By: Rachel Caine
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In ancient Verona, a deadly curse has settled over two rivaling households: the Montagues and the Capulets. Benvolio, a Montague, must look after his foolish younger cousin, Romeo, and keep his heart in check against the quick-witted Capulet, Rosaline, as he hurries to revoke the curse before it’s too late.
This is a young adult retelling of Romeo and Juliet, told through Romeo’s cousin’s point of view, with a magical twist. Fans of Shakespeare’s famous classic will be pleased to find that much of the context in this book stays true to the original play.
Readers should be aware that it contains:
• A homosexual character, who is referenced to have had sexual encounters with his lover
• Violence (sword fights, murders, beating women, punching and slapping, a dog biting a character’s leg, violent threats, and hanging characters until death)
• Sexuality (references to a woman’s body, lustful thoughts and desires, references to private parts, references to sex, a naked woman and man are seen in bed together)
• Passionate kissing
• Profanity (“Jesu” a.k.a. Jesus is used a couple times as an exclamation, wench, pervert, wretch, one b*tch, and bloody)
• Mention of digging up a grave
• The main character steals repeatedly
• Drinking and drunkenness
Prince of Shadows is beautifully written and has an intriguing storyline, but contains a number of gory scenes, and some diverse sexuality. It should be appropriate for fourteen or fifteen and up, with parents’ consent.