Zeus huffed loudly through his nose but did not respond in kind. Instead, he seemed to ponder the matter before asking quietly, “What if she does not want you?”
Hades’ lips twisted. “Since when did a female’s wishes ever matter? You know the customs. If you as her father give her to me, then she is lawfully mine.”
“But why do you not court her properly, ask her if she would be your queen?”
“Court her? The way you courted your bride? Did you prostrate yourself before Hera, begging her to have you? No—You wanted her, Father Cronus was in no position to challenge you, and so you took her.”
“I had Mother Rhea’s consent.”
“And I would have yours. What is your point?”
The above excerpt comes from the opening chapter of my fantasy romance, That Fatal Kiss, set in a mythical Greece. In it, Hades (King of the Dead) asks Zeus (King of the Gods) for his daughter Persephone's hand in marriage. Only, Hades doesn't so much ask as he threatens ruin and destruction if he doesn't get what he wants, but that's neither here nor there. In the ancient Greek world, marriages were brokered by the bride's father (or nearest male relative) and either the fella who wanted her or his family. So, you know—buzzkill for the bride, who didn't have much of a say in anything, really.
It didn't surprise the ancient Greeks that Hades should try to work this out with Zeus, without consulting Persephone. But framing the tale with my 21st century sensibilities, the book repeatedly touches on the fact that, as an immortal goddess, Persephone merited a lot more respect than she initially received in this...er...transaction.
On the other hand, arranged marriages do still take place in this era (and can be successful and happy ones). Plus, many of us have to deal with the expectations of family, regarding our marital choices. Growing up a first-generation American daughter of Portuguese immigrants, folks in my extended family often urged me to settle down with a nice Portuguese boy. (Going totally against the tide, my parents only urged my sis and me to go to college, so yay, Mom and Dad!)
What about you? Have you ever felt any parental pressure to marry within a particular group, be it ethnic or socio-economic or anything? If so, how did you handle it? If you're a parent, have you ever tried to steer your offspring toward a particular person? Tell us in the comments!
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In That Fatal Kiss, life-giving Persephone seeks a mate but the goddess' mother frustrates her plans. Then Hades, King of the Underworld, spirits Persephone away to rule with him below, as his bride. Yet, even as she awaits rescue, Persephone aches to be consumed by the fire in the dark lord's immortal soul.
About the Author
Mina Lobo writes dark and whimsical romances, dodges the slings and arrows of her outrageous college-aged son, and feels compelled to do things in threes. She digs comedic horror, alternative rock, and Belgian chocolates. (See?)
Visit Mina's Web site, Some Dark Romantic, from September 24 - 29, for your chance to win an e-book copy of That Fatal Kiss!
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FYI - Continuing the tour for my book Murder, Madness & Love I'm over at Christine Rain's Blog. She had some very interesting questions for me!