Book Review: Kings Rising (Captive Prince # 3) by C.S. Pacat


The second book in C.S. Pacat’s phenomenal Captive Prince Trilogy ended on one hell of a cliffhanger.

So when I first got hold of Kings Rising – the third and final book of the Captive Prince series – I dove right in and devoured it in one sitting. I barely let myself blink the entire time; I was glued to the pages of this book like if I took my eyes off it for a minute it might disappear. To say I was excited would be an understatement, and I am SO HAPPY to be able to say that Kings Rising very much lived up to my expectations.

Before we go any further, know this: Kings Rising is the third book in a trilogy so if you haven’t read the first two, then you are going to encounter spoilers in this review. If you haven’t read the first two books and the opening paragraph of this review hasn’t convinced you, then you can read my review of Captive Prince here. Basically, it’s a beautifully crafted epic fantasy slavefic that will have you on the edge of your seat from cover to cover. Go read it now.

Now that’s done, I’m going to assume everyone here has read Captive Prince and Prince’s Gambit or that you don’t care about spoilers. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers for Kings Rising, but if you’re super worried about that I suggest you stop here and go read the book – it’s good, I promise.

Kings Rising picks up right where Prince’s Gambit left off, so it’s pretty intense right from the get go. Without giving too much away, Damen has finally revealed that he is Damianos of Akielos. This is of course SUPER awkward for his relationship with Prince Laurent – which FINALLY progressed beyond mutual pining – as Laurent has sworn to kill Damianos of Akielos. Then there’s the matter of the Regent’s army and a terrible plan that will absolutely end in disaster. Things are not looking good for our hopelessly righteous hero as this story begins, and it only gets worse as the story progresses.

Once I heard C.S. Pacat’s writing described as glorious, and honestly I can’t think of a better word for it. The language is rich, the world is intricately crafted, and the relationships are MAGNIFICENT. Yes, that caps lock was completely necessary. I know that’s not very professional, but it you were looking for that you wouldn’t have come to The Geekiary; we’re all about FEELINGS and let me tell you. I have A LOT of FEELINGS about Kings Rising.  

Kings Rising is somehow MORE intense and enthralling than the two previous books combined. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading it. I think I forgot to breathe a couple of times. There was one moment when it was too much – I literally had to turn my iPad off and leave the house. Not just the room. I left the house and sat in my front garden for about 20 minutes because I couldn’t handle the rush of emotions these stupid men and their inability to communicate were giving me. This is a good thing, by the way; if a book can make me care that much, then it’s doing something right.

Last year when I spoke to C.S. Pacat, she described Kings Rising as epic. That is what it is. It’s a fitting conclusion to a story that has rightfully captured the heart of so many people. Despite the sheer expanse of plot introduced in the first two books, Kings Rising somehow manages to find a satisfying conclusion for everything. It sees the return of characters that were thought forgotten and each is given a well thought out – although not always happy – ending. There are new friends and surprising enemies. It’s just everything I wanted from the final book in this series.

This “review” is turning into a bit of gushfest, so before this turns into even more of a rambling mess I’ll give you a relatively spoiler free highlights reel. Damen continues to be hopelessly naive in the most endearing way. We get a really good look at Akielos. Jord is there, being Jord, which is always a highlight. There is a disguise! There’s a seriously intriguing female character that you will love and hate at the same time. And things get seriously steamy at times. Last, but DEFINITELY not least, there are chapters from Laurent’s point of view.

Well, there you have it. Basically, Kings Rising is a fantastic conclusion to an AMAZING series. If you liked the first two books, you’ll be incredibly pleased with Kings Rising. Once you read it, please come and gush with me in the comments.

Author: Undie Girl

Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.


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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Kings Rising (Captive Prince # 3) by C.S. Pacat

  1. Nice review, I’ve just finished it &…Holy smokes Batman!! Such a long wait but was totally worth it, I’m already depressed that it had to end (so much room for a more stories in CP world BTW, so I’m lucky that at least we’ll have a trilogy of short stories already planned <3).

    PS_Bottom line without being spoilery, I was only a bit disappointed at the abrupt ending: it felt, especially compared to the lenght & kind of finale of vol.2 as if it was lacking an epilogue of sort (perhaps we'll have in on the short dedicated to D./L.?!), even if the last *cinematic image* of the book was great indeed.

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