Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat
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 mobilising 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 Regents final, deadly play for the throne?
Fair warning: This is actually the third (and last) installment in this series. If by the end of this review your interest has peaked and want to give the series a try, you can follow this link, that will get you straight to Amazon and the Captive Prince ebook box set.
A little bit of history on the series before I start with the review for the third book, shall we?
So, if you haven’t read these books, you should know that Captive Prince is a fantasy series. Here you will meet Laurent, a ruly Prince with a dark humor and extremely masterful mind. He’s possibly one of the most brilliant characters I’ve read. He’s intelligent, royal, and a right pain in the ass… But don’t let him fool you, Laurent is also one of the most loyal and selfless characters you’ll ever encounter… He won’t let you see that easily, though.. And chances are you’ll hate him A LOT for the first book.
The other side of the coin is Damen, or Damianos. Damianos was a Prince as well, though when the book starts he should be ruling Akielos, as a King, but his brother, who hates him, sends him to Vere, to be a pleasure slave for The Prince of Vere, Laurent. Laurent doesn’t know who Damen is, and they have, to put it mildly, a very rocky start.
One of the things that I find most appealing about this series is not only the setting, but the incredible characters. This is one of those stories where everything counts. Every little detail will serve for something, and you need to pay a lot of attention. There is a wonderful growth in both Main Characters both individually, and as a… couple.
The build up is painfully, but deliciously, slow. The story itself isn’t quite relationship centered, but really, story/plot centered with a huge centering, also on the MC’s. It’s beautifully equilibrated, in my opinion.
The writing is gorgeous, and the story telling is a mix of easy and complex. All the characters that you read have a part. All the characters in this book have a motive, a reason to be there. They ALL play a part, and they all, carry on (even if they are killed) on to book three.
The way Laurent and Damen come to depend on each other before they have to part ways by the end of book two, is just delicious. You read them and realize that you need more. Your heart jumps with every single nuance you read. Every single glance, and absent minded (or extremely intentional) touch, gives you goosebumps. And then, your heart breaks.. It breaks when you realize how difficult it all is…
But then, there’s Kings Rising… On to book 3, yeah?
I think this book will be in my top three of this year… Yeah, I know you must think I’m speaking too soon, after all, it’s only February, but… I kid you not… This book was just brilliant.
Kings Rising starts right where Prince’s Gambit ends. Laurent and Damen are temporary separated and are meeting to fight together, once more. I do recommend rereading the first two books before you get to this book… Remember: every detail counts. You want to have everything fresh in your head.
Laurent and Damen have to join forces, now was Laurent and Damianos. I have to say, that this moment. The moment when Damen comes out as Damianos, was one of the ones that gave me goosebumps… I don’t want to spoil anyone, so just know that this was everything I knew it would be and more.
Our boys fight together, and in this union their connections strenghtens. They become tighter, and stronger, and they realize that together they can do more than they could ever do separately.
The action in this book is wonderful, and the humor is absoultely brilliant… But what absolutely stole my heart was the romance. I simply wasn’t expecting this to be so sweet, so heartfelt, so emotional, and so heart wrenching… At least not in the way it was. To see cold Laurent melting in Damen’s eyes. To read him say his name and give himself fully to the moment… Damn it all, it was bloody perfect.
My only problem was that the conspiracy with the Regent and all seemed a bit loose. I mean, some of the things that happened seemed pretty strange when it came to the Regent who is this ruthless idiot that I hate with my soul. At the same time some of the things that Laurent did seemed like… Not much like Laurent. I mean, he’s always been this cold character, with a brilliant mind, that forsees every little thing, and plans everything in detail, so a few things read odd to me, in that respect.
That being said, I adored this. I just wish that part of the ending had been tied up more carefully, because it read like it had plot holes, or inaccuracies, given how we learned the characters in previous books.
That being said, imagine my excitement when I learnt that C.S Pacat is writing three more short stories to go with this series! XD YEAR MADE, dude!
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