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Prince of Shadows

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,037 ratings  ·  294 reviews
A thrilling retelling of the star-crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series.

In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and—if they survive—marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishe
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by NAL (first published January 29th 2014)
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179th out of 1,520 books — 8,457 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May
"I stood in the dark corner of my enemy's house, and thought of murder."

Well, that was completely unexpected. I decided to read this book because I have an arc of it, because it was Shakespeare, because I was curious, but... I have to confess, I was expecting the worst. For a few reasons: 1) I couldn't even make it through the first book of the author's Morganville Vampires series, 2) Well, duh, it's a Shakespeare retelling, and 3) Romeo and Juliet has always sparked conflicted emotions within m
Alienor ✘ French frowner ✘

Wow. Here I am, in love with a Romeo and Juliet retelling. Who would have ever believed that it was possible? Not me for sure.

Romeo is a foolish infatuated kid who composes poems like we would write a shopping list. Yay! Finally I found in Benvolio a hero who shares my opinion of Romeo : as a kind but inconsistent and immature teenager who craves for drama. God, I'll take the Prince of Shadows on any day.

"It's Romeo. He'd swoon over a dancing bear if it wore a skirt."

My thoughts exactly.



If you enjoyed this,


Or this,


Or hell, even this,


Then you will adore this retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet!

Prince of Shadows is told from the perspective of Benvolio Montague, who for those of you familiar with the play will recall, is the only one of his generation left alive at the end. In Caine’s telling he is from a lower branch of the Montague family, therefore not entitled to the power and tithes of his cousin and family heir Romeo. Rather than begrudging th
Not for me. DNF. I'm just no fan of the author's writing style. I had to DNF Glass Houses as well. :/
I just finished the manuscript for this book, and while it is not the finished copy, IT WAS BRILLIANT!! If you love period pieces, Shakespeare, and Romeo & Juliet, you will LOVE this retelling by Rachel Caine. I want to tell you more, but I'm afraid of spoilers. Will add more to this review closer to release!
Colleen Houck
This is one book that I wish I'd written. I know I never could though. The idea of attempting a Shakespeare spin off is so brave and Rachel Caine did such an excellent job. The curse on the House of Capulet and Montague was such a fantastic addition to the story. Well done!
3.5 Stars

It has been a while since I read Shakespeare. I originally read this in high school and I remember acting this story out in class to make it seem more interesting to a bunch of rowdy teenagers, as well as watching the movie (with Clare Danes).

I went into this expecting to be bored, and was thoroughly surprised, once I passed the slow start, to be immersed.

"You're as fragile as a barbarian's broadsword."
"I've yet to see a barbarian close enough to examine his broadsword."

Rachel Caine tru
Initial Thoughts: I am really not sure how to rate this book right now. In many ways, it felt like Romeo and Juliet for young adult readers. It's been so long since I've read the original that I'll need to check and see what was changed. The characters are the same but the story is told from Benvolio's point of view. Anyhow, while I had that deja vu feeling, I still felt compelled to read on.

The Review:
I must confess that I read Romeo and Juliet way back in high school. I don't remember all the
Pam Vlieg
Fantastic. Romeo and Juliet is not one of my favorite plays. The whims of two children tearing apart two houses always disturbed me. Caine has taken the source material and turned it into a most amazing account of Italy and the Hatfield McCoy type war between the families. Told from Benvolio's perspective PRINCE OF SHADOWS was lush and completely re-imagined. I adored every second I got to spend in Cain's take. Highly recommended.
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

Prince of Shadows just gave me a major book hangover. Romeo & Juliet is one of the Shakespearean tales that I have read and loved, for the epic, tragic love story and the ages old feud between the Capulets and the Montagues.

Rachel Caine adds a new dimension to the greatest love tragedy ever told with brilliant writing and storytelling. She has embellished Romeo & Juliet with her own flair for the dramatic and new surp
Howdy YAL
Really 2.5 stars.

To see full review visit here

I'm just going to put it out there: I hate Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Yes, I hate his most famous play, despite the fact that many English teachers have championed it, it just doesn't work for me and it probably never will.

