CAPTIVE PRINCE by C. S. Pacat is book one of the Captive Prince Trilogy. In it we are introduced to Prince Damen and Prince Laurent, who are heirs to the thrones of rival kingdoms. Damen is sent to serve Prince Laurent as a pleasure slave when his half-brother seizes power and becomes King of Akielos. Stuck in a place where discovery will mean his death, Damen struggles to fit into the Veretian Court.
I have been curious about this trilogy for a while, since I first heard it mentioned on Tumblr. Going into the CAPTIVE PRINCE I didn’t know a lot about the book, apart from what is covered in the blurb. The story starts a little slowly, but once it gets going it is an engrossing and enjoyable read. Pacat does an excellent job of setting up the world and characters. There is definitely a lot of court intrigue in this book! Most of the book focuses on court politics, and if you’re looking for a romance that dives into the romance straight away or pretty soon into the story then this probably isn’t going to be the book for you. For a romance book, there was surprisingly little romance to it, which actually I quite liked.
In terms of plot CAPTIVE PRINCE is very much what it is: a book that sets up the world and characters. Pacat does a good job laying down the foundations for the world and its politics, especially in the Veretian court where most of the book is set. There is a definite sense that more is going on in the world than there appears to be on the surface. Although the narrative is written in the third person, the story focuses on Damen so Prince Laurent is something of a mystery – you only get to see him through Damen’s eyes, and I would like the opportunity to get to know him a little more.
As I said, the book follows Damen. He is an interesting character, not quite what I was expecting. He is an interesting mixture of experience and naïveté, which seems to fit with his upbringing. His half-brother is definitely something of a mystery, and I’m hoping that he’ll play a greater role in future books. Prince Laurent is also something of an unknown, though he seems to be deeply entrenched in the politics of his court, which is to be expected. I look forward to seeing more of him too in the next book, where hopefully he’ll be less of a mystery.
Overall I think CAPTIVE PRINCE is a good solid read, if you like political intrigue. I wouldn’t say it’s much of a romance book, but I do think Pacat does a good job with setting the stage for future books. I also thought the disparate cultures were handled well, though I’m really not sure what I think of the slavery aspect – though there were definite bdsm overtones to it. CAPTIVE PRINCE is not your typical romance, and all the better for it in my opinion.
The extra story featured with my edition of CAPTIVE PRINCE is basically a short story featuring a minor character from the book. It gives a brief glimpse into their life before the story starts, as well as what leads up to their presence in the Veretian court. It’s a nice little added extra, but I don’t really feel it adds anything to the main narrative. It does give us a bit more of an insight into the world of the Captive Prince Trilogy, but none of the major players are involved in it.
Originally posted on The Flutterby Room.