KINGS RISING is the highly awaited book 3 in The
Captive Prince trilogy by C.S. Pacat. While it
positively chafed to wait so long for book 3, the end result
is completely worth it. This is a complex and
thought-provoking series I will read over and over again,
just like my beloved Dorothy Dunnett books (one of my top 2
favorite authors EVER); Dunnett is one of Pacat's favorite
authors, too, and it shows. One should not read this book
first- this is a series that must be read in order. If you
have not yet read THE
CAPTIVE PRINCE and PRINCE'S
GAMBIT, devour those first, then turn your eyes toward
KINGS RISING, the glorious conclusion. Trust me, you'll be
glad you picked up this unspeakably good series.
Books 1 and 2 were originally released as original serial
fiction online. Pacat then self-published books 1 and 2.
Penguin realized the stunning depth of Pacat's work (and
presumably also that Pacat is a gold mine) and re-released
books 1 and 2 in 2015. It's slave fiction erotica with a
male/male romance, but it is so, SO much more. There are
double crosses and triple crosses and intricate political
intrigue. There is medieval warfare. And the whole
convoluted and byzantine plot is oh-so-bloody marvelous. I
wasn't sure if book 3 would live up to my expectations,
given how much I built it up in my imagination, but boy
howdy, Pacat smashes through those expectations and delivers
a fantasy book that far surpasses what I could ever imagine.
Prince Damianos of Akielos was kidnapped by his usurper
brother Kastor, and Damianos was delivered into slavery
under the name Damen to Prince Laurent of Vere. Laurent has
sworn to kill Prince Damianos in reprisal for Damianos
killing Laurent's older brother in war several years ago.
Laurent has been dodging the machinations of his uncle the
Regent, who is trying to do away with Laurent to take the
throne of Vere for himself. At the end of book 2, Damen had
just been revealed as Prince Damianos, and the relief as I
can see the story now moving past this cliffhanger is
immeasurable for me.
Stalwart, trusting Damen and haughty, ruthless Laurent have
forged both a romantic and intellectual connection. But can
this connection survive the exposure of Damen for who he
truly is? Surrounded by clever and vicious enemies, can
Laurent and Damen form a lasting alliance and save each
other from their crafty foes? KINGS RISING delivers in
spades, with battlefield and back room clashes. Betrayals
abound, and there is romance and a surprising amount of
lively humor that keep the book galloping forward at a pace
that left me grinning and wiping my brow of anxious sweat
all at the same time. This is truly a grand finale to a
sweeping epic, and Pacat's KINGS RISING has joined books 1
and 2 in a place of pride on my shelf of "lifetime keepers."
Well done, Ms. Pacat; very well done indeed.
The worldwide phenomenon continues—from the boldly original
author of Captive Prince and Prince’s Gambit.
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
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?