Sunday, February 8, 2015

Book Review + Giveaway: Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine

Prince of Shadows
By Rachel Caine 
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Summary: A thrilling retelling of the star-crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Morganville Vampires series.

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.

Review: Whenever a new retelling pops up, I'm always intrigued and add that book to my TBR list. Since I love Shakespeare, I was definitely excited to read a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. And by Rachel Caine! I am a huge fan of her Morganville Vampire series, so I was excited to see what she could do with some Shakespeare! 

From birth, the boys and girls of the Montague and Capulet family are trained to put family, power, and honor above all else. Marriage is a union for power and money, not love, so when Romeo claims that he is in love with Rosaline, Benvolio knows he must stop his cousin from ruining their families. As the Prince of Shadows, Benvolio risks his life to steal from the Capulets and give to the poor. On one of his trysts, he lays eyes on the very Lady Rosaline herself and is entranced by her beauty. But a terrible curse has been cast upon both their houses and there seems to be no hope for either family. 

I thought it was really fun how Rachel Caine decided to tell the story from Benvolio's point of view and have the love interest be between him and Rosaline. While that love interest was definitely not as central as I wanted it to be, I appreciated how level headed Benvolio was when it came to his feelings. We all know what Romeo did when he fell in love with Juliet, so I liked seeing how everyone else was reacting during the time where both families wanted to kill each other. I feel like we really got to know all of the characters from Benvolio's point of view and how close the Montagues were to each other. 

I don't know if it's because I just wasn't in the mood for this kind of read, but it was hard in the beginning to stay interested and invested in the story. I wanted more of the romance from Benvolio and Rosaline near the beginning of the novel instead of only at the very end. Also, some of the fight scenes seemed to pop out of nowhere and all at once, so I wasn't a big fan of the pacing of them at times. When things were supposed to be super tense and action-y, it went by too fast for me to register those feelings. 

Overall, I enjoyed this unique perspective of Romeo and Juliet, but I found it hard to really get into the story in the beginning and wish the whole story was more balanced in regards to action and romance. I did, though, enjoy getting to know the minor characters and truly understanding both families from one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.

I have one paperback copy of Prince of Shadows to giveaway! Just enter the rafflecopter below! Ends 2/15 **US only**


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