Title: Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince Trilogy, 2)
Author: C. S. Pacat
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Berkley (7th July 2015)
With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his new master, Prince Laurent, must exhange 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 idenity, Damen finds himself increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But as the fledgling trust between the two men deepends, the truth of secrets from both their pasts is poised to deal them a final devistating blow . . .
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
PRINCE’S GAMBIT by C. S. Pacat is the second book in her Captive Prince Trilogy. The novel continues the stories of Prince Laurent and his slave Damen. Prince Laurent has been sent from the palace to spend time protecting the border, which is a powder keg waiting to blow, by his uncle the Regent. Damen follows his master to the border, closer to his homeland, determined to keep the Prince safe and earn his freedom. The closer they get to Damen’s home, the more lethal the secret of his past becomes.
PRINCE’S GAMBIT is an enthralling, captivating read. Once I started it was impossible to put the book down. Whilst I really enjoyed THE CAPTIVE PRINCE (review), with PRINCE’S GAMBIT Pacat made me fall in love with the characters and the world. This book is a real page-turner. There is just so much going on that you have to know what is going to happen next. The growing tension through the book is brilliantly written; I spent the whole book waiting for the other shoe to drop, because secrets never stay secrets for long. I also really enjoyed seeing more of Laurent and Damen; they’ve come a long way from when we meet them in the first book.
One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book, and the previous one as well, is although it is without a doubt a romance book Pacat still focuses on the bigger picture; the two usurpers’ plots to keep their thrones, and the fact that Vere and Akielos are getting steadily closer to war. As I’ve said, there is a lot going on in this book but I actually found it really easy to keep track of everything. It has been several weeks since I read THE CAPTIVE PRINCE but I found it really easy to fall back into the story.
Prince Laurent and Damen are the heart of PRINCE’S GAMBIT and I found myself rooting for both of them. Although the narrative focuses mainly on Damen, so Prince Laurent remains a little allusive, Pacat does a good job showing how complicated both men are, as is the situation they are in. I enjoyed the opportunity to see a bit more of Vere than just the court; Pacat does a fantastic job with the secondary characters. Despite the narrative being limited in that it focuses on events from Damen’s point of view, we do get to meet some interesting characters through the book.
If you liked THE CAPTIVE PRINCE then you will without a doubt love the PRINCE’S GAMBIT. Pacat takes the foundation she created in the first book and builds on it to great success. I could honestly sing this book’s praises for several hundred more words, but unfortunately that would mean I would have to go into spoiler territory – and I try and keep my reviews free of those. In all seriousness, if you are looking for a good read that has a bit of romance, a bit of intrigue, and some battles, then you won’t go wrong with this book, or this series.