Guest Reviewed by Gyn
Title: Kings Rising
Author: C.S. Pacat
Series: Captive Prince #3
Genre: MM Fantasy
Length: 385 Pages
Publisher: Penguin Books, USA
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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?
Review: Preparations were made. I re-read the books, trolled Captive Prince related Tumblr pages, and pre-ordered the book. It’s release day, and I am so jealous of my friends who stayed up late or took off work to read. Finally work is over and the family has been warned that disturbing me will be punished by salads for dinner for the next month. I turn on my kindle. “Hello, lover”
I’m five chapters in and it’s not what I had been hoping for. Silly me, who wants the happy ending at the beginning! I have faith in Pacat and it ends up being well-placed. The book was everything I had hoped for and more than I expected. I continue on.
More than halfway in I have to pause and think. Laurent and Damen have spent this entire time at odds. Almost immediately everything was out in the open. Damen finds out Laurent always knew his identity. Their interactions take on a viciousness we haven’t seen since the beginning of the series. Although, I do notice it seems to be more one-sided. Laurent’s vitriol was slightly shocking to me, the change drastic. I have to think about this and wrap my head around it. I know Pacat has a plan and she’s laid out all the pieces to her puzzle for us.
This author has built the characters so flawlessly that I quickly am able to come up with some reasoning. First of all, it’s the first time we see Laurent as acknowledging that he knows Damen is the man who killed his brother. Not only does he know, but everyone knows. Laurent is able to let out some of the scorn and anger he feels but also I believe he’s being controlled by a large amount of guilt. He knows he should feel hatred towards Damen for his part in Auguste’s death and I believe he does, yet that’s not the only thing he feels. The double-edged sword cuts Laurent deeply.
Secondly, we are now faced with not only two Kings who have bad blood between them but also two armies. The armies must find a way to come together if they want to have a chance to defeat the Regent and by keeping Laurent and Damen seemingly at each others throats, it allows many situations to develop that end up bringing the men from each side together.
Finally, I realize what Pacat is telling us with Kings Rising. We’ve been through the development of a relationship with Laurent the Prince and Damen the slave. They are no longer those men. If a romance and alliance that will last a lifetime is going to be forged between them, it must be done between Laurent and Damen as men and as Kings.
With all this in mind, I continue on. There are moments I find myself with my mouth hanging open in surprise, moments I find myself punching my fists in the air in triumph, and moments I find myself placing my hand over my heart from the love. Laurent and Damen together as equals is epic. The romance is heady. “Don’t think” “Damianos” But, surprisingly, there is also some lightness. “Come in”
In the end, Kings Rising really brings everything full circle in so many ways. The ending! I won’t ruin it for you but, damn. I didn’t know how badly it needed to be that way until it happened. An absolute perfect balance and total completion.
Overall Impression: It was amazing
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*