Jun 13 2013 9:30am

Third Time’s the Charm: What Might Happen in S. U. Pacat’s Captive Prince Volume Three?

Captive Prince by S.U. Pacat

Captive Prince by S.U. Pacat

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 at 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.

Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow.


(For an introduction to the story, check out Mandi Schreiner's post Captivated by S.U. Pacat's Captive Prince.)

Captive Prince by S.U. Pacat began online, being posted for free, chapter-by-chapter, in the author’s journal. In February 2013, it became two independently-published volumes. In May 2013, rights to publish the existing two volumes and the upcoming Volume Three were purchased by Penguin Berkley. This has both good and less good aspects for longtime fans. The good: the author will attain a wider audience, and the sale might lead to a faster release of Volume Three, which would be a boon because of Volume Two’s cliffhanger ending. The less good: Volume Three won’t be released chapter-by-chapter, so waiting for the completed book might be more difficult for those accustomed to the serialization model.

So, what do we do in the interim? We speculate, of course!

Here are my thoughts on three big events we might expect in Volume Three.

1. Damen will learn that the Regent abused Laurent, either sexually or otherwise. There are numerous indications in the first two volumes that Laurent hates the Regent, and that the Regent has emotionally abusive relationships with his young male slaves (leaving aside the morality of his having young male slaves, which is acceptable in their society). Laurent’s hatred of the Regent appears longstanding. When working against Laurent, the Regent repeatedly focuses on Laurent’s youth and inexperience to re-emphasize that he has power over Laurent, in a way that seems to indicate he feels a sense of ownership. Most telling is Laurent’s uneasily supportive relationship with the Regent’s catamite, Nicaise. It seems clear that Laurent sees himself and his own experiences in the boy and is hoping for better things for him, at least until the boy is killed. Finally, one of Pacat’s influences is Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles; Laurent has several congruencies with Francis Crawford of Lymond, who as a teenager was taken advantage of by an older woman as part of a complex political game; it wouldn’t surprise me if something like that finds its way into Captive Prince Volume Three as an homage. I think it’s pretty clear that something will be revealed to Damen about the darker side of Laurent’s affiliation with the Regent, and that this will change his relationship to Laurent and, potentially, have political repercussions. It’s likely that the Regent would attempt to use this information to strike at Laurent or Damen or both, emotionally and politically.

2. Damen will have a showdown with his brother Kastor and with Lady Jokaste. This seems inevitable. The series began with Kastor’s betrayal of Damen, in which Jokaste, Damen’s former lover, had a hand; Volume Two ends with the revelation that Kastor was in league with the Regent. Damen’s character arc won’t be complete until he has returned to his own country and confronted his half-brother and ex-lover. But will he confront them alone, or with Laurent at his side? And what will be the political fallout?

3. Damen’s true identity as Damianos, true ruler of Akielos and killer of Laurent’s older brother, will be revealed to Laurent. This also seems inevitable—the whole series rides on Damen being able to keep his identity secret from his enemy, so revealing it, and the results, are likely a major part of the story’s climax. At the end of Volume Two, Damen’s identity is revealed to some of the Veretians immediately after Laurent’s departure, so the event is already in progress. The interesting part will be when Laurent finds out, and how Laurent reacts to the revelation. Laurent’s reaction might surprise us, given that we only have Damen’s point of view to rely on. For instance, Laurent might already know who Damen is, but is not telling. Damen is not always adept at comprehending Laurent’s political issues and subsequent machinations; he does not realize the depth of the Regent’s perfidy until Laurent points it out to him, near the end of volume two. Also, Laurent’s true relationship with Auguste, the brother Damen killed, is never described by him in detail. There’s some evidence Laurent loved and respected his brother, but given court politics and the interference of the Regent, and Laurent’s general attitude of hiding everything, there’s a possibility that Laurent’s relationship with his brother was actually terrible, so Damen killing Auguste would not be such a barrier between them. On the other hand, the revelation of Damen’s identity could leave Laurent feeling massively betrayed after all they have shared, which could easily lead to even more conflict between him and Laurent, both political and emotional…and perhaps a volume four?

What do you think will happen in Volume Three?


