Prince’s Gambit – C. S. Pacat

Release date: 7 July 2015 (originally self-published 28 January 2014)
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★★ – 10/10
Goodreads link
Book Depository link (original cover)
Book Depository link (new cover)

Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince, #2)

With their countries on the brink of war, Damen and his master, Prince Laurent, exchange the intrigues of the palace for the sweeping might of the battlefield as they travel to the border to avert a lethal plot.

Leading a band of loyal men against desperate odds, Damen must fight together with Laurent, to overcome machinations, ambushes and betrayals. With the future of both their nations at stake, a single misstep could be fatal.

Despite himself, Damen is increasingly drawn to the dangerous, charismatic Laurent. But even as the fledgling trust between the two men deepens, their enemies are poised to deal them a devastating blow…

OMG I am so trash for this series.  I stayed up until 1:45am finishing this book and it was all I could do to go to sleep and not pick up book three.  Thank goodness I’m on holidays and didn’t have to get up early for work!  I don’t even know what to say, except, if you haven’t read this series and you’re not averse to a homo-erotic Six of Crows meets Game of Thrones (but better than both), for the love of god go do so now.

The book picks up exactly at the end of Captive Prince (like actually later in the same day), and we commence the tactical-war part of this series. If Captive Prince was the court-games, where Laurent showed his skill, this book is definitely the war-games where Damen gets his chance. Except it turns out that Laurent is more of a Kaz Brekker than I thought possible (except I liked Laurent), and still manages to move his pieces on the Regent’s chessboard.

The strategy for this plot blows my mind. I pride myself on being able to pick apart the plot to figure out what will happen ahead of time, but that ending… WOW! I absolutely did not see that coming.  In fact, of all the things I guessed, only some of them actually occurred (although I still have some guesses for book three, but we will have to wait and see).  The rest of the twists just killed me slowly in the feels. All of the feels. So many feels!

The world-building is just epic. The characters are amazing. Even with all the treachery and deception there is still one small thing about each of them that makes you not quite hate them because they are all just human, and playing in something that is much, much bigger than them. You feel sympathy for the pawns, which is so unusual for a book like this.

And Damen and Laurent! I’m not sure I could love them more. Pynch is still my OTP, but there’s still one more book to read and these two are pretty close!! (Although Stiefvater is bringing out a Dreamer trilogy so there will be MORE PYNCH to look forward to!)

Anyway, I’m done reviewing now. I have another book to read!

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