Review: Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

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Genre: Adult, Alternate-Universe, Romance
Pages: 240
Series: Captive Prince #1

TRIGGER WARNING: Abuse (Physical, Mental and Sexual), Pedophilia

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3.5 Stars

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Captive Prince is about a prince who is a captive in an enemy kingdom, hence the name. What happens is that our protagonist, Damen, is betrayed by his brother for the throne. His brother fakes Daren’s death and sends him as a slave, as part of a new treaty with a former enemy. No one there knows that Damen’s the prince and he has to keep his identity hidden and find a way to win over the enemy prince, Laurent, if he wishes to get out alive.

And he really wants to get out alive because his brother is a total douche who’s going to ruin his kingdom. But before he can escape, he has to face some very horrible situations. And that’s where the part about this novel’s mixed reputation comes in.

You see, the world that the story is set in is very brutal. Slavery, rape and other forms of physical abuse are painfully common and there’s a lot of disturbing and explicit content. From the very beginning, the author throws a whole lot of shit at you that might not be readable for some people.

Though the worst of it is in the first third. It’s as if the author wanted to get the worst out first so that anyone who’s uncomfortable with it could stop reading. I think that was a very smart move, telling the reader what to expect in the beginning.

After that, the situation gets better. It’s still nowhere near okay, but it’s not as bad and we’re moving on from the introducing-the-world part to the story.

I liked the story. This is a character driven novel that’s more a battle of wills and wit than it is of swords and armies. The distrustful atmosphere with the constant power-plays, secrets and hidden agenda… it was all very intriguing and got me interesting in the story. I’m very curious as to the direction of the story and to learn more about the characters.

The biggest flaw I can think of, other than the shock of the first third (I said it was smart; but it could’ve been done better), was that the book was kinda predictable and left the reader handing on many fronts. There’s so much that is still unknown to us; it would’ve been better if we were given a bit more. Like some of the things I have guessed about the future, I can’t be sure of, because the author had yet to address the subject.

Overall, this was an interesting novel that might not be for everyone. But if you get through the first third, then know that you’re relatively clear. It’s worth checking out.

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