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Captive Prince #3

Kings Rising

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2016)
The epic conclusion to the internationally acclaimed Captive Prince trilogy.

Damianos of Akielos has returned.

His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.

On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilising for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.

Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity – can it stand against the Regent’s final, deadly play for the throne?

368 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 2, 2016

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About the author

C.S. Pacat

48 books12k followers
C.S. Pacat is the USA-Today best-selling author of Dark Rise, the Captive Prince trilogy, and the GLAAD-nominated graphic novels Fence.

Born in Australia and educated at the University of Melbourne, C.S. Pacat has lived in a number of cities, including Tokyo and Perugia, and currently resides and writes in Melbourne.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,057 reviews
Profile Image for Kat.
940 reviews
February 24, 2018
I didn't think it possible, but Pacat has outdone herself. I literally finished this book 2 minutes ago and I'm breathless and flushed, and my heart pounds too fast. Don't expect a cool and collected review from me yet, for now I'll just go with: epic conclusion to a magnificent series.

Review probably to come. :')

Update 9/7/15:

Aaaaaand we have an anticipation increasing blurb! And according to Penguin CP 3 will be 384 pages.:D

Update 6/26/15:

Official publication date for CP 3: 02-02-2016.

I'm a tad surprised and disappointed that it won't be out for the holidays, but shortly after.

Kings Rising snippet here.

Update 6/23/15:

2 days now...

Update 1/24/15: Not sure if everyone knows yet, but the title and cover for the third book (that 'leaked' earlier via an Australian ebook site) have been confirmed.;)

Source: Penguin Australia

Kings. I know! Rising. I can't even.

Update 1/24/15: Penguin's version of CP 1 is released on 4/7/15. CP 2 will be released on 7/7/15. This is how they are different from the earlier released versions: CP 1 contains a bonus story. CP 2 contains a new chapter.

Are the extras worth buying the new versions? What do you guys think?!

PS how much prettier is the Australian cover of CP 2 compared to the US cover? Gah.

Update 1/24/15: So! This is really intriguing, y'all. A friend (thanks Eva!) linked me to an Australian ebook site that had already published the expected publication date (10/28/15) and the title for book 3 on its website: KINGS RISING. Only hours later, the information was deleted again...

Mysterious, no?

Kings Rising....what do we think? Sounds like a legitimate (and oh so exciting) title?

Update 11/4/14: Book 2 will be re-released in July 2015. So this could mean that book 3 may be released just before Christmas 2015. Think about it, it'd only make sense from a marketing perspective.:0)

Update 9/10/14: A reassuring update from the author on her website: She's still working on the manuscript for book 3, but promises that the 3 books will not be spaced anything like a year apart (see comments for my and friends' theories about the possible release dates).

Update 9/2/14: We have an expected publication date for the first CP book (re-release): April 7th 2015. I know, with the current pacing we'll be gray and in wheelchairs by the time CP 3 finally sees the light of day.;p

Update 5/5/14: The promised snippet from book 3 can be found HERE. Woop Woop!

Update 4/8/14: Thanks to everyone who voted, Captive Prince won the DABWAHA tournament! Woot! C.S. Pacat's bribes include; a sneak-peak snippet from book 3, a DVD commentary for the sex scene in book 2 (complete with sexual position analysis), a manuscript-writing livestream where fans can chat and comment, an unofficial book 3 cover based on the original covers (pre-Penguin).

Update 12/15/13: Did you guys all catch that, thanks to Rachel, there's a great Captive Prince group on Goodreads to discuss and fangirl/boy?

Update 12/7/13: S.U. Pacat has changed her name into C.S. Pacat because "I made this change in conversation with various Penguins: we all thought it was better that I take this opportunity to choose a more serious author name that could have longevity across my writing career." (well, thank god for that! That 'funny' pen name was unworthy of the quality of her work). Other than that, no release date for book 3, but she's writing it faster than she had expected. So that's good. Full blog post here.

Update 9/25/13: S.U. Pacat just posted a blog post with the latest news. Still no publication date for book 3, Penguin will not demand that Laurent is turned into Laurentia (thank god, LOL), there will be new covers (please no nekkid torsos!)
Captive Prince has been acquired by one of the largest publishers in the world: Penguin. Can you freaking believe it? Penguin has bought the entire trilogy and is going to release it in bookshops worldwide.

Such marvelous, exciting news for the author and for all of us m/m addicts! This could be a milestone when it comes to more recognition for the genre (more on the author's blog: http://freece.livejournal.com/61483.html).


I'm not a fan of reviews with tons of giant gifs of crazy, excited people in it. But if I was I would have pasted every single one of them into this review. The anticipation is simply killing me! :D

I think I've found my soundtrack to these books.
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
522 reviews34.4k followers
March 27, 2018
”To gain everything and lose everything in the space of a moment. That is the fate of all princes destined for the throne.”

I. N. T. E. N. S. E.!!!

If I had to describe “King’s Rising” with one word it most certainly would be this one! This book was so damn freaking intense the tension was physically palpable in the air. It dripped from every single page, it consumed me, made me feel uncomfortable, giddy and so excited I could barely keep it in.
Gosh this was actually so damn intense it will take me ages to recover from that final book!!!

As it seems Pacat isn’t only a master at manipulation but also of building up almost unbearable tension between her protagonists and boy did I live for it!!! <333
I loved this so much my heart overflowed with joy!!! XD
This book is perfection!!!
It really is!

The plot was so elaborate and ingenious that it was a pleasure to watch it unfold. Every little moment in this series had a purpose, a reason to exist and in “King’s Rising” we finally get to the core. Layer by layer we unravel the true scope of the Regent’s plans and Laurent’s ceaseless attempts to stifle the countless fires. Gosh, there were so many infinitesimal moments that added up to the entire story in the end, it was just brilliant and so very delightful to read!
(Boy, am I a happy camper or what? *LOL*)

And don’t even get me started on the scenes between Laurent and Damen!!!
Wait, how often did I already use that word by now?! 4 times?! Yep, I think that’s enough for an introduction! XD Before I’m tempted to use it a fifth time we better head to the main part, the actual review! ;-)

The plot:

”The ache of loss didn’t make sense, because Laurent had never been his. He had known that. The delicate thing that had grown between them had never had a right to exist.”

After the revelation of Damen’s true identity at the end of “Prince’s Gambit” Laurent and Damen don’t only have to face each other as King and Prince, but are also forced to deal with their new situation. If they truly want to depose the Regent and Kastor there is no other way than to trust each other, combine their forces and to become allies though. A task that most certainly won’t be as simple as it sounds. Their enemies are closing in, their armies clash, the fate of two kingdoms is at stake and between all that their hearts continue to burn with the heat of uncontrollable desire.

The characters:

Fair warning! This is the part where I usually quote the hell out of the book and go into detail about the plot and the main characters. So yeah, there will be a lot of spoilers in your near future and if you don’t want to be spoiled I advise you to leave now! ;-)

Damen – The King

”For the first time, he caught a glimmer of what Laurent would be like as a king. He saw him, not as the Regent’s unready nephew, not as Auguste’s younger brother, but as himself, a young man with a collection of talents thrown into leadership too early, and taking it on, because he was given no other choice. I would serve him, he thought, and that itself was like a revelation.”

It was so wonderful to watch how easily he slipped into the role of a king! I mean I always knew that Damen would make a great king but to actually see it and to experience how he took his rightful place was something entirely different! The dynamics between him and Laurent were really interesting to watch because for once he actually had the upper hand. Not when it came to scheming, mind you, *lol* but when it came to the strength and sheer force of his army he definitely trumped him. XD I loved that he didn’t let his experiences get him down, he still fought and he didn’t hide his scars. No, he accepted them as a part of him and as a part of his own history and in the end this made him an even better king. Still, I always felt sorry for Damen when he fell into old habits or when he encountered other slaves. >_< I just hope that he’ll be able to heal his wounds in “The Summer Palace”. =))

”He felt the limits of his own nature, which too easily swung to anger, and the need – stymied by circumstance – to bring about the Regent’s death. All he wanted was to take up his sword and cut a path into Ios.”

”There was a man I was supposed to meet. He’s got all these ideas about honour and fair play, and he tries to keep me from doing the wrong thing. But he’s not here right now. Unfortunately for you.”

