Mini Flash Reviews: Prince’s Gambit and Kings Rising | C.S. Pacat

Two reviews in one post? Why, yes. And this isn’t because I’m behind on my reviews. Nope. Not at all.

Warning: These books are NOT young adult books. This trilogy  is an adult M/M fantasy romance/erotica. Content includes sexual violence, physical abuse, war, language, and other adult content.

51k7gyy5w6l-_sx331_bo1204203200_Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince Volume 2) | C.S. Pacat

My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I did not like the first book to this trilogy and I did not like the second. However, I will concede that the second book was much better (I use this term very loosely) than the first book, which had far too much sexual violence for my tastes. Rape is not sexy, Ms. Pacat. Not at all. It seemed she learned her lesson in the sequel because there was little to no rape in this book and there was a genuine focus on the political/ war aspect of the story, as well as the romantic. She built up her characters, particularly Laurent and Damen, to make them much more likable and she developed the relationship between the two men quite well. There was humor and there were some sexy time scenes, but nothing compared to the madness that was the first book. The war scenes need some work and the author’s attempt at political intrigue is a bit basic and predictable, but this is an M/M romance (more like an erotica, to be honest). Groundbreaking political drama with spectacular twists and turns is not be expected. Eh, I’ll give it 3 stars. It kept me interested, and that’s all I ask for.

517ldps7epl-_sx319_bo1204203200_ Kings Rising (Captive Prince Volume 3) | C.S. Pacat

My Rating: ⭐ ⭐  1/2

The last book of this horrendously entertaining trilogy is not as good as the second, but still “better” than the first. The sexual overtones have been toned down, not by much, but are now bearable at least. The romance between Laurent and Damen is amplified quite a bit in this last book and I found myself content with how their interactions and love lives played out. The politics within the book are nothing special, often predictable, and at times, simply a load of bologna. Even so, it added an extra bit of spicy content that prevented the book from being a straight-up M/M romance with nothing else going for it. The big reveal at the end was no surprise at all, even though the author worked hard to make it seem as if the secret between Laurent and his Uncle would tip us over the edge. But no. I guessed this all the way back in book one. And I’m sure you could, too. The ending was tied up way too nicely, but at least it was satisfying to a certain degree. So yeah….I’ve got nothing more to say about it. I regret it, yes, but at least I was entertained for a few hours with this trilogy.

8 thoughts on “Mini Flash Reviews: Prince’s Gambit and Kings Rising | C.S. Pacat

  1. Okay, I’ll admit I absolutely loved the first (in part because it seemed clear to me that it wasn’t a romance, and the rape wasn’t supposed to be sexy or titillating; I thought Pacat did a good job of portraying the atrocity of rape and slavery, while staying true to the cultural context of Vere), and greatly enjoyed the second. Haven’t read the third yet, but it’s on my shelf, waiting for me, and I have high hopes for it. (Or, I DID have high hopes for it. It’s disappointing to hear the politics in it are especially silly. Bah.)

    I’ll definitely agree that the politics (especially in the first book) are pretty predictable, and Laurent’s secret is screamingly obvious from the get-go. I can’t tell if Pacat thinks she’s being subtle about it or not, though. I guess I’m looking forward to its grand reveal. In any case, the series definitely has its fair share of flaws!

    It’s always awful to regret reading a book, much less an entire series. I’m glad you were able to follow these up with more enjoyable books, though! Gotta have a few great books around to wash out the memory of the regrettable ones. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH. MY. GOD. I am SO SORRY for this ridiculously late reply. I was in the cold, unforgiving grips of finals at the time and I completely forgot to reply. One million apologies for this.

      Even though I say I regret reading the series, I don’t really haha. I’m actually glad that I gave the trilogy a chance because I enjoyed the second book and I would actually re-read it. (I needed more time to think about what I really thought of the books). I interpreted the first book much differently, but I understand your take on it as well 🙂

      Where the story fails in its portrayal of politics and war, it exceeds in others. It’s a very flawed series, but despite it all, I was entertained from beginning to end. I hope you enjoy the third book and the grand reveal! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahaha, no worries! Finals are the worst; I don’t blame you for forgetting! (I’d actually forgotten I’d left this comment. My feelings definitely wouldn’t have been hurt if you never answered it.)

        Oh good, I’m glad you don’t 100% regret reading the series, and I’d be curious to hear your thoughts after rereading Prince’s Gambit. Hopefully you don’t like it any less upon rereading.

        I actually read Kings Rising a couple weeks ago, and I completely agree with your description of it: the plot stuff is super, painfully weak, and the conflicts are tied up in the most ridiculous and swift way possible. I’m so disappointed in this book’s plot–but I did still love Damen and Laurent, and their relationship, so I’ll undoubtedly be rereading the entire trilogy fairly regularly. (Though I’ll get pissed at Kings Rising every time I read it.)

        Your warnings actually helped me not be quite as shocked and disappointed as I would’ve been otherwise. I’ve heard from other people that it’s pretty much a perfect conclusion to a perfect trilogy, and if I’d gone in with those expectations, I probably would’ve died of aggravation. So thanks for the helpful review! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Phew! That’s good to know. But I’m still happy that I managed to answer back though haha.

        And I think that I might enjoy Prince’s Gambit much more the second time around. Not sure why, but I definitely have a feeling I might 😀

        And I’m sorry Kings Rising was a bit of a disappointment for you. Damen and Laurent’s relationship was, by far, the best aspect of the book, and I’d reread it simply for that but the weak plot is a hard one to ignore. I’ll probably end up re-reading the series again, too, and maybe I’ll have a better opinion of it as a whole!

        I’m glad my review helped to alleviate some of your disappointment in the final book! I know I was a bit hard on it, but only because I went in with such high expectations, as everyone around me kept saying it was a perfect trilogy. Even though it had its flaws, I still found the books really entertaining, I’m really happy that you enjoyed the series, for the most part too ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I hope you do enjoy it more the second time! Let me know if/when you get around to it.

        Yeah, I’m sorry too–but I’m even sorry for you, who didn’t have the advance warning of its mediocrity. Or below-mediocrity, even.

        In any case, here’s hoping this trilogy’s popularity leads to an increase in both the number and quality of fantasy novels featuring LGBTQIA+ protagonists. Every finger is crossed. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank you! And of course 😀 I haven’t done one before, but would you be interested in possibly doing a buddy re-read for it?

        And that’s all right! At least it sparked some very intense conversations with my friends who are HELLA passionate about the trilogy haha XD

        And I sincerely hope so, too! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’d absolutely love to do a buddy read (or reread) with you! But, uh, since I just reread Prince’s Gambit a few weeks ago, and I’m swamped with other things I should probably read, I’d probably prefer to choose a different book. 😅


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