Prince of Shadows: not your mom’s Romeo and Juliet!

Rachel Caine has written several popular urban fantasy series (the Weather Warden, Outcast Season, Red Letter Days, Revivalist), as well as young adult (the Morganville Vampires).  Ms Caine lives in Fort Worth, TX, and will be attending the DFW Writer’s Conference on May 3rd and 4th.  Her newest novel is Prince of Shadows:  A Novel of Romeo and Juliet.

The Capulets and Montagues live for one reason:  power.  They don’t care how they get it or who they have to kill.  Their children aren’t people, they’re pawns in a game of chess to be used to cement alliances and show prestige.  What they want doesn’t matter.  Only the family matters.

Benvolio Montague knows how little value his family—especially his domineering grandmother—places on him.  His job is to protect the family’s honor, do as he’s told, and keep his cousin Romeo safe.  During the day, Benvolio follows the rules.  But at night, he roams Verona as the Prince of Shadows, stealing from his enemies and doing as he pleases, sometimes with his friend Mercutio at his side.  But one night, the Prince of Shadows encounters Rosaline Capulet, destined for a convent, and everything changes.  Rosaline isn’t like anyone Benvolio has ever met, and he and the girl who wants more than her family has given her forge a connection.

Mercutio hides a dark secret as well, a secret that will forever haunt both families.  Benvolio’s job is to keep Romeo—the family heir—safe, and prevent him from doing anything foolish.  Safety is one thing.  But when Romeo’s rash actions embroil the Montagues in a bitter clash with the Capulets, only the Prince of Shadows can keep tragedy from destroying both families.

Prince of Shadows follows Shakespeare’s storyline, but focuses on Benvolio, Mercutio, and Rosaline.  The ill-fated Romeo and Juliet are minor characters at best.  Ms Caine brings fair Verona to life, and the lives of the Montagues and Capulets as well.  She uses Shakespeare’s famous lines, interspersed with more natural dialogue, to incorporate the play into her storyline.  Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, but Prince of Shadows explores the behind-the-scenes action, delving into the secrets in the shadows, and exploring the darkness there.  This is not your mother’s Romeo and Juliet!

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