Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bouncer Round 6 #4

Genre: YA Gothic Suspense
Word Count 80,000


 THE MAD PRINCE is a YA Gothic retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet told through the viewpoint of Ophelia.

Ophelia Reinhart, daughter of the high counselor to the king, is as unruly as the tangle of curls on her head. As a child, she ran wild through the secret passages of Drakestorm Castle. Now, at seventeen, she’s expected to behave like a well-bred lady; but the fiery blood of her foreign mother pulses through her body.

When Prince Mads returns from the University for his mother’s remarriage, Ophelia flings aside propriety and enters the hidden tunnels with Mads in search of intrigue and romance. However, their rendezvous turn perilous when they discover that Mads’s father was murdered by his mother’s latest husband, King Feng.

Feng imprisons Mads in the tower after the prince, in a rash act of vengeance, mistakenly stabs the wrong man. Hell-bent on rescuing Mads, Ophelia uses the hidden tunnels to creep through the castle and spy on its residents. Unfortunately, Ophelia isn't the only one using the secret passages. As death stalks Ophelia through the web-laced tunnels, and the number of corpses rises around her, she comes to a terrifying decision. The prey must become the predator.

First 250:

A ghostly figure, draped in the tattered remains of a burial 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 dress she wore. She was a mere human with faults and imperfections. But the intensity of her resolve 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.


  1. I love this. I know I'm just a commenter but I love this. I was thrown off by Mads (instead of the usual Hamlet name) but otherwise I'd read this. In fact if you need another pair of eyes. let. me. know. I would so read this. Or beta it. Or pick it up off the shelves. GOOD LUCK!!

  2. I love this! (and your kissing scene too!!)

    Carissa #24