My Rating: 5 Stars
How to end a trilogy: just like Ms Pacat does! The brilliant end for a fantastic collection! She really outdid herself in this novel, coming to the completion of a wonderful story leaving no loose ends. This book brought me to that dilemma "I want to finish it but I don't want to finish it" and I can honestly say that Damen and Laurent became one of my favourite M/M couples of all time.
Picking up from the grand finale and cliffhanger of Prince's Gambit, Damen and Laurent don't have a moment to recover. Intrigue is taken to another level, constant interference and betrayal as both King and Prince fight their way to win back their thrones. As Vere and Akielos unite against a common enemy, the two royals struggle with attraction and feelings for each other. Will they fall into the plot that could end both their lives and their kingdoms? Shocking twists, heart-stopping revelations and a finale that will leave your heart pounding!
I really raced through the pages of this volume, much like I did with the others. The third book is twice action-packed than the other two books combined and the fast-paced story-line didn't allow me to stop reading until the very end. It was very gratifying to see justice done and to see beloved characters have a great ending.
Okay okay, I admit that I warmed up to Laurent a bit, but just a bit! I really saw the development of his character along the trilogy and in the end, it made a big difference. One of the things that made the difference is that Damen didn't back down no matter how much and what means Laurent used to push him away. What he needed was really someone that could see behind all the walls he built around himself, all the defences and truly listen to that he has to say.
An amazing end, even though I would have liked another chapter with more details on Damen and Laurent maybe a few months later after the alliance was made. But still, it's a trilogy that I will keep recommending over and over again for a very long time. I hope that Ms Pacat will write again soon because a talent like that needs to be in the spotlight more often than not!
My Rating: 5 Stars
Just... Wow. Ms Pacat did it again and I think I developed an addiction in the process. Two volumes in two days and I must say I regret nothing. Absolutely perfect, still as fast-paced as before with a style of writing that makes it impossible to stop reading. I must say though, that I'm still not a fan of Laurence.
Before that, there is a brief description of the second volume of the Captive Prince trilogy.
Tension is building between Laurence and his uncle. Forced to travel to the border with Akielos as a punishment for childish actions and as an attempt to have him killed, Laurent must unite forces with Damen in order to avoid a war between their countries. Surrounded from both sides by usurpers and unknown traitors, the two kings must fight for their lives, their freedom and their people while trying to ignore the growing sensual tension between them. Can Damen keep his identity a secret for much longer?
In this book, I could see the rising tension between the Regent and Laurence. The Regent's determination to get ride of Laurence that was very well concealed in the first volume is completely revealed and it shows the length of his greed and thirst for power. Laurent is still a very complex character and, like I mentioned in the review of the previous novel, I believe that he has some sort of trauma from his childhood and I don't mean his brother's death. I can't bring myself to like him though, and it's probably related to how he uses people to achieve his means no matter the consequences or cost.
On the other hand, Damen is a character that doesn't let his nasty experience in Vere change who he is and who he's meant to be. He proved to have more King material than Laurent could ever hope to have: the knowledge in battle strategy, how to make the troops happy and avoid conflict, how to predict situations and act under pressure. Furthermore and most importantly, he has the heart of a king, his people come first.
I absolutely loved the ending. It was simply perfect and very gratifying.
No doubt that this trilogy made it to my Top favourite.
My Rating: 5 Stars
Absolutely brilliant! It was impossible to stop reading, impossible to drawn in the story, even if I developed a pet-hatred for a number of characters. But first things first, I want to congratulate Ms C.S Pacat for the wonderful novel, the setting and the characters.
The novel starts with the handsome prince of Akielos, Damen, who is betrayed by his brother Kastor, stripped of his title and sent as a pleasure slave to the enemy nation of Vere. His life becomes even more difficult when he meets the spoiled, manipulative prince Laurent, known for his coldness and difficult temper. If Damen was convinced that the Veretian court was full of liars and people without honour, his vision only darkens when he becomes the target of the Prince's anger and hatred. When Damen finds himself in the middle of a power game for the throne, he must join forces with Laurent if he ever hopes to save his country while keeping his identity a secret.
I became completely addicted to this novel and finished it in two days. The plot is brilliant, the descriptions are incredible, the writing style flows very nicely and the pace of the story-line didn't allow me to grow bored for even a second. Only compliments! I think the best word is definitely "Captivating". I developed a hatred for Laurent and I think it's impossible to like him. He acts as a spoiled brat, cruel to those who defy him but at the same time, I have to admit, he acts with care. I have the feeling that he had a traumatic childhood and his coldness and detachment have something to do with that. I really liked Erasmus. He is the representation of purity and innocence even with his background and painful experiences. It was impossible not to grow attached to him.
Don't hesitate in buying this novel, not even for a second. It's a fresh M/M story unlike any other that you have read so far that you'll grow addicted to. Definitely worth the 5 stars!
My Rating: 4 Stars
Fantasy is also an interesting genre to pick especially when the reader takes a chance with an author and his work for the first time. For me, this book was really beyond what I expecting in a positive way.
This is definitely a book for the mature public. From the fantasy, the sex scenes, the death scenes and the gore it shows the darkest and the most violent reality of the world. Joseph Hirsch didn't hold anything back on this book.
The medieval environment and atmosphere with the old English language were definitely one of the things that got some so much into the story in the beginning. Not only that but Hirsch doesn't make the reader wait too long before the action starts which for me is perfect since I'm an impatient reader.
I have to admit that in some parts I had to take a break since some of the scenes got to me, but I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it.
But again, definitely needs to be pointed out that it's for a mature public.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Black Rose Writing, and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.
Hope you find an idea for your next reading here.
Disclaim: All the images used serve for illustration purposes only, I don't own them. All the reviews and opinions are my own.