”I thought I’d let you go up and down a few times,” said Damen, “before I take you.”
“I thought you were down here because you couldn’t take me.”

”That is the man you face. He has more honour and integrity than any man I have ever met. He is dedicated to his people and his country. And I am proud to have been his lover.”
Damen said it with his eyes on Laurent, willing him to know how much he meant it, and for a moment Laurent just gazed back at him, his eyes blue and wide.

Laurent – The Prince

”A ludicrous boyish hope flared that someone would come to help him, and, carefully, he extinguished it. Since the age of thirteen, there had been no rescuer, for his brother was dead.”

I loved that we got Laurent’s POV!!! Admittedly it was just for a chapter but this chapter was amazing!!! To finally be able to see how he thinks!!! To be in his head without all those barriers he built to protect himself! After all this time we finally saw the true Laurent and damn it, but he’s such a broken boy. T_T And yet despite all that, despite every experience he made, he still decided to trust Damen, he opened up to him and eventually fell in love with the man who killed his brother. Oh my, what a poor, lonely, tortured and conflicted soul!!! <333 I could understand his hatred for Damen, especially because he always knew who he was and I guess to see that he wasn’t the monster he believed him to be must have been extremely painful. He lost his brother and then he found him in Damen again… >_< ARGH! I just wanted to hug him and tell him that everything is going to be alright. XD

”Laurent had always been capable of a kind of ruthless pragmatism. He was able to put emotion aside and do what he had to do to win, with a perfect and nauseating ability to ignore all human feeling.”

”Laurent had never needed to use force to make men obey him, just as he had never needed men to like him in order to get his way. Laurent got his way because when men tried to resist him, they found, sweetly outmanoeuvred, that they couldn’t.”

”Am I talking too much? I can’t hold alcohol at all.”
“I can see that.”
“It’s my fault. I never drink. I should have realised I’d need to, with men like these, and made an effort to … build up some sort of tolerance…” He was serious.

”A fair fight?” said Laurent, turning back to him, “No fight’s ever fair. Someone’s always stronger.”

Nikandros – The loyal friend

”And if I call on you to fight?”
“Then we fight,” said Nikandros. “Together.”
The straightforward ease of it left him without words. He had forgotten what home felt like. He had forgotten trust, loyalty, kinship. Friends.

I adore Nikandros! He’s such an amazing and loyal friend and I loved how much he cared about Damen’s well-being. Not because he was his king but because he actually truly cared about him. Poor Damen though, he had to fight a lot for his relationship with Laurent, considering what he did to him I can’t blame Nikandros for disapproving of their love though. The moment in the tent after the fight with Pallas was one of the most intense scenes in the entire book and I really, really like Nikandros!!! XD

Jokaste – The true cast-iron bitch:

”You weren’t expecting what it felt like when he touched you. You weren’t expecting the weight of his body, how it felt to have his attention, to have him want you.”
“You left out the part near the end, when it was so good I let myself forget what he’d done.”
“Oh dear,” said Jokaste. “That was the truth.”

That evil bitch!!! I hated her so much and yet I could understand her! URGH! In a sick and twisted way she truly loved Damen and only sold him into slavery in order to save his life. Still, the wounds she inflicted run deep and I’ll never like her because of that. Yes, she saved his life, but she also almost killed him with it. The conversation between her and Laurent was one of the best highlights of the series though and it would be a lie to claim I didn’t enjoy every delicious and juicy moment of it!!! No, actually I loved it!! *lol* <333 So much hatred and tension! Ahh it was such a delight to read! XD My cunning and crafty faerie heart couldn’t help but relish their encounter with enthusiastic joy! ;-P I just live for moments like this! Haha! <3

Dament – Their relationship

”I hated you,” said Laurent. “I hated you so badly I thought I’d choke on it. If my uncle hadn’t stopped me, I would have killed you. And then you saved my life, and every time I needed you, you were there, and I hated you for that, too.”

TENSION!!! So much tension it almost killed me while I read the book!! Their relationship was so complicated and rough in “King’s Rising”!!! Now that they both met each other as king and prince they had to live up to certain expectations and they tried everything possible to follow the rules. Of course the heart and the mind are always two different things and I think you could see that inner conflict on every page of the book. Still, I loved their honesty and their strength, that they both didn’t yield and that they tried to make it work somehow. XD It was a long way until they reached that moment though and as usual Pacat taunted us with the promise of a wonderful relationship in the future. *lol*

*sigh* There were so many awesome scenes in that book and I can’t mention them all, but there definitely were some moments I’ll never forget! For instance their fight in the training area! It was so freaking amazing and it was such a good picture of their relationship! The way Laurent tried to defend himself with everything he had and the realisation that he just couldn’t win against Damen. He didn’t only win their fight but also Laurent’s heart! Pacat! Well done!!! This was such a brilliant way to describe their relationship I have to pay you my respect! XD

AND speaking of amazing scenes!!! Can we take a look at the chapter in which they appear united for the very first time?! OMG!!! Laurent’s gift to Damen! The whipping of the clan mercenaries! Gosh!! That was such a mean and deliberate move! XD Damen’s retort however wasn’t less sophisticated though. *lol* To gift him with his golden slave cuff!!! Good lord!!! ARGH I LOVE THOSE TWO BOYS SO MUCH!!! *LOL* <3333

They certainly didn’t make it easy for each other and their heated word duels always had me at the edge of my seat! XD What I also loved was the fact that they both always seemed to know what the other one needed. Whenever one of them was about to lose control, they both didn’t even hesitate and were there to catch each other if need be. This was so damn beautiful!!! My heart just ached for them!! <333

BUT the last couple of chapters! That moment when Laurent actually begged his uncle for Damen’s life!!! OH. MY. GOD.!!!! Laurent my precious, beautiful and hurt boy knelt in front of his uncle to save Damen’s life!!! The man who killed his brother, the man he trusted more than anyone else, the man he loved more than his own life!!! ARGH!!! MY HEART!!! YOU ARE NOT ALONE LAURENT!!!! YOU ARE LOVED!!!! GOSH, I CAN’T EVEN…. <333
I’m dead!!! T_T

”Shall I ask you how you did it? What he looked like when your sword went in?”
“No,” said Damen.
“Or shall I tell you about the illusion of the man who gave me good counsel. Who stood by me. Who never lied to me.”
“I never lied to you.”
The words were awful in the silence that followed them.

”I miss you,” said Laurent. “I miss our conversations.”

”How can you trust me, after what your own brother did to you?”
“Becaues he was false,” said Damen, “and you are true. I have never known a truer man.” He said, into the stillness, “I think if I gave you my heart, you would treat it tenderly.”

”I killed your brother.”
“I know.”
Damen said it, and felt a strange empathy pass between them, as if they knew each other for the first time.

”Now, Laurent was beside him. Aloof, untouchable Laurent was beside him, kneeling on the wet marble hundreds of miles from home, with nothing in his eyes but Damen.”

Laurent was very still, and the moment seemed to draw out, the space between them private in the hushed baths.
”And the centre. We both hold the centre,” said Laurent. And then: “It was one kingdom, once.”

The conclusion:

I loved “King’s Rising” even more than I loved “Prince’s Gambit” and this series definitely is one of my all-time favourites now! =))
Since this was another buddy read my special thanks go to my adorable Gansey!! Girl, thank you so much for reading this book with me! I loved our conversations and that we just couldn’t seem to be able to stop gushing about Laurent and Damen! <333 It was so much fun to experience this series with you and I’m so damn thankful I got to know you through goodreads!!! Let’s buddy read even more series together! I’m so ready! XD <3
2 reviews10 followers
February 7, 2016
Dear Author,
First of all I would like to compliment you on book 1 and 2 of this saga, because they not only were written exceptionally well, they also bespoke of an acute, detail/oriented, forward/thinking mind. Unfortunately, these are also the reasons behind my poor rating: while your writing ability remains intact, the carefully planned strategies you had shown us in the past two books quite simply disappear, and are replaced by sheer luck.
Chapter two: Laurent wakes up bound to a chair in the prison cells of Fontaine and the only thing we are told is that there was an ambush and that Laurent does not want to think about what happened to his men. How is this possible Miss Pacat? We leave Laurent at the end of book two with 120 riders that have just demonstrated their worth at Hellay and are ready to fight to take Fortaine, to suddenly find out, without any explanation, that said strong contingent has not only been ambushed and defeated (how? by a stronger contingent? If so, whose men where those?), but that Laurent, when he saw his men being attacked and understood he might loose, did not even try to send a messenger to Damen to inform him. But let us suspend our judgment for a minute and concentrate on Laurent, bound to that chair, with his right shoulder dislocated and with the hilt of a knife protruding from it: ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for a miracle: Laurent manages to pick up a heavy oak chair and swing it with enough force to stun and later kill Govert. Now, I am not a medical doctor, but this whole scene seems a bit far fetched to me, and more appropriate to a Rambo/like film. Miss Pacat however has not finished: Laurent is now free, while Guion is confined inside the cell, and the author presents the situation as if it were Laurent the one with the upper hand. But let us reflect one minute: we were told that the Prince of Vere was tied to a chair in the cells of Fortaine, which means that he actually was inside Fortaine, which means that, even if he managed to escape his cell he still is inside the enemy’s fortress, and I do not suppose that an enemy fortress is quite that easy to escape from. Moreover Laurent’s threat to leave Guion inside the cell is supposedly enough to convince him to cooperate, but there are two main problems with this scenario: if the master of the keep suddenly disappears I do believe that his people would search for him, and they would presumably search the whole keep, and the cells are part of it, so it would be quite impossible not to find him. Secondly, let us imagine we are Guion: Laurent threatens us and we are scared enough to accept his conditions... But as soon as Laurent let us out from that cell our best interest would be to renege our deal and to kill him: he is alone in our keep, where the men are loyal to us and his uncle would reward us for it, while helping Laurent would only cause us problems, so Guion’s sudden choice to help the Prince of Vere does not truly make sense.
Chapter three: who are the prince’s men camped outside Fortaine? Are they what remains of Laurent’s forces after they were ambushed? Are they Fortaine keep’s men that became the prince’s men when Guion shifted his loyalties? Or are they part of the Regent’s army, sent to help Guion ambush Laurent’s forces? And, if so, why has their commander suddenly decided to abandon the Regent? Just because Guion said so?
Chapter four: Laurent bargains with Damen. This is where Laurent’s personality goes from rational and calculating to emotional: the prince needs Damen’s help to win the war, and he decides the best way to do that is to reveal to his would be ally how he used and manipulated him, and then to threaten him. The author would have us believe that a man like Laurent, instead of using Damen’s feelings to further his own goals, decides to unload his resentment and bitterness right when a united front would be most important.
Chapter seven: the banner men of Delpha are called to pledge themselves to fight alongside Damen, and one of them is worried that Vere could have undue influence over Akieos due to the fact that Laurent and Damen are lovers. Laurent is able to assuage Barieus’ fears telling him that one would be ice/cold to sleep with one’s brother’s killer, so basically denying the accusation. A few chapters later however Laurent and Damen are discovered by an akielon soldier while in bed together, and inexplicably nobody is surprised or angered by this, especially the Veretians show no reaction to the fact that their leader is bedding the prince/killer, alias who is probably the most hated man in the whole country. Nobody questions Laurent’s decision or leadership, nobody worries about Damen’s possible influence over him.
Chapter nine: the games. Miss Pacat, I do understand the need to make the lead character stronger and better than everybody else, but there is no need to make him super/human. Not only in chapter two Damen, like a perfect killing machine, seems almost able to win the fight all by himself, but now he is even able to catch a flying spear with his bare hand, and than, not satisfied enough with that, he is able to throw it ”over the full, impossible length of the field, to thunk into the target alongside Laurent’s spear...”. Bravo Terminator!
Let us talk about Makedon now: there are no shadows of gray with his character, in fact at first he hates all things Veretian, and then, after Laurent’s skill at okton and at drinking he does a 180 turn and suddenly he behaves warmly towards the prince and speaks to him ”as he might with a favoured nephew a bit slow at learning”. This seems a bit far fetched to me and not an appropriate reflection of reality, exactly like a teetotaler suddenly able not only to drink a lot, but to maintain control and best an usual drinker to a game.
Furthermore, during the discussion about tactics Laurent is completely silent... What a change from the prince we met in the second book, that stayed awake long hours at night to discuss precisely tactics with Damen.!
Chapter thirteen: after their night together Damen and Laurent talk together and Laurent describes his plans and contingencies, and this makes Damen quite happen because he sees it as a way for the prince to be open with him. But at kingsmeet, later on, we discover that Laurent had decided from the beginning to give himself up to his uncle in exchange for the child, so when Laurent spoke with Damen either he lied to him or omitted the truth. In any case this shows a lack of trust between the two and results in a situation in which Laurent (the supposed strategist), is completely at the mercy of his uncle and it befalls Damen to think of a way to free him.
Chapter seventeen to the end: here lies my main problem with the book, in fact what happens in these three chapters is pure, unaltered, sheer luck and not the forward thinking, the complicated strategies, Miss Pacat has enthralled us with in the previous books. First problem: Damien decides to come alone to Ios and to surrender himself to the regent. This leads to his being brought in front of the Veretian council, where Laurent is being tried: Damen is lucky, because nothing guaranteed this particular outcome, which in fact clearly benefits only him, and neither his half/brother or the regent (usually quite smart), that could have, for example kept him in a cell to deal with later, at their own convenience. In chapter eighteen we discover Damen great plan is to call Guion to the stand, which results in utter disaster, until we find out that Laurent’s plan had been all along to have Guion’s wife testify: so now the author suggests that Laurent planned this whole situation, presumably to save the day, but only a few pages later we find out that Laurent brought Loyse simply to clear Damen’s name. How in the world does this make sense? Laurent's great plan would be this: in case Damen is as stupid as me, and decides to simply give himself up, like a sacrificial lamb, I will make sure to bring a witness to testify his innocence, except that this will not help him at all, because the minute Damen gives himself up to the regent and to Kastor he is dead, regardless of the council’s decision, and I refuse to believe that a mind like Laurent did not understand this. The only possible explanation is that Laurent has transformed into a besotted fool, which is truly a shame, because in this case means that love, instead of making him stronger, has simply reduced his intellectual faculties. But now comes the best part: Damen, the loyal brute we all know and love, has a moment of brilliance and makes a connection nobody, not even Laurent (our resident genius) had been able to do before: there is somebody in that group able to testify against the regent: again sheer luck. But this is not simply luck, this is the ”Deus ex/machina” one would expect from a playwrighter, something spectacular and unexpected, able to solve any problem and guarantee an total victory for our heroes, without any planning needed. There is only one problem with this kind of device: you need to suspend belief, you need not question how it happened, because soon as you do that, you realize it is completely unbelievable. Does the author truly want us to believe that miraculously Damen made that connection and that the man with all the answers is right there, ready to speak and with a very convenient letter that he brought with him, just in case something like this were to happen? And why has this man not spoken before (for example with Laurent)? And if Damen had not called him out, would he not have spoken on his own? And how many probabilities were there that this mysterious man, of all the people it could be (Jord, for example), is precisely the doctor, the right man in the right place? Again I repeat: sheer luck.
Finally, one last inaccuracy: Laurent has been bound with his hands behind his back for hours and hours, but a few minutes after being freed he is able to fight with a sword and to defeat a seasoned fighter like Kastor.

Dear author, I am truly sorry, because you are a gifted writer and I cannot but ask myself how and why this whole débacle happened. As I do not personally know you (a shame because I would like to compliment you on the idea behind this saga and on the first two books, that were absolutely exceptional and breath/taking), the only thing I can say that changed between the first two books and the third is the publisher, Penguin, and I wonder if, and how, this might have had an impact on your work.
I wish you the best and hope you will continue your writing career, because a talent like yours rarely present itself. Please forgive me if my review was in any way offensive to you, I assure you this was not the intention but unfortunately when one has to criticize something the line between constructive critique and attack are not always that clear.

Elena Giacon

P.S. I beg your pardon for any grammatical mistakes, as an Italian I do often have troubles with English grammar...
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,155 followers
July 21, 2017
Like earlier books in this series, 'Kings Rising' had my rapt attention from beginning to end. This book was action-packed and full of emotion. It broke my heart, only to piece it back together slowly. I loved every minute!

