The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang – a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are The White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love . . . and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns and grudges aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
These Violent Delights is a fabulous retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Although we see similarities with the original play the author has added new and refreshing elements with a slightly modern twist. The writing is rich and beautiful and flows elegantly from page to page. The plot is dark and full of twists and turns and I was captivated from the moment I picked it up.
Set in Shanghai in 1926 the author describes the setting and culture of Shanghai with vibrancy and authenticity. Tension is created throughout with political intrigue and the blood feud between rivalling gangs, The White Flowers and the Scarlet gang. No one is safe, constantly watching their backs, and this added to the suspense and atmosphere drawing the reading into the story.
The author writes amazing characterisations which are richly developed and with wonderful and diverse personalities you will definitely find your favourites among this cast. Roma and Juliette worked well together, I loved their connection and enjoyed the dynamics between them. Their banter and the chemistry between them is delightful. These star-crossed lovers, with unresolved feelings, find themselves with no other option but to work together to find a solution to the strange contagion sweeping the city taking many lives in a horrific way.
A really wonderful debut novel, which is written incredibly well with such beautiful, rich and detailed writing. There is just the right balance of romance, fantasy elements and political intrigue. A gorgeously dark retelling and with lots of plot twists and turns, amazing characters and a wonderful setting, I highly recommending reading it. I can’t wait for the next instalment.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 17 November 2020
Series: These Violent Delights, #1
Page Count: 464
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy/Historical Fiction/Teens YA
Rating: 4 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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