Review: Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

Captive Prince
Author: C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince #1
Genre: Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Pub Date: February 4, 2012 (Originally)
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Library

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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…



TITLE: boring | nothing special | pretty good | caught my eye | perfection | music to my ears
COVER: not my favorite | goes well with rest of the series | boring | generic | pretty | series cover change | beautiful | HEART EYES
POV: 1st | 2nd | 3rd limited | 3rd omniscient | multiple POVs | too many POVs
CONCEPT: original as heck | run of the mill in genre | average | has potential | great idea, bad execution
MOOD: dark | hilarious | light hearted | romantic | depressing | suspenseful | fluffy | mysterious
PACING: snail’s pace | couldn’t keep up | mix of fast and slow | slow in the wrong places | fast in the wrong places | what even is pacing?
CHARACTERS: i’m in love | couldn’t connect | too many | well developed (all) | infuriating | annoying | precious babies | underdeveloped (all)| a mix of good and bad | diverse | okay | new favorite characters
ROMANCE: none | steamy | fluffy | OTP status | cute | center stage | barely there | cheesy | instalove | slow burn | i ship it | love triangle
DIVERSITY: none | lgbtq+ | racial | religion | disabled | mental illness | body


Captive Prince has really taken the blogging sphere by storm recently. It’s been ALL over my twitter dash, and I constantly see people sharing gorgeous fanart of the two main characters. I’m not going to like, 95% of the reason I read this book was because of the fanart. The other 5% was because of its glowing reviews–especially by the queen, SJ Maas! So I jumped into this relatively short book ready for some ~steamy~ romance. Little did I know I was in for some HUGE disappointment.

You know that feeling when you get a shit ton of fast food and you’re halfway through the meal and you’re already feeling “meh” you’re like why the hell am I putting myself through this when I know I’m going to regret this in 20 minutes? This was how I felt the entire time I was reading Captive Prince. You’re thrown into the story at an odd point and I had no idea what the hell was going on for the longest time. I had high hopes for Damen once he arrived at the castle, but there’s no real “plot” once we get there. Damen mentions escaping a few times here and there, but for the most part he’s just subject to Laurent’s whims and whatnot. The book glossed over the important, interesting things and drew out the long, boring scenes. There were a few scenes that piqued my interest, but they were short (the book itself is pretty short) so that didn’t do much to help the book’s rating.

There were so many damn characters. It’s because of that fact that many of them felt super flat and underdeveloped. The two main characters, Damen and Laurent, were the most developed of all the characters; besides them, everyone else felt as two dimensional as a wet paper bag. There were just too many side characters with one or two traits and names I forgot every time I turned the page. Even though Damen and Laurent were well developed–for the most part–I hated Laurent and felt nothing toward Damen. Since I hardly cared about the characters, it was basically a guarantee I wouldn’t like the book. 

I’ve had a rocky relationship with love-hate relationships recently, and the romance in Captive Prince reminded me a lot of Sonya and Valko in Burning Glass (as you can see in my review here, I was not a fan of that book either). I simply cannot get behind a romance where one main character inflicts serious pain on the other. Laurent whips Damen and after being told that a second round will most likely kill him, he has Damen whipped again. I’m sorry, I don’t give a shit if Damen “learns to trust” Laurent, I sure as hell wouldn’t love someone who tried to kill me. Also, Laurent has Damen chained has another servant preform oral sex on him–in what world could you fall in love with the person who does that to you? There isn’t much romance in book one, but it’s pretty obvious that they’re going to get together, even if you don’t read spoiler-y reviews and whatnot. I just couldn’t get behind this romance at all.

I should also mention that this book deals with some pretty heavy things, such as rape, torture, pit fighting, explicit sex scenes. I’m okay with reading heavier books, but I know some people liked to be warned. It is an adult book, so there’s also that.

The world in Captive Prince was also woefully underdeveloped. I feel like I learned nothing about the world the story takes place in, besides how the court of Vere worked. It was like nothing existed outside the Veretian castle gates, so I was pretty disappointed by the worldbuilding.

Overall, Captive Prince was both boring and infuriating at the same time. The plot was hella boring, most of the characters were underdeveloped, and the main ship (to be, I guess you could say) was abusive. I just simply didn’t like this book. It was a short book so I got through it relatively quickly; I would’ve just DNFed it otherwise. I cancelled my requests for the next 2 books at the library, and if you want to check out this book yourself, I recommend getting it from the library. I just don’t think it’s worth spending your money on.


Have you read Captive Prince yet, or are you planning to? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below!


4 thoughts on “Review: Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

  1. Tasya says:

    I’ve seen some glowing reviews for this book, but I also see people hating on this because of the abusive relationship. Plus people also dislike how this book made rape, slavery, and abusive relationships seem okay. I really hate this kind of book, but as you’ve said, the fanarts really intrigued me so maybe, just maybe, a big maybe, I would read it…


  2. Sarah Cone says:

    I was curious about it but wasn’t like,”WOW I GOTTA GET ME SOME OF THIS!”.The hype usually totally gets to me but for some reason, on this one, it didn’t. Probably because there were/are SO MANY other books that I was making heart eyes at. I’m sorry you were disappointed by it though and I really appreciate you sharing your honest thoughts/feelings.I won’t be putting this on my TBR because I agree with your reasons for not liking it, especially the premise that it’s acceptable to permit violent/abusive romance. For me, that is *never ok.So nope, haven’t read it and I can say with complete confidence that I never will.


  3. Maha @ Inklings of A Little Unicorn says:

    i heard about this book actually from sarah j.maas too (in her newsletter), but i’m not really planning to read it, there are so many books out there…
    i’m so sad to see you didn’t like this book 😦 but it happens sometimes: there’s a hype about a certain book, you pick it up, hoping to like it, and you end up not liking it at all…
    p.s: it’s younicorn reads, i just changed my name and switched to wordpress 🙂


  4. Karina @ A Reader Under The Sea says:

    I’ve also noticed this series everywhere!! I first saw it when Sarah J. Maas sent out her newsletter. Then someone recommended it to me when I tweeted out that I wanted a YA fantasy romance between a courtesan and a prince. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted but I was still very excited to try it. But I also didn’t like how the romance played out 😐 I actually skimmed parts because I was that bored 😦


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