Captive Prince: Volume Two. C.S. Pacat. Adult/Fantasy/Romance/LGBT. 2012. 216 pages. 5 stars.
“Your eyes say, ‘For now,’ Laurent said. “Your eyes have always said, ‘For now.'”
With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.
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
“I lack,” said Laurent, “the easy mannerisms that are usually shared with,” you could see him pushing the words out, “a lover.”
“You lack the easy mannerisms that are usually shared with anyone,” said Damen.”
Much like other readers, I binged this series in a matter of days because not only are the books addicting, they’re very short. I personally felt like I was going to die if I didn’t pick up the next book. Each book picks up right where the previous one ended and honestly I would say that the trilogy can be put into one long-ass book and nobody would complain because I’ve seen nothing but great reviews for this series.
Captive Prince: Volume Two or the alternative title Prince’s Gambit has a war-centered theme as opposed to Volume One’s spotlight on court intrigue and politics of the Veretian aristocracy. Sent to the border, Damen and Laurent try to establish a formidable force in order to survive the Regent’s schemes.
We get glimpses of the other sides of Laurent. In Volume One he was this standoff-ish cold character who reminded me so much of Warner from the Shatter Me series. He is a viper who has masterful plans that people never expect from a young princeling. He hides talents and skills that surprise readers and other characters alike. Prince Laurent of Vere is definitely like a lot of my favorite broody characters that make me swoon—Rhysand from the ACOTAR series, Cardan from The Folk of the Air series, Warner from the Shatter Me series, the Darkling from the Grishaverse, you name it. Add Prince Laurent to that list! Damen finds himself pulled towards with the person who will hate him the most and kill him once his true identity is revealed.
The wall between Damen and Laurent starts to crumble as they get closer and start to confide in each other. However, this doesn’t bode well between the soldiers of the traditional enemies. I like how the conflict was presented and dealt with because it felt so realistic. There wasn’t any deus ex machina or complete disregard of responsibilities because these two characters are the sole heirs of their respective kingdoms.
The ending sent shivers down my spine and I was so glad to have the foresight to get the entire series as a package rather than buying them individually. It was even better than the first book and it really sucked me into this universe.
***SIDENOTE Totally unrelated, but my fancast for Prince Laurent has always been Jamie Campbell Bower. Recently, photos have been resurfacing of him as King Arthur from Camelot.
In that attire, tell me to my face that he doesn’t look like Prince Laurent of Vere. Tell me. Please disregard the text on the tweet as I have addressed it already regarding the misinformation***END OF SIDENOTE
C.S. Pacat is a Melbourne writer. Her first series the Captive Prince trilogy began its life as an original web serial. Self-published in 2013 to critical and commercial success and acclaim, the Captive Prince trilogy was acquired by Penguin, and [was] published worldwide in 2015.