However, a retelling of this famous tale from a minor character's POV to me seemed like it could be interesting. Especially since said main character is said to be a thief, sad to say he and most of the book made me yawn more
Apr 07, 2014 kari rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
If you are expecting something along the lines of Romeo and Juliet, then this might not be the book for you. Yes, they do appear in it, but they aren't the center of the story. This is the story of Benvolio, Romeo's cousin, although they have lived more as brothers and his adventures.
What I really loved is that I got a real sense of this time and place. I think it is very easy to get caught up in the romance of Romeo and Juliet and forget that the story is a tragedy. This gives more an idea of h
Jessica (a GREAT read)
I got to admit, Rachel Caine's Prince of Shadows totally took me by surprise. I was expecting a paranormal version of Romeo and Juliet. The cover has an eerie feeling to it, so I thought...ooh, something spooky! Not so, really.

In some ways, this is the story of Romeo and Juliet through Benvolio's eyes. But it's also much more than that! The story begins before Romeo even sets eyes on Juliet. In fact, he's already "in love" with Rosaline. The Montagues and Capulets are already duking it out daily
Prince of Shadows is a historical fiction novel based on Romeo & Juliet. It is told from the point of view of Benvolio, Romeo's cousin. Despite the fairly dense text the plot moved along very quickly. Because Caine chose to change her narrator to a side character in this adaptation, it didn't feel like a tired rehash of the same story; it felt very different to the Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. I also liked the inclusion of Rosaline in the Prince of Shadows, and the fact that Caine expan ...more
Andrea at Reading Lark
*4.5 Rating
Review Posted on Reading Lark 6/20/15:

Romeo and Juliet has long been one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, second only to Hamlet. There was something so beautiful about the love between the star crossed pair that it haunted me from the moment I first read the play. My preoccupation with the doomed pair was only increased when I saw the Leonardo DiCaprio/Claire Danes film. Never in my youthful mind did I pause to consider how these two could be
Drew Cernava
"Another set of windows opened, another set of curtains billowed, and another girl stepped to her balcony. Taller, stronger, older, more richly beautiful to my eyes."
This is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, through Romeo's cousin, Benvolio's, perspective. It follows the same storyline as the original tale, but adds a lot of subplots and new character insights.

I've only read one Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar, but I plan to read Romeo and Juliet soon. I already knew the basic outline for it

OH my goodness this was good! Like I'll admit in the original play, I didn't give two thoughts about Benvolio or Mercutio, but in this story - you just couldn't ignore them.

I did prefer the first part of the book more so than the second, but it was still a great read over all!

I liked the language that was used in the story, just because if Romeo started saying "Damn, I'd tap that girl and show her my swag," or whatever, it would just be so out of place HAHA It felt like Shakespearian and yet no
Imagine that there is more to a story. Imagine that story is Romeo and Juliet. Young adult author, Rachel Caine, has done exactly that… imagined that there is more to the story of Romeo and Juliet.
But, it is not Romeo or Juliet’s story she has imagined. It is the story of Benvolio, Romeo’s cousin and a Montague, and Rosaline, the lady once adored by Romeo, Juliet’s cousin, and a Capulet. Caine also shines the light of her imagination on Mercutio. Did you ever wonder why Mecutio was so desperate
I tried. I seriously did, but I just couldn't get myself oriented towards this book and I simply couldn't continue after multiple nights of trying and still could hardly get past 40 pages.

This story was written in historical fashion, using the story of Romeo and Juliet as the background. However, instead rewriting their romance, he author wrote the story from the perspective of Romeo's cousin, Benvolio. It supposedly followed Benvolio and his role in the great romantic tragedy of all times.


I have been excited to read this book for some time. I adore Rachel Caine. I have long been curious to see what she would do with a historic fiction. Prince of Shadows is Rachel Caine’s take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet told from the point-of-view of Benvolio Montaque, Romeo’s cousin. It is a standalone novel newly released in the young adult market. And it’s also a fabulous book.

Benvolio knows that he is not the favourite son of the house of Montaque. That honour belongs to Romeo, the heir
Look for this review and more at my blog, Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews.

3.5 Stars

I have heard great things about Rachel Caine's writing and am planning on trying her popular Morganville Vampires very soon. But, I decided to try out her style by reading her newest release, Prince of Shadows. This is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet from the point of view of Romeo's cousin, Benvolio Montague. This was not a perfect book, but I found it to be really interesting and it definitely kept my attention.

Jane Drabkin
I was truly intrigued by this new take on Romeo and Juliet. Caine captures Verona down to the sameness of the stones. I could easily visualize medieval Verona. The politics and intrigue between the Capulets and Montagues, as well as the intrigue inside the families made for competing localities which made the plot twist like a pretzel. I kept reading to see how Caine was actually going to twist the plot into Shakespeare's. I found the book took me quite awhile to read. I don't know how many teen ...more
ɑƨħŵɑɡ ♥Team Magnus Damora FOREVER♥
I have not read Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet so, so many of the details in the play was lost to me, sorry in advance. But Prince of Shadows is a different take on the classic story told from another character's perspective.

Even though I'm not that much of a fan of classics in general, I found this book to be extremely well-written. It is centered around a character named Benvolio who is also Prince of Shadows. That is, he steals from the rich to give the poor. This is where I was really intere
This probably deserves 4 stars. It was well written, the plot and characters were interesting, and while I was reading it I enjoyed it. However, it did not hook me at all. It took me an unheard of 3 weeks to finish. Normally I'd just give up but I recognized that it was worth reading and worth my time, but it never engaged me. Moat books I read and love have an almost mystical quality and draw me in, but this book--while technically good--lacked that magic.
Benvolio Montague knows his place and his duty; he is the extra Montague, last on everyone's list including his hellish grandmother. However, Ben refuses to let this stop him from carrying out an important mission. As the "Prince of Shadows," Benvolio is able to assist Verona's lower class while exacting revenge on a few worthy targets. Years pass until one fateful day, a terrible curse is set into motion that could mean the end of not only the Montagues, but life as Benvolio knows it.

This was a
Whenever a new retelling pops up, I'm always intrigued and add that book to my TBR list. Since I love Shakespeare, I was definitely excited to read a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. And by Rachel Caine! I am a huge fan of her Morganville Vampire series, so I was excited to see what she could do with some Shakespeare!

From birth, the boys and girls of the Montague and Capulet family are trained to put family, power, and honor above all else. Marriage is a union for power and money, not love, so wh
Book Flame
I had no real expectations going into Prince of Shadows, I know the author is popular but I've never read any of her books and Romeo and Juliet is a tale that I have a love hate relationship with so with all that said I was surprised with how much I loved it.

First and foremost I went in thinking the book was going to be filled with some hot and heavy romance between Rosaline and Benvolio but there wasn't much romance at least not until more towards the end. The book instead focused on Benvolio t
Dena (Batch of Books)
Prince of Shadows is the story of Romeo and Juliet—or rather, it's the story of Benvolio and Rosaline. Romeo and his tragic tale take a back seat to Benvolio's own dramatic story. It's beautifully written, highly engaging, and a breath of fresh air for the young adult fiction section.

While some of the author's modern ideals seeped into the story, most of the book felt authentic, if not entirely believable. It's very violent, so be forewarned. If you're not comfortable with lots of fighting, thie
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

3.5 stars

Back in that mysterious time before I began book blogging, I read a few of the Morganville Vampires novels. I didn’t stop because I didn’t like them; they just sort of fell by the wayside, as I am wont to do with series at times. I was curious, to say the least, to see that Caine had made the leap from vampires to a Shakespearean retelling, but she has landed this vast jump deftly. Prince of Shadows is going to be
Mar 03, 2015 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
I confess that I had absolutely no knowledge of Rachel Caine or her writing before today. On a quick GOOGLE search, I see that vampires seem to be her forte. So, I am assuming that this was a little bit of departure from her normal stuff and will have its share of lovers and haters. I fall in the first category. Seriously, any author who takes on the world of well known writers has to be so careful about the execution of it. To take on one of Shakespeare's well-known plays? Yeah, that is going ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 04:53PM  
  • Still Star-Crossed
  • Prophecy of Oz (Prophecy of Oz, #1)
  • Such Sweet Sorrow
  • Poppy (Poppy, #1)
  • Masquerade
  • The Glass Casket
  • Wayfarer (Tales of Beauty & Madness, #2)
  • Tsarina
  • The Madness
  • The Mirk and Midnight Hour
  • Escape from Verona
  • A Phantom Enchantment (Unbound, #3)
  • Feather Bound
  • Always Emily
  • Black Spring
  • Conspiracy Girl
  • A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy, #1)
  • The Looking Glass (The Looking Glass, #1)
Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, #1) Midnight Alley (The Morganville Vampires, #3) The Dead Girls' Dance (The Morganville Vampires, #2) Feast of Fools (The Morganville Vampires, #4) Carpe Corpus (The Morganville Vampires, #6)

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