Title: Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince #2)
Author: C.S. Pacat
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: July 7th 2015
Standalone/Series: Second book in the Captive Prince series
Genre: Fantasy – Romance – Adult
My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: New all-time favorite!
What it’s about:
The second novel in the critically acclaimed trilogy from global phenomenon C. S. Pacat…
With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.
Forced to hide his identity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them the crowning death blow…
“Old friend, you have come to a place where nothing is as any of us thought.”
If the first book was good, this second book really takes it to a whole other level! I sped through this one in a day – I kept reading while eating, while brushing my teeth and went to sleep way too late because I did not want to stop reading.
While the first one was all about the court intrigues, in this book we move on to battlefield strategies. We get to learn more about the world. There is more action, more treachery, more politics and more scheming. It was so good even though it was kind of hard to keep up at times. Half the time I was like “Wait… you mean this was planned?” and “Wait… who is betraying who now?”. It is crazy, but so good. As with the first book, it is definitely worth a reread to catch all the little things and signs I may have missed before.
But the characters. Oh the characters, they are just perfect! In this book Damen and Laurent’s relationships slowly (very slowly, excruciatingly but perfectly slowly) develops from reluctant partners in crime, to comrades in arms, to trusted friends, to something even more. This is how romance should be done! This is a perfect example of romance in a fantasy novel!
I love these two so much, I can’t decide who I like better. There’s Damen, the big hero who is just so strong and courageous and kind. And then there’s Laurent, who is so smart and witty and strategic and always thinking 10 steps ahead of everybody. While I hated him in the first book, I adore him now.
While it’s these two characters and their relationship that make the heart of this story, the secondary characters are also amazing. And that’s a big difference with the first book, where I did not really care about any of the secondary characters. Here I loved the secondary characters, especially Jord and Aimeric. But it is still a brutal book, and brutal, unexpected things happen and it is not always good.
There is a major cliffhanger so be sure to have the third book ready after finishing this one. I didn’t so I will have to wait extremely impatiently to find out what happens next.
“To get what you want, you have to know exactly how much you are willing to give up.
Never had he wanted something this badly, and held it in his hands knowing that tomorrow it would be gone, traded for the high cliffs of Ios, and the uncertain future across the border, the chance to stand before his brother, to ask him for all the answers that no longer seemed important. A kingdom, or this.”
“Then, in the spirit of benevolence, “Your face is well balanced.” She slapped him encouragingly on the back, “You have very long eyelashes. Like a cow.”
“That’s right, I’m still captured,’ said Damen.
‘Your eyes say, “For now,”’ Laurent said. ‘Your eyes have always said, “For now.”
“I lack,” said Laurent, “the easy mannerisms that are usually shared with,” you could see him pushing the words out, “a lover.”
“You lack the easy mannerisms that are usually shared with anyone,” said Damen.”