Captive Prince, by C. S. Pacat
“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…
Pages: 240 (Ebook)
Published on: 22nd of May, 2012
Series: Captive Prince #1
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Captive Prince, by C. S. Pacat (or S. U. Pacat) was an interesting read. I’ll be honest, when I read the blurb, I thought that the book would have pages of erotic passages, and ultimately lack substance. Well… I was wrong. Captive Prince is filled to the brim with fantastic characterisation and political intrigue (if you’ve read my review on The Fixer, you’ll know I love reading about political schemes).
I can wholeheartedly say that this book has some of the best characters I have encountered this year. All of the characters have multiple faces even though it may have been less obvious in some characters. There was actually this character that fooled me for a while. I honestly thought that this character was a pretty good person with an air of decency until I read about his ah… unique preference in the slaves in this book.
Pacat’s skilful writing slowly nudges the reader’s subconscious, and gets the reader to start liking Laurent (one of the main characters in Captive Prince) by peeling back his layers and revealing slivers of what could be interpreted as kindness. Although most of Laurent’s seemingly kind acts are just stepping stones that help him to achieve a political goal, it is hard to dislike his character by the end of the book. Bear in mind, Pacat was able to get me to like Laurent even though I was (sort of ) rooting for Damen whose adversary is Laurent. At the same time, Pacat subtly turns the tide of sympathy against Laurent’s Uncle. It’s like magic.
The politics in this book is really interesting. It’s interesting to see how the Regent and Laurent strategise against each other. However, sometimes I was not able to get a full grasp of the political scheme as we see the events unfold through the perspective of Damen, who does not always notice a scheme unfolding or find the small details that Laurent sets in place for a plan. Some of the plans were quite surprising as well.
One aspect of the book which was not developed as well was the world. Occasionally, the names of places are thrown in and the city very briefly described. When I was reading this book, I had no firm idea where these places were in relation to each other. I also had no clear idea of the shape of the country, the terrain. Even the difference between the peoples in terms of their attitudes and behaviour was more perspicuous to me than the place in which they lived in.
Also, there was not much action. So if you’re looking for action, this may not be the book for you. However, if you like politics and good characterisation, you should definitely check this book out!