Captive Prince: January 28, 2014
Prince’s Gambit: January 28, 2015
Kings Rising: February 2, 2016
Read Dates: June 7-9, 2016
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Alright, y’all. Time to discuss a crazy controversial book series. I was personally on the end that enjoyed these books, but I do see the arguments that some people make regarding problematic aspects of the book. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
This trilogy follows Prince Damianos “Damen” of Akelios as he is betrayed by his brother, captured and sold as a slave to the ruthless Prince Laurent of Vere, a rival nation. The story follows Damen as his relationship with Laurent changes from slave/owner to comrades to friends and more. We also get to see the political intricacies of the two kingdoms and how Damen and Laurent’s situation affects that.
Right off the bat, let me put in a trigger warning for the following: sexual and physical abuse/violence, rape and pedophilia. There are a lot of tough issues to deal with in these books, from child abuse to torture scenes, so they are definitely not for those who feel uncomfortable with that. Most of these are in the first book, so if you are able to stomach rougher things, know that it’s only for the first installment of the series. Also, it is made extremely clear that NONE of these are okay in the least, so there’s no praise of rape/anything like that.
People typically fall in two camps with this series: they love it or they hate it. Personally, despite all of the rough scenes, I found the story to be a great tale of friendship, love and personal growth. I automatically loved Damen and because we are following his POV, our view of Laurent and the whole situation changes with him as he discovers new information and grows as a person. The characters are the driving force of the story but the plot, which includes political games, war and webs of complicated personal relationships, is definitely enough to keep you interested.
Like I said, I fall on the side of the fence that enjoyed these books. They realistically show character development in the best way possible while making social, cultural and political commentary. However, I do understand that the content is not for everyone and not everyone agrees with me, so I encourage you to, if you feel comfortable enough after reading the trigger warning, try the first book and see how you feel about it. The second and third are the better ones in the series, in my opinion, so if you like the first book after finishing it but aren’t wow-ed, try the first few chapters of the second and see how you feel then.
Again, I’d like to stress that I acknowledge the issues within this book and am not condoning any of the violence within it. Please, if you have issues with the content mentioned in the trigger warning, do not read this series. No book is worth risking your mental health.
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