This book sees both Damen and Laurent fighting to reclaim their kingdoms. Despite their differences, the two are forced into a tenuous alliance. They need one another, if either of them hopes to succeed. This makes for plenty of emotional highs and lows along the way as the two attempt to navigate through their new realities. In many ways, the tables have turned. At the same time, so much remains unchanged.

Finally, all of Damen's secrets are out in the open. No longer does he live in fear of what will happen when Laurent finds out who he really is. Instead, he now lives with his wrath. If he thought that Laurent would be angry, he was right.

To say that I found this a little hypocritical is putting it mildly. I kept thinking, "where does Laurent get off?" After all, Damen was his slave by force. Of course he would keep a secret like that. What did he expect him to do, tell his captor his true identity and face certain death?

That feeling only grew stronger as Laurent revealed some secrets of his own. I mean, where did he get off being so self-righteous? It seemed to me that Damen was played, yet again. If anything, Laurent proved, once again, to be one of the most manipulative characters that I've ever encountered.

Even so, I cannot deny that I absolutely loved this book. Every interaction between Damen and Laurent was like a delicious little drop of heaven for me. I spent the moments between their encounters holding my breath, waiting for their next interaction. It was pathetic really, but I have no shame.

In the end, I was left feeling quite satisfied. I wasn't sure that these two would ever get there, but they eventually get some peace. I'm not a big fan of M/M romances generally, but I absolutely loved this series. It was heartfelt and sexy, with plenty of action along the way. The characters and storyline were well-developed and engaging. I would definitely recommend this series to others.

Check out more of my reviews at www.bookadddicthaven.com
Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 10 books7,467 followers
February 13, 2016

No rating. For now. Up until the 80% mark this was five stars all the way. But that ending...

I feel like I should add more here, so I will. If I were forced to rate this now, based on the series as a whole, this would be a solid four stars. I guess what I'm saying is don't let this review concern you or keep you from reading these books. This ending is perfectly satisfactory. For most books. But after the level of brilliance in the second one in this series, it just can't compare. It was too neat. Too tidy. Too...bloodless. And that's why I'm having trouble rating it.
Profile Image for Judith.
724 reviews2,598 followers
August 3, 2016

It's official....Laurent and Damen are up there as one of my favourite M/M couples.This series was everything I hoped it would be and this book is definitely the best in the series.....

First thing,a MASSIVE thank you to Em for lending me this series.The price definitely put me off.
I really can't explain how much I loved this story.So,with 3 books in the series it's the ultimate slow burn.
Enemies to lovers that's so compelling and captivating.The scene setting was beautiful,the characters(while not always likable) were so well developed and fascinating.I'm not even going to attempt to explain the story here...let's face it,if you've read the first two books you'll be desperate to read this one.

Damen and Laurent completely stole my heart.This will be a series I read over and over....
Just amazing!!

BR with Andrea.Thanks,darling for going through the finale of this beautiful story with me.
Profile Image for wesley.
223 reviews234 followers
February 15, 2016
Disclaimer: This is a combined review of all three books because I had to read everything in one go; else, I wouldn’t survive.

My first thought after I slightly recovered (heavy emphasis on ‘slightly’) from the Captive Prince magic was, “This deserves a movie series!”

And, “Why isn’t there a movie series yet?”

damen and laurent
Deviantart by: chiihun

Because no series is this vividly detailed yet deceptively good. From the onset, Pacat had created this intricate web – so perfectly woven and exquisitely crafted that you just can’t help but admire it, touch it and before you know it, you’ve been spun in her web, entangling you in silken beauty.

Pacat is a master story teller. Every word, phrase, sentence is purposeful and relevant. Every metaphor, symbolism, and foreshadowing amplified yet subdued. Pacat reinvents the rules of storytelling. Her brand is hers and hers alone.

I love every character she has introduced in each book. Each one, distinct and memorable. In each book, Pacat brought forth new flavors to old and new characters alike. No character stayed dormant with each one continuously evolving and growing along with the story.

Damen and Laurent’s relationship arc was perfectly crafted. In the first half of the series, I was unsure of the romance, because nothing is absolute with Pacat. But I admire how she cultivated their romance such that it stayed more as an undercurrent rather than a raging torrent. When the dam finally broke, all the push and pull of anticipation had been worth it. Straightforward, honest Damen and cold, cunning Laurent – the perfect opposition; Fire and Ice. Until the end, the tension between the two never wavered. These characters alone have added an extra layer to an already gripping and intriguing storyline.

laurent and damen collage

Reading this series can be likened to watching an exclusive game of chess. Every move is well thought of, every twist a revelation. It’s a steadily building series where strategy is key and can either end with a king’s checkmate or both kings on a stalemate. But you have to reach the end to find out. *wink*

Profile Image for Julio Genao.
Author 9 books1,980 followers
February 5, 2016
i... don't quite know what just happened, but i'm pretty sure it happened directly to my face.


review to come, after i've consulted my cats.

...and a healthcare professional.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
832 reviews3,722 followers
February 15, 2021
No rating so far, possibly forever. I AM TOO CONFUSED.

Involvement : I just binge read the three books in two days. I'm pretty sure that it speaks for itself. If not, DUH, these books are more addictive than Nutella.

Exhilaration : You can't even imagine how deep I fell for Laurent. Give me a tortured, complex end borderline psycho heart, I'll be intrigued. Add a twisted and convoluted mind, I'll lose my breathe. Make him genuinely smile and I'll love him forever. God, how he made me laugh. I adore him and I MISS HIM ALREADY.

Mirth : GAWD. Many scenes made me burst out laughing, helplessly trying to contain myself. Laurent and Damen's interactions were priceless and I'm still smiling thinking about them. The awkwardness!! GAH. It was the BEST.

Perplexity : I'm sorry, but I can't wrap my head around Damen's naivety. When I call something in book one, I don't expect for the MC to act all surprised when it's revealed in book three. I mean, how fucking stupid is he to miss the billions clues popping out everywhere? Anticlimactic at its best, sadly.

Disbelief : I'm not one to complain a lot about far-stretched plots in fantasy, but really, the ending did not sit well with me. Are these people for real? For all the ways that it could have ended, I found the last 20% hardly coherent and way too convenient for me to take it seriously.

BUT. In the end, I'm bursting with -

Pride : The growth and evolution of these well-rounded characters are part of the best I ever read, with loyalty and trust in the heart of them. I am so, so glad I gave these books a chance because trust me, this journey was a roller coaster of emotions, and it feels wrong to reduce it as a simple romance. This is more. So much more. This said, Kings Rising was notably focused on Laurent and Damen's relationship , which wasn't the case in the two previous books. I won't say that it bothered me, given the fact that I've been waiting for some action since the beginning.

*wiggles eyebrows*

► Don't let my pang of disappointment prevent you for meeting these characters. Albeit harsh (see my review of book one), C.S. Pacat's story will linger in my heart a very long time.

PS. Thank you Navessa for your support through those. It was MUCH NEEDED.

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Midnight.
39 reviews
February 16, 2016
After reading this final installment, I didn't feel like writing a review because I realized I had very little nice to say about it. The writing itself is great, as far as style goes and there was not a moment where I felt bored. It sure kept me at the edge of my seat, however, not in a good way. Most of the book, I've found myself frustrated, hastily reading to reach a point where my hopes would be fulfilled and I could go, "Yes! Finally justice!" Alas, that moment never came. I have to say, this book disappointed me on several levels, the characters, the action (some scenes), the anti-climatic ending…I've broken up my review into sections, but I will only cover the big moments, there's a lot of minor moments and things I omit, because then this would be a novel. If you loved the book, don't read further. I am aware that I'm in the minority and most people seem to love the book, but this is just my opinion and I'm not here to argue with anyone, so if you disagree, good for you but whatever.

The Regent
There's a lot to say about the Regent but for me, one of the major things that I've hated throughout the series and hoped would be shattered in this book is his Mary-Sue-esque quality. It's as though nobody can outsmart him, he is always two-five steps ahead of everyone, can predict nearly everything, keep everyone so afraid of him that nobody ever dares question him. He simply seems unstoppable and almighty, because no matter what L&D do, they can't even catch up to him, nevermind keeping the pace. They never once are on equal footing with him. I find that unbelievable. It worked, to an extent, in the first two books, but in this book I expected them to finally outmaneuver him. He doesn't seem to have any weaknesses, doesn't make any true mistakes that would cost him and have dire consequences. The Council doesn't once (except in the end) question him, they believe his every word or pretend to. He was never the King, so he never should've had even half the power he attained and the fact that not even these supposedly smart council members seemed to realize it or have the guts to question it or attempt to hear Laurent's side instead of blindly believing the Regent. There was no real opposition, no attempts on his life, no rebellion or anything. There was only ever Laurent, having to fight for what is rightfully his and go it alone. Nobody truly supported, no one seemed to notice the abuse, and the rest of what the Regent did, and nobody seemed to care. The Regent is elevated to some all powerful mastermind, and even the "mistakes" (never true ones) he makes seem calculated in by him. In the end, it was some minor character's bringing him down in an almost casual "just passing through" way. Laurent and Damen, even united, never once were a real threat to him and had zero chance to defeat him.

The whole situation with Govart is hard to believe as well. Who is Govart? Some random soldier, a nobody, what's his word worth? Nothing. Some letter written by another random and now dead soldier also means zilch. So what stopped the Regent from simply killing Govart? Nothing. Yet for some mysterious reason he not only let him live, but also gave into his demands to an extent.

It's like Laurent becomes a whole new character in this book. He suddenly stops being smart and going with his head, and runs with his emotions and heart instead, especially at Kingsmeet. He is ready to beg and die for a guy that he's hated for years, for a guy that killed his brother and destroyed his life. And he doesn't even care about it anymore. He easily jokes around with Damen about his possible interactions with Auguste, the hatred for Damen disappears lightning fast (in this book), hell, he even easily shrugs off years of abuse and eagerly dives into bed with Damen, with no flashbacks, or flinches caused by sudden memories, no triggers or anything. It's like parts of his memory had been been wiped and he is a whole new person with no awful baggage to surface at random moments. It's like, "Oh, you'd get on with my brother like a house on fire, I'm sure. I mean, if you hadn't killed him of course. But anyhow, he'd have liked you." Ummkay. In this book, he's no longer that smart, he's not careful, he takes stupid risks (like pretending to be Charls) and makes dumb, unnecessary sacrifices, not giving a damn about all the people he managed to rally behind him. He loses sight of priorities and jeopardizes everything he's worked so hard for, for what…love? Doubtful. It just doesn't make any sense.

Then there are the moments when his characters slides into Mary-Sue territory as well, like escaping from the cell and killing Govart, the Okton and him winning with zero explanation on how he can even do it all considering it's a foreign game he's mostly likely never tried before.

I expected Damen's character to develop and grow in this book, become stronger, not physically, but mentally. If he is supposed to rule, be the king, he needs to be less naive and be able to make tough decisions. He didn't show it here and in the baby-scene it's absolutely obvious that he is unable to do so, unable to go down to that cell and face Jokaste and tell her something like, "You know what, I don't care about some baby, there'll be others, but I need to fight for my people and kingdom here and now. Execute her." Instead he sends Laurent and then follows and listens in, like some coward. I felt like his character didn't really grow, he didn't mature or learn much from previous mistakes as evident when he offers to spare Kastor's life. In that moment, it's clear that Damen did not learn a damn thing and didn't change. He remains the ever naive fool. He doesn't even seem to clue in to the fact that Laurent's been abused, that or he doesn't care.

Then, there is the surrender. I don't buy it for a second. Damen is consistently portrayed as a fighter, a fighter that never gives up no matter the odds. He doesn't simply surrender especially when he knows it'll likely be his death and he has little chance of saving Laurent. I mean, he had to be absolutely brainless to think he had a shot in hell with his little speech about being proud to be Laurent's lover (like that means something?). I would've expected him to get into the palace through secret passages and make a diversion, like maybe setting it on fire to create chaos and have a chance of getting Laurent out of there or alt. finally killing the Regent. But nope, he surrenders. Probably gonna surrender when he's king and there's an enemy army standing at his gates, too. I mean why not. Seems like a solid plan. For all the time the author spent building up his character as a physically strong one, a warrior, etc. it didn't matter or play any real role in the end. He stood there like a lamb facing slaughter and he couldn't even dispose of Kastor on his own.

In this book, Jokaste was basically transformed into Laurent 2.0 with no clear reason. It made zero sense for her to be his female copy. I tried to find a possible explanation, but there was none and thus, the transformation seemed unnecessary and highly annoying. It made Damen seem shallow, and as though he only picked Laurent because he "fit the mold" not because he actually liked him for the person he is. Jokaste's character was also completely destroyed, suddenly she became a sorts of psychic hero sacrificing herself for Damen's life. She apparently could predict everything…and then that begs the question, if she could and was as smart as we are led to believe, why couldn't she attempt to change things up by having Kastor killed off somewhere or something. No, let's take the most complicated and all around horrible path! What. Again, makes no sense. And they let her escape, along with her half-royal bastard. Wonderful.

The baby-situation
First of all, this is such a tired, old cliche and I was disappointed to see it here. There's no need for soap-opera ploys in book like this. Knowing how treacherous and conniving Jokaste is, the fact that Damen would suddenly believe that the baby was his and that he would care that much about some baby he's never seen is unbelievable. In the other books iirc it was mentioned how he probably has a ton of children running around somewhere, and he clearly didn't care about them, so why would he care about this one. It wasn't believable at all that both of them would care so much for some random baby that might not even be Damen's that they'd basically throw away everything they'd worked so hard for and alter their plans to save it. The fates of two kingdoms/nations against that of one baby...well, the choice is obvious here.

Truly one of the worst scenes in the book was the one at Kingsmeet. First of all, there is no actual reason (that'd make sense) for them to even go there. But they still risk everything to go there, meet the Regent, be utterly humiliated by him and let Laurent be captured in some mad sacrifice for Damen. It's out of character for both of them, for Laurent as a strategist he had to keep check of priorities, and he didn't. He acted like a complete fool, even when drunk he was never that stupid or careless. Damen…a fighter, his abilities showcased several times and bordering on supernatural, and he fails to use the opportunity to snap the Regent in half, really? Instead he goes raving mad attacking others and let's himself be subdued, this after he almost single-handedly won the battle in the beginning of the book? And when he thought Laurent betrayed him, on top of that? Now, with the clear threat right in front of them, and Laurent there, he should've gone for the kill, but nope.

The Council
The Council seemed absolutely useless for most of the trilogy. I wonder why they had to be painted as some mindless fools who "had one job." They never seemed to question the Regent, they never seemed to even attempt to get through to Laurent, get to know him, hear his side, etc. and looking after him and helping him was their job. They were just there, for no apparent reason, than to suddenly and miraculously switch sides in the end. It made no sense for them to suddenly turn around, either. They had to have known that Laurent was abused, unless they were completely brain dead and blind, of course. No one cared. Then suddenly they hear about Aimeric and suddenly care? There had to be at least one person, smart enough and/or brave enough to oppose the Regent earlier or at least undermine his influence yet there was nobody. Their sudden shift in views seems to make no sense and there's no real explanation either. They might as well have thrown a damn coin to help them pick sides. Considering they are the ones to "save the day" I expected more believability.

The battle with Kastor
This is another scene where any semblance of realism got thrown out the window. Damen chases after Kastor, to kill him, as one would expect considering everything that went down. But no, Damen chased after him to offer to spare his life. Believability - zero. He should've just let him get away then. After everything that Kastor's done, Damen still has trouble finishing him off? I don't believe it, not for a second. Kastor is the man that 1. Damen barely even knows, 2. Killed his father, 3. Betrayed Damen, 4. Usurped the throne and 5. Conspired with the Regent. He attacks Damen with intention to kill, and yet Damen still can't retaliate. At this point, I wondered if Damen suffered great brain damage or something. Then, along comes Laurent, to save the day and manages to dispatch Kastor despite being tied up for hours prior and despite Kastor being stronger and more experienced. Wow. Plausibility, what's that.

The Ending
After building up the characters (L&D) in the first two books, showcasing their strength and intelligence to then go and end the book with them surviving thanks to sheer luck, well…If it weren't for a random happenstance, a chance of two minor character coming along and providing some poorly supported evidence and then, amazingly, the Council actually believing them, both Laurent and Damen would have been executed. I found it unbelievable for the two of them to make such great mistakes, after enduring hardships and working so hard to do away with the Regent. They hung by a very thin thread and only survived thanks to minor characters and a luck. To me, that is a ludicrous ending to this trilogy. It destroys them as characters and no amount of suspend disbelief can help it here. In this book, they are brought lower than low, humiliated on several occasion, going so far as to beg on their knees and they never get the chance to truly retaliate, there's never a chance for them to fight the Regent and defeat him. They never even get close to being on equal footing with him, nevermind winning. That was the biggest disappointment to me and made no sense. All this build up, all the sacrifices made, all the experience, all the hardships to result in such an anti-climatic end. A true shame.

The book could've done with an Epilogue, providing a glimpse at the aftermath and tying up some loose ends. I know there's a short story coming later, but that's different. The ending of this book seemed abrupt and uncertain, leaving too many questions. What it came down to was this, "By sheer luck, the main chars escaped execution and the bad guys were quickly killed. A true miracle! End of story." After waiting for years, I expected it to be better, I expected an epic fight, a grand finale, a true victory and justice served. Therefor, I am highly disappointed with this lukewarm, anti-climatic end, where some minor whatstheirnames characters come in to save the day, while the main characters are being utter fools with zero explanation for it.

/End of unpopular opinion. I loved the first two books, so it pains me to give this book only one star. Alas.
Profile Image for Lucie V..
998 reviews1,633 followers
July 9, 2022
Oh. My. God.

✅ Hate-to-love
✅ Characters
✅ Sexual tension and smut (MM)
✅ Romance
✅ Political scheming
✅ Pace
✅ Plot
✅ Action and war
❗️❗️ This series is highly addictive
❗️❗️ Trigger warnings : slavery, murders, and mentions of incest and pedophilia.

I decided to give this series a try and to read the first book because it was intriguing, and here I am, 36 hours later, having just finished the third book of this series and wondering why I didn't read it sooner.

Kings Rising is a book full of deceptions, fights, and unexpected turns. The plot is so compelling and so full of twists, some of them I saw coming, but some of them took me completely by surprise. I read it all in one sitting, and there was no way I would have been able to stop reading before I knew how Damen and Laurent's adventure would end. The political intrigue in this book is intense, and Laurent's scheming still took me by surprise even after reading about his cleverness in the two previous books.

The pace of this series is intense, yet among all the fights and betrayal, there are sweet and quiet moments that had me smiling like an idiot, and that gave more depth to the story and the characters.

"I hated you," said Laurent. "I hated you so badly I thought I’d choke on it. If my uncle hadn’t stopped me, I would have killed you. And then you saved my life, and every time I needed you, you were there, and I hated you for that, too."

This series is also my first time reading an M/M romance, and I am speechless. The author managed to build a slow-burn romance (one of the best I've ever read), that really reflected how both characters were torn between their feelings and the fact that they should hate the other. I loved how we got to see the complexity of their feelings, even though Damen is a strong fighter and Laurent is used to hide his feelings to protect himself.

"I think if I gave you my heart, you would treat it tenderly."

I LOVE THIS SERIES. Truly. Deeply. The first book might be more controversial because of the pleasure slave business, but the rest of the series is really more focused on politics, fighting, and a complex enemies-to-lovers relationship. It is an amazing series that I strongly recommend to anyone looking for a great slow-burn enemies-to-lovers relationship and an incredible and unpredictable political plot-line.

Captive Prince ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
Prince's Gambit ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Artwork by Merwild (it's so gorgeous I want to cry!) 😍😍

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Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,625 reviews5,067 followers
June 11, 2018
#1 Captive Prince ★★★★★
#2 Prince's Gambit ★★★★★
#3 King's Rising ★★★★★

Spoilers ahead for the first two books!

A kingdom, or this.

Holy hell. I was not ready for this series to end. What I wouldn't give for a fourth book, even if it was just full of domestic fluff and precious, tender little moments. I would pay good money for a limitless supply of Laurent's wicked snark and Damen's kindness. When I began this series, I never could have guessed that it would mean so much to me. I expected a fun, dramatic romance, but I got so much more. I got politics, betrayal, war, and one of the most phenomenal slow burns I’ve ever seen in my life. C. S. Pacat has fully perfected the enemies-to-lovers trope, and I’m not sure that I’ll ever see it done better than it was in these books.

There was a warmth in his chest whenever he looked at Laurent. He didn't look often for that reason.

In the beginning of the book, we watch Damen and Laurent forced into yet another stand-off, and the distance is so incredibly bittersweet. My heart ached so many times in such a short span of this story, because the longing that Damen feels is described in breathtaking detail. Pacat’s capability for writing angst and turmoil shone in this final installment, but along with it, came her incredible knack for writing tenderness and care. I found myself wanting to tab entire pages, just so I could easily come back and reread them whenever I need a pick-me-up. ❤️

“I think if I gave you my heart, you would treat it tenderly.”

Out of everything in this series, though, nothing took me off guard as much as the way I would grow to cherish sweet, vicious little Laurent. He is a twisted, conniving, brilliant young man, but his cleverness is unmatched and his kindnesses are so subtle and hidden that they mean all the more for it. I distinctly remember saying, while reading the first book, that I couldn’t fathom ever appreciating his character, and I was so wrong. Laurent is one of the best examples of three-dimensional writing I have ever seen, and he and Damen alike will always hold a special place in my heart for how real they feel.

“I have not the means to defend against this.”
Profile Image for jessica.
2,508 reviews31k followers
May 27, 2018
i really dont want to spoil anything but i am beyond happy with the conclusion of this trilogy. which rarely ever happens - usually i lose interest as a series progresses, but this was the opposite for me - it only got better! i enjoyed how the story was wrapped up nicely (not without a few twists here and there) and loved that everything fell into place for the better. the ending was a little abrupt in my opinion (which left me wanting more), and i still believe all three books should have been combined into one instead of being separated, but overall i have nothing but positive feelings for this story!

4 stars
Profile Image for Lucía.
169 reviews2,338 followers
February 5, 2016
4.5 estrellas



Y LO LEERE APENAS QUE regrese del trabajo TTT-TTT.
Profile Image for Simona B.
887 reviews2,973 followers
May 12, 2017
One of my favourite series ever, one of the most touching and intense love stories I've ever read. It has and will always hold an exclusive place in my heart.

“Hello, lover.”

Let it be known that the Captive Prince series is something beautiful, precious, heady and spectacular. I want the whole world to read this, and people, I'm going to do it. I'm going to rave about this series so much that everyone will end up reading it just to shut me up.
(I won't stop even then, though.)

I have already specified elsewhere what it is that charms me so much about these books, but I'll repeat it, just to be sure that you can catch at least a glimpse of the impossible amount of awesomeness awaiting you among these pages.

•Absolutely perfect, well-rounded characters. The protagonists, Laurent and Damen, are masterful literary creations, the fruits of a genius' mind. I'm not exaggerating: their conversations, their interactions, not only those between the two of them but also with others, are precise, chiseled, and they exactly mirror their personality so as to seem, beyond any doubt, carefully studied and thought-out, and yet their feel is incredibly natural and spontaneous. This both helps the reader to get attached to them, and provide them with a complexity that only adds to their characterization.

“Don't,” said Laurent, “toy with me. I-have not the means to-defend against this.”

•Speaking of this, I've always been a fan of Pacat's writing style, and I'll always be. Her prose is wonderful, her sentences articulate and beautifully sophisticated, yet so easy to read that you find yourself swept away, but gently, in the stream of her words.

•The romance (seriously, you thought I wouldn't mention that). Useless to say, it had me sold from book one, because, again, the interactions between the teo main characters are sheer perfection and each syllable that goes between them gives me thrills. The excruciatingly slow, and for this very reason inconceivably sweet and gripping, development of their relationship is the truest core of this story, and in my opinion it can be described only as a work of art. I know I am using a lot of hyperbolic expressions here, but, in sheer honesty, I'm usually rather reluctant to use them (and sure enough, even my four-star reviews happen to be full of reasons why to dislike the book instead of the opposite), so believe me when I say that, in these case, all my praises are totally deserved.
So, yes. Damen and Laurent won and broke and then mended again my poor, sore, swollen heart.

