Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos. But when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.
Beautiful, manipulative, and deadly, his new master, Prince Laurent, epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.
For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else…
What the fuck did I just read?
This story is filled with rape, torture, and slavery, some of it pretty graphic. And towards children/teens as well.
But I still liked it??? Still, I wouldn’t read this if you’re faint-hearted as this world is extremely dark and horrifying.
The plot and world-building was a bit slow at times but it’s a great set-up for the next two books and the characters more than make up for it. Damianos, a.k.a. Damen the Captive Prince, finds himself in Vere, his country’s enemy territory after his half-brother takes over the throne. Forced to be a slave to Vere’s heir to the throne Laurent, Damen has to ignore all his instincts and submit to survive.
“Laurent could inspire homicidal tendencies simply by breathing.”
Laurent, you’re a fucking asshole. But I was still able to like you?? Both Damen and Laurent show so much character growth throughout the story, and it’s written in a completely realistic way that’s pretty amazing to read about. And it says a lot about the author and the writing that I was able to sympathize with and not hate Laurent, there’s just something so captivating about him, and I can’t wait to see more of him in the next book.
For a book that’s categorized as a romance, there is very little romance here. And by that I mean there’s absolutely no romance. Of course that will change, but the slow-burn is a nice change from all the insta-love that’s present in other books.
Overall, the relationship between Lauren and Damen, and all of the political intrigue left me wanting more, so enough of this. I need to read book two like right now!
“This place sickened him. Anywhere else, you simply killed your enemy with a sword. Or poisoned him, if you had the honourless instincts of an assassin. Here, it was layer upon layer of constructed double-dealing, dark, polished and unpleasant.