Victoria Janssen is the author of three novels and numerous short stories. She also reads a lot. Follow her on Twitter: @victoriajanssen or find out more at

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Jennifer Proffitt
1. JenniferProffitt
I am super excited about this these books ever since Mandi wrote about S.U. Pacat back last month. Definitely adding this to my TBR pile (and pretty close to the top!)
Sofia Altaf
2. Salt
I have a feeling that Laurant already has an idea of who Damen is. I suspect that when in the Tavern he gave the messenger his ring, and caused a diversion so the messanger could get away, and lo and behold at the end of the book, who should come riding ove the hills with the ring but a dissedant of Kastor who was a supporter of Prince Diamanos...Can't wait for the reveal in Volume 3 as Laurnt is ever devious and always 3 steps ahead of everyone!
Victoria Janssen
3. VictoriaJanssen
@Salt - it would not surprise me, either! I am hoping it will all turn out more twisty than I had even dreamed.
Lege Artis
4. LegeArtis
Well, I think Laurent knows about Damen's identity. Everything so far was like a big chess game between Laurent and Regent. But, yes, I think he guessed it somewhere along the way(in battle maybe?). If Regent's plan was all along some perverse pleasure of knowing that Damon, who killed LAurent's beloved brother is sleeping with him, only way for Laurent to turn tables on him is to make Damon fall in love with him (and since this is romancelandia he fall for him back). I think that it'll maybe put some strain in their realtisonshisp if Damon begin to suspect that Laurent seduced him for his own agenda. And you can see clearly that Damen is a goner...he is so in love with Laurent,he'll bring Akielos army to help him.
Then maybe in some twisted turn of fate Laurent could kill Kastor, Damen's half-brother...?
And I was one of those readers who found out about CP long ago and let me tell you, witing those chapters was pure torture, so I'm happy I'll get whole book.
Victoria Janssen
5. VictoriaJanssen
@LegeArtis, I love your idea of Laurent turning the tables!
6. baekhyuns
Laurent has known who Damen was from day one. He's said himself that ever since his brother was murdered he was obsessed with him. Do you think someone as cunning as Laurent would not know what his face looks like? The first day Damen is brought to him he is thrown off. Damen says that when he comes back to his cell, he is drunk. S. U. Pacat makes it a point in the book to mention that Laurent NEVER drinks. He must have been very unsettled to do something like that. Also, as stated by Salt, he gave that ring to a messenger and it ended up in the hands of Akielos. So, yes, I think Laurent knew all along who Damen was (and he was so cruel to him in the beginning because of it), but somewhere along the way he realized Damen would be more of a benefit to him than anything else (the scene where he talks about pride to Damen and that his account with his uncle far outweighs anything else in his life, he wants more than anything to beat the Regent, even if that means forming an alliance with his 2nd most loathed enemy). From there, he started trusting and using him and oops, he fell in love too. I want to know how S.U. Pacat is going to fit all of this stuff into only one more volume. She has stated before it's the final one, right? Not that I would mind a neverending series. I can't wait anymoreee.
8. aprillee
I agree with you all about what has to happen and what Laurent might know...

