Title ~ Captive Prince Volume One
Author ~ C.S. Pacat
Publisher ~ Berkley
Published ~ 28th January 2014
Genre ~ Dark Fantasy M/M Erotica, Slave Fic
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…
Includes an exclusive extra story!
Anyone who adores the world of Slave fic in m/m—*Waving hands frantically and shouting ME!ME!ME!*—will already know how definitive this series has become within the genre. A classic ‘forced into slavery against his will’ premise, Captive Prince is a delicious, intricately plotted story and character lead saga, overflowing with the sort of intrigue, political manipulations and double dealings that would do Machievelli himself proud!
How everything is explained, how the plot weaves sneakily around its protagonists, and how each conniving character interacts with their peers, is something that needs to be discovered and savored for oneself, but I will say that nothing or nobody plays true to form as this intensely plotted storyline twists and turns at the drop of a sex slaves barely there tunic!
In a universe where pleasure slavery is the accepted norm amongst its royalty and nobility, after the sudden death of his father, Prince Damianos of Akielos is forcibly overthrown then gifted as a pet (by his sly, ambitious half brother Kastor) to enemy prince in waiting: Laurent of Vere. True heir to the throne Damen is violently thrown from one seething web of deceit, slap bang into the middle of another duplicitous power struggle playing out in the royal courts of Vere, delivered straight into the hands of a detached, calculating younger man whose hatred of Prince Damianos is nothing short of legendary!
It’s the ultimate humiliation for Damen, whose rebellious attempts to fight and escape his captor are stymied at every turn…with atrocious results. As you can probably guess, nothing is made easy for our tormented hero.
Romance is NOT the order of the day at this stage of the game, so any sex that takes place is pretty perfunctory; its inclusion mainly there to show how the pleasure slave dynamics work in this particular universe. In fact there are no sexual encounters at all between the two MC’s yet Ms Pacat still manages to convey a strong aura of simmering UST and a perverse anti-attraction and sensuality between these two complex men, who literally hate each other with a passion, to the point that you just know this relationship is going to develop into something quite remarkable!
Perhaps that's it? Their passionate, albeit negative, connection so palpable it reinforces the idiom of there being a fine line dividing love from hate. Not sure how but CS Pacat still had me tingling each time Laurent and Damen appeared on page together, despite most of their interactions being confrontational and at times merciless and intentionally cruel. It’s hard to explain just how she manages to put that across.
Aside from Damen and Erasmus—a sweet, submissive pleasure slave who gets unwittingly drawn into the scheming—these are not likable characters yet they wormed their way under my skin in ways I can't explain. Once again I found myself strangely drawn to, and fascinated by Nicaise. A beautiful thirteen year old, spoilt, brattish slave boy whose unconscionable start in life as an underage sexual pet has made him into the sly and manipulative little shit he appears to be.
Odious on the surface, multi layered, deep and far older in his ways than his age should allow; Nicaise embodies the perversity of the slave world he's been born into and I'm certain there’s far more than meets the eye to his intentions and interactions with Laurent, who is surprisingly tolerant of his underhandedness.
Which brings me to the man himself! Cruel, indolent and frigid, his treatment of Damen is vicious and both Damen, and we as readers are constantly on edge; dreading the moment he discovers the slave he ruthlessly uses as a political tool and relentlessly abuses in the process, is actually the man who's fuelled his hatred for years!
Apparently hard hearted and colder than a polar ice cap, he’s the complete antithesis of the expected romantic hero-slash-love interest we’re used to and I know I should hate him but...well....yeah...read and garner your own feelings about Laurent!
So does he find out in this book? Well....you'll have to become a Captive Prince Junkie like moi to find out, cos I'm keeping schtum on that tasty little morsel of info.
Yes, I too can be heartless and cruel! Muahahaha...
Anyway, don't expect any insta lovey dovey moments at this stage in their unconventional relationship, but be prepared to become utterly glued to an exciting, provocative, intoxicating slave drama I reckon gives the machinations and twisted plots of Game of Thrones a damn good run for its money!
There's rape, torture, sexual deviancy and violence but it's all integral to its power play style plot so if you're not averse to darker story telling and love a forced slave/master, enemies to lovers dynamic, then I really can't recommend this amazing trilogy highly enough! I swear after volume one's irresistible 'to be continued' ending you'll be itching to jump straight into volume two....something I'm off to do as catch up, so that I can finally get around to the long awaited, concluding, instalment I've been salivating for over the last three years! Watch this space for review number two. ;)
Reading this again has only reinforced why I'm such a fan of this sub genre. Sheer slave fic bliss!
Captive Prince Trilogy
Volume One : Captive Prince
Volume Two : Prince’s Gambit
Volume Three : Kings Rising
Meet C.S. Pacat
C.S. Pacat is a Melbourne writer. Her first series the Captive Prince trilogy began its life as an original web serial. Self-published in 2013 to critical and commercial success and acclaim, the Captive Prince trilogy was acquired by Penguin, and will be published worldwide in 2015.