Review: Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat

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Genre: Fantasy, Romance, LGBT
Pages: 404
Series: Captive Prince #2 (Trilogy)
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Penguin Group

Star

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I, once again, made the mistake of reading the sequel before reviewing the book, even though I know better. But after that cliffhanger at the end of this book, what was I supposed to do? How could I be expected to wait until I’d given myself a couple of hours to process and then and another hour to write and post the review? So thanks to my extreme levels of patience, I am now done with the next book as well as a short story that’s set after it.

In the fifteen minutes that I did manage to before starting the next book, I decided on 4 or 4.5 stars (for unknown reasons since I don’t recall any problems I had) and I’m sticking with it.

In Captive Prince, Damen and Laurent met, had some truly horrible experiences (well, mostly Damen had horrible experiences; Laurent was usually the one responsible for them). They hated each other but, somewhere along the way, they started to get along; and by that I mean that they were united by the common goal of trying to defeat the Regent, the man of numerous evil plots who is trying to kill Laurent and has very ill intentions towards Damen’s kingdom. Both Damen and Laurent need to get rid of him and they’re heading off on a journey which is most certainly a trap and is likely to get them killed.

With Captive Prince, it was more about introducing the world and helping our protagonists find a common goal. In this book, it’s about them getting to know one another and getting along for real while they’re on their way to the trap.

We all know that there’s a romance but after the events of book 1, it seems difficult. Damen and Laurent need to respect and care for one another. We need to see them work together, see why they fit, and see that they can have a healthy relationship. And honestly, I can’t say enough about how well their relationship is developed in this book. Both Damen and Laurent have their individual strengths, and together, they make a formidable team. Laurent may not be able to get the best of his uncle (the Regent) on his own (that guy is a despicable, evil mastermind and I fucking hate him) but we see that they may be able to do it together. Damen and Laurent (what’s their ship name?) are now one of my favourite ships.

But even if you ignore the romance, they’re great characters. Especially Laurent. The only reason Laurent has survived so far is because he’s just as clever as the Regent and very adept at the games he plays. I love the political games and power plays in this series. So awesome.

I will admit though, Laurent has a dark side (and I mean very dark). The guy can make a grown man cry using just his words. It’s fantastic, yet kinda scary. I can only hope to be as brilliant as he is at destroying people.

Overall, I loved this novel. I’d say that I can’t wait to read the sequel, but I’ve already read it. For those of you who are a bit sceptical about picking this book up after Captive Prince turned out to be more than a little scandalous, this one is toned down. We already know of the horrors of the world and now we’re diving down deep. It’s very interesting and I urge you to give it a shot. I can’t guarantee you’ll love it but I did, so maybe you will as well.

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