Author: C. S. Pacat
Genres: gay fiction // historical fiction
Captive Prince synopsis for your curious mind. The next books are Prince’s Gambit and Kings Rising.
*contains sexual content and slavery (but still kept classy)*
::THIS REVIEW CONTAINS NO SPOILERS::
This series. It is now one of my favorite m/m series I’ve read. Laurent & Damen are one of my absolute favorite couples. Seriously. This was Pacat’s first series and she did a stunning job. I read this pretty damn fast. I started it somewhere in April and finished it all within a week. And once again, this review might seem kind of vague, but I was trying to point out my thoughts for the whole series, not just a single book. Forgive me if it feels this way. Anyway!
I highly recommend it for m/m fans that like:
- historical settings, but not actual historical places. It is made-up, but resembles a few aspects of real historical settings.
- intelligent characters playing mind games because there is quite a bit and sometimes you won’t know plans until they occur.
- warriors, princes, kings, and action!
- sexual tension because there’s a LOT and it’s dreamy.
FIRST: I want to caution you, that the first book is the toughest to get through if you don’t enjoy rape, slavery, or torture. None of these, aside from the whole slavery thing, occur that much. If you can get past that, though, you are in for a lovely journey. Plus, the second book is so romantic; I ended up loving Laurent to pieces by the end of that book *sighs happily*
- When I began Captive Prince, I thought it was going to be another sex-filled, possibly insta-love, slavery novel with a lacking plot… I’ve run into several of those, even without the slavery. Just…riding more off of the readers’ want of sex everywhere. But that thought was washed away completely by the middle of the book. I realized that there was going to be more to this, I just couldn’t figure out what just yet. I wanted to break through the surface of these characters and see how their world would play out.
“Laurent could inspire homicidal tendencies simply by breathing.” -Captive Prince
- Then I started Prince’s Gambit and enjoyed it immensely. It was so romantic and had some of the most wonderful scenes. If you read it, you’ll understand what I mean by the THE WHOLE INN SCENE. I was giddy and laughing and swooning the whole time. This book lets you really get to know our main characters better. Plus, more mind games! Laurent has this cold demeanor about him; he is always ready to irritate and mock others. But you get to see past that a little at a time.
“‘What makes you think Kastor is the weaker man? You don’t know him.’
‘But I’m coming to know you,’ said Laurent.” – Prince’s Gambit
- Finally, the third book had me panicking, being thrown for loops, hoping, wishing death upon those I hated…yeah. I’m glad I was home alone when I read that…yelling, swearing, flailing = me. A mixture of those at different parts and differing levels. I just wanted them to be happy and in love! The tension I felt for at least the first half kept me reading non-stop unless breaks were necessary.
“A kingdom, or this.” -Kings Rising
And Pacat writes very well. I know some authors like to create their own prose and unique writing style sometimes, but this isn’t quite like that. Not a bad thing! She writes very maturely and beautifully when it suits the story (there are definitely quotable and lovely moments in here!). She executed the mind battles wonderfully, too. As the reader, I enjoyed that I didn’t know exactly what was going on just like the characters. The battles and locales were well done, being descriptive, but not an over-abundance of words just explaining every single swing of a sword or brick of a wall. Each main kingdom, Vere and Akielos were so distinctly different; I found that so fun. It was the same as learning 2 different cultures in the real world. I noticed the clothing choices of each closely resemble actual historical fashion *winks* I appreciated that because it also helped me to better imagine what they would look like.
And apparently I really dig the whole enemy-becomes-lover theme, as well as the intelligence like Laurent’s. Pacat did a fantastic job with her characters. She did so well at developing them and causing me to fall in love with them more than I thought I would. I mean, I couldn’t like Laurent very much at first because of his actions, but as his shell was broken down, he became one of my favorite characters in general. Even Damen’s personality was fleshed out more. He seemed like a stubborn, prideful, broody person at first. Yet he is such a sweetheart, but a warrior when needed! The romance was not overpoweringthe story, it was filled with tension and sensuality. Ugh.
Even side characters that came and went were very well done. I liked Nicaise by the end and Nikandros was a good man to Damen. Laurent’s uncle…everyone was quite distinct.
The whole thing was such a thrilling adventure. I will say the end seemed pretty abrupt. But I guess you can kind of see it as a necessary reprieve to all the shit they had to go through….seriously… Plus, Pacat is coming out with 3 short stories, one including an epilogue for Laurent and Damen! I’m highly anticipating that!
I am very sad that I couldn’t afford to visit New York to see Pacat in person, recently. Hopefully, I can get another chance in the future! Besides, I found out about the series only a month before she went and finished it a couple weeks before it was scheduled.
And I wanted to include some wonderful fanart (you can click on them):
This one is just slightly more NSFW because of a bare booty. But it’s too cute!
Thanks for reading!
Did you read this series? What did you think of it? Comment below! (Careful of spoilers, though)
~Featured photo from Google (I’m working on getting a hold of these for a shot)~