A review by Elizabeth Manthos
Format: review copy was paper but ISBN is for ebook
In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honour and — if they survive — they marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they were born.
Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona — as he steals from House Capulet. In doing do, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona…
…and will rewrite their fates, forever.
The novel itself is set during the same time period as Romeo and Juliet, it’s set during the play, just from other characters’ point of view. The writing style at some points doesn’t mesh with the clearly Shakespearian text, but this is easily overlooked as you fall into a story of betrayal, love, scandal, curses, intrigue and revenge.
Benvolio Montague, in this novel, please excuse me while I swoon. By far my favourite character in this novel, not just for his good looks or his bad boy ways, but also the depth of his character and particularly the way he treats the abused Rosaline. His wisdom, mercy and protectiveness are just a small part of his character.
When I first started reading Prince of Shadows I had my doubts if Rachel Caine could actually pull it off. Could she take a Shakespearian classic and twist a story of love, tragedy and death into a story of hope.
Prince of Shadows was a fantastic novel. For an author breaking into historical fiction, nothing gets in the way of telling this hopeful story of love. I recommend this novel for anyone who wants a twist on a Shakespearian classic. I enjoyed Prince of Shadows immensely.