This month’s FYA Book Club selection is Lore Olympus: Volume One by Rachel Smythe. This graphic novel—a huge hit online—is the first volume in a series that tells a new story of Hades and Persephone with obvious classic themes. Content Warning: This book does depict a sexual assault. (But I promise it gets better, and these themes are dealt with in a thoughtful manner.)
Check out the discussion questions below! (Slight spoilers ahead.)
P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!
Content Warning: Lore Olympus regularly deals with themes of physical and mental abuse, sexual trauma, and toxic relationships.
This volume of Lore Olympus specifically depicts sexual assault, gaslighting, toxic relationships (specifically parent/child), and sexism.
It seems like most people go through a period in their life during which they’re obsessed with Greek myths. Did you experience such a period? Who or what did you find most fascinating?
1. Hades: Yes or Yes?
2. What were your initial thoughts on Persephone? Did they change when you got to know her a bit better?
3. Do you have a favorite secondary character? Who and why?
4. Did you have any previous familiarity with the Hades and Persephone myth before reading Lore Olympus? If yes, what did you think about the changes Smythe made with the initial stages of their relationship?
5. Smythe also messed with the setting of the story, creating a modern Underworld and Mount Olympus, while the Mortal Realm is period accurate (i.e., set in the heyday of the gods in ancient Greece). Did you like this change? Why or why not?
6. Smythe seemingly uses Persephone’s assault by Apollo as a reference to the multitude of assault stories in Greek myth and also points out the suspect nature of Eros’ actions with Psyche. What are your thoughts on these two parts of the book?
7. Who needs therapy the most?
8. What did you think about the book’s art style and use of color?
9. This first volume contains episodes 1–25 of the comic, but there are 240 up online with more to come; there are also at least four more books. Will you be reading more? Any predictions or hopes for what’s to come?