This is a spoiler free review on the entire trilogy.
Synopsis of Captive Prince: 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 as 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. For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else . . .
Captive Prince // 3.5 stars
Prince’s Gambit // 4 stars
Kings Rising // 4 stars
I had seen this trilogy on some blogs and YouTube channels, and it sounded really intriguing to me. Why? Because it’s so different. Yes, this is a fantasy trilogy. But this is definitely adult/new adult as the story centers around the Prince of Akielos, whose father died and half-brother took the throne. Prince Damianos is sent to their “enemy” country as a slave to the Prince of Vere. These kingdoms all use slaves, mostly for pleasure and sex. So be warned, if you are not prepared to read about sex, slavery and rape, don’t pick these up because those themes are definitely in this book.
I had bought the first book on the Kindle app because I was intrigued. I started reading on Sunday afternoon, and couldn’t put it down. I finished it in a couple of hours, not only because it was addictive but also because it’s only about 240 pages. You start the book with the overthrowing of Prince Damianos, and he is immediately sent to Vere as a slave.
What is interesting to know about this world, is that while all countries use slaves for sex, they go about it differently. In Vere, everyone uses same-sex slaves. So men have male slaves, and women female. Why? To avoid getting a woman pregnant and having a bastard. In Akielos, you pretty much do what you want -and they have “medicine” to prevent pregnancy if wanted. In Vere, slaves are nothing -entirely submissive. In Akielos, being dominant or submissive is a sign of respect. You choose to be so, and you never lose who you are.
My main “problem” with this book is that it was so short. I feel like I would have enjoyed it even more if there was more time to flesh out the world and characters. As it is, you get thrown in, and have to figure it all out as you go.
I feel a bit bad saying I enjoyed reading this, because the topics are so heavy. And you feel repulsed -often. But that’s the whole point of this trilogy! You aren’t meant to like the slavery or the rape (obviously). It confronts you with it though.
From the first book, I loved Damen (Damianos’ slave name). He was strong, a true fighter. Someone to admire. I despised Laurent. Mostly because I couldn’t figure him out! What are his motives? Is he just some other version of Joffrey from Game of Thrones? Because you read this book from Damen’s point of view, it’s hard to figure out who Laurent really is. Is he really the nasty kid they say he is?
Like I said, I would have liked this book to be longer. But it was an interesting introduction into the world and characters. I felt uncomfortable and repulsed (rape, pedophilia? no thanks) at times, which is the whole point. I had to continue their story, and bought the second book minutes after finishing this one.
I liked this book more than the first one, because it provides more of an insight into the characters and world. Especially Laurent. I feel like this is really the first time you get to know him, not just the perception of his character.
As I mentioned, I bought and started the second book minutes after finishing the first one. I just couldn’t let go! This story is so utterly addictive to me.
This novel has more political intrigue and scheming, which I always enjoy in a novel. You get to see more of the world than just the capital of Vere. You get to read about small villages, castles at the border, different kingdoms and even female tribes. It’s so intriguing!
This is where I started liking Laurent more. Not that anything really excuses what he did in the first book, but you get more of a glimpse into his character.
Just like with the first book, I finished this one and immediately purchased and started book #3.
Because I had started book 1 in the afternoon, it was already late by the time I got to book 3. But I couldn’t stop reading, and couldn’t sleep without knowing how it would all end. So I stayed up until 1 AM to finish this book. I get up a little before 7, and my sleep is precious to me. Yet I gave it up, just to finish this trilogy.
I think this may have been my favorite of them all? You see Damen and Laurent truly embrace who they are. To fight. I grew to love certain characters, and to hate others (more like despise, but okay). There is more political intrigue and scheming, and it’s truly hard to tell on whose side everyone stands! You start to question every single person’s motive.
I wish I could’ve seen more of the ending, like an epilogue!
I was captivated (hihi, see what I did there) by this entire trilogy and couldn’t stop reading until I finished it all. You despise and love characters. You’ll change your mind. You’ll see that some things, while unforgivable, can’t be undone. You also know that some things just can’t be justified. You’ll question people’s motives, and what they really mean by their words or actions.