Monday, September 7, 2015

DOUBLE-REVIEW: "Captive Prince" and "Prince's Gambit" by. C.S. Pacat

Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1)
Prince's Gambit (Captive Prince, #2)

(Captive Prince #1 and #2)

For Ages 18+ (Violence, Sensuality, Language)
Fantasy -- Male/Male

Berkley -- Published on April 7, 2015/July 7, 2015
Ebook, 304 pages/416 pages
Read in August 2015
Purchased from Amazon


Alternate Universe, Master/Slave

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative, and deadly, his new master, Prince Laurent, epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…

With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.

Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow…

The Captive Prince trilogy is a series that has a lot of hype surrounding it.  The author, C.S. Pacat, began writing it on LiveJournal back in 2008.  It gained tons of popularity and eventually caught the attention of Berkley which re-released volumes 1 and 2 as Captive Prince and Prince's Gambit with the conclusion to be published in 2016.  I actually read the first volume when it was first being released in serial form and, while I remember really liking it, I didn't have any other thoughts about it.  So I was ecstatic to see it being re-released and that it might be just as good as I remembered it being.

This series starts off with Prince Damianos of Akielos is captured and thrown into slavery by supporters of his illegitimate older brother.  He is then shipped off to his country's sworn enemy, the Vere, and presented as the personal slave of its prince and heir, Laurent.  Thus beginning a complex and ruthless story of drama, politics, and, eventually, love.  I can't say much more about the plot of these two volumes in order to avoid spoiling some of the twists that the author created, but I was completely enthralled the entire time I was reading them.

Damen and Laurent are both fascinating characters.  The series is told from Damen's point of view so readers are able to understand him very quickly.  He has been raised in a violent world, but also is a genuinely nice person.  His warrior past is shown through his protectiveness and his loyalty to those who help him.  I also liked his ability to think on his feet and figure out ways around the various situations he finds himself in.

Laurent, on the other hand, is much more difficult to get a hand on.  He starts off as a cruel master who thrives on dominating others and irritating his uncle, the Regent of Vere.  But, as the story moves along, Damen and the reader learn there is much more to him than they first thought.  He is definitely a character who is made of layers and they are very slowly revealed.  His character journey is one of my favorite aspects of the story.

While I thoroughly enjoyed these two books, I do want to make sure potential readers are aware of what they are getting with it.  This is a three part series so the "hopefully" happy ending is still not in sight.  There is a ton of violence (physical and sexual) that I could see turn off some readers.  Damen is Laurent's slave and, in a world full of master/slave relations, things happen that can be uncomfortable.  But, if readers are willing to take it in, they will be rewarded by an engrossing and satisfying journey.  I cannot wait for the concluding volume (Kings Rising) to be released in 2016.

“A golden prince was easy to love if you did not have to watch him picking wings off flies.”


1. Captive Prince
2. Prince's Gambit
3. Kings Rising (Coming 2016)
Goodreads -- Author Website

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1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure why, but I'm just not very into paranormal romance for adults. This one seems a little too stressful with the master slave thing. BUT I'm glad you enjoyed them.


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