Review Blog

Jun 19 2014

Prince of shadows : a novel of Romeo and Juliet by Rachel Caine

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Penguin, 2014. ISBN 9781743482988.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Rachel Caine, author of the bestselling Morganville Vampires series brings her formidable creative talent in this retelling of Romeo and Juliet basing it on characters and events surrounding the ill-fated pair. Benvolio Montague, Romeo's cousin, is the Prince of Shadows, a thief who risks everything when he decides to steal from the House of Capulet. There he meets the calm and beautiful Rosaline, who is destined for the convent. From then on events overtake him as the House of Montague and the House of Capulet continue their feud.
Caine's authentic blend of the familiar drama with the introduction of other characters and events flesh out the story for the reader. This combination gives the reader an insight into the characters and motivations of the people in Shakespeare's play and provide a wonderful story for the reader.
Benvolio is an intriguing main character who is known as the greatest thief in Verona, stealing from the rich. He knows that he might die on the streets fighting for his house, but knows too that is what happens in the world he lives in. The women in the story are depicted as strong characters, although they too are bound by the strictures of their society. Rosaline is a wonderful young woman, tranquil and sensible, and the love between her and Benvolio will thrill the reader. There are still the familiar characters from the play. Tybalt doesn't improve in this retelling and Mercutio is given a secret love that could prove disastrous in the eyes of society.
Caine has created a rich backdrop to the story of Romeo and Juliet that is sure to please those who are familiar with the play and delight any reader who is not.
Pat Pledger

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