Message From The Author

Author's Message

When I was first asked to describe this story, I blurted out, "Think Wicked crossed with Romeo and Juliet, with a dash of Game of Thrones." That turned out to be surprisingly accurate. Not to mention intriguing.
I've always been of two minds about Romeo and Juliet. I love the intensity, the dark, brooding nature of the feuding families and the gritty, real consequences for actions. I love how clearly the story shows that even the best intentions can end in tears, and love sometimes can't conquer all.

I also was unsettled by the message many teens seemed to take from the story: that dying for love was romantic, not tragic -- a goal, rather than a punishment. But what if there was another perspective on Romeo and Juliet's actions, and the real reasons behind them? Could it change everything, without change the events?

In considering an alternate viewpoint retelling of the story, I wanted to explore not just the classic story, but the society of Verona, and how it shaped the young people growing up in it. In Prince of Shadows, none of the teens quite fit in their assigned roles…not Rosaline, strong-willed, well-educated and brave, but facing a future locked behind convent walls. Not Tybalt, who should be learning to lead House Capulet responsibly, but indulges in petty fights and casual cruelty.

Benvolio, the excess boy of House Montague, is expected to do nothing but fight and die at his family’s command – but is a gifted, fearless thief. His best friend Mercutio hides his own desperate secrets that will never allow him to be happy, while Benvolio’s sister Veronica ruthlessly schemes to win her own advantage and freedom. She cares nothing about those she hurts along the way.

Romeo, the hopeless romantic, only wants to follow his heart – something never to be allowed the heir of House Montague. Young
Juliet, sheltered and groomed for an advantageous marriage, has never even considered going against her family’s wishes…until now.

-Rachel Caine

The tragedy that alters all their lives sparks a dark curse born of love and nurtured in hate. Benvolio and Rosaline each have parts of the puzzle, and the will to solve it, but the curse has its grip on them, too…on all of them, dragging them to a fate that turns desire into a weapon, and love into loss.

Packed with adventure, danger and romance, Prince of Shadows was a passion project for me – a story that just had to be told, with characters that came vividly to life for me.

I hope you’ll join me for a pulse-pounding journey into a classic story…with a twist.


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