C.S. Pacat, Captive Prince Trilogy
Overall Rating: 4 stars
To get what you want, you have to know exactly how much you are willing to give up.
Damen is the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother betrays him and seizes power, Damen is captured, and sent to serve Prince Laurent of Vere, the enemy nation, as a pleasure slave.
Damen finds himself caught in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, wherein he must play the game and work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.
“I lack the easy mannerisms that are usually shared with a lover.
“You lack the easy mannerisms that are usually shared with anyone”
I’d actually heard some not-so-great things about this series, but when a friend offered to lend me her copy of Captive Prince, I decided to give it a go, and I ended up LOVING it. The writing is commanding and the storyline is balanced in a way that still shows levels of complexity.
If you plan on giving this series a go, try to do it with an open mind.
Personally, I’m not one for subtlety, so I wasn’t at all bothered by the explicit nature of the books, and I think that the sexual scenes were very well-written.
I feel that should say A* all round for the homo-normative society, and also (probably an unpopular opinion) the slave-normative society. I really liked the different and conflicting aspects of the two societies, like in:
Akielos – male nobility kept female slaves, and the ladies kept male slaves.
Vere – among the nobility females pet were kept by ladies, and male pets were kept by lords as to not “invite the abomination of bastardry”.
And although pleasure slaves were a large part of what was going on, I really enjoyed the political dimension to the series more than I thought I would, the stakes were always running so high.
The gradual build up of Damen and Laurent’s relationship was great to read. The range of emotions that the main characters, as well as the reader, went through in trying to sort and understand the feelings that began at hatred and ended at trust, was an aspect I admire C.S. Pacat for, as it was done so well.
“I think if I gave you my heart, you would treat it tenderly”
Favourite character: I really liked Laurent. He’s just one of those people… you know kind of a jerk, totally aware of it, but not bothered in the slightest. But he’s also way more than that, and that’s what really got me. Although Laurent is my favourite, I also really admired Jord’s character and his unwavering loyalty – he deserves the world. A special mention for Damen who “had no instinct for deception” – the poor soul.
Favourite book: That would have to be The Prince’s Gambit and NOT just because of Chapter Nineteen or Chapter Nineteen and a Half. (But also GOOD LORD)