Books · Fantasy · Historical · Retellings

Prince Of Shadows 

Romeo and Juliet told from another perspective. Count me in, I’m personally all for the characters which were not seen much. 

And the best part, this were actual characters from the original play itself. And does it deliver? Absolutely, I was enjoying and savouring every bit of this  novel and it was perfect. 

It reminded me of Romeo and Juliet, but much better with the perspectives switched. Knowing the actual context of Romeo and Juliet were more of a satire, I just avoided books which retold it from the perspectives of a tragic romance and Romeo and Juliet. 

This on the other hand, was much more realistic in my opinion. And revealed Romeo as a whole new character from another side of the story, same for Juliet.

And in this form, I enjoyed the novel for it explored what wasn’t shown to the audience. What wasn’t inside, and in my personal opinion would work extremely well as a accompaniment. 

Benvolio was just outstanding as a character here, he us a thief, yet he has reasons. He has his own honours, but above all I enjoyed him for his practical reality and grounded attitude. That he has resigned himself to marrying not for love for influence. Only to be willing to throw it all away when he falls in love, and struggling throughout most of the novel to come to terms with it. 

And Rosaline, by far one of the best female leads I have seen. She is studious, and very much hated for it. She is bound for the church because of it, yet she continues to read. She was the extra cousin, not needed and no need to think for her. But I still loved her. She was sensible and well rounded as a character. I just wanted to see her more, as she spends it mostly in the Capulet House. But I enjoyed her scenes, and that she was just a bookworm, who was bound for a convent for it and that she was a girl who didn’t do much, but what she did mattered. Rosaline is a realistic and good character, even more so than the usual kickass protangist. And her weakness, she didn’t appear enough. That’s all I’m complaining. 

As for Romeo, I feel his characterization took a realistic point. Where he is young even more naive than the play shows, but even then he was endearing and lovable. 

And for Mercutio, he was another character who was quite diverse and into men. But he was still a good character which inevitably in a sense, becomes a driving force behind all the tragedies, it was to me like: for real, this was so surprising. It really was, that his character was kind in the beginning until the death of his lover. But never have I felt so close with a character that was attracted to the opposite sex, and he was well characterized and confined well within the times.

And the grandmother, who is truly a terror. She deserved that title with her words her ways and even her methods of battle. Truly ruthless. And I totally agreed with Benvolio at the beginning that she was terrifying and awesome. 

His sister is also a favourite, docile and cold all the while malicious and scheming. She was enjoyed and even hard to relate at some tiems. But her end, I felt it shed so much light on her character all the while I enjoyed her schemes and abilities. She was definitely interesting. 

The world here was vividly painted, and the setting and writing similar to the play itself. The writing emulated it and became one of the hardest and most enjoyable works for me, as I didn’t understand the meaning behind it sometimes but I enjoyed the language and that it stayed true. 

And the relationships, so well woven and intertwined. The characters have deep layers which are peeled off, and all sorts of losses occurred. And the best part was reading about the romances here, it was slow but constant anticipation all the while with the touch of subtlety that made me enjoy it. And the political schemes and fighting, it was down well and portrayed well. The fighting did not just include men but women, gossip, swords and all sorts of methods. It was my favourite and done well here that I would squeal if I wanted to. 

Now, at the end of the novel I have done nothing but just gushing over the perfect book that was. Everything was dark and perfect for such a reader as me who enjoys romances twisted and dark, with complex relationships through and through. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 


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