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