Friday, August 11, 2017

Review - Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1)
Series: Captive Prince #1
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Adult (Mature) 
Paperback - 314 pgs
Berkley - January 2014
Source - Library 

Rating - 3/5 

Trigger Warnings: Rape, physical abuse, torture, pedophilia.

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

There a lot of mixed reviews about this book. I come down somewhere in the middle of it all. I see why this story is highly criticized but it did keep me engaged and interested to see where else this story will go. I kept turning the pages because the characters are so well developed and have a lot of layers to them. Laurent seems irredeemable at this point, but I want to know what happens to Damen and the hype around this series has me interested enough to continue reading.

The trigger warnings I mentioned are not given lightly. This story is intense to read. I don't think I quite knew what I was getting when I started it. Slavery permeates across this world and every culture has slaves. It took me about half the book to really wrap my mind around the world and customs Pacat created. I wasn't looking for romance in this first installment, but I wasn't expecting the brutality either.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this book and how complicated my feelings are about it. On one hand I found the characters fascinating and the complex political situation that played out in this story made me read this story in a day. Several months later I'm still disgusted by parts of this and enthralled by others. 

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