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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2014 Roxane Longstreet Conrad (P)2014 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Smart and sexy and addictive. . . . The Prince of Shadows will steal your heart, then he'll break it. I'm giving this book to everyone I know." (Kami Garcia, coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures series)

What listeners say about Prince of Shadows

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Tour de Force

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely - especially to anyone who loves Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. But whether you're familiar with the play or not, this story fills in a lot of the background characters and provides more info on their motivation and their actions.

What other book might you compare Prince of Shadows to and why?

None comes to mind. I've tried some of the books that attempt to expand on Jane Austen's novels, but so far I haven't found any as well done as this one.

Have you listened to any of Kyle McCarley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is my first hearing of a book read by Kyle McCarley, but I've listened to samples from some of the other books he reads on audible and I'm impressed by how versatile he is. I'll definitely check these out. He does a great job of bringing the other characters to life and his gift for accents is wonderful.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Every time the author wove dialogue from the play into the story, it was so fluid that I had to remind myself that it was from the play.

Any additional comments?

I am recommending this book to my aunt, with whom I have a shared affection for Shakespeare's plays. The blend of story and reader in this audiobook is superb. I'll listen to it again.

5 people found this helpful

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Loved It

I have long been a R&J fan. Seen all the movies (1968Version is favorite), seen the play several times, Loved Shakespeare in Love. Wasn't sure about this approach to the story, but boy was I wrong, It had me hooked from the start, All the famous scenes are there, Meeting, Balcony, Wedding, Deaths, but from Benvolio's point of view. It gives us the happy ending with out messing with the Original Story.
The only thing I kinda rolled my eyes at is the "magic" part and most of that was fine and very in line with the time period and Shakespeare, till the last part about the rosary and ghosts. Curses as "Power of Suggestion" would have served just as well and been more believable.
All in all one of the best "Can't stop listening/don't want it to end" books I have had listened to.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating perspective on a famous romance

Whether you know and love Shakespeare's tale of doomed romance "Romeo and Juliet", this work is a totally new perspective on the events told in the play, seen from the eyes of Romeo's cousin Benvolio. Ms. Caine has fleshed out all of the characters brilliantly, and given us a fresh new theory on the motivations that drove the well known events of the story. Without changing the main outcome of the original, she brings real satisfaction to those of us who were never truly pleased with the original ending. Enjoy!

1 person found this helpful

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Great Reader, Okay Story

I'm very picky about audiobooks because I find that readers often veer either into too much of a dull monotony or into what I think of as being too "dynamic" — e.g. more suited to doing a single specific character than an overarching narrator and/or multiple different voices. However, Kyle McCarley struck the perfect balance. His voice was soothing without being boring, and he did a great job of voicing multiple different characters quite distinctly, even if one couldn't help but wonder why a cast of Italian characters all had a variety of British accents. And as a lifelong Shakespeare lover, I was quite excited to see that the book itself was a well-reviewed spin on one of his plays. The story actually started off quite well, with some interesting takes and twists on Romeo and Juliet. In this case, "interesting" is a really good thing. I appreciated a lot of the tweaks and additions that author Rachel Caine introduced early on. Unfortunately, Caine was a little too keen on throwing in fanservice-y references to other Shakespeare plays that seemed to serve the plot less than they served as a wink and a nudge to the audience to say "See? Aren't we smart for knowing that reference?" It made sense in scenes that were supposed to be the same as/overlap with those that actually occurred in Romeo and Juliet, but there were certain spots that pulled direct (or near-direct) quotes from other Shakespeare plays in ways that didn't always mesh well with the rest of the book, and that kinda jerked me out of the story at times. Then there was the big plot twist, which I won't spoil, but you'll recognize it well before Benvolio (our hero in this version of the story) figures anything out, and let me tell you, it made me groan and roll my eyes so hard I'm surprised they're still in my head. It was honestly one of the silliest plot points I'd ever heard. ... Until I got to the end. Let's just say that Shakespeare and Casper the Friendly Ghost do not jam well together.* I sometimes got the sense that Caine was trying too hard to make her novel read the way a Hollywood movie looks, and it didn't always quite work. That said, before the aforementioned super-silly plot twist, the story was (almost) exactly what I had wanted from a novelization/spinoff of a Shakespeare play. *Disclaimer: Metaphorically speaking. Casper the Friendly Ghost does not literally show up in Prince of Shadows.

1 person found this helpful

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an excellent adaptation

Would you consider the audio edition of Prince of Shadows to be better than the print version?

I would

What other book might you compare Prince of Shadows to and why?

I have none to compare it to as of yet.

What does Kyle McCarley bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Excellent narration, as well as accents.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reaction, though it was very well done.

Any additional comments?

A must-have for Shakespeare fans.

1 person found this helpful

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a great twist on the Romeo & Juliet story

loved how the story used William Shakespeare's lines and incorporated them into a different storyline. The author's voice completely drew me into Benvolio Montegue's head. Recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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Never Read Shakespeare

Just decided this sounded better. Surprise was I loved this. Kinda glad I didn't go into the listen with some preknowledge. Made this listen really exciting. Will probably Read "Romeo and Juliet" now just to see if it is as good as Ms Caine did. Mr McCarley was excellent!

3 people found this helpful