How do I even start this post? Obsession doesn’t even begin to describe what I am feeling about C.S. Pacat’s ‘Captive Prince Trilogy’. I’m practically obsessed over my obsession with the books. I want to shout it into the sky so the wind can carry it to everyone’s ears as a soft whisper. “Captive Prince”, it would say. Sigh! Swoon! Faint!
I suppose I should start at the beginning…
Years ago, I was out to dinner with my good friend, Rachel*. Rachel has worked in the book/publishing biz for a while, and she generally knows what I like to read, so I ask for recommendations all the time. This was one of those occasions. As we walked to
Olive Garden (Rachel loves the Olive Garden), she suggested to me something she had just read and was loving. I took note of the name, and, as time would have it, quickly forgot.
The years passed. Rachel continued to recommend me the book any time the conversation came up. Finally, at a restaurant that was not the Olive Garden, I told her to recommend it to me on Goodreads. I tell you, people. I have the memory of a gold fish!
The recommendation sat on my “to-read” pile for another whole year, until I heard a radio commercial for Amazon’s special Prime day bonanza (not actual name). The actual Prime Day sucked ass. It was like the old couple down the street cleaning out their basement. But I couldn’t go away empty handed! Not after all the hype! The Girl in the Tiny Hat and I combed through our list of ‘to-read’ books in search of a small pay-off. Thus, I received the first book in the trilogy, ‘Captive Prince’, two days later…
~Cue dramatic music~
To say I found a small pay-off would be a flat out lie. I essentially received the money shot of all pay-offs.
‘Captive Prince’ follows the story of Damen, prince and heir to the throne of Akielos. After being over thrown by his older half brother, Kastor, Damen is forced into slavery. He is to be gifted to the prince of a revival kingdom, Prince Laurent of Vere. A prince who has every reason to kill him, forcing Damen to keep his true identity a secret.
Laurent has a personality that is as beautifully crafted as his stunning features. A perfect balance of cruel and charming. He is in a constant battle against his uncle, the Regent, who holds the throne until he comes of ruling age. Damen finds himself somehow in the middle of their unpredictable games as he tries to plan his escape to freedom.
Laurent is unrelenting in his control over Damen, but Damen cannot help his immediate attraction, though he despises the young prince. He’s definitely into blondes, and Laurent may be more than meets the eye.
Once a attempt at the prince’s life is made, and Damen was made to look the culprit, things change when Laurent puts his safety, reputation, and title on the line to protect him. But the secrets that lie behind each carefully spoken word, brings new light to Laurent’s situation. And the price the Regent forces Laurent to pay for protecting Damen? Laurent must agree to serve his country on the southern border. Something Damen knows is almost certain death for the prince of Vere, and that is something he cannot allow when his own freedom hangs in the balance.
Did I forget to mention Damen fought and killed Laurent’s older brother, and first heir to Vere, on the battlefield years before?
Tell me that doesn’t sound amazing! It’s friggin’ fantastic! I was already harassing C.S. Pacat on Twitter! It was magical! (The harassment will stop soon. I promise.)
The characters were fleshed out with clear, believable personalities and traits. The countries were defined in architecture, customs, mannerisms, and fashion. The story was painted together seamlessly, yet revealing only the colors that lay underneath at the exact moment they were needed. The most impressive part of all, it was written well.
I went one whole day without Damen or Laurent before the second book, ‘Prince’s Gambit’, arrived in my mail box.
Let me tell you….. WOOWEE!
This one just came out, so I won’t say too much. The second book has the characters mostly on their campaign to the southern border of Vere. Damen, still in slave service to Laurent, serves him well as a council in military tactics and keeping soldiers in line. However, more secrets and planning along the way drag Damen and Laurent on a great deal of missions alone.
Somewhere along the way, Damen laid eyes on Laurent, and couldn’t take them off. But what will happen when he escapes back to his country to rally against his brother? What if Laurent find out his true identity in the mean time? Dun-Dun-Duuuuunnnnn!
These books are labeled as ‘Romance’, but I can tell you they have so much more to offer than romance. The writing and storytelling was on a caliber I haven’t seen since reading George RR Martin. She’s brilliant!
C.S. Pacat, a Melbourne resident, originally published the chapters as a serial fiction blog, and, if I am not mistaken, received over 15 million hits! She went on to self publish the books before Berkley (Penguin) picked them up for paperback release. That alone inspires me to keep writing on this damn blog.
The third book in the trilogy will be released in February 2016. I suggest you get book one and two now, read them, obsess, then re-read them before snagging ‘King’s Rising’ in February.
Buy them here: