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Captive Prince #1

Captive Prince

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From global phenomenon C. S. Pacat comes the first in her critically acclaimed trilogy—with a bonus story.

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…

Includes an exclusive extra story!

240 pages, ebook

First published February 2, 2013

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About the author

C.S. Pacat

48 books12.2k 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 10,183 reviews
Profile Image for Maraia.
470 reviews173 followers
February 2, 2021
CW: rape, sexual slavery

Sexual slavery isn’t sexy. Corporal punishment isn’t sexy. Rape isn’t sexy, and it certainly isn’t entertainment.

There are so many things wrong with Captive Prince, it’s hard to know where to start. I’m having trouble understanding how this book can be praised by so many people.

I love seeing queer relationships in books, but the characters in Captive Prince are either sex slave owners or sex slaves themselves. Personally, I don’t think that’s the kind of “relationship” we should be promoting, regardless of whether it’s queer or not. I fail to see how a book with graphic same sex rape scenes is beneficial to the “We Need Diverse Books” campaign. We need positive portrayals of queer characters, yes, but we don't need degrading ones.

There has been a lot of criticism in recent years of gratuitous sexual violence against women in books, movies, and TV shows, as it is both offensive and harmful to the feminist movement. But apparently sexual violence is only a problem when directed against women, while it’s fine to have graphic scenes that serve no purpose other than to “entertain” the reader, as long as men are the ones getting raped? (Although how someone could find these scenes entertaining is beyond me.) When I define feminism, I think of women being valued as highly as men and being treated with as much respect — not more.

Since I’ve seen people argue that the book isn’t that bad because the main character doesn’t actually get raped himself, I’d like to point out that forced oral sex is still rape. I’m not sure why this is such a hard concept, but my guess is that it’s connected to the fallacy that men can’t be raped in the first place. In Captive Prince, Damen has oral sex forced on him, and although he does have an orgasm, that doesn’t change the fact that, as a sex slave, the act is in no way consensual. It is rape, any way you look at it. Having an orgasm does not equal consent, and that’s a dangerous idea to perpetuate.

Rape isn’t the only thing trivialized by Captive Prince; sexual slavery is as well. As far as I can tell, all the kingdoms in C. S. Pacat’s world support sexual slavery. At one point, Damen compares sexual slavery in his home country of Akielos to that in Vere, where he himself is a sex slave. According to him, sex slaves in Akielos know that they’re trading their personal freedom for “perfect treatment” by their masters, as if this somehow makes it okay. Not only that, but the life of a sex slave is glorified in the short story included in the paperback, which gives the background story of a minor character from the book. Claiming that sexual slavery is “not that bad” because the sex slaves are “treated well,” they “enjoy their work,” and it’s “for their own good” doesn't excuse it.

The first two thirds of the book essentially has no plot, but instead features explicit rape scenes, alludes to even more, and throws in a beating or two to mix things up. All of a sudden, C. S. Pacat seemingly changes her mind and decides she wants to write a real fantasy novel, rather than rape erotica. At this point, the book actually does become captivating — the good kind. The potential for a solid fantasy is definitely there, I found the book hard to put down despite my revulsion, and I can see why people are quick to let themselves “forget” how the story starts. Unfortunately, no amount of engaging plot or world building can make up for the rape and sexual slavery in the first two thirds of the book, nor can a sex slave owner suddenly become a believable love interest for the sex slave. I’m assuming that’s where the story is headed, at least: Laurent has a tragic back story; he’s not really a bad guy, he’s just misunderstood; he doesn’t actually rape his sex slaves himself but lets others do the raping for him; he secretly has feelings for Damen, etc. Let’s stop right there. Shipping Laurent and Damon is the equivalent of shipping a Nazi concentration camp guard with a Jewish prisoner. I know this is a current trend in the romance genre, but how much (justified) outrage has there been at these novels? I fail to see how the upcoming “romance” in the Captive Prince trilogy is any different, and to be honest, I’m horrified by all the praise it has received.
Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 10 books7,512 followers
March 11, 2021


You know-

*gestures with wine glass*

*sloshes some over the side*

I mean, this book-

*licks wine off fingers*

*tries to refocus*

What was I saying? Oh, yeah. This fucking book, man.

*takes another sip*

There's Damen. A prince betrayed by his bastard of a brother. Sold into slavery to an enemy nation.

*stumbles up to standing*

And do you know what? You know who he's fucking sold to?

*raises voice*

To an even bigger bastard than his brother!

*sits back down*

A prince named Laurent. Who may or may not be the best written "villain" I've ever read. He's as beautiful as he is brilliant. As manipulative as he is sadistic. As enigmatic, as...


I hate his face. I want to do terrible things to him. Dirty, lascivious, debauched, terrible, terrible things.

*wanders off in search of appropriate meme*


The world surrounding these characters is just as harsh. Brutal, seductive, violent, depraved. I want to write myself into it with a sword and carve my vengeance from the flesh of Damen and - God help me - even Laurent's enemies.

*brews pot of strong coffee*


*starts second book*

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February 11, 2016
I don't read m/m fiction. It's not because I'm homophobic in any way (julio would beat my ass down if I were), it's just that it's not a genre to which I gravitate.

For example, I don't read new adult. I don't read chick lit. I don't read m/m. It's simple as that. I prefer the romance in my books to be something that I can relate to, and I feel that for me, a romance would be more realistic if it's m/f. A book has to be completely amazing to change my mind about an m/m romance, and this book, while not selling me on the genre, did a tremendous job of engaging my attention.

This is due to the fact that the character building is so amazing. Let's make it clear, this book contains torture, sadism, rampant displays of sex - generally things that I don't care for, because despite my rampant use of profanity, I am a prude at heart. *blushes* Despite those facts, I really liked this book. The characters are so well-written.

Damen is the Captive Prince. When his half-brother usurped the throne, he found himself a slave, shipped off to Vere. A prince, now a slave, he has to learn to completely change his personality, his will, his natural instincts, in order to be survive. He forces himself into submissiveness.
He knew what he had to do. Against every rebelling instinct, he forced himself forward, and dropped to his knees before Laurent.

‘I fight in your service, Your Highness.’ He searched his memory for Radel’s words, and found them. ‘I exist only to please my Prince. May my victory reflect on your glory.’
Laurent. Damn. What can I say about Laurent? Oh, how about the fact that he makes Jericho-fucking-Barrons look like Prince Charming?
‘You look like a whore.’ The soft words barely stirred the air by Damen’s ear, inaudible to anyone else. Laurent murmured: ‘Filthy painted slut. Did you spread for my uncle the way you did for Kastor?’
There are many words that can be used to describe Laurent. Words like raging asshole, ginormous douchebag, sadistic motherfucker, and other endearing phrases. The fact that I grew to like Laurent and sympathize with him is a testament to the author's skills.

No, I will not be reading m/m all my days. No, I still do not enjoy rampant amounts of sex and debauchery, but I enjoyed this book, and that's enough.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
March 30, 2016
For Romance month at my blog, I decided to take the opportunity to read something I wouldn't normally pick - this highly-praised M/M Fantasy Romance.

The first thing you should know: this is a character-driven story. I think you will enjoy it as long as you don't go into it expecting a lot of grand world-building. The focus of this book - indeed, the whole series, it would seem - is on the relationship between two men, and their relationships with other royals, guards and slaves around them.

As romances go, it has everything I could ask for:

1) A really slow burn that makes a nice change from all the instant gratification NA romances I've read.
2) Characters that grow and develop with the plot.
3) Chemistry, both sexual and otherwise. Plus, a nice bit of hatred turned to reluctant partners in crime turned to...?

The main story goes like this: Damen is a prince and the heir to the throne of Akielos. But when the king dies, Damen is captured and bundled off to Vere, disguised as a slave, while his half brother takes the throne. Vere is an enemy to Akielos and Damen must continue pretending to be a slave if he wishes to live.

Enter Prince Laurent - heir to Vere and a pampered, spoiled and vindictive brat who becomes Damen's new master. Laurent is extremely unlikable at first, but Pacat manages to successfully grow him into a well-rounded and eventually likable character. I loved how our perception of him changes gradually.

Not surprisingly, the two princes despise each other at first. But what starts as an attempt to "break" one another, eventually becomes a reluctant partnership and a mutual understanding and respect.

The book is quite dark at times and is definitely an adult novel. The romance in this first book is pretty much non-existent but the tension is set up nicely to deliver on that in the next two books. However, romance/sex aside, the book contains some graphic descriptions, floggings and rape scenes that could be upsetting for some readers.

I enjoyed it, though, and will be picking up Captive Prince: Volume Two.

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Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
531 reviews34.5k followers
October 26, 2022
I’m aware that “Captive Prince” is a highly controversial book and I know that many people have a lot of mixed feelings about it. As it seems you either hate it or you love it. There is no in-between. I think most of that is due to the fact that it deals with subjects we feel very uncomfortable with. Our modern minds have a tendency to shy away from those kinds of things, but just because a book makes you feel disgusted and angry, this still doesn’t automatically mean that it’s a bad book. Sure, C.S. Pacat confronts us with a lot of heavy topics. (And I’m not going to sugar-coat them!!! Just to make that perfectly clear!) There is rape, slavery, sexual abuse, torture, violence and even the mention of paedophilia. Just to name a few of them and there are scenes that no doubt will revolt you immensely.


In contrast to the generally prevailing opinion, she always touches those delicate subjects with care. Well at least with as much care as is possible in such a book… In my subjective opinion she doesn’t glorify the conditions of the pets and slaves at Vere’s court and she definitely doesn’t sympathize with their tormentors. I think the fact we see everything through Damen’s eyes, the eyes of a mistreated slave, is testimonial enough that C.S. Pacat is not okay with the things that happen to the slaves in the book!

You are permanently disgusted by us, aren't you?" said Laurent.

I guess that quote says it all! So yes, I do get why the topics in this book rub people the wrong way and I know that “Captive Prince” might not be for everyone. I still want you to keep in mind that things like that are nothing new though. Throughout the long history of mankind those subjects have always been a part of our lives. There were plenty of wars and people have always been tortured, raped, abused and enslaved! Damn it! Who am I kidding? Things like that still happen all around the world. Just take a closer look at other countries (or even your own) and you’ll know what I mean. So yeah, I think what I want to say is that C.S. Pacat shouldn’t be blamed for mentioning those topics, because for some people they were actually reality (ancient Rome and Greece instantly come to mind) and in fact still are a part of some people’s reality. We should neither forget that nor ignore it. Whilst it’s true that Pacat sometimes has a tendency to exaggerate excessively and easily slips into clichés that doesn’t mean that all parts of the historical accuracy are wrong. ;-) The author obviously aims to provoke and we are supposed to feel uncomfortable when we read her book. I can only speak for myself but in my case it definitely worked.

Well, this said I’m glad that the world in Pacat’s book is just fictional and that I can finally get to the fun part: My actual review!

The plot:

Betrayed by his own brother and shipped into the lands of his enemies Prince Damianos of Akielos ends up in the foreign land of Vere. Brought as a gift for Prince Laurent he is supposed to be the young heir’s pleasure slave, a role that revolts Damen immensely and makes it exceptionally difficult to keep a low profile. Powerless and enslaved he has no other choice than to obey though, his hope to find a way to escape the only thing that helps him to endure. As long as no one knows about his true identity he has a chance at survival…. But sooner or later someone is bound to find out that he’s not who he claims to be. Will Damen be able to escape the corrupt court of Vere or will someone blow his cover before he even gets a decent chance to flee?

I know the story sounds so cliché and cheesy! And in fact it is! But damn did I enjoy this reread! *lol* I think it’s because I know what’s coming in the next two books and to be aware of the plot made this reread such an interesting experience. I noticed so many things I didn’t see the first time around and I have to give Pacat kudos for dropping so many subtle hints. XD I think she didn’t really know what she wanted to achieve with the first book and mainly aimed to shock her audience, but boy does it get better in “Prince’s Gambit”.
Anyway, let’s head to the characters section! I can’t wait to gush about those two! *lol*

The characters:

Damen – The pleasure slave

”Why not?” said Damen. “I don’t share your craven habit of hitting only those who cannot hit back, and I take no pleasure in hurting those weaker than myself.” Driven past reason, the words came out in his own language.

I feel soo damn sorry for what happens to him in this book! He doesn’t deserve any of the things that happen to him (not that anyone would ever deserve such things!!) and he’s such a precious and innocent soul. Even enslaved and in the hands of the enemy he still tries everything possible in order to help his people and to remain true to himself. No matter what happens to him, he always does what he thinks is right and if that means that he’ll take a beating for his convictions and beliefs he still goes through with it! I love that about him! He’s brave and honourable and at the corrupt and thoroughly tainted court of Vere to be like that is actually more than just an achievement! XD

”He wanted to face Kastor, his brother, and ask him, man to man, why he had done what he had done. But life in Akielos went on without Damianos. These slaves had no one else to help them.
And what did it mean, to be a prince, if he did not strive to protect those weaker than himself?”

”This place sickened him. Anywhere else, you simply killed your enemy with a sword. Or poisoned him, if you had the honourless instincts of an assassin. Here, it was layer upon layer of constructed double-dealing, dark, polished and unpleasant.”

Laurent – The cast-iron bitch

”Laurent was indeed good at talking. He accepted sympathy gracefully. He put his position rationally. He stopped the flow of talk when it became dangerously critical of his uncle. He said nothing that could be taken as an open slight on the Regency. Yet no one who talked to him could have any doubt that his uncle was behaving at best misguidedly and at worst treasonously.”

Oh Laurent! My ruthless and poisonous “nest of scorpions”! He’s so damn cruel and obnoxious in this book, I can totally see why everyone hates him! *lol* My weird and crazy mind always likes a good villain though so it’s no surprise I actually ended up loving him. XD Laurent is such a complex and well-thought-out character, it’s a pleasure to read about all his cunning and almost artful schemes. Well, at least for me it was. I know one of my fellow buddy readers hated him fiercely! Haha! ;-P The prince of Vere isn’t all controlled anger and hate though; he has a soft side too. Admittedly we really don’t see a lot of it in the first book (which actually is the reason why it’s the weakest and worst book of the entire series) but since I know that this is going to change I really can’t wait to read book two. And yes, I admit it: Laurent’s cunning and strategical mind is sexy! Don’t blame me, just like Damen I stand by my opinion. ;-)

”I’ll offer for you, if you like. When the time comes. I wouldn’t want you in my bed, but you’d have all the same privileges. You might prefer that. I’d offer.”

Laurent went very still; then he deliberately shifted in his seat and leaned in, bringing his lips right to Damen’s ear. “I think I’m out of stabbing range, he’s got short arms. Or perhaps he’ll try to throw a sugarplum? That is difficult. If I duck, he’ll hit Torveld.”

Laurent took it without saying anything. He tucked it carefully into a fold of his riding clothes. Then after a moment, he reached out, and touched Nicaise’s chin with one knuckle.
“You look better without all the paint,” said Laurent.

Nicaise – The pet

”I don’t need you. He’s promised. He’s not going to give me up.” Nicaise’s voice was smug and self-satisfied.
“He gives them all up,” said Laurent, “even if you’re more enterprising than the others have been.”

I will always have a soft spot for Nicaise. I know he’s bitchy and at least as insufferable as Laurent, I can’t help but like him though. When it comes down to it, he’s just a product of his environment and he’s still so very young. I hate and despise the Regent for choosing him as his pet and the thought of them together makes me feel sick to my stomach. >_< It’s obvious Nicaise and Laurent care about each other deeply, yet they have no other choice than to play by the Regent’s rules. Poor, young and innocent Nicaise… Urgh… he was 10 when he started to serve the Regent… 10 for Christ’s sake!!! I’ll never get over that!

”Don’t underestimate him because of his age. He has experienced things many adults have not, and his mind is no longer that of a child. Though even a child may learn how to manipulate an adult.”

”He ordered everyone out of his apartments. I wouldn’t try to see him.”
“Why not?” Nicaise said. He looked past Damen towards Laurent’s chamber. “What happened? Is he all right?”

The Regent – Mr. I-freaking-hate-him-so-much

”Do you think it pleases me to discipline my own nephew? No uncle acts with a heavier heart. Shoulder your responsibilities – ride to Delfeur – show me you have even a drop fo your brother’s blood and I will joyfully restore it all.”

Did anyone of you ever notice that the people of Vere always consider the Akielons to be barbaric and brute? Considering what I saw of the Regents court I’d rather say it’s the other way around!! They hide behind their sophisticated demeanour and their complicated clothes but in fact they are the true barbarians of the story, none more so than the Regent himself!!! I despise and hate that man so much and I truly hope he burns in the nine circles of hell. Come to think of it, his actions might easily cause him to end up in all of them. *lol* So yes, the Regent is a villain I hate with a fierce passion and I can’t wait for him to get what he deserves!!! *grrrr*

”Why must you always defy me? I hate it when we are at odds, yet you force me to chastise you. You seem determined to wreck everything in your path. Blessed with gifts, you squander them. Given opportunities, you waste them. I hate to see you grown up like this,” said the Regent, “when you were such a lovely boy.”

This said, I really enjoyed my re-read and I can’t wait to see the “true Laurent” in the next book! XD I think what made this even more fun was the fact that it was a buddy read with my two lovely girls! My adorable Gansey and mo mhuirnín kept me entertained with their different opinions (and their strong emotions *lol*) and it was such a pleasure to be able to discuss this book! =)

I can’t wait to dive into “Prince’s Gambit”! ;-) Now it’s finally getting cute and nice! <3
Profile Image for ❄️BooksofRadiance❄️.
603 reviews731 followers
December 21, 2018
This might get -a tad- salty.

Well... I don’t know what the fuck to make of this book but suffice it to say I finally understand why many find it polarising.

The characters were boring and one-dimensional as shit. The plot was profoundly lacking. Or more like, there was NONE. What the fuck is a story without a well rounded, well constructed plot anyway? And if you can’t deliver on a good plot at least have some interesting characters to keep the reader engaged.
This was just... please excuse my language but fucking and/or raping. Or fantasying about fucking and raping.
I did not sign up for this shit.

A lot of the explicit scenes were so incredibly unnecessary. Too unnecessary.
I understand the need to inform us the basics and inner machinations of the court politics to set the scene for how they treat their (sex) slaves and whatnot but all the rest was just like, okay, I get it: They’re fucking demented. Now how about you give me a plot or story to work with other than THAT!

Oh, and by the way, sex with a 13-year-old is called Paedophilia for fuck’s sake. And rape. No other word for it.
Sorry if I’m not “getting what the book is really about”. What the hell was it about anyway? I still don’t get it.

And lastly, apologies for the overuse of the F word. I’m just feeling very cheated right now.
I’m told books two and three knock it out of the park so, see we shall.

What I did like:

March 23, 2017
TRIGGER WARNINGS ALERT Stay away from this one if you prefer safe reads. Don't read my review if the word "rape" makes you unconfortable, because I use it a lot, because this book has a lot of that.

I don't recommend this if you feel uncomfortable reading about:


Rape and Sexual violence

No romance

Stockholm Syndrome

Extreme violence

Double standards So Christian Grey gets the sh*t here in GR although he NEVER raped ANA, (although, to be honest he pushed her consent, but NEVER raped her) yet Laurent gets nothing but praise??? So dubious consent, sexual violence, and rape are okay when the characters are male? NO JUST NO!! That's not feminist at all, that's not fair. If the main character had been Princess Damiana everyone and their dog would be screaming murder. "Oh the abusive relationship in romance!" But because the victim is a male then it's okay? How is that fair?

Unsafe reads This is supposedly a slow-burn-romance between two males, but there's a lot of cheating and disloyalty.

I'm not the most articulated, coherent reviewer, so I invite you to read these reviews if you want more info on the problematic issues of this book.

Cait's review
Lainey's review

This book makes me angry. The writing is exquisite and clever, but it's the most disgusting portrayal of an M/M relationship. Contrary to what this book portrays, Homosexual Men have healthy, committed relationships . This is not the best book to portray diverse couples, because, as it is, a lot of people think wrongly that homosexuality and bisexuality are against nature and that Bisexuals and Homosexual aren't capable of loving, committed relationships. This book only re-inforces the idea of sexually "degenerated" characters. In real life gay people aren't like this. Not at all.

I gave two stars to the sequel because the graphic rapes aren't present. It's cleverly written and it's addictive, but it's still a harsh read because poor Nicaise. It's not fair what happened to him.

Final note: There are reviewers here in GR who praise this book to no end, and yet get all angry and write rants about romances like Twilight, Hopeless, FSOG, Beautiful disaster and other romance books of the romance genre. At time it feels like some of those reviewers are trying to make the people who enjoy, for example, FSOG bad with themselves because "they are supporting a book that portrays an abusive relationship". Yet they go and praise this very abusive book.

This isn't about me having a problem with the people who like this book. I think it's okay if people enjoy this kind of books because

* Everyone has different tastes and opinions and all opinions are equally valid. You enjoy this book? That's fine.
* WE ALL ARE SMART! WE ALL KNOW HOW TO DIFFERENTIATE REALITY FROM BOOKS. We all know that In real life rape is wrong. The people who love this book to death aren't supporters of rape, this is just a book. But just like the the captive prince fanbase knows the difference between reality and books, the FSOG fanbase knows better than go and get themselves in abusive relationships because of a book.

My problem is when the double standard comes:Contrary to popular GR belief the people who enjoy books that portray abusive M/F relationships are as smart as the people who enjoys Captive prince. Just saying.

So anyone who enjoys FSOG or any other bad-reviewed romance, but never says it aloud for fear of how their opinion will make them look in a site like GR where people trash "abusive relationship" books, should say it aloud. Most of FSOG bashers are top reviewers who praise this rape-fest so there's nothing wrong with liking FSOG or any other poorly-reviewed romance.

If you like me feel unconfortable reading certain topics, ignore most of the 5 star reviews, very few of them mention the problematic issues of this book and most lack trigger warnings. Read some 3 stars reviews and some triggers warnings before deciding if this book is for you or not.
Profile Image for Ayman.
202 reviews76.1k followers
July 29, 2021
fuck no. don’t even fucking think about this piece of burning garbage. literally the worse shit i’ve ever read. this shit glamorizes abuse and slavery. i don’t give a shit, don’t read this atrocity
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,859 reviews5,634 followers
September 4, 2019
*ONLY $1.99 TODAY AT AMAZON US! This is not a drill! 9/3/19 https://www.amazon.com/Captive-Prince...*

This book owned me today, completely owned me.

I just have to give S. U. Pacat a huge round of applause. I was 100% drawn into "Captive Prince". It is going to be hard to write a review of just Volume 1 because I read them back to back like a rabid fan-girl so I'll just review them together. It was like my eyes were glued to my phone today. I wouldn't and couldn't stop reading.

I won't rehash the plot because the overview doesn't sound terribly interesting or new. It is the masterful, smart writing that sets this book apart. The writing is so crisp and fan-freaking-tastic that it gives each word the power that it is due. Details sing in all the right ways.

The way the author portrayed Laurent in the beginning made me think I could never sympathize with him. It is through truly skilled writing that little facts play out just as they should over time and reveal Laurent's character in new lights. We learn hard truths along with Damen and I felt my point of view morphing as his did. I was entwined with Damen and felt deeply connected to his story and his emotional and physical journey.

The book is a study in deception and human emotion. It grips you until the very end. Book 1 set the stage for book 2, which just brings everything to a head. There are no missteps. It is like a ballet dance of words, and I don't think I'm being too complementary or over-exaggerating. Book 3 will be my most anticipated release of next year (if that is when it will come out)!
Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
301 reviews40.3k followers
February 24, 2016
TRIGGER WARNING: rape, physical abuse, pedophilia

I am so excited to continue with the next book, the way things ended I can tell that things are going to pick up and get REALLY intense!
Profile Image for Claudia Lomelí.
Author 11 books75.2k followers
February 9, 2017
More like a 3.5, I had some issues with it, but OMG. IT WAS GOOD! I'm gonna marathon the trilogy!
Profile Image for Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~.
347 reviews931 followers
August 11, 2022
Holy. Shit. Folks.

I was so disappointed in this book.

I've been meaning to write a review for this for a while because there is an OVERWHELMING amount of positivity surrounding the series and I just...


The plot was vapid beyond belief. The first 3/4 of the story goes practically nowhere and is made up of lots of weird sex and torture.

Contrived elements that were meant to make you feel desperation & sadness? They only succeeded in making me feel bitter and unconvinced.

The big reveal at the end was predictable and totally dissatisfying.

Now let me just mention here that there are many sexual encounters in this novel but it seems that in most scenarios there is at least 1 unwilling party involved.

And that's what bothers me... this is supposed to be a romance???

There was hardly anything sexy going on here, and the strange interactions between our two main characters honestly had me laughing out loud (in a "laughing at you, not with you" kind of way.)

I've seen many reviews calling it a "slow burn" romance but I felt zero chemistry between our two princes. ZERO.

The other outstandingly terrible feature of this novel was the writing.

Oh my god.

Did the author have her face buried in a thesaurus to try and make her writing seem more sophisticated?? It felt like she went through and found the MOST OBSCURE synonym and slapped it haphazardly into a sentence.

"Sentence enhancers, right Patrick??"

I have a decently stocked vocabulary, but these words were completely out of left field and interrupted the flow of the sentence. It's not cute. It makes your writing sound like it's trying too hard.

I'm afraid I will not be able to understand all the high praise this book is receiving.

I have no interest in what happens next, as I didn't even read the sneak preview of the sequel. I was excited to read a m/m love story with a medieval essence but all I found here was a boring foray into absurdity.

***P.S. 10 points to anyone who got my Spongebob reference before reaching the end.***

***P.S. x2 I did actually end up reading the second book in this series and you can find my review here if you love a good weenie roast!***
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,209 followers
July 21, 2017
'Captive Prince' has been on my radar for a long time now. I have seen a plethora of glowing reviews from friends that have loved this series. As curious as I was, I kept putting off reading this series because M/M reads aren't really my thing. However, my curiosity finally got the best of me and I downloaded the first audiobook in the series.

The rest is history! I blew through all three audiobooks in a couple of days, listening to them back to back until I had devoured the entire series. This series was fantastic!

Since I finished all three books in the series before sitting down to write my reviews, I'll do my best not to give any big spoilers. The specifics of where one book ended and the next began are a little hazy for me. However, they were all worthwhile and highly entertaining books.

'Captive Prince: Volume One', introduces us to Damen and Laurent. The two are princes from rival kingdoms, only Damen's true identity is a secret to everyone in Laurent's court. If his true identity were known, he would surely be executed. Damen is surrounded by enemies, betrayed by his half-brother and sold into slavery.

Although the two are enemies, Damen and Laurent have many things in common. Both princes have fallen prey to family members who want to seize their crowns. Damen had his rule usurped by his illegitimate half-brother, Kastor, while Laurent is at the mercy of his uncle, who rules in his stead until Laurent is old enough to claim his crown.

That being said, it is hard to envision Laurent in the role of a victim. From the first introduction, his manipulative, and often cruel, nature is apparent. His treatment of Damen is deplorable as he strives to assert his power over his new, wild and unbroken pleasure slave. Laurent is clearly a character that enjoys head games.

On the other hand, Damen is a character that has instant appeal. He is put in an unspeakable situation and betrayed by the brother that he looked up to. My heart went out to Damen. I wanted to see him prevail.

Upon Damen's arrival in the Vere, he is thrown into a life of debauchery. The Verethian court is filled with hedonistic and taboo sexual activities. The members of the courts indulge in every depraved act you can imagine. Nothing is off-limits, with the exception of enjoying pleasure slaves of the opposite gender in an effort to prevent the conception of illegitimate children that would sully the Verethian bloodlines. Rape and pedophilia are a way of life.

Accordingly, this will not be a book for many readers. It is full of dark, controversial and offensive content. This is not a lovey dovey type of story AT ALL. You will be appalled.

In fact, that is a large part of the appeal of this story. There aren't too many graphic sex acts depicted, but the constant lingering threat of rape gives this book a very ominous feeling. I spent the entire time on the edge of my seat, waiting for the assault that I knew was inevitable. The anticipation, and resulting anxiety, was immense.

For most of this book, Laurent portrays a spoiled, bratty and cruel prince. He treats Damen harshly and is extremely abusive. However, there are brief glimpses of another side of him. I have no doubt that there is far more to Laurent than meets the eye.

This book definitely had my rapt attention. It wasn't like most of the books that I read, but I was completely hooked. Without missing a beat, I dived right into the second book to continue Damen and Laurent's story.

Check out more of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com
Profile Image for jessica.
2,534 reviews32.4k followers
September 8, 2019
okay. well. its not too difficult to figure out why this book isnt for everyone and i completely understand why its so polarising.

there are so many sensitive and taboo topics, but i dont think its done distastefully. this is seriously the slowest of slow burns, and i think thats important. had the relationship between damen and laurent developed more quickly, it probably would have been off-putting.

as far as the story goes, its intriguing and unlike anything i have read before. there is a nice balance between world building and introducing court/power dynamics, which helps provide substance for the plot. however, some parts were a little too slow for my liking. but overall, not a bad read and im sufficiently hooked!

3.5 stars
February 8, 2021
Antes que nada tengo que decir que este libro puede tener unos temas un poco fuertes (violación, abuso sexual, sumisión) para algunas personas, sobre todo si son muy sensibles o no están acostumbradas a tramas moralmente cuestionables.

Dicho esto, creo que nunca había dejado pasar tanto tiempo desde que me recomendaron un libro que todo el mundo sabía que me iba a gustar hasta que de verdad lo leí. ¡Y es que me lo acabé en un día!

El príncipe cautivo es una de estas historias que sabes que no tienen una calidad enorme, pero que están escritos de tal manera que es imposible no disfrutarlas... a pesar de todo lo perverso, cuestionable y moralmente gris que sucede en la trama. Pero a mí me gustó muchísimo.

Aquí todo empieza cuando Damen, que es el príncipe de Akielos, es capturado después de que su medio hermano se hace con el poder y su padre ha muerto. Una vez en cadenas, a Damen le quitan su identidad y lo convierten en, básicamente, un esclavo sexual al que envían a un reino cercano, a la Veretian Court. Y en este reino vive un príncipe que se llama Laurent y es conocido por ser muy guapo, manipulador y... bueno, es el tipo de persona que realmente representa todo lo peor y retorcido de esta corte. Que, además, es tremendamente libertina, pues como aborrecen tantísimo a los bastardos, se ha instaurado la práctica de que las personas de la corte usan esclavos sexuales de su mismo sexo para evitar engendrar bastardos.

Y nada, Damen llega a este lugar y lo asignan como esclavo de placer del príncipe Laurent. Y se empieza a crear una tensión bárbara. Primero, evidentemente, por el odio visceral que siente Damen por Laurent. Pero luego, poco a poco, las cosas van cambiando y ese odio se va convirtiendo en una tensión sexual que se sale de las páginas, se los juro. Y todo me da muchísima curiosidad porque, además, durante todo el libro los rumores dicen que Laurent es un impotente, o que nunca ha estado con nadie... y, madre mía, la verdad es que necesito saber si eso es verdad. ¿Se imaginan que su primera vez fuera con Damen? Ay, necesito ya el segundo libro.

Ahora, en temas más serios, a pesar de que la historia intenta introducir una trama como de intriga política, de puñaladas por la espalda y de juegos para quedarse con el poder y eliminar a los herederos verdaderos, siento que el libro realmente es más interesante por su contenido salseante y de cómo funciona todo este mundo de los esclavos de placer. Prefiero mil veces el ángulo de todo lo que tiene que vivir Damen, que pasó de ser un guerrero a un esclavo que debe someterse a la voluntad de personas que no tienen reparos con la desnudez, las violaciones o con los actos sexuales muy públicos.

En fin, en mi opinión Captive Prince es un libro bastante interesante y que, honestamente, por todo el morbo que genera no me dejó parar de leer en ningún momento. Y, de hecho, el libro termina con un relato sobre cómo se inicia a Erasmus, uno de estos hombres que se entrenan para ser esclavos de placer, y es un mundo tremendo. Es impresionante la cantidad de rituales y reglas que deben aprender para someterse completamente a los deseos y sl placer de alguien más. Y, vale, todo es un poco perturbador, pero es ficción y ya está.

Dicho esto, me voy a leer el segundo porque necesito acción entre Damen y Laurent.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,656 reviews5,135 followers
November 11, 2019
#1 Captive Prince ★★★★★
#2 Prince's Gambit ★★★★★
#3 King's Rising ★★★★★

3rd read update, june 2019: I love this series more and more every single time I read it. ♥

original review, december 2017:
Let me begin this review by saying that these are just my opinions and I am, in no way, about to glorify rape or abuse. I am a survivor myself, and I'm fully aware that this book bothered a lot of people. I would never question another reader's rating of this book, though, and I'm just going to ask you guys to extend the same courtesy. ❤

This book is NOT for everyone. It involves a lot of rape, sexual violence and slavery, abuse, pedophilia, and various other incredibly uncomfortable topics. I can fully understand why someone would NOT enjoy this book, but I loved it.

A golden prince was easy to love if you did not have to watch him picking wings off flies.

I had no idea that it would be able to pack so much character- and world-building into such a short little story, or that it would be so political! Betrayal stories are some of my absolute favorites, so this was solid for me in that aspect, too.

Not only did I enjoy the story line, but Damen/Damianos is such an enjoyable narrator and I felt so sorry for him, constantly. He makes some really poor choices at times, but he's genuinely got a heart of gold. He comes from a country where "slaves" are treated less like property and more like what we would consider sugar babies in our society, so watching adjust to the terrible ways the Veretians view their slaves and "pets" is a tough journey. I loved how true to himself he stayed, regardless of how miserable his circumstances were.

This place sickened him. Anywhere else, you simply killed your enemy with a sword. Or poisoned him, if you had the honourless instincts of an assassin. Here, it was layer upon layer of constructed double-dealing, dark, polished, and unpleasant.

Of course, Damen is the only genuinely likable main character in this story, and all other prominent figures are raging douchebags, but there are a few lovable side characters (like sweet little Erasmus), or minor characters that are terrible but pitiable (looking at you, Nicaise). Honestly, the complexity and terrible nature of most of the characters reminded me of GRRM's writing, where almost everyone is just totally despicable.

"I'm not surprised you've driven three men to kill you, I'm only surprised there weren't more," said Damen, bluntly.

All in all, please know what you're going into before picking this book up, and if you're triggered by rape descriptions and abuse scenarios in books, please, do not pick this up unless you know you're in the right head space for it. If you think you can handle it, though, and enjoy stories of political intrigue/royalty/betrayal etc., I highly recommend this series.
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,703 followers
February 25, 2016
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

If you haven't been seeing/hearing the buzz surrounding THE CAPTIVE PRINCE by C.S. Pacat, you've probably been living under a rock. I'd seen it EVERYWHERE, even before one of my favorite authors recommended it in her newsletter (<------why I finally caved).

My impression before reading it was that it was some kind of pseudo-fantasy/MM/BDSM mashup . . . and that impression was fairly accurate.

Not my typical choice of reading material, but HYPE. And CURIOSITY. *shakes fist at curiosity gods*

As one might guess from the title (if one pays attention to things like titles *shakes fist at self*), the MC of this tale is a prince (Damen) made captive . . . A prince given as a sex slave to the prince and heir (Laurent) of a rival kingdom, only they don't know he's a prince, but that's a good thing, b/c Damen did a really, really Bad Thing in the last war, and if Laurent found out Damen was actually the REAL Damen, and not just called "Damen" b/c Kastor (Damen's illegitimate usurping half-brother) thought Laurent would be amused by having a sex slave named for the man he most hates in the world . . . Well, that would be Bad.

Did all of that cross your eyes? B/c as convoluted as it sounds, it's deceptively simple.

What isn't simple is everything that came after the initial introductions, and how I feel about it.

Obviously, as a prince, Damen isn't too keen on becoming a sex slave. But who cares? B/c sex slave.

And even though there technically wasn't much sex (on page), the hedonistic attitude of the nobility permeated the atmosphere, and the threat was constant, like background noise. And YES . . . I do mean threat.

But in that weird, willful suspension of disbelief way that's exciting even as you're consciously uncomfortable.

Enter Nicaise, the thirteen-year-old "pet" of a dirty old man in Laurent's court. The thirteen-year-old who's been serving in his role as "pet" for THREE YEARS. Who is maneuvering to keep his position, b/c he knows--EVERYONE knows--that he has maybe another year before he outgrows his master's tastes.


So there are two things you need to know before picking up this book:

1. There's rape.
2. There's pedophilia.

I almost stopped 20% in, when Nicaise first showed up. I'm not sure what kept me going. Could've been the remnants of curiosity. Could've been the person who made an asinine comment on one of my status updates about how pedophilia isn't being endorsed by the book, which pissed me off enough to make me want to finish it, all the better to KILL IT WITH FIRE. B/c really? Show me a book that does endorse the sexual violation of children, and I'll show you a jail cell. #GTFO

Either way, I kept going.

And much to my chagrin, I found myself fascinated by Laurent.

He's a prince with the foul mouth of a tavern brawler. Hatred burns in his eyes, but he almost always maintains a perfect calmness that is infuriating. He's a brilliant manipulator who superficially appears to be no more than an indulged royal brat.

Beyond my newfound obsession with Laurent, I was reading not only to try to understand my prince, but in anticipation of other (despicable) characters' downfalls.

So I'm hooked. *shrugs awkwardly*

But if I'd known what I was getting into, I'd never have started.

A secondary issue was the thinly veiled attempt to elevate the book above the stereotypes of its genre.

I have an extensive vocabulary. I majored in English, but even if I hadn't, you can't read as much as I do and not pick up an impressive number of words along the way.



Even so, it's not unusual for me to make use of the handy, dandy word lookup feature found on all ereaders.

What is unusual is having to use said lookup feature every few pages.

It took awhile to catch on, so I missed the early ones, but after I grew wise to the tactic, I began highlighting: appurtenances, peripatetic, damascened, febrile, machicolation, etc.

I could go on . . . and on . . . and on.

After I acclimated to the overuse of words rarely (if ever) found . . . anywhere, I began to notice that many of them were frou frou stand-ins for more common words and phrases.

A man didn't frown. His "smooth brow corrugated."

A room wasn't ostentatious, it was, "afroth with ornament."

I was pretty sure "afroth" wasn't a real word. I was further convinced when the word lookup yielded no results. BUT. Word lookup isn't infallible, so I googled it . . . And discovered that it was a real word, but had been misused. Unless Pacat intended to say the ornaments in the room were, "in a state of lively or angry excitement."

[Afroth." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 6 Feb. 2016.]

I usually applaud the Shakespearean tactic of adapting, evolving, creating words to suit your purposes . . .


In this case, it felt disingenuous.

Like the author had hangups about the type of book she was writing--SMUT. Maybe intelligent SMUT, but still SMUT--and decided to overcompensate by impressing her readers with her intelligence and/or education via the implementation of obscure words that none of us have ever heard of.

Instead, it provided a distraction, b/c constantly having to lookup words.

SO. THE CAPTIVE PRINCE by C.S. Pacat is a deeply flawed book, despite its low page count. If you can handle rape and sexual exploitation as abhorrent cultural practices, then you, too, should willingly fling yourself into this deep, dark hole. If you can't, RUN AWAY. If you don't, you'll probably find yourself as entangled as I am, but you've been forewarned, so you'll have only yourself to blame.


If book 2 isn't the significant improvement I'm promised . . . Heads. Will. ROLL.

SPOILERY final thoughts:

Jessica Signature
Profile Image for Monique.
982 reviews385 followers
December 18, 2012
Compelling Reading...I was totally engrossed from start to finish....5 Fabulous Stars


Captive Prince, literally captivated me! this is amazing storytelling and I can honestly say I picked it up to read and did not put it down until both book 1 and book 2 were finished.....it was 5am, but I was hooked! These 2 books are FREE, yes, can you believe it, such a great story is free to read. The only down side is that there is no news on book 3 yet, however I have noticed that she will be publishing books 1 and 2 shortly in ebook and paperback, with added scenes, so 3 should not be too far behind and I would gladly pay good money for it.

We see this wonderful story unfold from Damen's perspective and it is full of political struggles, atrocious acts of violence and sex (these scenes are not graphic in nature), decadent entertainment, battles, intrigues and mysteries, but it all revolves around Power and the mind games and tactics of the players and pawns. You are constantly riveted to the action and unsure of the direction to which it will next take you. It is unpredictable and not a minute is wasted in this book.

Our two main characters Crown Prince Damianos of Akielos and Crown Prince Laurent of Rabat are pitched right in the middle of the unfolding events and action, they overcome their hatred of each other to tolerate one another and eventually to become friends and confidants. The sexual tension between these two leaves you constantly on the edge, to the point of frustration.......but Ooooh so worth the wait.

The story flows seamlessly and the world building is full of warring Kingdoms, beautiful landscapes and an array of colours, decadent buildings filled with opulence on a grand scale and beautiful people with adorned pets/sex slaves bedecked in gold and jewels. Ohhhh and the characters, easily recognised with their personalities and individual voices, my favourite being Laurant, so cool and aloof, with graceful beauty and an air of contempt, arrogant and nefarious in his actions, with each nuance and idiosyncrasy so clear in my minds eye...he is definitely an enigma.

This is a fabulous read, I loved it and I happily recommend it to all of my friends, well...those that have not already had the pleasure of reading it and are also waiting with baited breath for the next book!

For more reviews, please visit...Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) on-hiatus.
1,092 reviews795 followers
March 25, 2019
Buddy Reread March 2019. Loved it even more.

5++++++++ stars

Oh dear Lord, Zeus, Poseidon and Thor forgive me because I actually loved this book. The book does not shy away from sensitive subjects like rape, slavery, flogging, public humiliation. And yet I could not stop reading it, and the writing was sooo goood!, this book got my attention from page 1.


Before you read just know that when they refer to a pet, they don’t mean a cute dog or a sassy lazy cat that sleeps all day and looks at you with judgmental eyes, Nope pets are people!


‘He doesn’t look much like a pet,’ said the taller of the two men.
‘You heard. He’s a bed slave from Akielos,’ said the other.
‘You think the Prince fucks him?’ Sceptically.
‘More like the other way around.’
‘Pretty sweet orders for a bed slave.’ The taller’s mind stuck on the subject as the other
grunted noncommittally in reply. ‘Think what that’d be like, getting a leg over the Prince.’
I imagine it would be a lot like lying down with a poisonous snake, thought Damen, but he
kept the thought to himself.

Laurent - this guy is a manipulative son of a gun, he is a sadist, he likes mind games, i wanted to hate him but nope I actually loved him.

“Is ambition needed in a king?” said Laurent. “Or is it simply needed to become king?”

Damien oh you sweet poor man, i wanted him to be free, i liked that he tried to fight back and did not just let the veretians bring him down easily, and he has a mouth that sometimes just could not shut up to save his life.

The words came out before he could stop them. ‘I speak your language better than you speak mine, sweetheart

Oh and Nicaise you little bastard, i felt sorry for him and at the same time i wanted him gone, but i kinda like him and I think that Laurent has a soft spot for him from the way they interacted.

Definitely going continue with these series. I can't believe i loved it even though there is zero romance...hmmm!


Laurent's uncle.....

88 reviews1,105 followers
August 9, 2016

Readers,what do I say about this book??

Power. Brilliance. Excellence. All delivered in one perfect package.

  This is fiction at its finest!!!

Captive Prince.....

This is what they mean when they say that a book has the ability to transport you to worlds beyond!!

And was I ever???

This one gripped me in it's powerful clutches,and did not let go.This is what I look for in a book.

This book entranced,enchanted and devoured me.

And I loved every minute of it!!


Damianos is Crown Prince of Akielos.Rightful heir to his father's throne.But then is caught in the plotting of his half brother.Overnight,he loses everything....

His kingdom,his freedom and his very identity.

He is then gifted to the Crown Prince of Rabat as a pleasure slave.Once an enemy nation,now a tremulous treaty exists between them.

And then it all starts.

The true tests of bravery,courage and honour.

And what captured me the most??

The beauty,which shone even brighter in the face of all the brutality!!

And what I did not like......

Ummm....,errrrr....,nothing!!Seriously,I loved everything about it!!

It captured my heart!!I wish I could have told you more,but frankly,I won't be able to do it justice.


Note to Readers--

I know that for many of you this premise is a big no.Slavery,brutality,the darkness.I understand.But still,I will ask all of you to give this a chance.I absolutely loved it.


You may not fall in love with it like me,but then again,you may!

You'll never know unless you try.

That's all for now,Readers.


Profile Image for Samantha.
417 reviews16.7k followers
September 8, 2016
I neither loved nor hated this book and I was surprised about that since it tends to bring out very strong emotions in people.

I'm going to be doing a full review on this book, but wanted to touch on a few things here since it is such a controversial read.

Firstly, I've always planned on reading this entire series regardless of if I hated the first book. Especially because this series should honestly just be one book. All of the books are short enough to combine.

Secondly, yes OBVIOUSLY trigger warnings for rape, abuse, pedophilia, etc. Most people know that going in by now. And maybe I was over prepared, but this book isn't nearly as brutal as I was prepared for it to be. If you don't have those warnings before going in, maybe it is. But not as bad as I was expecting. Yes, the world is very different than ours. All of the countries have slaves. All of the countries have pleasure slaves. Rape is a prominent thing. But there is definitely more grey area and room for discussion of consent in this world than one might think going in, and that's probably why opinions on this series are so black and white.

Lastly, THIS BOOK IS NOT A ROMANCE. Now that all books are out, we know that's the direction it goes. But there is no romance in this book at all. I'm actually really interested to see how this series goes about its redemption arcs and how so many people come to love Laurent. Because yeah, he's an asshole. So what is done to possibly redeem him?!? I'm intrigued to see how that is attempted and if it is successful in my eyes, because I'm super skeptical.

The writing in this is nothing to write home about. It's definitely over the top at times and stumbles into "fanfiction AU" territory with some of its tropes. But it is very easy to read because of that.

That was a lot more than I planned on writing but oh well. I'm committed to the rest of this series so we'll see which side I land on in the end.
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,268 followers
January 19, 2021
A burn so slow, it'll have you screaming at your Kindle! I loved it.

Now, this is what I expected from Sanderson's Warbreaker. This is political intrigue at it's finest. Think Gladiator or Hamlet (sans ghost). The plot was multi-faceted, with characters who were authentic and perfectly placed.

Damen aka Damianos, the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos finds himself serving as a slave to, Laurent, the beautiful Prince of Vere. How did he get there? Well, you need to read the book.

Laurent is one cold mother-mother, so cold I almost got freezer burn. But his mind, y'all. His mind was a beautiful thing. Calculating and ruthless. Yep yep, that Laurent sure was somethin'. Laurent despises Damen and with good reason.

Meanwhile, Laurent's Uncle, who is the Regent of Vere wants Laurent gone. As in dead.

Remember that slow burn I mentioned earlier? Well, despite the heinous acts of torture enacted by Laurent, Damen finds himself drawn to Laurent, needing him, wanting him.

Alas, no. Laurent will have none of that, in fact, he wants Damen gone. As in dead.

What follows is a masterful story, told in a smart and crisp narrative and C. S. Pacat did an outstanding job of it.

On to volume two.
Profile Image for Lucie V..
971 reviews1,784 followers
September 11, 2022
✅ Captive/captor
✅ Characters
✅ Morally grey MC
✅ Angst
✅ Political scheming
✅ Original concept
🆗 Simple but interesting world-building
❗️❗️ Very addictive
❗️❗️ Trigger warnings : slavery, non consensual drug use, sexual abuse, torture, and mentions of pedophilia.

4.5 stars

This book is controversial, yet I couldn't stop reading it once I started... I don't know if it makes me a bad person. 🤷

After the betrayal of his half-brother, Damen is sent as a pleasure slave to the prince of another country with which Damen’s country has had a fragile peace for the last few years. There, Damen meets cruel and clever prince Laurent, and he is forced into his world of court intrigues and sexual debauchery.

“Is there anyone at this court who isn't my enemy?"
"Not if I can help it," Laurent said.”

The world-building is quite simple, but it gave me ancient Rome vibes (or ancient Greek maybe, I am not an expert). I found original the fact that in Vere (the country where Damen was sent as a slave), the noble only have affairs with same-sex partners to make sure that they don’t sire a bastard or fall pregnant with one. They almost all have “pets” that they use as slaves in their household and for their sexual pleasure. I realize that this book "normalizes" having sex slaves, even if they are minors, and the nobility does not care about "pets" being raped or mistreated, but at the same time, it is a real page-turner (#SoConfused 😕).

The prologue was a little confusing because of all the names, and the list of characters at the beginning only made it harder because I tried to learn them all by heart, only to realize that some of them were not really important in the story. After a few pages though I was really intrigued, and even though there are explicit mentions of torture and rape (I don,t recommend this book to younger readers), I couldn’t stop reading this book. It is full of intrigue, spying, brutality, and tension.

“Laurent could inspire homicidal tendencies simply by breathing.”

Laurent is a really interesting character. He seems cold and cruel at first, but we come to realize that there is more to him, and he probably has a more vulnerable side that he keeps hidden. On the opposite, Damen is a quite predictable and ordinary character, I did not dislike him, but I was not that intrigued by him either.

“Damen's understanding of Laurent rearranged itself, in order that he might despise him more accurately.”

This book is more focused on the characters and their relationships, whether it's friendship, love, or hate, but there is a political aspect in the book that I liked a lot. I will definitely read the next book, and I am really curious to see if Laurent and Damen will become more than uneasy allies. The hatred and contempt between them is delicious. There is potential for an enemies-to-lovers plot, and I just LOVE this trope.

“Yes, apparently I have fucked my enemy, conspired against my future interests, and colluded in my own murder. I can’t wait to see what feats I will perform next.”

Fanarts by Merwild and Gabriella Bujdoso

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Profile Image for Judith.
724 reviews2,615 followers
July 23, 2016
4 Stars.

This has been on my radar for so long.The ridiculous price but me off,so I was so happy when a friend lent me this series.
I read a few reviews and a lot mentioned sex slave so I was expecting maybe a bit of bondage?....maybe a bit of sexual coercion?
Well,there's none of that,in fact there's ..

No romance
It's not erotic
But there is a very hedonistic feel to the book.

I'll keep this brief because there are already some fantastic reviews out there.

Damen is the heir to the throne of Akielos and is captured and given as a gift to Prince Laurent,heir to the kingdom of Vere.
Damen has been with men and women but Laurent's sexuality is definitely a mystery.

There is hardly any sex on page and it is a bit violent in places with scenes of rape( but not too graphic,imo )

I think this first book was more scene setting and story building of what was to come.These two men obviously hate each other initially,coming from rival Kingdoms.
There is sexual tension of sorts but more on the part of Damen as the book is only from his pov.

So was the hype about this book justified??
Most definitely.The writing and the characters are so compelling.
I'm currently reading book two and loving Damen and Laurent..
Profile Image for Julio Genao.
Author 9 books1,988 followers
February 2, 2016

review to come; the bonus story at the end of this edition has rendered me completely useless.

holy shit.




watch me twerk it to da left! twerk it to da left! twerk, twerk, tw-twerk it to da left!



fucking awesome.

dafuksit with these ozzie writers kickin' ass? lisa henry, s.u. pacat... (also: supacat. niiiiice. [ETA: author has since chosen the pseudonym C.S. Pacat]).

can't even be troubled to write a full review. i've got volume two to read.

more later, when my passion for these characters has been consummated further.

gonna get wet.

(it is alleged.)

Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,827 reviews29k followers
February 7, 2016
Re-read 2/6/15...because book 3 finally came out and - not gonna lie - I can't remember SHIT about books 1 and 2...My bad!

Original Review:

This will be short because my laptop is dying and, quite frankly, I'm feeling lazy as shit.



I went into this knowing it was more political intrigue and less m/m romance... I just didn't think it would be ALL political intrigue and NO m/m romance.


Obviously, the seeds have been planted for future shenanigans, but anyway, that's my only gripe.

Otherwise, this was a very interesting story with an interesting setting.

At first it was a bit Game of Throne-ish with all the different characters and character names coming at you from seemingly every nook and cranny, but thankfully the author included a character glossary in the beginning - I definitely used it a few times.


I found the societal practices to be fascinating, and particularly Laurent's character and the Regent's pet child.

Yes, yes, I know that it's technically CHILD MOLESTATION and that I should be more like this:


And less like this:


But what can I say?


It will be interesting to see how that all plays out.
Profile Image for Shin Mon Thway.
663 reviews1,481 followers
June 12, 2018
Reread: 7th June 2018

Oh, what I wouldn’t give to relive this story for the very first time again. 😌 Laurent and Damen are the perfect epitome of my book boyfriends’ standards. 😍 The plotting, scheming, treachery, spying, danger, love, romance, suspense and a mystery, this trilogy has it all. No wonder it was considered one of the greatest MM fantasy romance trilogy of all times. 👏 D&L still certainly is my all time favorite couple. If I could only wish one thing and it would come true, I’d certainly wish to be Laurent and have a happily ever after with sweet sweet Damianos. *happy sigh* 😌 Well now, I’m certainly high on D&L. 😍

ORIGINAL REVIEW (A bit revised after a reread)

I don't have much to say in this review except that it's extremely well plotted and written because this is only the first book of the trilogy and the story is still blossoming. (That's what I thought when I started writing this review and you can see how wrong I was! 😂)

So we have two extraordinary MCs in this fantastic story, the former crown prince of Akielos, Damianos and now a pleasure slave called Damen and the current crown prince of Vera, Laurent. These two men are archenemies since Damen killed Laurent's older brother in a battle that happened 6 years ago. When Damen's father, the king Theomedes, passed away, his half-brother Kastor seized the crown and sent Damen to Vera as a pleasure slave to serve the crown prince, Laurent. Laurent didn't know the true identity of Damen (perhaps .. or may be he's just pretending not to know. 😉) and just thought of him as a barbaric uncontrollable slave. And since Laurent certainly have no love lost for Akielos, the relationship dynamic between Laurent and Damen is extremely difficult to say the least.



Things are getting very interesting since Laurent is facing with a very similar fate with Damen since his uncle, the current regent of Vera, covets his nephew's throne. And now with Laurent sent off to Delfeur, the boarder between Vera and Akielos, to conveniently die and open a door for his uncle to finally ascend the throne officially, we will now have to wait and see what will happen in the next book and how these two men will collaborate together to win their rightful thrones. With a spark of epic romance of course! 😉

So here's a few things you need to know.

1. This story is unlike other MM romance novels in this genre filled with fun and fluffy romance and a casual storyline. This is a very heavily and intricately plotted novel.

2. It's a bit hard to catch up with all the names of the characters and the cities since it's based in an alternative fantasy universe and I'm extremely grateful that there's a glossary at the very beginning of the book.

3. You won't get steamy, hot and lusty smut in this book. At least, not between our two MCs. (I'm not sure about what will happen in the next books. 😁) Yes, there's some sex performance and wanton scenes in the story but not intended to stimulate your libido as in most romance novels. It simply was just a necessity to make the story more obscene, cruel and realistic.

4. This book is all about a fascinating story rather than a simple time-pass read and if you can't commit yourself to finish the trilogy, don't bother reading this first book because you won't get the authentic taste of these books. And this book certainly isn’t a standalone.

Overall, I immensely enjoyed this book and I can’t wait To dug into the remaining two books. 😌 I just wished I also got Laurent’s PoV rather than only getting Damen’s. It would be such an exquisite treat to get a peek inside that extraordinarily beautiful and complicated mind! 💙 I can't thank my babydoll
enough for recommending these beautiful books. Love you gal!!! 😘

5 That is the fate of all princes destined for a throne stars


October 12, 2020

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This was a buddy read with my friends Heather (review here) and Sarah (review here).

C.S. Pacat does with CAPTIVE PRINCE what the bodice rippers of yore did with historical romance, the differences being that (1) this is a fantasy novel and not historical (and not really a romance) and (2) it is about two men. Apart from that, the structure is eerily similar to bodice rippers, from the plot to the role that the characters play to the way sex is used within the story. Damianos was prince of Akielos until his half-brother staged a coup and gave Damianos to the enemy country of Vere as a gift-slave for lolz. Damianos, now called Damen, finds himself the position of a sociopathic prince named Laurent who is busy fighting power struggles of his own with the Regent, his uncle. Vere is an utterly cutthroat court with courtiers stabbing each other in the back, and an utterly depraved view on relationships, with a society that appears to be structured almost entirely around rape: rape as punishment, rape as entertainment, rape as a means of showing power or getting what you want ... there is a lot of rape. Bertrice Small would totally write this story.

I like bodice rippers, so reading CAPTIVE PRINCE was kind of like a modern throwback to that style of writing. Pacat's writing is seriously #WritingGoals. Seriously, she writes in this really fancy and beautifully opulent way, and I even learned a new word ("marmoreal"). Which was good, because I felt like it lent a certain respect to the content; had this been written in a trashier way, I think I might have disliked the book more. It's pretty obvious from Damianos's reactions that he thinks that Vere is a messed-up place. I did balk at the pedophilia (underage preteen slaves and hints at someone being sexually molested) and the corporeal punishment and the mistreatment of animals (horses). These are things that I sometimes have difficulty reading about in fiction. But luckily, Pacat didn't go into too much detail. The rape scenes were very unpleasant, though - especially the gladiatorial rape games that the Veretians like to play, involving wrestling matches where the loser gets raped - but again, these seemed to speak more to the corruption of a society that is slowly falling into ruin as it's blinded by its own glittering bacchanalia, and not just writing shock horror for the sake of writing shock horror. At least in my opinion. I'm sure people will disagree. Some of my friends hated this book with a passion because of the things I mentioned, and I totally respect that.

What makes this book great - apart from the lovely writing - is Damianos. It's hard not to root for him. His bewilderment and fear and anger in the beginning are so poignant. And then, his determination to survive - even if it costs him his dignity and his honor. He's a very strong character with a strong sense of right and wrong. You want him to survive this nightmare court so he can go back to Akielos and kick his brother's butt. But survival is not easy - and that's where another thing I liked comes in: the court intrigue. Court intrigue is one of those things that automatically gets me interested in a book, and here it is done really well. I'm a sucker for scheming character, and the secondary characters are all total schemers, especially Nicaise and Ancel.

Laurent isn't really much of a love interest in this book. He's brutal and mean. He reminds me of the heroes in Rosemary Rogers, Marilyn Harris, and Patricia Hagan bodice rippers in the sense that he's virtually indistinguishable from the villains of the story, except for hints of vulnerability and a slight interest in the hero in this case that borders on outright disdain. He is incredibly cruel to Damen: whipping him almost death, drugging him and then entering him in the gladiatorial rape arena, forcing him to receive oral sex from another slave while a crowd of people watch. There's hints of why he is the way he is, cold and brutal and utterly repulsed by human contact, but that doesn't make it easy to stomach or at all excusable. I know he's the love interest because I've seen the spoilers and the fan art, so I can only hope that Laurent scales the mountains of heavens themselves in order to win Damen over once he gets it into his thick skull that he likes the man, because man, does he have a lot to atone for.

My edition also had a short story called THE TRAINING OF ERASMUS. I side-eyed the short story at first but decided to read it, and it was actually good. It's a prequel to CAPTIVE PRINCE about Erasmus and how he became a slave and then, after that, how he was brought to Vere. This also has an open-ended sort of ending that leaves it up to interpretation why he was removed from his royal duties. Was it cold-hearted scheming borne of jealousy? Or mercy cloaked in the guise of betrayal?

Overall, this was pretty good. Much better than I'd expected. I'm probably going to keep my copy because her writing is so amazing and I want to have it on reference as an example of how to string words together prettily. The content on the other hand is brutally dark and unless you are a fan of bodice rippers or are not particularly bothered by sexual violence, I would not recommend this to the faint of heart. Even if the book does not go into detail, it is still not an easy read.

4 to 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Sabrina.
476 reviews245 followers
April 15, 2018

“For a prince, learning the words of an enemy was as important as learning the words of a friend.”

Why didn’t I read this FANTASTIC book before??
OMG, I’m in love. ❤️

The story, the writing, the characters, the romance, the friendships, the politics, the development, how everything was dealt with and literally everything else was PERFECT.
Oh man, I’m in love. This is definitely on the list of my FAVORITE trilogy of all bloody freaking time.

“Trying to imagine Kastor plotting against Laurent was like trying to imagine a wolf plotting against a serpent.”

Laurent, I LOVE YOU.

“Laurent could inspire homicidal tendencies simply by breathing”

And Damen, I LOVE YOU TOO, so much, GOD!!!!!!!!!

“His nose was flat and broken; he was clearly no stranger to fights, though it was actually difficult to imagine anyone suicidal enough to punch this man in the nose.”

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