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Damen is the rightful heir to Akielos but when his half brother seizes power, he’s stripped of his identity and sent to the enemy nation as a gift to the prince of Vere, Laurent. He fully intends to run away and reclaim his throne but finds himself mixed in the politics of the Veretian court and must work with Laurent to survive.
Let’s make this clear, this book contains torture, rape, physical abuse and pedophilia I made the mistake of not checking so when I went into this book, I’m not going to lie, I was uncomfortable reading it. This is a just a warning to those who may feel similar. The hype around this book is huge, and I was generally expecting this to be a typical NA BDSM story. But in just a few chapters, it literally takes off into a different, better than expected direction and becomes a story of political struggle.
Book 1 was disturbing and,in the first 20%, I felt so uncomfortable. But the plot and the characters kept my eyes locked to my Kindle screen. Pacat’s writing is intriguing. The world building is quite simple mainly because its more character driven but this book was weirdly unique for me, maybe because I haven’t read much novels like this. I’m not going to lie, I almost stopped 20% in and I’m not sure what kept me going. (maybe because every single person I follow on Tumblr as read this and I don’t like feeling left out lmao)
I liked Damen. At first he appears too naive, with him quite shocked that his half-brother would do something like this, and holds on too tightly to his own positive image of his brother. But he grows out of that and becomes a great character. Laurent was one I never liked. He’s a spoilt brat and extremely unlikeable at first, but Pact manages to grow and develop him into a likeable character in the end, a smart manipulator that is more than the image of an indulged royal brat. Even though he does develop as a character, I still didn’t like him. I appreciate the development but, overall, I can’t get over what he’s done to Damen.
However, the topic of rape/ slavery was the biggest issue I had with this book. I usually steer away from books like this. The first half of this book is basically a mix of explicit rape scenes and abuse, which is why I didn’t want to continue but once you push through, towards the end, it’s more interesting. But it is hard to read the series, knowing all that had happened in the beginning. I find the partnership between Damen and Laurent interesting, but I don’t ship them together.
Overall, Captive Prince is a captivating read in this first book of three, with an interesting albeit uncomfortable plot.
Kindle Edition, 3rd edition, 241 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Berkley (first published February 4th 2012