Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet from Benvolio Montague’s point of view. I chose this book, because I was intrigued by how the author would recount the well-known love tragedy. Also, I enjoy reading about romance and retelling of famous tales. Therefore, I chose the Prince of Shadows to read.
Instead of telling the story of Romeo and Juliet from a third-person or Romeo’s point of view, like most audiences would expect, it was told from the almost-forgotten, elder cousin’s perspective. Benvolio Montague was the extra, elder boy of the Montague family; he was the sensible and responsible one, in contrast to Romeo’s youth and ...view middle of the document...
Unfortunately, Veronica, Benvolio’s serpent-tongued sister, betrayed Mercutio and revealed his actions, while saying that Rosaline was the one who told the bishop. Mercutio’s father, Lord Ordelaffi, hung Tomasso from a tree and quickly married Mercutio to the girl he was engaged to. He was never the same after that. He was no longer the quick-tongued and mischievous friend of Benvolio and Romeo. He was bitter, angry, and seeking for revenge. He went to a witch, who happened to be Tomasso’s cousin, and cursed the Capulets, thinking they were the ones who betrayed him: “CURSED BE THE CAPULETS. CURSED BE THE HOUSE WHO BETRAYED US.”
Then came the feast where Romeo met Juliet. Instead of a romantic love at first sight, it was actually a doing of the curse. It was as if something dark and sinister pulled Romeo and Juliet towards each other under the guise of love. Romeo kept on sneaking out and meeting Juliet in secret. Benvolio was devastated. He tried to stop Romeo from going further and to stop this nonsense, but he was too late. Romeo had already married Juliet in secret with the help of Friar Lawrence. Meanwhile, Mercutio kept drinking and looking for trouble with the Capulets. As if to add fuel to the fire, Mercutio, Benvolio, and Tybalt engaged in a fight. The brawl ended with Mercutio dying from Tybalt’s blade, Tybalt dying from Romeo’s blade, and Romeo exiled from the city. As Mercutio lay on his deathbed, he told Benvolio about the curse and how it cursed not only the Capulets, but the Montagues as well, since Veronica was the betrayer: “CURSED BE THE HOUSE WHO BETRAYED US.” The curse was killing everyone in the house of Capulet and the house of Montague. Soon, Veronica got what she deserved and died by the dagger of a Capulet cousin as she was on her way to the church to be married. However, the curse did not end there.
Benvolio met with Rosaline, and they figured that the curse must be destroyed. He found out from the witch that he had to destroy three parts – the flesh, the mind, and the spirit. The flesh part was already destroyed, as Mercutio was dead. Then he burnt Mercutio’s diary, which stood for the mind. Last but not least, the spirit, which took the form of Tomasso’s rosary, had to be destroyed. However, the rosary was not found among Mercutio’s things.
Throughout all of this, Benvolio still went stealing as the Prince of Shadows. He sought for the rosary, which might have had ended up being donated to the Church. Unfortunately, it was on the adventure that the Prince of Shadows was finally caught, after all this time. He managed to get out of the ropes and ran, with soldiers on his tail. Luckily for him, Rosaline came to his rescue dressed as a boy. She told him that if Romeo and Juliet die, the curse would fall onto them, as the next in line of the heirs of each house.
The next day, by chance, Benvolio found out that Juliet wished to fake her death in order to get out of marrying...