Just last week, author S.U. Pacat announced her Captive Prince novels will be published by Penguin. Pacat notes that this will be the publisher's “first m/m romance paperback release.” The final book in the trilogy will be published in both trade paperback and e-book.
Long before this development, Mandi from Smexybooks was championing the series. Here's why:
I don’t normally seek out fantasy books, but when I received several recommendations for Pacat’s Captive Prince series, I decided to try it out. A planned trilogy, Captive Prince: Volume One and Volume Two are already out, with Volume Three eagerly anticipated as the second book ends on a cliffhanger. Pacat not only writes and builds an amazing world, but she gives us two heroes who start as such great enemies and eventually will have a happily ever after. It’s really quite amazing how she writes this story.
Damen, a prince and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, gets drugged, kidnapped, and sent into enemy territory as a slave. He gets sent to the court in Vere, and is now owned by Prince Laurent. Laurent is an ice-cold, frigid twenty-year-old, and in less than a year, will rise to become King. No one in Vere knows Damen’s true identity, thinking he is just another slave, or that Damen killed Laurent’s brother on the battlefield years ago. This death devastated Laurent, and he has vowed revenge against Damen. If he only knew he now owned him.
From here, Damen is truly treated as a slave and there are definitely some brutal scenes in Volume One, but I also felt they were very important to the story. By all accounts, Damen is the wronged man. He is the slave, and as the reader you immediately root for him to escape Laurent’s clutches. But this is where the brilliance of the author emerges. Because ever so slowly, without you even realizing it, she makes Laurent a person with whom you also sympathize. She makes him vulnerable. And Damen comes to realize this, too. They both start to have a common enemy and they are forced to work together to outwit those around them.
After I finished Volume One, I thought, Wow that was a good book. But then I read Volume Two and I was really blown away. It has such a huge payoff. Pacat peels back these really complicated layers of both characters, but especially Laurent. All of a sudden you can’t imagine Damen with anyone else, and while it takes quite a long time to get there, the romance between Damen and Laurent does happen and is worth the wait. And the twists she throws into the book will have you screaming and smiling all the way until the end.
These two still have a long ways to go, though. I hesitate to speculate about Volume Three, because Volume Two ends with such a jaw-dropping moment. But I can’t wait to unveil all the secrets, see what other twists and turns await, and finally get that happy ever after that these two so deserve.
Have you read the Captive Prince? If you haven't, what are you waiting for?
Mandi Schreiner from Smexy Books.