Kings Rising (Captive Prince #3) Book Review

Kings Rising (Captive Prince #3) by C. S. Pacat

Publication: February 2nd, 2016

Genre: M/M Fantasy

Rating: fivestars-02

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Damianos of Akielos has returned.
His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill. On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilizing for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers. Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity—can it stand against the Regent’s final, deadly play for the throne?

Add on: Goodreads

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Plot

Kings Rising is one of the best conclusions to a trilogy. I was completely enthralled by the plot and the characters. My boys are completely precious and I wish we had an epilogue book all about how they are ruling a kingdom together. The book has a few of the triggers mentioned in book one but they are minor because the plot is focused on the characters and the war. There are only two sex scenes in the book and once again the author handles it all with such craft and care.

Prince’s Gambit ended with Damen’s identity of being Damianos of Akielos the Prince Killer being revealed. It all goes to hell obviously because the Veretians are shaken up by this fact and because Nikandros (a friend of Damen’s and an Akielon general) arrives unbeknownst to everyone that it was set up by Laurent. When Damen goes to tell Laurent who he is lo’ and behold the dangerous yet beautiful prince knew who he was the whole time. Yes even when they did that! Yes and THAT too! I was completely shaken up by this plot twist because that means he knew Damen was the man who killed his brother yet still fell for him. Then, of course, the author destroys me by going back to enemies for a little. I could not believe I had to deal with this but it’s ok because war is looming over both men as they work together to down the Regent and Kastor. As the Prince of Vere and the King of Akielos work together they again grow closer and yes we finally have them together as one. It is a lot of ups and downs but our boys finally save their kingdoms with wit, strength, and brains. The only downside to the story is I don’t know what is happening beyond the story 😦 I want a short story about them as rulers together.

Characters

Damen is now the known king and everyone knows about him. As I said in the Prince’s Gambit review book three is about Damen as a King/free man. His personality is the same but now we see this different side of him because there is nothing holding him back from being who he was always meant to be. Damen is not as cunning as Laurent but he does have some tricks up his sleeve on how to get things done. He is 100% someone who wears his heart on his sleeve. I feel like we really get to see a more emotional side of him especially when it comes to Laurent. He is a firm king but also someone fair and just. He learns from past mistakes and he plans to do away with slavery when he ascends to the throne. I love seeing his romantic side and how open he is with his feelings. I also love how Yin-Yang the story is considering him. He is this big brute guy who is a beast in battle and can slay anyone but people like Laurent and Jokaste can shake him just a bit lol. Though because of Laurent he has learned to school his features and handle people like them and adopt those cutthroat ways when needed. By the way, my heart melted when they fell back into old ways and acted like a master and slave without realizing it (this was in a good way like Damen as the king almost ran to get Laurent a drink without realizing and it was so funny). 

Laurent was the one who changed the most and it was beautiful. He really learned from his past and because of Damen, he realized the world is not so black and white. We learn about his past and how he became the person he did and it breaks your heart. Laurent was a happy child who adored/looked up to his older brother. (*Trigger warning: reference to sexual assault/molestation & pedophilia*) When he passed his uncle took advantage of his trust and my heart hurts so bad thinking about how his disgusting uncle could hurt him. It was something that we learned and made you go back into book one and think about his actions with his uncle. But there is hope and Laurent was able to prevail and now years later his uncle got what he deserved. But enough about him. Laurent is a changed man and while he doesn’t open up to everyone we get to see a softer side of him with Damen. It is rare but so precious. I love how Laurent has a servants heart (not like slavery he just likes to take care of someone) when it comes to love. He likes to take care of Damen when they are in those moments. We also see him grow into kinship and learn to command. 

Nikandros is amazing in this book as Damen’s right-hand man. I really loved how loyal he was and how much was shaken up by what Damen went through. Some moments were so hilarious. They were like best friends and his relationship with Laurent is hilarious let me tell you. 

Writing/Romance

What an explosive ending like I said. I love how the author writes honestly. I was never bored like one can be when it comes to war and political stories. But, I was constantly on edge and wondering how the war would turn in their favor. I wasn’t able to breathe until the end and even then that was a wild ending. The romance was beautiful and my heart was soaring. I love these two so much and they deserve all the happiness in the world. Everything was so meticulous and carefully crafted with each word and touch. I will keep them in my heart forever. 

