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Fantasy romance review: Captive Prince & Prince's Gambit by C.S. Pacat

Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince #1)


Synopsis from Goodreads
Damen is a 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 epitomises the worst of the decadent court at Vere. But in the lethal web of Veretian politics, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen is caught up in a dangerous play for the throne, he must form an alliance with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: he must never reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else . . .

 Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository


Prince's Gambit by C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince #2)


Synopsis from Goodreads
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 . . .

 Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository


* * *

 What a mind blowing read!

If I remember correctly, RT magazine mentioned these two among spring fantasy must reads. I never heard about these books, but the synopsis got me hooked, and one of my bookish girlfriends swears by them, so I gave them a go.

Holy crap, peeps! This was pure awesomesauce. It was like someone knew everything I adore in fantasy and kindly put it in one comprehensive package. I think if Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop and R. Lee Smith's books had a baby, this would have been IT.

 Beautiful writing, where silence sometimes tells its own story better than words. Small deeds which scream of what is felt inside. Lush world building, rich characters, and the main heroes to die for.

 Take one antihero, a delicious golden boy with a devious mind, sadistic personality and a very deep agenda, and meet prince Laurent who's got more layers than an onion.

Take a brave and noble prince of Akielon, a kind, just man with larger than life personality, and meet Damen. Betrayed and sold into slavery, he is sent as a gift to Laurent of Vere as a twisted joke. Laurent who hates all his kind doesn't realise, that Damen is the one who killed his older brother on the battlefield, and Damen does everything he can to keep his identity secret, so he can escape and get his country back from an usurper.

They start with despising each other but a dangerous plot in Vere set not only against Laurent but against Damen's own country throws them together and forces them to work as partners, and that partnership slowly turns into a tentative friendship infused with attraction.

For a M/M romance set in a country with sexualised slavery, this book is very chaste, and I was glad of that. I absolutely adore the thick undercurrents of sexual tension and star crossed lovers! The plot twists here are delicious and book two ends with such a MAJOR plot twist, that I swore for good 5 minutes in frustration knowing that book three has only just been written and won't be out for awhile.

Overall, this was a superbly written fantasy with gorgeous characters and dialogues to die for. Please, please read it. For me this is undoubtedly one of the reading highlights of the year. Hugely recommended.

* * *

Шикарнейшее фэнтэзи!
Если я правильно помню, то упоминание об этих книгах я нашла в статье журнала RT, которая говорила о весенних фэнтезийных книгах, которые обязательно надо читать. Об авторе этом я раньше не слышала, однако одна из моих книгофилов-подруг клялась, что серия эта убийственная, и она была в этом совершенно права!

Если взять серию Анн Бишоп о Чёрных Драгоценностях и поженить с книгами Р.Ли Смит, то книги Пакат будут их детишками. Красивый слог, красочное построение мира, многослойные персонажи и главные герои, за которых и умереть не стыдно.

Лорент - наследный принц Вера и настоящий антигерой, красивый светловолосый золотой мальчик с садистскими наклонностями и изощрённым, хладнокровным умом. Война с Акиелоном убила его старшего брата и отца, и нацию эту он всей душой ненавидит.

Дэймен - наследный принц Акиелона, блестящий воин и стратег, добрый, справедливый и верящий в лучшее в людях. Преданный сводным братом, он продан в рабство и отправлен как подарок для Лорента в качестве жестокой шуточки.

Лорент не подозревает, что именно Дэймен убил его старшего брата, а Дэймен делает всё возможное, чтобы удержать свой статус в тайне, планируя сбежать и вернуться на трон, захваченный узурпатором.

Оба начинают книгу, презирая друг друга, и Дэймен чуть ли не умирает, когда по приказу Лорента его избивают чуть ли не до полусмерти за непослушание. Однако изощренный план против Лорента и Акиелона вынуждает их начать работать вместе, и партнёрство постепенно перерастает в робкую дружбу и невольное влечение.

Для романа М/М в стране с сексуализированным рабством, в этой серии практически нет постельных сцен, чему я была только рада. Невозможная ситуацию только накаливает напряжение, и вторая книга заканчивается таким нереальным поворотом сюжета, что я закрыла её, чертыхаясь в течение нескольких минут, так как книга третья была дописана всего лишь пару дней назад, и ждать её выпуска нам предстоит долго...

Бесподобные книги, очень рекомендую, они несомненно станут одними из лучших прочитанных мною в этом году!

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