Friday, January 31, 2014

Two Households...In Fair Verona Where We Lay Our Scene

"I'd thought that a bookish aging virgin would have hoarded love poems to greedily warm her in the cold,
but Rosaline clearly held her own source of heat.
She radiated it like a bonfire."
--Rachel Caine, Prince of Shadows

Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Re-Telling
Publisher: NAL
Pages: 268
Publication Date: February 4th, 2014
Source: eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss--Thank you!
Find on Goodreads
Goodreads Description

 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 cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona…

…And will rewrite all their fates, forever.

The Belle
The Idea. I love Romeo and Juliet. I love Shakespeare. So when I read that there was going to be a book about Benvolio's story I jumped on requesting it. I loved that he had his own entire thing going on. His own dreams and love *wink wink*. I love how Romeo and Juliet's story was incorporated and seeing Romeo through somebody else's eyes.

The Twist. There is a very interesting twist as to why Romeo and Juliet really fell in love and it is really creative. I love how this part of the story was initiated and evolved. The overall execution of it towards the end was really odd to me but it served its overal purpose.

The Darkness. This story was very dark. I mean, we all know the content of Romeo and Juliet but there were things that happened that even I was surprised about. There is a lot of political intrigue and plot points that were so hard to read about. It was so sad and there was a lot of cruelty. While nobody likes to read about crazy sociopaths, it brought a lot of depth to the story.

The Beast
The Pace. This is a sandwich kind of story. I was really intrigued in the beginning and I liked how it ended but the entire middle of the story was really boring to me. It felt dragged out and certain elements were expanded upon when they didn't need to be. I felt myself skimming through alot of the description because I didn't feel like it added to the story.

The Relationship Dynamic. This is both a Belle and a Beast to me. I loved Rosaline and Benvolio's relationship foundation and growth but I wanted SO MUCH MORE. I get the danger of the situation but I just felt like it could have been cemented more had we had more interaction between the two of them.

Should You RSVP To This Ball?
Probably not. I loved the idea of this story but the overall execution and plot of the story dragged and didn't make me want to turn the pages and see what happened. I was mostly skimming by the end just to verify that what I thought was going to happen actually happened. Shakespeare fans might want to stay away from this one. 


  1. I've been so curious about PRINCE OF SHADOWS. I love the sound of the dark retelling of Romeo and Juliet, and the characters you desribe in it as well. But it does sound like it's a heavy reader. Thanks for the wonderful review. (I like your notes- it's fun to see someone elses for a change, ha-ha.)

  2. I'm still very curious about Prince of Shadows, I admit. I love Romeo & Juliet (like, seriously love. I read the story at 12 and never looked back), and I'm always interested in alternative takes! Although this didn't seem to work out well for you, I'm hoping I wind up at least entertained when I read it :)


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