*I received a free copy of Captive Prince from Berkley via RT15. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince #1
Published by Berkley on April 7, 2015
Genres: Adult, Historical, LGBT, Romance
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…
Wow! Captive Prince began intensely and maintained that intensity throughout. It was a challenge to put it down. The court politics, the intrigue, the betrayals, and the, ahem, interesting behaviors in the Veretian palace kept me flipping through the pages. This story is so well done, I think it’s safe to assume I’ll be completing this trilogy sooner than later.
I agree with everything you said, Brandee! It was extremely intense, and that was awesome. I couldn’t put the book down all day – I just had to continue to read. Everything was intriguing, and that made me truly happy while reading.
Captive Prince started with what I believe would be considered an ultimate betrayal. A Prince being taken captive and delivered to an enemy country – to their Prince, no less – as a pleasure slave was an incredible insult. It made me wonder at how often this sort of thing happened in history. How did you feel about Damen’s inprisonment?
I know! I felt so bad for Damen, and I hated both Kasten and Laurent. Not only was the imprisonment brutal, but actually giving him away like he was nothing just made it even worse in my opinion. Especially because nobody would come looking for him – as Kasten had made everyone in the kingdom believe he was dead.
It’s very interesting to me that Damen has survived in Vere for as long as he has. Since he’s royal himself, he has a hard time remembering he should be at least be pretending obedience. It made me think that at least some of the court at Vere know his identity. That would definitely play into all the plotting going on. What do you think of Damen’s behavior and how it’s been handled?
Yeah, he was definitely not good at submitting and doing what he was told to do. Can you imagine? Going from being the one who usually gave the orders to having to take orders. No matter what the orders were. I am not sure anyone actually knew who Damen was… It wouldn’t really be a good idea to keep him alive if they did.
Laurent is certainly a unique character. Of course, knowing what I know having finished the book, I have a better understanding of him. I wonder how long he’s been dealing with the treachery in his own court? His treatment of Damen is nothing short of cruel and I’d thought maybe he knew Damen’s identity. That would explain a lot. But again, the revelation at the end of the book goes a long way in explaining his treatment of Damen. Laurent definitely is calculating and I wish we could see inside his head. Although that is a frightening prospect. What do you think of Laurent? How do you feel about his handling of Damen?
He is unique, and the treachery is of such proportions it’s no wonder why he’s acting the way he is. I also have a theory about part of his childhood and his ‘dear’ uncle. I think Damen surprised Laurent, and that’s why he’s still alive at the end of the book. Because Laurent could have killed him quite easily.
Damen found himself in an even more difficult situation than merely his captivity. That of trying to decide who to trust in Vere. On the one hand, Laurent’s uncle, the Regent, seemed trustworthy but Damen couldn’t be sure. And he was punished by Laurent for even the appearance of conspiring with the Regent. Then Damen puts himself at the mercy of Laurent to protect his people who were also brought to Vere against their will. If I hadn’t already known Damen was noble and loyal this would have proved it. Laurent’s reaction and subsequent actions gave a little insight into his true nature even if he used it to his own gain. How did you feel about this interchange between Damen and Laurent?
I think the fact that Damen put himself at Laurent’s mercy to save his people showed just what kind of a person he is! I was completely awed by that. I felt like both Damen and Laurent truly need someone they can count on – they’ve both been betrayed in more than one way. I hope we’ll learn more about Laurent in the next book.
The way things ended made me think Damen and Laurent have found a begrudging respect for one another. There’s absolutely an attraction between them despite Laurent’s insistence to the contrary. And they can understand each other – the position they hold and the treachery that comes with it – even if Laurent doesn’t know Damen’s identity. But I’m on pins and needles in fear of Damen being discovered. Gah! I really want the next book! What did you think of how things ended?
I agree, there is attraction there, and a begrudging kind of respect, too. I think the ending was really well done – because there’s no cliffhanger, but there’s still enough danger coming that it’s important to me to get my hands on the next book!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: