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Prince of Shadows

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,339 ratings  ·  574 reviews
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 wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born.

Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by NAL (first published January 29th 2014)
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Patrick There is no sexual content, in the graphic sense, in Prince of Shadows. That they kiss is said but there is nothing more than the idea of wonderful wa…moreThere is no sexual content, in the graphic sense, in Prince of Shadows. That they kiss is said but there is nothing more than the idea of wonderful warmth in an embrace, and again, nothing graphic enough to paint much more of a picture than that. Though the subject matter of desire to ^be^ with someone is strongly expressed, and of course, so much resulting sadness and demise resulting, this is a book that can be appreciated by high schoolers, to my way of thinking. And I am a K-12 teacher. But as Miriam says, there is discussion of a homosexual relationship with both positive and negative overtones, and a very sad result. But there are relatively graphic description of violence leading to death. (less)

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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  2,339 ratings  ·  574 reviews

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Emily May
Dec 21, 2013 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 ✘

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 B

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

This book conquered my heart, my soul, my mind and everything that was liable to conquering. This book 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 to, but abudantly exceeded the expectations that had been raised.

Prince of Shadows is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. But we all know how retellings go nowadays: they take the
"Perhaps I only imagined the friendship between us, fragile and unspoken and as deadly to us as a cup of poison."

Prince of Shadows is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. However, the author took an interesting turn here: Instead of focusing on R&J's "tragic" love story, Caine choice to tell this tale from Romeo's cousin, Benvolio's perspective. PoS started out really strong but somewhere in the middle, it lost me. Though this had a solid plot with likable characters, it didn't keep my interest
Jul 13, 2015 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
DNF @35%

I know this is supposed to be the 1600's shit or whatever, but seriously Tybalt beating his sister bloody, woman being treated like absolute shit, serving no other purpose but to cook, clean, get married, and give birth around the age of 13, 14 is really not doing it for me. I'm painfully bored and cannot find a fuck to give from my pockets. I never like Romeo and Juliet so,, lmao bye.

Also, romeo is a dumb, fucking insta loving, piece of shit, I hAte HIM.
Vanessa 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
Nina (Every Word A Doorway)
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

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

How can I possibly not fall in love with a Romeo and Juliet retelling that commences with trespassing and murderous thoughts? HOW? Simply impossible.

I've only read one other novel by Rachel Caine, and Ink and Bone sorely disappointed me. So when I picked up Prince of Shadows, realizing only halfway through the book by whom it had been written, I was pleasantly surprised. Because this book was amazing. Now, let me
Natalie Monroe
4.5 stars

“Perhaps one day I’d be made a saint—the patron saint of fools and lovers, if those terms were not exactly the same.”

An totally accurate picture of my face while reading:

Prince of Shadows is an amazing retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. I confess I've only read the abridged version for school, so I don't have much recollection of the protagonists here.

The story is mainly told from side characters' perspectives. We follow the same plot—Romeo and Juliet fall in love, the balc
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 t ...more
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  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 begrudgin
I read all of this in one day whether that’s because I genuinely enjoyed it or because my classes were boring we’ll never know. Honestly, my biggest complaint about this book was that it is an unrequited insta-love (the worst kind), but despite that, I did enjoy it somewhat. The most annoying thing was the fact that Benvolio was constantly talking about Rosaline’s beauty and said things like “the way her skin glows” (blegh). And Rosaline was plain to everyone but Benvolio and his cousin Rom
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such an underrated YA novel! An interesting, unique spin on a story we all know and has been retold to death. Some parts dragged but on the whole the novel was well-written, had fleshed out characters and a swoon-worthy romance. Recommend!
Kate Quinn
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Romeo and Juliet retold with a surprising twist. The hero and heroine here are Benvolio (Romeo’s steady best friend) and Rosaline (Romeo’s first infatuation, ditched for Juliet). This pair is smarter, older, and far more savvy than their more famous counterparts, and they struggle to stop the inevitable–all the while feeling like the “curse on both their houses” may be a literal catalyst for all this disaster, and not just a poetic conceit. Made my year-end top ten list the year I read this.
Aug 22, 2014 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
Nov 20, 2013 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. :/ ...more
Minni Mouse
I thought I’d known the depths of cruelty men hid, but this . . . this was another thing entire. I’d known all our lives that we were fragile, easily punctured flesh, but seeing the boy choke on that noose, seeing the laughter and jeers from those who’d killed him . . . hearing the thumps as rocks pelted his dying body . . . that had shattered something within me, something I did not know was so precious.

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

If you haven't read thi
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
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! ...more
Aug 29, 2012 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! ...more
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
Cindy ✩☽♔
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
'Twas no great love affair between this book and I, though there was no hate either

*Detailed Review to Come*
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 surprises an
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
Nasty Lady MJ
Mar 28, 2014 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
Pam Pho
Jun 22, 2013 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. ...more
Ephraïm Just
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 04:53PM  

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