The Captive Prince
by C.S. Pacat
Review by Jarad Johnson
Damen is a powerful warrior and a hero to his people, and rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his brother seizes power, he is captured, forced into slavery, and sent to serve the future king of a foreign nation as a pleasure slave. While he deals with the indignity of his new life, his new master Laurent is a beautiful, golden snake, embodying the worst of the court of Vere. In the midst of the lethal political web, nothing is ever as it seems. When he finds himself embroiled in a coup for the throne of Vere, he must work with Laurent to survive and keep his own country from descending into anarchy.
The writing in this book is impressive, especially considering some of the very dark and adult themes. It compares to Game of Thrones in themes with a more straightforward narrative. It has political intrigue, scandal, with a dash of eroticism. Just the right recipe or a fantastic read. When I first picked up the book, some things did give me pause. There are heavy themes of rape and slavery in this series. There are no two ways about it, it is a part of the world the author created. The pleasure slaves are hardly willing participants with their masters, so that is a little difficult to read.
Also, the author took an interesting take on sexuality in this novel. All of the nobility at the court have pleasure slaves that accompany them everywhere. Here’s the thing: they only have slaves of the same gender, and at one point a noble remarks that a servant of the opposite gender would be unthinkable. I found this very intriguing. It reminded me of Greek culture, where bisexuality was the norm in most provinces.
In the end, I loved the book. The plot sunk its claws in and hasn’t let go. It’s a fantastic read, by an obviously talented author. While there are some very mature themes there, its worth it to read. I look forward to the next book!
Jarad attends Middle Tennessee State University, loves tea, and tries to spend every spare second reading. Jarad is majoring in English. Bless his heart! Let's all light a candle for him and send him happy thoughts!