Series Review: Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

29th Jun 2016 Jess @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Jess, Series Review

Series Review: Captive Prince by C.S. PacatCaptive Prince by C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince #1
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: April 7th 2015
Pages: 270
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Historical, LGBT, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
2 Stars

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…

I was beyond grateful and excited when I recived this series in the mail from Berkley publishers. I’d heard so many people just losing their minds over it. So I was ready to join in the fun. :)

Captive Prince started out really strong for me. I was instantly intrigued by this Prince (Damen) who was being carted away as a slave and being delivered into the hands of another Prince (Laurent). These guys aren’t friends, btw. Damen killed Laurent’s brother, so he’s always been out for his head, but when they finally come face to face with Damen as a slave, Laurent doesn’t know that he’s looking at his brother’s killer. Or does he?! LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

I was warned that this series would be “pretty dark with some serious sexual slavery portrayals” and it was! And I think a lot of the reason why this book is my lowest rated in the series is because I felt too much time was focused on showing us how bad it was for slaves in Laurent’s kingdom when what I really wanted was just a lot of Damen and Laurent period. But I get that why it was set up this way.

Also, expect nothing to happen between these two. Settle in for the long haul. They have a lot of crap between them before anything romantic or physical can happen between the two of them.

I was worried that since I didn’t love this book I wouldn’t enjoy the rest of the series, so I continued on with tamped down enthusiasm….


Series Review: Captive Prince by C.S. PacatPrince's Gambit by C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince #2
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: July 7th 2015
Pages: 404
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Historical, LGBT, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3 Stars

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…

Prince’s Gambit takes us out of the castle and into the lands and already I liked it so much better! For one, the Damen and Laurent pagetime increased, so YAY! Secondly, with their countries about to go to war, there’s so much scheming and stratergizing that goes on and I really loved that. It made it exciting again.

Something more was building between Damen and Laurent and tension started to get delicious. Will they, won’t they, WHEN, DAMMIT!! All I’ll say is, settle in for the long haul with these two, because the payoff will be worth it.

There’s also the question of will Damen reveal his identity to Laurent. It feels he’s on the cusp of it throughout the book and you won’t get an answer to that until the end either.

There’s this EPIC battle scene near the end that left me saying “whoa” and after it’s over EVERYTHING IS REVEALED! That was a scene I was so looking forward to and it left me so surprised. Definitly not what I was expecting, but in a good way.

Overall the second book made me excited to continue reading. It took away my worries that I wouldn’t enjoy the series after all.


Series Review: Captive Prince by C.S. PacatKings Rising by C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince #3
Published by Berkley
Pub Date: February 2nd 2016
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Historical, LGBT, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
3.5 Stars

Damianos of Akielos has returned.

His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.

On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor's forces are massing. In the north, the Regent's armies are mobilising for war. Damen's only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.

Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen's identity - can it stand against the Regent's final, deadly play for the throne?

I was a little nervous going in because I didn’t know how Damen and Laurent’s dynamic would be affected by everything being out in the open and oooooh, was it ever affected. But the best part is that even though they were at odds, they still had to work SO CLOSELY together in this one to get their countries in order and out of the hands of usurpers.

I loved that we got to see Laurent in situations where his true self could finally shine. Before this book he’d kept himself really private but I knew there was so much more to him and we finally got to see it. Damen on the other hand was always pretty much an open book throughout the series, aside from the hiding his identity thing. He never wavered, while Laurent wasn’t a sure thing. I always felt he was very cunning and would somehow betray Damen in the end. But I worried for nothing. These guys are loyal!

The ending was really gratifying and when I closed the book I was happy I’d read it and stuck with it. It’s been a very long while since I’ve binged a series like that.


Some general thoughts on the series as a whole that I wanted to mention:

So much of the story is Damen and Laurent and their quest to take back their kingdoms… I didn’t feel like we got a good sense of what the people of thier land are like. I often wondered why it was that being love slaves was such a high regarded position, or why slavery exsisted at all. It was never really explained. And why mostly men? And why young men? There’s hardly any women in this series, and the ones we do meet aren’t that great.