“Laurent said, “No. I’m not here to-” He said, “I'm just here.”

(Yes, a lot of Laurent's quotes here. I loved him too much in this book.)

•On the other hand, I couldn't ignore a couple of flaws (see the part where I complain about my complaining tendency). For example, I would have like to see more of that twisted political intricacy that we see in the second book -which is, for me, the best installment in the series. We have some here too, though, so I'm not going to mke a storm in a teacup out of this. But again, I missed seeing Laurent's sharp, cunning mind at work 24/7.

•The ending is a bit rushed and abrupt -thank god Pacat's plans include an adjacent project, which I suggest you check out.
Also, I had the impression that things untangled a bit too easily, and that didn't feel very realistic.

Anyway, I can sincerely say that the book lived up to my expectations. Now the only thing that could make me happier is Pacat delivering that blessed prologue, in which, I understand, everything can happen. Hey, how am I supposed not to indulge my wildest dreams when Damen says things like this:

and the both of them say things like this:

Oh my sweetness.

EDIT 02/02/16: I can't believe this is happening.

EDIT 09/15: Please book let them be together Please book let them be together Please book let them be together Please book let them be together Please book let them be together Please book let them be together Please book let them be together.

Did I mention they should be together?
Profile Image for TheCrazyWorldOfABookLover.
362 reviews859 followers
January 10, 2020

‘Laurent of Vere. They say you’re frigid. They say you rebuff all your suitors, that no man has been good enough to prise your legs apart. I believe you thought it would be brutish and physical, and maybe a part of you even wanted it that way. But you and I both know that Damen does not make love like that. He took you slowly. He kissed you until you started to want it.’

Laurent said, ‘Don’t stop on my account.’

‘You let him undress you. You let him put his hands on you. They say you hate Akielons, but you let one into your bed. You weren’t expecting what it felt like when he touched you. You weren’t expecting the weight of his body, how it felt to have his attention, to have him want you.’

‘You left out the part near the end, when it was so good I let myself forget what he’d done.’

W H A T K I N D O F P E R F E C T I O N...

 photo 3_zpsmhiwuhrr.gif

This book has completely shredded my heart and probably has ruined anything I attempt to read next.

I want to thank whatever higher being made C.S. Pacat and this series possible.

I'm obviously not going to talk about the plot because, spoilers. I’m just— [insert heavy keysmashing here] I can’t properly form my thoughts about this story through my EXTREMELY OVERLOADED EMOTIONS right now, so here, have some of my favorite quotes:

He said, into the stillness, ‘I think if I gave you my heart, you would treat it tenderly.'
------ *collapses*

‘When you make love to me like that, I can’t think.’
‘Don’t think,’ said Damen. Damen saw the flickering change, the tension, as the words provoked an internal battle. Damen said, ‘Don’t think.’
‘Don’t,’ said Laurent, ‘toy with me. I—have not the means to—defend against this.’
‘I don’t toy with you.’
‘Don’t think,’ said Damen.
‘Kiss me,’ said Laurent. And then flushed, a rich colour. Don’t think, Damen had said, but Laurent couldn’t do that. Even to sit there after what he had said, he was fighting a battle in his head. The words hung awkwardly, a blurt, but Laurent didn’t take them back, he just waited, his body singing with tension. Instead of leaning in, Damen took Laurent’s hand, brought it towards himself, and kissed his palm, once.

------ **I’m choking someone halp**

After a moment, Laurent said, ‘He would have liked you.’
‘Even after I started courting his little brother?’ said Damen carefully.

‘I would court you,’ said Damen, ‘with all the grace and courtesy that you deserve.’


and even though the ending wasn't as bloody as I would have liked (what? I'm a prude who likes gore.) I couldn't have wished for a better ending for these two.

 photo raw_zpsztwe4zg3.gif


I'm going to need everyone to read this. Read it. Read it to be stunned, to fall in love, to witness what an incredible series should be.

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March 19, 2021
”I think if I gave you my heart, you would treat it tenderly”.

Y así acaba la trilogía de Captive Prince, con un libro lleno de revelaciones, enfrentamientos, jugadas políticas y momentos tiernos. ¿Fue esta trilogía todo lo que esperaba? No. Y creo que es culpa de que las personas no saben venderla o recomendarla como lo que realmente es. A mí me la recomendaron como si fuera una trilogía romántica o erótica, un love-lust fest en todo su esplendor, pero en realidad es una trilogía de fantasía adulta con un historia de amor, pero no es el punto central de la trama. Y como esperaba algo diferente creo que no la disfruté al máximo.

En este último libro la identidad de Damianos ha sido revelada y depende de él y Laurent salvar a sus dos reinos de los tiranos que han querido apropiarse de ellos. Así que a través de jugadas de ingenio, sacrificios y movimientos dignos de los estrategas más inteligentes, estos dos legítimos herederos van a tener que arriesgar todo para restaurar el orden del mundo. Todo esto al tiempo que siguen entendiendo su relación, redefiniendo sus límites y aceptando que ya no existe el uno sin el otro.

La verdad es que, al igual que con los otros libros, el aspecto político y de jugadas maestras en la trama me interesaba más bien poco porque yo lo que quería ver era cómo iba a funcionar la relación de Damen y Laurent después de esa bomba de verdad que cae al final del segundo libro. Y sí que tenemos muchos más momentos especiales entre ellos dos y los amé. Me gusta mucho la dinámica que hay entre Damen y Laurent porque, a pesar de que son imbatibles en los campos de batalla y en las cortes, cuando están juntos son tan vulnerables que duele. Y amaba ver esa faceta de los dos.

No puedo decir mucho más sin hacer ningún spoiler, pero en general creo que son libros súper entretenidos y que van a disfrutar un montón si llegan a ellos esperando algo realista. De lo único que me quejo es del final… O sea, ¿dónde está mi epílogo? ¡Necesito saber más después de ese momento!
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) semi-hiatus.
1,084 reviews772 followers
March 29, 2019
Re-Read March 2019

I was clearly asleep when i rated this book 4.5 stars. After the best giant buddy (re) read, i have seen the errors of my rating.

Bumping it up to:

7+++++++ STAN stars


This series is so good i can't even express how good it is.. I can't EVEN!!!!


The Characterization and character development is out of this world.

The story - every word written in this series has a meaning and a deeper meaning.

The world building and everything else in this series.


The MC's - Damen and Laurent, they are the best MC's ever. BEST of the BESTEST!!


And this is too cute....


Thank you so much; Elena, Hayley, Moony, Rosa, Teal and Xia for taking this journey with me. It was so much fun.

4.5 "Hello, Lover." Stars

What more can I say other than, I enjoyed this series. Damen and Laurent were amazing characters I enjoyed their Journey from enemies to allies to lovers, the writing was flawless as usual.

"I think if I gave you my heart, you would treat it tenderly" Awwww


Laurent and Damen are so opposite of each other yet they fit so perfect together, in this book they come together to take back their kingdoms and do it so well. I loved Laurent's mind how he thinks and works. Damien's patience and strength was amazing.

The sex scenes were sensual and very engaging..

I’ve,’ said Damen, ‘never—’
‘Nor have I,’ said Laurent. ‘You’d be my first.’
‘As you’d be mine,’ he heard himself say.
Laurent said, ‘I thought that in Akielos, a First Night was special.’
‘For a slave it is,’ said Damen. ‘For a slave it means everything.’

the Dexter way.



Thank God there is a 30 page book epilogue.

Overall this is a captivating series.

Damen and Laurent.

Profile Image for sarah.
382 reviews260 followers
December 7, 2019
Dear Santa,

my 2019 wishlist
1. world peace
2. a niffler
3. a solid 7 more books in this series

sincerely, a now emotionally unstable Sarah

But honestly, this series grew exponentially better with each book, and I would give my first born child for just a few more books so I can see Damen and Laurent thrive.
August 22, 2018
“I would court you, with all the grace and courtesy that you deserve.”

Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
For centuries wars were won this way - two countries fighting for one cause - to destroy their real enemies.
War is caused by several things but the most common is the hunger for power.
If you get a taste of it there is a craving, a longing that destroys your soul.
It makes you ruthless, makes you lose your loyalty and makes you forget that there is something other than power - like family or love.
Being betrayed by their own families Damen and Laurent understand that the only way to win this waris to fight together.
But still there are secrets that were told and hate and love that is brooding between them. But even though they don’t know if they can trust each other they are sure of one thing and one thing only - they want to take their rightful places as Kings and let justice take place. But justice is hard to gain when there is distrust between two soon-to-be-kings.
With every book I read in this series and with every review I write for these special books I always repeat myself: this book is full of betrayal, intrigues and lots and lots of emotions.
You think: How can there be any more betrayals and intrigues? Isn’t it getting boring?
Let me tell you one thing: this book is every other thing but certainly not boring. Definitely not boring.
It’s exciting and holds the reader on edge because they never know what is coming next. Who’s going to die who’s going to betray who and what will happen next?
I felt too many emotions and my heart was forced to take so many heartbreaks and still I’m so so satisfied and happy that I started and finished this series.
It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t awful. It was a really really good story with great characters and a nice captivating writing.

Character ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The first time I heard about this book one name was burned into my memory.
He was like a beautiful poisonous snake.
When you see it the first time it’s beautiful, fascinating and elegant and so so dangerous.
I was confused by my high interest in him even though I hate mean and brutal characters - but then after reading and getting to know him better I understood - behind that mask of a poisonous monster there was something deep something forced into the shadows of his character.
Kindness, the seeking for justice and love.
I was captivated by his complicated and twisted character and by his intriguing and fascinating mind.
I really really liked him because every time you tried to force him into a role - he broke out of it. You thought of him as a villain?
So he shows you contrary.
In this whole series he was my absolute favorite character.
Next to Damen of course.
Damen my wonderful kindhearted king.
He was never perfect but his character developed into something wonderfully human.
He sought justice and showed loyalty even though he could’ve acted differently.
He trusted his feelings when there was doubt and even though Laurent sometimes treated him horribly he still knew that this was the way Laurent protected himself. With words.
He saw behind the facade and saw the man, the real human person behind it.
And then he fell in love.
And it was wonderful.
I think the characters in this story are a real masterpiece. They’re twisted, complicated and you can never really place them right or predict their movements.
To follow their adventure was exciting and I loved every minute of it.

Relationships ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“I think if I gave your heart, you would treat it tenderly.”
If you ever start this series be warned that there are horrible heartbreaks and other feelings you will feel.
Because this books won’t give you a break when you need it. It’ll destroy you only to force you back to your feet to show you something new and shocking. Something you couldn’t even predict if you tried really really hard.
And with forcing to go through all these heartbreaks my heart began to be vulnerable.
All these betrayals, intrigues and plot twist.
There was no time for a break - until my ship finally sailed I saw something I craved so much - happiness. Pure innocent happiness.
And then I wasn’t vulnerable or angry or sad anymore - I was grinning like and idiot and being a happy little reader.
This one is a really complicated love story where you can never be sure of anything.

Writing style ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Even though I loved the story and the characters, I think this book has a little weakness: it’s really character driven.
It gave the whole story a little bit of a slow pacing.
I know some of you like character driven stories, but I would’ve liked a nice balance of story and characters.
Still it’s one of my favorite stories involving wonderful princes that love each other.
I’m really happy I started and finished it and maybe in a few months or years I’ll reread it in German.

“A kingdom, or this”
Profile Image for LenaLena.
365 reviews149 followers
October 12, 2021
The first third of this book was 5 stars. Laurent and Damen as we've come to know and love them. Laurent with his mind like a nest of scorpions, juxtaposed by straightforward and honorable Damen, who can read him so well. It's dramatic, it's complicated and it's heart warming, this first third. In the second third the niggles of doubt started to set in. I honestly don't mind suspending disbelieve in a romantic fantasy novel, but it was starting to get strained. Both men are crowding into superhero territory and -beyond a certain rah!rah! appeal- I didn't like that it started to eat away at the complexity of the story that was being told.

It is the last third of the book where I could not help but be disappointed. It seemed to me that by insisting on a conventional romance novel ending, crimes were committed against the characterization of both the MCs and the supporting cast, against the wonderful complexity of the plot and to the series setup as a whole. All of a sudden Laurent becomes dumb, Damen becomes oblivious, the Regent incapable and Kastor, who was never really in the books in the first place, could have been replaced by a card board cutout when he first lays eyes on his brother again after his betrayal. I had expected much more deviousness from Jokaste too, after all, she had been described as the female equivalent of Laurent. The reader is presented with a lot of hand-wavy solutions, that lean way too heavy on luck and coincidence, and that just don't hold up to any scrutiny.

The only reason for this deviation from the style of the former 2.5 books that I can come with is that Laurent needed to be molded into a more conventional romance novel type hero(ine?) willing to self sacrifice for Lurve. In the process, his cunning and abrasiveness get dialed down from 'ruthless' to 'quirky'. Personally, I found that a bit insulting to his character. I would have much preferred more battles (which I am normally not a fan of) and tactical planning and double dealing than this simplistic scheme with the fluffy outcome.

Still worth reading, but volume 2 remains by far the best.
Profile Image for Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader).
384 reviews1,213 followers
December 5, 2019
I'm sorry, the old Hayley can't come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, 'cause she's dead!

C.S. Pacat destroyed me. I am in ruins. What is life after finishing the Captive Prince trilogy?

I don’t know and I honestly don’t know if I want to find out.

Should we list some of the evidence that supports the claim that this series made me borderline insane?

1. I lived off Girl Scout cookies and minimal social interactions while reading this. I couldn’t fathom communicating with my boyfriend let alone being a responsible adult.
2. I think about the characters all day, every day.
3. I’m chomping at the bit to watch Gladiator and 300 just so I can picture Damen and Laurent.
4. I went to the ballet and was like, “I wonder if Laurent would be a amazing ballet dancer. I bet he would”, then spent half the ballet picturing Laurent dancing.
5. I listened to the Gladiator soundtrack while reading this and am currently listening to it.
6. I was in the shower singing along the I’m a Slave 4 U by Britney when all the sudden I had this outrageous and hilarious vision of Damen singing and dancing to it for Laurent.

Commit me.

*To me this series is one giant epic, as opposed to three separate books, so this review is for the whole series. Though I will say that the setting of the court of Vere, in book one, was my favorite.

I am wildly in love with every aspect of this story but one of the aspects that bewitched me the most was the world. The world the C.S. Pacat created in the Captive Prince trilogy exists in all shades of grey. There is no black and white, everything is grey. The pets dazzled me and certain tastes horrified me, but everything was so well developed and interesting. I found myself being okay with things that I would never usually let fly, and chalking it up to culture, life decisions, different prospectives, and then truly disgusted by others. This world is cruel and brutal and I absolutely LOVED it. The clash of cultures, the over arching theme of which culture is the most brutal, who are the true barbarians, what is worse, was complex and fascinating.

And the characters within it were just as grey and vicious. They used their minds, their wallets, their bodies, anything to achieve their goals. They betrayed, formed alliances, schemed and fell in love. I loved every single one. There is something that is so fun and satisfying about reading characters who are truly wicked. A main reason is because they are so unpredictable, but also because I felt like a little bit of my own wickedness got to live through them.

I have two words for you: Damen. Laurent.

I will never be able to fully transcribe the love I feel for these two characters into this review, but I will try. Will I make sense? Probably not. In a way they were each other’s yin and yang, if yin and yang existed in a pool of grey. Where one was open and solved problems with the straight forward approach, the other was closed off and brimming with schemes. They were cunning and vicious and awful (one more than the other ;)), but if you peeled back the layers they were also compassionate, broken and tender. They hurt each other just as much as they healed one another. They were so fundamentally different from one another and yet they filled each other’s blindspots. They felt so real and are some of the best written characters I’ve read.

Now, I am Trash with a capital "T" for a good enemies-to-lovers stories and let me just say that this is the best. Reading their romantic development was the sweetest kind of torture. One second I would be about to spontaneously combust, and the next I would want to reach inside my book and bitch slap the shit out of Laurent.

I devoured these in five days because why live my life when I can live Damen’s and Laurent’s.

This story will stick with me forever. I am ruined. Until I reread it and become even more ruined. Is that possible? I have faith that it is.

*Thank you to Moony and Hollis who convinced me to finally read this, I know it took months, and for letting me blow up your phones late into the night with all my feeeeellllsss.
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