Review: Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat

KingsRisingKings Rising
(Captive Prince, #3)
By: C.S. Pacat
Publisher: Berkley
Published: Feb. 2, 2016
Genre: Fantasy M/M Romance

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 Regent’s final, deadly play for the throne?



1thoughtsKings Rising picks up right where Prince’s Gambit ends. Damen is now amongst his people of Akielos and the men of Vere who were under his command are outraged that they’ve been following “the prince killer” in battle. However, with the arrival of the Akielos men, it’s time for Damen and those willing to fight to take a stand against the Regent of Vere and help Laurent claim his rightful place as king. Except things don’t go quite as planned and before you know it you are left scrambling trying to figure out what just happened and what is in store for Damen, Laurent, and their people.

*Stands and applauds* Now THAT was an amazing ending to a trilogy. Like I said from day one of Captive Prince, I wasn’t sure I would fully enjoy this trilogy given the fact that I don’t read much fantasy or m/m romance. However, Pacat has made me a fan of both… as long as she write it, of course. The sexual tension was on point, the sex scenes were steam worthy without overdoing it, the politics of war and lands weren’t as boring as I fought they’d be, and the whole story was beautifully done that in the end I was left wanting more. More time inside Damen’s head, more time discovering the different layers of Laurent, and more time just being in their world. Ugh, I think I have a book hangover.

Speaking of point of views, for the entire trilogy we were in Damen’s POV but we do get a glimpse from Laurent’s side. It’s not a whole heck of a lot and at first I thought I knew why the author showed us Laurent’s side… and then I had no freaking clue because what I thought was going to happen, didn’t. All of a sudden I found myself as lost and confused as Damen and it didn’t make much sense because I was there with Laurent, I read his inner-most thoughts, and yet I didn’t understand what was happening with him when we jump back into Damen’s POV. That is how complex Laurent is. I said it multiple times before, this trilogy is a chess match and Laurent is the King of the game. He schools his emotion, he keeps everyone at a distance, he keeps the readers guessing, and yet towards the end of it all, Damen knows exactly what he’s up to. Me, I hadn’t the faintest idea until it was all laid out for me.

The romance between these two characters is not something that happens overnight. It’s is slow building. Extremely slow. After all, Damen is Laurent’s slave. A slave he had whipped nearly to death just because. Laurent hates the Akielos people. He finds them barbaric and the fact that their crowned prince Damianos killed his older brother when he was just a boy really doesn’t help matters either. So, it takes a really long time for them to establish any sort of relationship. It was a huge tease leading up to it but I loved every second of it.

“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.”

The Captive Prince trilogy snuck up on me. I wasn’t expecting to be so captivated by the story. I wound up finishing it within a week. All three books within five days. That is how deep I was into the story. I don’t tend to like slow plots but I loved this one. The slowness of it was necessary. Even knowing how the books ends, I KNOW I missed things. So much is going on behind the foreground that you really need to pay attention to what’s said and what’s going on in order to keep up. Gah! I wish there was more to the story because I just don’t want it to end. I will definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for upcoming releases from this author. I am hooked!


1favepart“I miss you too, he said. “I’m jealous of Isander.”
“Isander’s 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.”


Previous reviews from Captive Prince
Captive Prince
Prince’s Gambit

12 Thoughts on “Review: Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat

  1. Omg it sounds so good! Why am I not reading this?!?!

    I’m so dumb with y book choices sometimes…

    • It’s an amazing trilogy. It’s a bit slow (which would normally bore me to death) but it needs to be for how much intricate stuff goes on in the background. πŸ™‚

  2. Glad to hear you enjoyed the end of the trilogy! I’m like you, I don’t read much fantasy or M/M romance. I wonder if I’d like these!

    • You might. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I wanted to immediately reread it when I finished. Not to mention that I still want to reread it and it’s been a month since I finished it. It’s one of those books that’s sort of stuck with me.

  3. I’ve heard from a few of yall now how amazing these are. I may have to cave and give m/m a try just for this series πŸ˜€

  4. Wow… this is a series I hadn’t heard of before, but I think I’ll have to look into it. Sounds like a fantastic end to the series.

  5. I have read so many good things about this series! I am not into romance lately [because I seriously overdid it for years, maybe even a decade :)] but can’t wait to get to Captive Prince πŸ™‚ I like that it is a somehow dark story. Great review πŸ™‚

    • There’s really not any romance in it. I mean, it’s about a prince who is enslaved and sent to an opposing kingdom to serve as a sex slave for the prince there. Only, the prince wants nothing to do with a slave from that territory and pretty much tortures the slave for the first book. It’s a really good story that was well balanced in multiple categories like fantasy, m/m, slow and building plot, and romance.

  6. I am sooo going to check out this trilogy, Kristin. Your reviews of it have just whetted my appetite. The story sounds so complex and incredible, so much wrapped up in it. And the romance…it’d have to be slow burn, right? Wow. Thank you so much for putting this on my radar. I’m happy the finale made you happy.

    • You really need to, Brandee. The romance is pretty much non-existent until halfway through the trilogy. So it’s a VERY slow burn and build up. Which, makes it a bit more believable because of how slowly their relationship changes throughout the course of the story.

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