeter and Hades after she catches her daughter sleeping with him. This we don’t see or get a mention of in A Touch of Darkness. Demeter does go to Zeus and demand he intervenes. Claiming that Hades has forced himself upon Persephone, and outs her as a god to some extent. Hades stands up for Persephone and points out the Demeter is intervening with something the Fates have chosen, which makes Zeus side with Hades. Granted, it also comes with the fact that the moment Persephone learns her power then Hades has to present her to Zeus. Since she is a new god. Something Demeter was never going to do since she never wanted Persephone to have any access to her powers. The opposite of what Hades is trying to do, as that’s his entire reasoning for keeping his bargain with Persephone. He wants her to become the goddess she was always meant to be.
There’s more additional things and moments from Hades perspective that I loved. And his personality really comes to life in this book. As well has his relationships with the other characters like Hermes (who I haven’t really talked about in any of these reviews but he’s one of my favorite characters), Hecate (the two have great banter), and Minthe. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Hades Saga which is A Touch of Ruin from his POV. Considering all the things that went down in that book, and a lot of gaps where the two don’t see each other. I wonder what his will focus on. Since I doubt he just mopes around… granted, he does do that during the small window where him and Persephone break up when she fulfills her contract.
There are some editing errors, which have been a common thing of late (paragraphs in wrong places, ” marks in wrong spots, spelling errors, etc.) that I’ve noticed in all the books I’ve read in the last month. But it was minor enough that I could overlook it, though it still took me out of the book for a moment each time. As I haven’t with the other books, I thought I’d just mention that.
Anyways, another thing I love is that Hades is constantly going “fucking fates” whenever something goes against his plans. Though I have to say from this POV, the relationship between Hades and Persephone doesn’t grow so much. As Hades is basically instantly in love with her and his thoughts are extremely sexual around her. Yes, it’s shown that he cares a lot for Persephone and over time learns about her interests. But it’s not some realization or something that grows over time. It’s purely much lust and love the entire way through, though we do see that Persephone challenges his viewpoints in some ways regarding how he handles the souls. But it’s very minor, unlike Persephone’s POV where we see that relationship grow. We don’t have that in A Game of Fate. It’s love at first sight and jumps over any stable/healthy relationship stuff. Granted, their relationship was never really a healthy one. It’s pretty toxic, since any time they answer questions it’s through a game.
Still, I couldn’t put this book down, and I really want to see where this series goes from here. The next book I think is A Touch of Malice which comes out in May of this year. Overall, I would give A Game of Fate a 3.5 out of 5-star rating. It’s good and different from A Touch of Darkness where you don’t feel like you’re reading the same book twice, but there’s not a lot of character growth. Hades is pretty much the same from start to finish, he doesn’t really grow from his insecurities. Granted, I think that’s more something for him that happened in A Touch of Ruin. He’s not open about his feelings or really anything with Persephone. Not to mention, the charity project that’s his character growth moment isn’t written in a way where it feels like a character growth moment. And that could’ve been the perfect opportunity for it since it does show change. He took Persephone’s advice over how to do his bargains differently, a different want to help addicts rather than just challenging them and letting them figure out how to get better. It could’ve been more is all I’m saying, but that entire character growth moment was written like an afterthought. Whereas, for Persephone is was huge as their relationship changes and develops from there from attraction to love.
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