Title: THE MAD PRINCE
Genre: Gothic Suspense
Word Count 80,000
THE MAD PRINCE is a Gothic retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet told through the viewpoint of Ophelia.
Deception reigns at Drakestorm Castle where the residents wear facades to hide their sins and the castle itself is riddled with secret passages. As a child, Ophelia Reinhart, daughter of the high counselor, ran wild through these hidden tunnels. Now at age seventeen, she is expected to behave like a well-bred lady.
When Prince Mads returns from Dusenberg University for his mother’s remarriage, Ophelia ignores propriety and meets with the prince alone. Mads lures her back into the tunnels with the promise of intrigue and adventure. Using the hidden passages to visit each other, Ophelia and Mads enter into a forbidden relationship.
While exploring a newly-found passageway, the lovers discover that Mads’s father was murdered by his uncle/step-father, King Feng. Furious, Mads swears vengeance against his father’s killer and feigns madness to cover his schemes. A terrified Ophelia endures Mads’s lunacy and struggles to protect him, even when his conduct turns cruel.
When Ophelia discovers an intruder entering the prince’s room through a secret doorway, she warns Mads, who immediately stabs the man. To her horror, Ophelia discovers that the intruder was her father. Mads is imprisoned in the castle tower as Feng decides his fate.
Drowning with guilt over her father’s death, Ophelia agonizes as everyone close to her are either imprisoned or killed. Seizing on a rash and desperate plan, she gambles her life to save Mads and the other prisoners. But in a cursed place like Drakestorm Castle, even the best-devised strategies crumble to dust. As her hopes collapse around her, Ophelia must abandon her original plan and scramble just to stay alive.
A ghostly figure, draped in the tattered remains of a wedding dress, slipped to the fireplace and pressed down the cherub’s head on the mantelpiece. Somewhere behind the hearth, something clicked. The fireplace groaned and rotated, revealing a gap in the stone wall.
Revenge, cruel as the first frost, coiled through the young woman’s veins. She stalked towards the crevice, stripped of fear. That sensation had died with her other, more-vulnerable, emotions. Only rage survived within her searing chest. Grasping an oil lamp in one hand, and a bone-handled dagger in the other, she ducked into the passage.
As she crossed the threshold into the tunnel, her reflection flashed in the parlor mirror. She stared at the blood-smeared gown and the single violet still clinging to her dark curls. In that moment she resembled an avenging angel, intent on delivering divine retribution.
The girl averted her gaze. She wasn't an angel; her innocence was as stained as the remnants of the wedding dress she wore. She was a mere human with faults and imperfections. But the intensity of her conviction made her a daunting force. She pressed forward, determined to slay the man who had taken away everything.
She knew she could kill him. Even a king—with all of his power and influence—was still only a mortal.