Book Review: Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat

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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…

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TW: rape, abuse, pedophilia, sex slavery, lashing and other forms of torture

I’m having trouble writing this review because I have so many conflicting feelings about it. Though this book doesn’t have a lot of hype surrounding it currently, I knew going in that lots of people love it but it also has it’s fair share of haters. I also knew enough about the triggering content, so I went in with an open mind and I think that definitely helped.

This is a world where all kingdoms have slaves, the only difference being how they are treated by their masters. Pleasure slaves are the norm, with their ages being as young as thirteen. Rape is used as a performance for the entertainment of the nobility. Court intrigue is at it’s finest. Every word has layers beneath it. There is no loyalty and betrayal seems to be lurking everywhere.

The best part of the book are the two main characters. Damen is very much out of his depth initially, a prince betrayed by his half-brother and gifted as a slave to the enemy. Being the personal pleasure slave of Prince Laurent is not easy, considering he hates the kingdom of Akielos and it’s prince Damianos more than anything. Laurent is also very cunning, brutal, selfish, an expert at wordplay and always three steps ahead of everyone. Throughout his enslavement, Damen has to navigate this pit of vipers, keeping his identity a secret and figure out any possible opportunities for escape.

Both these characters are very captivating to read about. None of them are really good but Damen has some empathy towards his people and definitely displays some morals when forced to fight or violate others younger or weaker than him. Laurent frankly has no redeeming qualities but his scheming mind is just so fascinating. The development of their relationship from brutal enemies to reluctant partners who need to keep each other alive for the sake of their kingdoms is very engaging and I can’t wait to read more of their interactions.

The writing throughout the book is very gripping. The plot is intriguing, very fast paced despite there being no action sequences. Sometimes, the author tries to use very obscure and complicated words which didn’t really enhance the experience for me and I was able to enjoy the story better once I stopped googling them. I also feel guilty for liking this book which has so much violence, gore and inhumane treatment of people but I also can’t deny the fact that I finished it in a single sitting, without once getting up from my couch. And I’m so looking forward to see how the romance angle will be established because currently, it’s difficult to picture Damen and Laurent as anything other than possible friends.

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27 thoughts on “Book Review: Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat

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  1. I picked this book up not knowing of its contents, and yeesh was I shocked. 😂 I ended up skimming as a result, but I do think the rest of the series does become a bit more tame (and healthy lol), so I think you’ll enjoy the rest if you liked this one. Great review!

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  2. I didn’t like this book and would not recommend it to anyone, but I understand why people do and it set off a really interesting question for me of what the limits of what I want to be reading is. People said book two and three (have you read them yet?) explained more and they certainly do, and especially the third I found way better, but it isn’t enough to redeem this first one for me unfortunately

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can totally understand why you wouldn’t enjoy it, especially with all the graphic assaults and violence… but I also couldn’t put it down and maybe that’s y I like it.. because it captured my attention..
      There have been books where I couldn’t fathom what was happening and found it very difficult to digest… I don’t know y I didn’t feel that way about this one… is it coz it’s a fantasy… I can’t pinpoint the reasons..
      I have heard too tat the next books are better.. I’m definitely looking forward to reading them..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I absolutely adored this series! For me it’s fiction and fantasy. Different cultures, believes, and traditions – all that packed into an amazingly captivating trilogy. I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of it. There is no other conserves that’s as compelling as this one.;-) if you have questions about anything let me know, I’m here.

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    1. Thank you so much… I can see why you must love this series… I literally stayed up till midnight to finish this one… Can’t wait to read the second book… and I hope I enjoy the rest of it 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yikes! That’s quite the trigger warning. I’m glad that you could see through that to the underlying story, because sometimes triggers are necessary for world building and character building. Thanks for the review! 💖👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I could see through the story only because I knew the triggers from other reviews.. otherwise, it would have been a very uncomfortable read…
      And definitely the book is interesting to read only because of the characters..
      Thanks for checking out my review 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

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