Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Spoiler Free Review of The Captive Prince Trilogy by C. S. Pacat

Series: Captive Prince Trilogy- includes Captive Prince, Prince's Gambit and Kings Rising.

Publication of Captive Prince: May 22nd 2012

Goodreads description of book 1, Captive Prince:
"This was Vere, voluptuous and decadent, country of honeyed poison"

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the truthful 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...

My thoughts on the series (spoiler free):
So this series is not something I'd usually pick up. It's very dark and definitely an adult series. I didn't like the trilogy but I didn't hate it either. It was just okay. I have no strong feeling toward it.

There is a major trigger warning for rape and abuse in this series. I was warned, but I wasn't expecting it to be as dark as it was. Rape and abuse play an important part in both the plot and the world in which Captive Prince is set so if you don't want to read that kind of thing I wouldn't recommend this series. Personally, I don't like reading those kind of things so I skimmed a lot of these scene. If this series wasn't so highly praised I probably would have stopped reading because of this.

I think my main problem with theses books was that I wasn't emotionally attached to any of the characters and I couldn't relate to any of them either.

I liked reading about Damen but I couldn't relate to him. I felt like he didn't have anything that made him interesting. His situation was but he wasn't.

I wasn't emotionally attached to Laurent. In Captive Prince I did not know what to think of him. I did grow to like him more in Prince's Gambit and Kings Rising. I found Laurent a lot more interesting to read about than Damen, because I felt like I didn't know him in Captive Prince and slowly over the course of the three books I started to understand his personality.

The romance in the first book is almost non-existent. I was not invested in it to be honest. I didn't ship anyone with anyone and while reading Captive Prince I couldn't understand why some people would. My opinion did change after reading Prince's Gambit. I wasn't shipping anyone romantically but I could see why people were shipping certain characters.

The language was a bit hard for me to understand at times, which is something that's never happened to me unless I'm reading a classic. I just felt like the author used a lot of rare words I'd never come across in my 19 years.

I felt like there was no plot in Captive Prince. I didn't know where the story was going. It was just characters interacting as part of their daily lives. Luckily there is plots in books 2 and 3. Prince's Gambit and Kings Rising are much more structured. There is a middle, beginning and end.

The world Pacat created is very intense. She did an excellent job at building up different cultural norms between Vere and Akleios.
 The nobility keep people as 'Pets'. And they force slave to 'preform' for them.

I really liked how there was a big emphasis on politics and war. War is definitely something that is more of a focus in the second and third books as we spend more time with soldiers and armies. I liked how there was this web of politics woven through the story. There was lots of mystery and betrayal and I wasn't sure who to trust.

I wasn't a huge fan of the first book, Captive Prince, but I decided to pick up the second one because I had heard too many rave reviews not to. The rating are also quite high on Goodreads and Sarah J. Maas (one of my all time favourite authors) recommended them in a newsletter so I wanted to give them another chance.

Personally I think Prince's Gambit and Kings Rising were better than Captive Prince. There was a lot more action and character growth in the second and third books. I particularly like Prince's Gambit because as reader we get to know Laurent a lot better and I felt like book 2 was really the start of Damen and Laurents friendship.

So all in all, I like the series as a whole but wasn't in love with it.

My rating:
1. Captive Prince: 2.5 out of 5
2. Prince's Gambit: 3 out of 5
3. Kings Rising: 3 out of 5

Thanks for reading,
A :)
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