Series: Captive Prince
Author: C.S PacatPage Count: 270
Published: April 7th, 2015
5 Stars ★★★★★
I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads first reads giveaway.
Damen used to be known as Prince Damianos of Akielos. Then, his brother Kastor sent him as a slave to Vere, faking Damen's death and becoming king. Damen is gifted to Prince Laurent of Vere; arrogant, infuriating, and the future king of his country. Unfortunately, Laurent also hates Akielos and hates Prince Damianos, who killed his brother in battle. Damen has to be careful....nobody can find out that he is actually a prince. Due to Laurent's hatred and past, he could find himself executed.
As Damen plots his escape, he gets to know the Prince's guards and household, hoping to gain enough trust that he might be able to hear of the latest news about Akielos, happenings in Vere, and potentially receive aid in his escape. In he meantime, he is subject to slave and 'pet' performances, the rivalry between Laurent and his uncle, and Laurent's cold, yet complex, demeanor.
This book has earned it's way into my favourites collection. First of all, the writing style is amazing. It's elegant and descriptive and I felt like I was there, in the setting, with the characters. Even though it is written in third person, I got to know Damen, and his way of thinking, well and I cared about his story and his welfare. That kept me reading; even when I needed to put the book down to go do something else, I snuck a few extra minutes of reading time. When I absolutely had to be away from this book, I often found myself thinking of the story and theorizing what might happen next.
Then we have the characters. They were all quite unique and memorable, even the more minor characters. While I absolutely hated some of them, I found myself appreciating their roles in the story. I also appreciated how the characters weren't all black and white. Some were incredibly un-likeable, yet they weren't one hundred percent evil.
I have never read a book quite like this one before. Set in what appears to be another, or an alternative version, of the world, I was captivated by the setting, the visuals, the customs and the people.
I really appreciated that, unlike many other LGBT novels, the author didn't make a big deal out of the fact that same sex relationships occured. In fact, within Vere, it was the norm to take pleasure slaves of the same sex while taking slaves of the opposite sex was considered almost taboo. No fuss was made, there was no coming out or bullying due to one's identity. I understand that in many contemporary LGBT novels these themes are explored because they are important and very real, however I much appreciated a break from those themes.
I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this book....my only issue is the ending! I have to grab a copy of book two as soon as possible!
A few trigger warnings: rape, pedophilia (which is accepted within the society of Vere), and general/pleasure slavery are all found within this book. There are also scenes and mentions of physical abuse and assault such as flogging.
An amazing, unique novel and a gem in the LGBT genre, I recommend this book to those who enjoy LGBT books and to those who are looking for something that strays from the average M/M story. If you like stories that pull at your emotions, captivate your mind and keep you hooked from beginning to end, this book is for you.