From global phenomenon C. S. Pacat comes the first novel in her critically acclaimed Captive Prince trilogy.
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...
Pacat's powerful debut, a blend of intense erotica and political fantasy, is disturbing and intriguing in equal measure. When the king of Akielos dies, his son Kastor takes the throne. The other prince, Damen, is betrayed, kidnapped, and taken to Vere, a country with which Akielos had a nasty war a few years before. In that war Damen killed Vere's crown prince; now he is the property of Vere's new heir, Laurent, who does not, as yet, know who Damen is. Pacat's ubiquitous and varyingly grim depictions of sexual slavery play brutal counterpoint to Damen's optimistic attempts to regain agency, and the obvious ways Damen and Laurent could help each other are made plausibly difficult by old hatreds and deep cultural differences. The intricacy of the political entanglements gives depth to the novel's erotic turmoil, and readers who struggle with the extensive scenes of nonconsensual sex will still be drawn in by the subtle, powerful writing. Fans of Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series will eat this up with a spoon.
ohhhh my god i love this book so much, have to read, so much better than the first book and i didn't know that was possible
Worth every penny
I think my biggest pet peeve with this book specifically is that it’s classified under “romance”, and that’s not exactly what you get in this first installment of the Captive Prince trilogy. And since it’s labeled “romance” and has the term “pleasure slave” thrown in there too, readers might come with these high expectations of something they won’t necessarily find here. This isn’t an outright romance/erotica read right off the bat. I think people should mind the trigger warnings: there’s rape, there’s torture, there’s pedophilia. Then again, fanfictions have this stuff too and so does Game of Thrones, in a way that makes Captive Prince seem much more tame with the subjects in comparisons.
With that aside, this series as a whole has an intricate, compelling story filled with political intrigue and amazingly crafted characters. I have caught myself cursing aloud, laughing, crying, and slamming my hand on the dinner table on more than one occasion. If I were to recommend one thing is to read the books one after the other. They’re not long, and what Captive Prince does is craft the framework of the story for the second and third books. It is a romance, just not in this book. I actually asked myself a couple of times how exactly was Pacal going to pull if off after reading the first book. Well, she does, in the most beautiful way.
I wholly recommend this book, and the other two as well. Give it a try. If you loved the intricacies of the political battlefield of series like Game of Thrones, you’ll love this one too.
I enjoyed it, wish the book didn’t end so soon but good thing there’s two more left!