This book first came to my attention a couple of weeks before its release, and I'm glad I didn't have to wait very long to get to read it. I'll perk up for anything that touches Shakespeare (hey, I'm trying to publish one!), but I was extra-excited about the prospect of Prince of Shadows because it's told from the perspective of Benvolio, who was always my favorite character in Romeo and Juliet. (I think because he was the original peacemaker. And because he doesn't die.)
In this book, Benvolio is so much more than the only boy between the two houses who knows how to keep his head on. At night he also doubles as the Prince of Shadows, a notorious Veronese thief who avenges the Montague family honor by embarrassing the Capulets and their supporters with his escapades.
One such night, he comes face to face with Rosaline, the niece to Capulet, and is impressed with her wits, grace, and spark. But even if she weren't already bound for a life in a cloister, Rosaline is a Capulet. It's just never going to happen. Then he finds out his cousin Romeo, addled with notions of romance, has been writing love poetry to the very same girl.
I won't tell you anymore, because you already know a lot of what happens next. What you don't know is exactly how. Or why.
Prince of Shadows takes this classic story to amazing new places with fantastically sensual writing. You feel stifled at the chokehold that the ancient feud puts upon the city of Verona, its people, and the members of the two families, and even more the intricate tangle of danger, duty, and love suffered by the young people caught in the web of it. And you want them to escape. Even when you know (some of) what's coming next.
A truly stunning read. Bravo!
Link on Amazon