Jun 4 2013 2:30pm

Captivated by S.U. Pacat’s Captive Prince

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.

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Victoria Janssen
1. VictoriaJanssen
I think anyone who's read Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles will enjoy the homage in Captive Prince.
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
I bought the first book after Mandi said what made the series so great--I haven't started it yet, but it's #2 on the queue. I haven't read the Dunnett series--too daunted!--though it does sound like something I'd like, so your comment, @VictoriaJanssen, makes the series more compelling.
Jennifer Proffitt
3. JenniferProffitt
I'm super intrigued by this, I'll definitely be adding it to my TBR pile.
Sofia Altaf
4. Salt
I read Volume 2 as soon as I finished Volume 1, and Mandi was right, the books are excellent and S U Pacat's world building was very vivid...Also I didn't see how the author could make Laurent into a likeable person let alone a Hero, as some of the things he does to Damen had me wanting to bitch slap him, but slowly as you continue to read, somehow you see another side of Laurent, and think 'what a clever boy' , and for someone who is only 20 years old, he has such layers and depths... and Laurent see's for every eventuality, which Damen comes to respect and admire in him..at the end of Book 2 my heart was racing, and I can't believe I have to wait another year for the end..Brilliant Stuff!
5. Lillen
In all honesty, I didn't really like Captive Prince much in the beginning. Laurent was very much an unlikeable character and Damen hated him as much as I do, if not more. Their interaction was full of tension and appeared very liable to explode at any moment. I could hardly imagine them having a civil conversation, much less than falling in love. They did though, beautifully and so subtly that you wouldn't even notice the little changes into their interaction until you compare them back to the beginning when they first met. At the end of the second volume, it was impossible not to love Laurent, Damen and their shipping. I found myself hoping against all odds, court intrigue and war that Laurent and Damen would break through and have their happy ending. Now I impatiently wait for the next volume.
6. Julia'
Oh, sí! El libro es fantástico! Muy original y unpredected. Espero un gran final en el tercer libro
7. Julia'
Oh yes! The book is fantastic! Very original and unpredected. I hope a great end in the third book
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