Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat.

Publish date- 2015.
Publisher- Penguin.


Review time...

(A Brief) Synopsis:
The twisting tale of a prince sent to the lands of his enemy to be a pleasure slave and his efforts to get back to his homeland and the throne that is rightfully his.


What I thought:
I was pulled immediately into this story, the world clear and massively intriguing only finding the cast of characters a little wide and difficult to follow at first- there are many and their roles specific- and always, through every uncomfortable scene and horrific action that followed, the story held me by its simple yet expressive flow and its ways of showing me Damen, his thoughts, wishes, fears, and how being thrown into a new world, seeing all that he treasured and loved torn away from him, affected him.

But... it wasn't enough, because every time someone was raped I would falter. I would hope it wouldn't happen again. I would hope the almost demonic prince Laurent would stand up, fight against the horrors that happened all around his court. I hoped that he and Damen (since I knew they had an eventual romance) would fight for justice together! and then fall into each other’s arms, maybe, or at least something like that. I didn't expect... what actually happened. And I didn't expect it to hit me so hard.
I didn’t anticipate Laurent, who I expected so much from, would instigate Damen's second rape. I didn't think he would stand by, cooly, and istruct another to do that awful thing. And no matter how gorgeous a couple the two princes may make later on, this single scene has stuck with me and it infuriates me, sickens me, and shakes up everything I had hoped this book would give me. And I don't believe I'll ever be able to pair these two up for romance. I can't imagine Damen will be out for anything but vengeance.

The rest of the book, really, despite having an intriguing premise, being written very well, and giving the promise of so much, to consist more of torture, explicitly crude humor, and rape, rather than plot, character and relationship building. And whilst Damen may be a shining example of self righteousness, and the book may show same sex couples in a light that was truly wonderful and made me proud, and I may have read it in two days and felt I was carried along swiftly (for my reading at the time, for slumps do abound), but I was also horrified, distressed, and uncomfortable. The fact no one in this world seems to blink an eye at rape, apart from Damen who comes from another kingdom, was... a little bit terrifying.

Rating: Whatever comes between Poor and Oh Noooo.
This wasn't a particularly positive experience, and it's all the worse because I had been so looking forward to it. I'm not planning on stepping into this world again, although Chiara may yet convince me.

16 comments:

  1. That's one subject matter I don't have the heart to read. I just can't.

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    1. It's tough, and dealt with very up front, normalised. It's dealt with in a way that isn't even showing it to be an issue, which was so painful.
      xx

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  2. I dislike reading about this topic but I am sorry you didn't like it.

    -Jordan

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    1. I did like elements of it, certainly, but the rape was too prevalent. Like I said to Joy, it was just too horrible to read about it being so normal. xx

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  3. ROMI I JUMPED OUT OF MY SEAT WHEN I SAW THIS POST!!

    I can't believe I like this series even though it got me confused at first and the rape and torture is so brutal, I felt disturbed too :/ More than disturbed, it's way to dark. I did go on with the series and there is a LOT of change and explanation of the horrible culture but I don't want to be that person who says "the next book is better, trust me" when you're so uncomfortable (and understandably).

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    1. WOW! I'm thrilled I was able to get you that excited! *blows a whistle and starts the marching band enthusiastically*
      It's definitely brutal, good choice of wording. I felt that, and I felt really unsettled, uncomfortable, horrified. Disturbed. You got it on the head. I'm glad you're not saying "the next book it better"! Thank you! I have heard that it's lesser in the second book, but at the same time I just don't think I can deal with it anymore? Maybe one day I will choose to, but not right now. xx

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  4. OK, then.... Chiara had convinced me to read it as well, so much that I have a copy on my shelf. I was just waiting for the final book to release before jumping in, but now I know this book is so not for me. I already don't like reading books about sexual violence; we need them, but they can be hard and heartbreaking to read. I can tell this would have distressed and horrified me, too. I already had a bad experience with a book that upset earlier this year, so I'm glad I read your review.

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    1. Oh, well I'm really sorry, in a way, that I've turned you off, Rebecca, if you've already got copies, but I'm also glad that you're able to choose that it's not for you and won't have to experience this for yourself, if you know it isn't something you can read. Sexual violence is such a tough thing to read about- certainly you're right, we need books about it, but it's really difficult to read. I can't imagine how it would be to write about it.
      Thanks so much for commenting, Rebecca, and sharing your thoughts. They really resonated with me. xx

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  5. Hmm, I think this will be a difficult read for me too - I don't really want to read about brutality. It's sounds so interesting though. It's too bad that aspect overshadowed the book so much since it seems like a great, progressive story otherwise.

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    1. It's hard, for sure, and very detailed in this. Some books deal with it in a way that makes it okay, not so up front and physically present, but it's really a strong element, and a clear one, of the story, so it's not really shielded from the reader at all. xx

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  6. Haha, I hadn't heard of this one before Chiara shared it on her blog either! I knew it would be a little dark but a lot of it sounds pretty harsh and kind of depressing, I can see why you sometimes had a hard time with it. I am liking the positives though!

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    1. Well it's fantastic to know that word got around so much from her blog! I'd definitely say it's more than a little dark, although it's well done all the same. Maybe you'd enjoy it more than I? I'd be interested to hear. xx

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  7. From memory, there is no (or very little enough for it not to be in memory) rape in the second book. It's not set in Vere, so the culture of sexual violence isn't in it at all.

    There's a lot more relationship development between Damen and Laurent, and even though there's no excuse/s for how Laurent has treated Damen in the past, you get to know a LOT more about him, and why he has turned out the way he has.

    I really do hope you read the second book, because it's a lot more tame in regards to the aspects you weren't a fan of, and there's a larger focus on the relationship between Laurent and Damen (which is heartbreaking).

    <3

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    1. Your passion is overwhelming, Chiara! I'm really, really tempted to give the other books in the series a go. I'm not ready, at the moment, in mind nor the sheer size of my tbr, but I'll not forget your encouragement to get onto the next books. Maybe, come summer, I'll give the second book a go, at least, and see what I think. I do really want to see how that relationship grows, even if I hate Laurent for what he did and can only imagine Damen will gut him.

      Thanks so much for the recommendation for this, though- even though it wasn't a super read, the world was absolutely fascinating. xx

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  8. Hm, I'm not sure what to think of this. It does sound like an intriguing book but I had never read a review of it before and boy does it sound a lot more vulgar than I was expecting? If I am going to end up trying this one I know I am going to be mentally preparing myself before I even try it!

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    1. Vulgar isn't the term I would use, personally. For me it's a lot more complex than that and it's set in a society where rape is basically accepted, as horrible as that idea is. So it's a fact of life, not really something featured to get a rise out of the readers (I didn't think), for this story.
      Definitely something you want to go into with background knowledge, though, I'd think. I'm glad I already knew some of what was to come when I read it. xx

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Please note, however, that nothing hurtful will be tolerated.

Have a beautiful day.x