Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine was yet
another Romeo and Juliet retelling from the position of Benvolio and Rosaline. Accept this time a little more realistic is what might have actually happened with two huge back stabbing, angry vicious families warring within one city.
There was blood, gossip, death, rumors of women being impure and unchaste, tattling of homosexual boys…which was actually really horrible since the author goes into detail about how being called out as a pervert gets you hung.
The author uses quotes from the play quite nicely but uses a modern tone so the reader doesn't get bored and confused. The characters were really good and the writing flushed out depth in them I always thought lacking in the play. Romeo and Juliet is my least favorite Shakespeare play, so getting me to enjoy it is a bonus. The author also calls to attention the actual age difference between Romeo and Juliet, her 13 to his 17 and Ben (as Benvolio is familiarly called) mentions how much more a child than a women she looks.
The author made Ben a thief, the Prince of Shadows. He is a Robin Hood type character the steals from those who insult the house of Montague and then gives those riches to the poor. The romance between him and Rosaline is almost nonexistent which works in favor for the novel and against it. It is nice to have a book not centered on the romance between two people and live off the merits of its plot but also at the end when they are spouting undying love it almost breaks into an insta-love quality.
However the reason this is getting 3.5 instead of 4 or 5 weeping angels is the magic. The book was so great, a lovely yet brutal retelling of a classic, until the author brought in a witch, a curse and magic to take the blame for Romeo and Juliet falling in love and all the tragedies that happened in the last half on the novel. Felt like a cop out to me. It could have stood alone, without paranormal brew ha ha.
Aside from that you should read this if you enjoy Shakespeare retellings. I really liked it.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine
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