Quite honestly, I was kind of discouraged to pick up this series after quick peeks to some reviews online. Usually, I put more weight on critiques rather than raving fans so I thought C.S. Pacat‘s Captive Prince was all about graphic sex and slavery. Boy, was I wrong. This is one of the rare times I should’ve listened to the vote of the majority.
For the life of me, this was a light and romantic read. If you think this is brutal, then you haven’t heard of Aleksandr Voinov and Marquesate just yet. And if you think this is PWP, you’re really funny.
This is primarily a star-crossed lover kind of story with a heavy dose of politics. Damen, the heir to the Akielon throne has been sent to their enemy country by his stepbrother after the death of the king. The worst is yet to come as he realizes he’s being sent as a bed slave to the prince of Vere whose brother he had killed.
Beyond that, it’s about rising through ranks to regain what’s originally your throne.
A convoluted affair if you ask me.
I think that for a reader to appreciate the books, s/he should recognize that slavery is a part of this universe’s culture. It was treated as an art, a kind of service. You would understand if you’ve read Erasmus’ side story. I don’t think the book romanticized the idea of slavery other than the fact that Damen decided to keep the golden bracelet. Even then, it was used as a symbol for equality and aliance. The book acknowledges that Vere’s brand of slavery is wrong (apparent in Damen’s distaste and Laurent’s detachment).
I would strive to defend this series because it deserves to be read. The intricacies of world building were amazing. It was well-planned and the characters finely crafted. At the end of the novel, you would understand the littlest quirks, their motivations, loyalties and rationale behind every decision. Not one character was flat and wasted.
Finally, you would love the dilemma that the author put her MCs through. The golden question of choosing between–
A kingdom or this?
‘To get what you want, you have to know exactly how much you are willing to give up.’ – Laurent
I didn’t expect the ending. All along I anticipated something akin to a conclusion where nobody wins. But then I remembered that this is a romantic novel. HEA!
4/5 stars. 5 with my obvious love while writing this review.
If you want an easy and romantic read, if you’re good with some slavery and public orgy, if you’re interested reading about smart princes and their swords, then this is for you.