Obviously none of these things affacted my overall feelings but they are thoughts I had that I wanted to share with you all.

Series Rating: 3.5 Stars


Have you guys read this series? Is it one you’ll be reading soon? Let me know in the comments!


Jess @ Gone with the Words

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A Raven Cycle Celebration!

25th Apr 2016 Morgan @ Gone with the Words 2016, Reviews, Reviews by Morgan, Series Review

A Raven Cycle Celebration!

FIIIIINALLY. The King has come BACK to…. Henriettaaa.

Probably 0.5 of you will get that reference, but I know Angie will ;) In any case, fiiiinally! The Raven King is here, after many release date false alarms and a year and a half of one of the worst cliffhangers ever. I’m sure you all know that The Raven Cycle has become a favorite series of mine. I wasn’t sold immediately (I laughably wondered how Maggie Stiefvater could possibly stretch the story to a four book series) but it seeped into my consciousness and my brain the way few books have. During my wait for the final chapter, I reread the books twice and I’m so ready but so scared to dive into the last book.

I thought we would celebrate the series as a whole since the book comes out tomorrow and I’m sure it will be a haze of reading and social media activity! I bought the pictured raven plate and raven cupcake liners from Crate & Barrel around Halloween 2013. It was too late for me to use them to celebrate Blue Lily, Lily Blue so I decide to wait for The Raven King.

Confession: I wrote most of this post back in NOVEMBER when I was planning what cookies to bake for my holiday exchange, so I also got to thinking about cookies and which ones represent the OT5. This is what my brain does when I wait for books! Haha. I thought about baking all of the cookies listed for this post but that would be a LOT of cookies… instead I’ll leave you with their descriptions and links to their recipes:

GANSEY is a well-meaning but decadent fellow, who has created his own meaning of home in Monmouth Manufacturing with his friends. He is the Triple Chocolate Chip With Sea Salt Nutella Stuffed Cookie. An insanely rich twist on a classic original (and they are AMAZING btw, I’ve made them before).

ADAM wants to be like Gansey, but he’s plainer. Less showy. And I like to imagine Blue or Ronan baking him these as a reminder of what home, love, and comfort should feel like. Clearly, Adam is a chocolate chip cookie.

NOAH is, for all intents and purposes, sweet. He has his serious moments, his otherworldly moments, and he has a darker, more mysterious past than the others, but he is often the most consistently kind of the OT5 throughout the series. And he’ll never live down that glitter snowglobe, so Noah is a sprinkled sugar cookie.

BLUE, as we are so often told is a fanciful but sensible thing. She also has a bite to her, very salty but sweet. I thought about something with chocolate covered pretzels but I really think Blue is a s’mores bite: tiny, fanciful, but infinitely practical and less messy to eat than the original incarnation.

RONAN is the boy with the ooey gooey hidden center. He is tough and he is angry and sharp and dangerous. But he is also a dreamer, loyal and loving to a fault. Plus I bet The Barns has some apple trees. Ronan is a caramel stuffed apple cider cookie (also delicious, I made these last fall!).

If you are interested in my reviews for the first three books, they can be found on Goodreads herehere, and here!

So what do you think: do the cookies fit the characters? Are you a fan of The Raven Cycle? Or are you planning to binge the series now that they are all available? Let me know in the comments! (And no spoilers please!!)



About Maggie Stiefvater

Maggie Stiefvater

Professional novelist by day and artist by night, Maggie Stiefvater is the author of the Books of Faerie (Lament and Ballad); the bestselling Shiver trilogy (Shiver, Linger, Forever), as well as The Scorpio Races and The Raven Boys. Stiefvater lives in Virginia with her husband and their two children.

Morgan @ Gone with the Words

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