Review: Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat

Prince’s Gambit
(Captive Prince, #2)
By: C.S. Pacat
Publisher: Berkley
Published: July 7, 2015
Genre: Fantasy M/M Romance

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…



1thoughtsPrince’s Gambit picks up right after Prince’s Captive ends. In this installment there is a lot more action, adventure, and sexual tension. Whereas Captive Prince takes place in the palace, Prince’s Gambit takes place in the great outdoors. There are a lot of plots on Laurent’s life, a lot of twists that you don’t see coming, and a whole heck of a lot of world building as you travel with Laurent and his men to the border of his lands.

Oh, man. What can I say about this book that wouldn’t give everything away? Let’s see. There’s quite a bit that goes on in this book due to the predicament that Laurent finds himself in. In order to prove how serious he is about becoming King, he must go to the border of his lands and walk right into a trap. Not to mention, he is trying to do everything he can from keeping a war from breaking out. A war that has been put in motion for years. However, Laurent has been playing this game his whole life and he has come up with precautions to help him on his mission and keep him alive. Just like what I said about Captive Prince, this story is a massive chess game. No one does anything without weighing all the possible outcomes and counter attacks. I have a feeling that if I read this book again, I’d still miss things that would hint to the outcome of the book. Everything Laurent does, even when he’s in a brothel, has a reason and an ultimate goal to suit his needs. You just don’t see all the pieces in place until he attacks.

Now, this is a story about Damen (a prince of his own lands) who was captured and given to Prince Laurent as a pleasure slave. A pleasure slave that Laurent didn’t want and who he then tortured and humiliated whenever he could. That is, until Damen started to show his loyalty and stopped becoming a threat to him. The first book was difficult to read in that aspect. However, there is a sense of comradery between Laurent and Damen in Prince’s Gambit. Right from the start of the book Laurent appoints Damen a high level of respect with his men. He defers to Damen about training the men, war tactics, and seeks advice from him. Damen then goes on to oversee the training of the men to ensure that they are fit enough to handle attacks that will inevitably come their way. There were a few scenes where the two of them go off on some errand that ends up in some dangerous chase where the two are trying to escape with their lives. I think it was those moments that brought these two from slave and master, to friends and comrades, and then ultimately lovers. The author took her time cultivating their connection and it wasn’t an easy road. In the end, she was able to pull it off though.

There is so much I want to say but again, I don’t want to give it away because so much happens that isn’t really revealed until the end. Oh, and that ending! Jeesh. It doesn’t end on a cliffhanger per se but holy moly does it have a powerful ending that will have you clamoring to get your hands on the final book, King’s Rising.


1favequote“The men were experiencing camaraderie in the face of a common enemy, and it was natural that he was feeling it too, or something similar, after a night of chases and escapes and fighting alongside Laurent. It was a heady elixir, but he must not get swept up in it. He was here for Akielos not Laurent. His duty only extended so far. He had his own war, his own country, his own fight.”


Previous reviews from Captive Prince
Captive Prince

4 Thoughts on “Review: Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pacat

  1. Yay for more action, adventure, sexual tension and powerful endings 😀

  2. I love the first one, D & L have a lot going on for them. I can’t help but feel D has Stockholm Syndrome too hahaha. I will get to this eventually, as soon as this stupid slump is over

  3. 😀 Great non-spoilery review, Kristin. I’ve yet to read Captive Prince but I’m dying to. I’m glad this was a worthy sequel. I can’t imagine living so calculatingly as Laurent seems to. And I’m happy to see that Laurent and Damien’s relationship changes to have them on more equal footing. I love a book that has so much going on that I *know* I’m missing things because that means I *can* re-read. 😉

  4. I’ve still not quite jumped into the m/m genre but gah some of these sound pretty good. I’ve read a few really amazing reviews for this series. Glad it was such a knock out for ya. Hope the last one is just as delicious 😀

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