Captive Prince Volume One by C.S. Pacat
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Well, this is certainly a different sort of book to what I usually read. If you've read any of my reviews before, you'll know that I mostly read YA. Maybe that's why I liked this novel so much - it's different from my usual books and therefore feels fresh. Whatever the reason, this book pulled me out of a mini reading slump (hurrah!)
First and foremost, I loved Pacat's writing. 'Captive Prince' was such a well-crafted book - it was really easy to read, but used a lot of beautiful and complex language as well, making it feel like I was not even reading at times. This is a hard balance to strike, and I applaud Pacat on it.
I would not usually read a straight romance novel, but I do enjoy a well-constructed and believable romance within another plot as much as the next reader. Damen and Laurent definitely fit this category. They aren't even really involved in 'Captive Prince', nor did our narrator hint at more than a physical attraction for most of the novel. And yet, I found myself shipping them hard. Like, insanely hard. The angst is real, you guys. Anyway, that's the mark of a good romance in my opinion, so I am really looking forward to the next book, in which that will (hopefully) be developed further.
I enjoyed the world this novel is set in as well. It was not an overly complicated world, which is something you often find in the fantasy genre. I, personally, think that this worked in its favour. The sexual aspects of this book were a little strange and confronting, but I can see how they fit into the overall plot (side note: despite the terrible and many things wrong with Vere's sexual politics, it was nice to see a world where homosexuality is not demonised - and it was pretty original, to say the least). While this story did feature a lot of political aspects, it was largely about Damen and Laurent. I think this was a good thing, since their relationship is a unique and interesting one.
Overall, this was a brilliant novel featuring two intriguing and well-constructed main characters. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes their romance a little angsty, and enjoys fantasy that is not overly detailed.
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