Today, I’d like to fangirl a bit about one of my new favorite things in the book world: The Captive Prince Trilogy by C.S. Pacat. This series, that apparently started as an online thing, took over my world when I read it, so I thought I’d talk about it here. Warning: it’s going to get spoilery up in here.
Let’s get into it.
The first book introduces us to Damen, the heir to the throne of Akielos, a land where slavery and submission is an art form. His half brother has taken over the throne after the death of his father and he has shipped Damen off to Vere, an enemy land known for being ostentatious and all vanity. In Vere, we’ll find Laurent, the heir to the throne after his older brother was killed in battle by Damen, who is now Laurent’s gifted slave. And we also meet Laurent’s uncle, who’s been playing King of Vere until Laurent is old enough. To me, this first book is where you know the type of fan you’ll be. In this book, you have rape, abuse, violence, slavery and a lot of things that may turn people away from the story. If you don’t like Damen, who’s all honor, all kindness and strategic intelligence, it’ll be difficult for you to endure the politics and world building of the story. Plus, if right up the bat you can’t read between the lines of Laurent’s cruelty and coldness, you’ll hate him forever and shipping won’t come as easy to you as it did to me. Because yes, my people, I was rooting for Laurent and Damen to get together as soon as they were in the same scene. Their differences, both personality wise and culture-wise, made for such a great read. Besides, trying to guess whether Laurent knows who Damen really is makes it very fun. When those two are in a scene, you can’t help but wonder if they’ll fight or fuck. The tension is so thick and amazing. It’s my favorite part of the series. It’s important for me to point out that no matter how cruel, mean, violent or wrong Laurent acts or is, he’s my favorite character of the series. Laurent is BAE and #Lamen is OTP, okay? You can buy the book here.
This second book is my favorite out of the trilogy. It might have something to do with all the great Laurent and Damen moments we get here, including the amazing sex scene. But, it also might have to do with the fact that we never know who to trust in the story, which makes the whole thing interesting. I was skeptical of everything everyone did, and that kept me very engrossed in the political aspects of the story. At the end of the first book, Laurent was almost killed by what looked to be a planned attack by his enemies in Akielos. After that, Laurent’s uncle, The Regent, convinces him to go fight on the borders to prove his commitment to the people of Vere. By this point in the story, we all know The Regent doesn’t want to give up the throne, and we know that Laurent going to the border to fight is a suicide mission. I loved that Damen picked up on that right away and tried to warn Laurent about it, even if Laurent was not really his favorite person. In the end, Laurent takes Damen with him and together they manage to turn an unruly army into a loyal one that’s willing to protect their true King, Laurent. It was lovely to see. Also, getting to see Damen recognizing that Laurent’s cold personality is not all there is to him made for great reading material to me. An amazing book in my eyes, this one. You can buy it here.
I can’t talk about this book without mentioning right away just how perfect this title is. Because by the end of this trilogy, both Kings have risen to take their rightful place at the thrones. And the best part? They don’t have to be enemies now and they can both have the best of both worlds: their kingdoms and each other. By the end of book two, an Akielos army led by Damen’s old friend has encountered Laurent’s army and recognized Damen, which is how they come to join their forces, against all odds to fight both The Regent and Damen’s half brother, Kastor. An unlikely alliance if you ever saw one and the tension of them working together is thick during the book. We get Laurent’s admission that he knew who Damen was out of the way really fast in the book, and I’m not going to lie, I expected it to be a bigger thing in the story, considering Damen spent the past two books being worried about that. However, I was also kind of glad we got that out the way so we could focus on more important things. Like the sexual tension that threatened to burn me each time Damen and Laurent were in the same room. And yes, we got more amazing sex scenes that were all the more amazing because they weren’t done for the sake of having a sex scene, but because they were important to the story and the characters. This book, much like the first one, did a good job of doing what it had to do, which was closing the story and tying some loose ends, while still leaving some mystery behind. After reading the second one, which was the climax of the trilogy, I was left feeling a tiny bit underwhelmed by the third book, but I was still very happy and satisfied. There’s just something addicting about these books to me. They took over my every thought. I’d like to have a fourth book or maybe a short novella giving me some sort of insight to Laurent and Damen’s lives as Kings and as two men in love, surviving all the things they went through. Maybe we’ll get that. In the meantime, you can buy this book here.
There you have it. My spoilery and senseless review of The Captive Prince Trilogy by C.S. Pascat. If you read these books, comment below and tell me how long do you picture Laurent’s hair.
See you next post.