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Prince of Shadows

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,374 Ratings  ·  374 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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176th out of 1,528 books — 8,886 voters
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YA Historical Fiction of 2014
11th out of 71 books — 139 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May
Jul 12, 2015 Emily May rated it it was amazing
"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 ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)

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.

Simona Bartolotta

"I hadn't known I had innocence left in me until I'd felt it die."

Thi book conquered my heart, my soul, my mind and everything it was possible to conquer. It is intelligent, well-written, witty, wonderfully plotted- you name it. It had me hooked from the very first chapters, and the rest not only lived up, but exceeded the expectations that had been raised.

Prince of Shadows is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, yes. But we all know how retellings go nowadays: they take a couple of things from
Jan 06, 2016 Masooma rated it really liked it
Let the future fall. Let the houses burn, as long as you are together

The fire of Romeo and Juliet revises itself in this beautiful retelling by Rachel Caine. It is narrated by the thief who tootles the streets of Verona during the dark hours of night, Benvolio.

Prince of Shadows is rich in beautiful expressions, fine writing, crispy dialogues, and a cultural glimpse of the middle ages when a man's duty to his family and a woman's honour stood foremost and sacred.

Caine has entrancingly recaptured
Vane J.

What a fantastic retelling of Romeo and Juliet. I'm not a fan of the story. Before reading Shakespeare's original tale, I was so sure I was going to hate it, and I was surprised to see I didn't, and that's because while reading it, I realised tht the story can be interpreted in various ways. Mine was that Romeo fell because of his lust. I already knew that normally in Shakespeare's plays the character whose emotions where the most intense or uncontrolled was the one destined to die or to be mock
Jul 04, 2016 Giovanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 rounded up to 5 for now.

I'm just tired of 4.5s, and I haven't given a 5 since The Raven King. I'm not 100 percent sure on this one, I might change it, but for now I only want to shout: FINALLY A FREAKING 5.

"I stood in the dark corner of my enemy's house, and thought of murder."

Well, colour me surprised, but this might be one of the best retellings I've ever read. And let me add that I've read some good ones (Tiger Lily and The Forbidden Wish, to name just two of those).

There are a lot of gre
Norah Una Sumner
3,5 stars

I've really liked Benvolio and Rosaline but everyone else was not so memorable. We all know the story Shakespeare created but Rachel Caine got the idea to take that story and narrate it through the eyes of Benvolio. Of course that I was super excited to read this since I really liked Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet but,unfortunately,I didn't quite enjoy this story as much as I thought I would. Benvolio,or Prince of Shadows,is a great character and I definitely connected with him and felt b


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
Aug 24, 2014 Kaora rated it really liked it
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
Jan 31, 2014 Melanie rated it it was ok
Not for me. DNF. I'm just no fan of the author's writing style. I had to DNF Glass Houses as well. :/
Camly Nguyen
DNF 50%
Too slow for my taste and writing is pretty bad. It's weird because when I read the real Romeo and Juliet, I felt that Romeo did the things he did because he was hopelessly in love but when I read this book, I felt like he did those things because he was just stupid. There's a difference there and that brings down the story a bit. I understand that the author wanted to rewrite the story in the hopes of making it better and more interesting. Unfortunately, I don't even have the strength t
Jemma (MyLittleBookishCorner)
Wow... Just... Wow.

Having previously read the first 11 novels in the Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine, when I saw that she was going to be releasing a stand-alone novel, and a retelling of Romeo and Juliet at that, I knew that I was definitely going to buying this one when it came out. I did, and then let it sit on my shelf for a couple of years, as I normally do with all of my books.

When I finally did pick it up, reading it made me wish that I had picked it up sooner. Prince of Sha
Aug 31, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Tanya Nekrasova
Sep 25, 2015 Tanya Nekrasova rated it it was amazing
Никогда не любила Шекспировкую драму, но этот пересказ "Ромео и Джульетты" считаю великолепным! Автор дала возможность взглянуть на историю под другим углом, глазами других героев! Класс!
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
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
Pam Vlieg
Jan 13, 2014 Pam Vlieg rated it it was amazing
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.
Books are TARDIS
A plague on both your houses.

I have no love for the original Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps that's the biggest reason why I liked this retelling so much. Because it highlights everything I find wrong in the original story and paints Romeo and Juliet as the love struck well meaning but extremely foolish children that they are IMHO.

Benvolio is a deeply flawed yet noble character. Best of all, Ben is seriously interesting and a rather dashing hero. What can I say, I'm a fan.

And Rosaline is the very p
Howdy YAL
Mar 30, 2014 Howdy YAL rated it it was ok
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
Aug 21, 2014 Mee rated it it was amazing

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
Apr 07, 2014 kari rated it really liked it
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)
Jan 31, 2014 Jessica (a GREAT read) rated it really liked it
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
This review can also be found @

Title: Prince of Shadows

Author: Rachel Caine

Publisher: New American Library (NAL), 2014

Genre: YA Historical Fiction, YA Retellings

My Review:

Though not seemingly a hefty book (at 351 pages), the book is densely written in prose reminiscent of Shakespeare. Most books only take me a day to read, and if interrupted, two days max. This book took me three days because of the heavy prose. And what makes me pleased about this is that it

Apr 09, 2016 Nikki_Hill rated it liked it
все было довольно неплохо, но как минимум 100 страниц считаю лишними, ибо навевает скуку :(
The Book Queen
Jun 29, 2016 The Book Queen rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

This was fantastic. My expectations were high to start with and they were definitely met. This book is dark, sensual, gorgeous, and I loved every minute of it.

(Okay, that's a lie. Towards the beginning the plotline was a little rinse-and-repeat and at some points the main character annoyed me, which is why I'm rounding down. But it was honestly fantastic.)

It's full of beautiful, lush prose and witty dialogue; I love the way Rachel Caine writes and here it felt so smooth and elegant. The
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
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
Jun 03, 2014 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
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.
Jan 03, 2016 Sylwia rated it it was amazing
I had quite a dilemma if I should rate this book 5 or 4 stars. I decided to give it 5 stars, because of the writing. The impeccable, atmospheric writing. You can try to do Shakespeare justice and fail miserably, or you can try your best, I mean go all 100% in, and create something as beautiful as this book. I'll definitely write more when I gather all my thoughts. But really, if you were thinking about reading this book, read it.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 04:53PM  
  • Such Sweet Sorrow
  • Still Star-Crossed
  • Prophecy of Oz (Prophecy of Oz, #1)
  • Escape from Verona
  • The Madness
  • Diamonds and Deceit (At Somerton, #2)
  • A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy, #1)
  • The Glass Casket
  • Storm
  • Tsarina
  • The Mirk and Midnight Hour
  • Feather Bound
  • Witchfall (The Tudor Witch Trilogy, #2)
  • Black Spring
  • Wayfarer (Tales of Beauty & Madness, #2)
  • Masquerade
  • Grim
  • パンドラハーツ 23 [PandoraHearts 23] (Pandora Hearts, #23)

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