I wouldn't mind at all if there were a fourth book!
9. Fridi
Oh gosh I'm already melancholic that this 3rd book will be the last for this saga (yep I'm THAT hooked it hurts LOL! ;-P), but as Aprillee said, who knows maybe a 4th one would be more than welcomed too...Overall you all have a good point presuming Laurent indeed knows at 1 point about Damianos' mess...On the other hand I'm in doubt that Pacat is willingly toying with us, giving to Laurent all the double-meaning lines so that the reader has this impression in the end. I'm not sure that instead this could be a mirrored case of 2 persons that, being close, don't want to aknowledge the issues that are in front of their eyes: therefore Damien doesn't want to be certain that *uncle creepy* had abused L., & Laurent that D. is his hated brother's killer...This naturally would do for a HUGE drama coming along this last book, it'd be strange that the writer won't like to explore this road as well, from this POV. Another thing that makes me doubtful is that Laurent himself has shown to have a very sensitive/fragile intimate side, especially when coming to open his heart, thus it seems quite off to me that all of a sudden he's become so cold hearted that he's able to get so physically/emotionally together with D. without any problem...Well roll on 2014, we'll soon find out folks!
10. navymom
When Joskaste arranged the viewing in book one to the Vere ambasador there was no mention of her being pregnant so she wasn't showing yet and I believe that it will be told that she wanted a pure blood child heir to stake her claim but lied to Kastor and said it was his. Remember the comment Laurent made about why she chose Kastor because he was the weak one. She knows Damen isn't dead and if he returns she has a bargaining chip in the child.
11. abi Walton
I need to know what happenes! is it strange that I want L. to know who D. is becuase it will be good to see Damen's reaction because he is obviosly in love!!!
12. Julia'
Yo podria Creo Que Jokaste Tener Más importância en El Nuevo Libro, sí puedo preguntar Por Qué no Kastor Matar a Damen? Probablemente Kastor Creer Que se Murio Damen Pero Alguien en Akielos Trato de Salvar a Damen (ESE PORQUE Alguien amado Damen) y La Mejor Manera Sí escondía Una Damen en Otro reino Donde Damen no Escapar podios y endange, donde SÓLO podia Vivir. Pero, ¿era este personaje QUIÉN? Jokaste? ¿Alguien Mas? Jokaste Hizo Creer habia muerto Una Kratos Que Damen? O ESTO es puramente mi Imaginación?
Y El Primer punto del Mensaje es segura: El regente debe abusar de la época CUANDO Laurent Laurent Niño de las Naciones Unidas
13. Julia'
I think so that Jokaste could have more importance in the new book, I ask why didn't Kastor kill to Damen? Probably Kastor believe that Damen is died but somebody in Akielos tried to save to Damen (because this somebody loved Damen) and the best way was hiding to Damen in another kingdom where Damen could not escape and endange, where he could simply live. But who was this person? Jokaste? Someone else? Jokaste made believe to Kratos that Damen was dead? Or this is purely my imagination?
And the first point of the post is sure: The regent must abuse Laurent when Laurent was a child.

(Sorry, the before comment was modified by the google traslator, this is the original comment)
Can any one tell me hw man volumes she planns on having?
15. Losh
I think Laurent definitely knows that Damen is Damianos. True heir of Achelos. At one point, When Laurent apologises to Damen for his cruelty, he says 'I was angry at Arles. Angry is not even the word'. I think it was at this point that Laurent found put who Damen was, which accounts for his cruelty, and the excessive whipping etc. Also, with. Laurent being as mistrustful as he is, I doubt he would have left Damen to lead an army of Akielons without having some assurance that they would follow his leadership-which they would only do if he was of noble birth.

Laurent was definitely abused by the regent which is why he identified so strongly with Nicaise. I'm eager to see Damen's reaction once he finds this out. I think Damen will be the one feeling fooled and betrayed because Laurent is always miles ahead of of everyone and he probably used his knowledge of Damen's identity to his advantage. I mean, why would talking about Kastor and him killing the king HURT Damen so much if he wasn't part of the royal family?
16. Cale
Laurent has always been cunning. I agree with everyone above, Laurent may already know that Damen is Damianos. I mean, come on, this is Laurent. Even Damen's name is a dead giveaway. Plus, he's damn harsh in the beginning, too harsh for a slave. Damen might be the one in for a surprise here. And if it's true that Laurent did have a knowledge that he's the prince of Akielos, Damen would throw a fit. After all, Laurent admitted he enjoyed the tragedy that happened to the royal family of Akielos.

Haa, I just wished the moments they shared is enough to hold them together. I don't want a fourth book, I want everything settled now cause I'd surely die of waiting if this is not the last book.
17. kismet
does anyone know when book 3 will be published? I basically devoured the past 2 books in one day when I'm suppossed to be studying for medicine finals. I haven't read slash in a long time and this brought back memories of ai no kusabi and the persian boy.
I hope she writes more books
Jennifer Proffitt
18. JenniferProffitt
@kismet, SU Pacat is now CS Pacat. They're publishing books 1 & 2 this summer again, and volume 3, King's Rising, will be out later this year!
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