Favorite Quotes
‘You knew who I was. You knew who I was the night we made love.’
‘You weren’t making love to a slave, you were making love to me.’
‘Every man here knows that you kept us as a slave’…’We wear your cuff on our wrist. But today, the Prince of Vere will prove himself our equal’…’You asked for it, once’…’Wear it for me’…’Put it on me.”
To see the Veretian Prince wear the gold cuff of a palace bed slave, in turn, was shocking, intimate, a symbol of Damen’s ownership. 
If Damen had not obeyed, his whole body reacting to that ringing command, he would have severed Laurent’s head from his body. But the instant that he heard Laurent’s order, instinct reacted, wrenching every sinew. His sword stopped a hair’s breadth from Laurent’s neck. 
‘You should have your slave fetch you some.’ ‘Fetch me some,’ Laurent said. Damen rose. And stopped. Laurent had gone very still. Damen stood there, awkwardly. He could think of no other reason why he had stood up.
‘Did I…Say anything.’ ‘You said you missed me,’ said Damen…’I miss you too,’ he said. ‘I’m jealous of Isander.’ ‘Isander is a slave.’ ‘I was a slave.’ The moment ached. Laurent met his gaze, his eyes too clear. ‘You were never a slave, Damianos. You were born to rule, as I was.’ 
‘I hated you,’ said Laurent. ‘I hated you so badly I thought I’d choke on it. If my uncle hadn’t stopped me, I would have killed you. And then you saved my life, and every time I needed you, you were there, and I hated you for that, too.’
‘…Can we not call it a kingdom and rule it together? Am I such a poorer prospect than a Patran princess, or a daughter of the Empire.’
‘How can you trust me, after what your own brother did to you?’ ‘Because he was false,’ said Damen, ‘and you are true. I have never known a truer man.’ He said, into the stillness, ‘I think if I gave you my heart, you would treat it tenderly.’
‘When you make love to me like that, I can’t think.’ ‘Don’t think,’ said Damen…Damen said, ‘Don’t think.’ ‘Don’t,’ said Laurent, ‘toy with me. I—have not the means to—defend against this.’ ‘I don’t toy with you.’ ‘I—’ ‘Don’t think,’ said Damen. ‘Kiss me,’ said Laurent.
‘I’m not your slave,’ said Damen. ‘I’m a man.’ Don’t think, he’d said, because it was easier than saying, Take me for who I am. 
‘It’s me,’ said Damen. ‘It’s me, here with you. Say my name.’ ‘Damianos.’
Laurent said, ‘I know who you are. I know who you are. Damianos.’ ‘Laurent,’ said Damen.
‘I want you,’ said Damen, ‘I’ve wanted you for so long, I’ve never felt like this with anyone—’ ‘Damen,’ said Laurent, helplessly, ‘Damen.’ 
They were caught in each other, and when their eyes met Laurent said, ‘Damen,’ again, like it meant everything, and as if Damen’s identity was enough, he was shuddering, pulsing against the air. Strident as proof, Laurent came with Damen inside him, Damen’s name on his lips, and Damen was lost to it, his whole body given over, the first deep pulse of his own climax just one part of a choking pleasure that took him, overwhelming and bright, into oblivion.
‘Damen,’ said Laurent. Damen’s heart moved in his chest, because the way Laurent said his name was quiet, happy, a little shy. Laurent had only ever said it once before, last night. 
‘I’m glad you’re here,’ said Laurent. ‘I always thought that I’d have to face my uncle alone.’ He turned to look at Damen, and their eyes met. ‘You’re not alone,’ said Damen. 
‘My father said that I had to learn to lead, not to follow.’ ‘He was right,’ said Laurent. ‘You’re a king in a place of kings.’
Then he took Damen’s other hand in his own, clasping their fingers together and holding his hand like it was the most important thing in the world.
Aloof, untouchable Laurent was beside him, kneeling on the wet marble hundreds of miles from home, with nothing in his eyes but Damen.
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Kathryn Calderon | 24 | Artist of many trades | Villains are my soul

One thought on “Kings Rising (Captive Prince #3) Book Review

  1. And it’s the end of the trilogy! It’s great to see that you’ve enjoyed all three of these books immensely! I won’t be reading these anytime soon, but they sure are books that I should look out for!

    Liked by 1 person

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