Ok, so this is going to be a bit of a gushy post as I just loved, loved, loved these books and it was all over too quickly!
I found these amazing books by, C.S. Pacat, when I stumbled across some fantastic fan-art on Tumblr a few weeks ago.
(I can only hope someone likes my book enough to make fan art or fan-fiction when it’s released. Dream come through right there!)
Anyway, I stumbled across this stunning artwork, then realised it was fan-art. I immediately found out what Captive Prince was, jumped straight on Amazon and bought the first book. Then proceeded to read all three books in four days!
(Work kind of got in the way or it would have been three.)
I was instantly hooked! I just couldn’t put it down, not until my eyes were watering and I actually dropped my tablet on my face, (ouch) but not after having read the first half in one sitting! I loved it! I finished Captive Prince the next morning, the quickly jumped back on Amazon again to get book two.
It was the longest minutes of my life watching the download bar slowly inch across the screen…
Now, I will mention these books cover some VERY adult themes, and touch on some very sensitive subjects, such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, and torture. Like anything else, these books are not for everyone, so just a gentle warning if these are at all triggers for potential readers. However, I feel Pacat has handled the topics quite well within the context of the story.
OK, review time!
Title: Captive Prince Trilogy (Captive Prince, Princes Gambit, Kings Rising)
Author: C.S. Pacat
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, LGBT
My Rating: 5/5
The first book in the series, Captive Prince, sees Prince Damianos of Akielos, heir to the throne, betrayed by his half-brother and sent to Vere as a pleasure slave. There, he is gifted to the cold and manipulative Veretian crown prince, Laurent.
Far from his homeland and desperate to keep his identity secret, Damen is witness to the decadence and debauchery of the Veretian court. He finds himself caught up in political games of Vere, forcing a precarious alliance with dangerously alluring, Laurent.
Book two, Prince’s Gambit, sees Damen and Laurent travelling to the border to avoid a sinister plot, leading their men into certain betrayal. A tentative trust builds between the two princes, the lines between master and slave blurring, as they turn their ragtag troops into loyal and trustworthy soldiers, as Damen continues to keep his identity secret.
King’s Rising, is the epic conclusion (emphases on the epic) to this amazing trilogy. With his identity revealed, Damen and Laurent are forced to maintain an uneasy alliance between two enemy nations. The fate of both their kingdoms will be determined by the oncoming battle.
These books had me tense and anxious within the first few pages. We’ve all read books where the protagonist is dropped into enemy territory and forced to survive? Somehow this just felt different. The tension was high, and I honestly could not tell whether or not Damen was going to come out of some situations in tact. It was rather refreshing being unable to predict the outcome. There’s Damen, this born and bred warrior, raised with a blade in his hand, type of man, forced to submit to his enemies and there is a very real concern that he is not going to be OK. It kept me on the edge of my seat in so many ways throughout the entire series, biting my nails in fear for my favorite characters.
And the man who holds the key to Damen’s shackles? Laurent, who has a seemingly fragile beauty about him, but a tongue that will cut any man to shreds as sure as Damen’s sword. There is a lot to overcome between them, the secret Damen harbors is but one, but watching the grudging trust unfurl between these two characters was truly marvelous. Going from master/slave, to comrades, to friends, then lovers. It’s a long and bumpy road from A to B, but was truly incredible journey watching the two navigate the murky waters of political machinations, secrets, lies and betrayals.
The books are predominantly told from Damen’s perspective, which, I found very frustrating in the beginning, purely because I was dying to know what made Laurent tick. He was such an incredible character. But alas, like Damen, I was left anxiously trying to predict his next move. And I must say, I failed spectacularly. But keeping Laurent’s POV restrictive was a genius move of Pacat’s part. Laurent remained a perfect mystery throughout, and it pays off big time.
I honestly think he is my new favorite book character! I just adored him so much, and so expertly written. I could only dream about writing such a complex character like Laurent of Vere.
Honestly, I could gush about these all day, but I’m at risk of spoiling it if I continue with this post.
I laughed, I cried, I shed so many tears. So many feels! I shouted my anger at the betrayals and I’m pretty sure this book gave me heart palpitations, in a good way.
It certainly was and epic roller coaster or emotions, and I loved every minute of it.
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