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 . . .
Written initially as a free online serial on livejournal by C.S. Pacat[[note]]Know previously as Freece or S.U. Pacat[[/note]], all three books of The Captive Prince Trilogy are now officially published.
!!''Captive Prince'' contains examples of:
* AristocratsAreEvil: The most obvious being the Regent.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Damianos, most obviously, as the rightful King of Akielos. Too bad he spends most of the trilogy ''not'' being the King of Akielos.
* BadassGay: In a setting with tons of sword fights and intrigue, and where most characters are gay or bisexual, you get lots of this.
* BetaCouple: Each book has a couple getting together in the background that serves as a foil to Damen and Laurent.
** In the first book, [[spoiler:Torveld and Erasmus]] are an "ideal" master/slave pairing.
** In the second, [[spoiler:Jord and Aimeric]] are a rough soldier and a pampered, pretty noble who have an easy, affectionate relationship [[spoiler:that leads to tragedy due to Aimeric's dark secrets]].
** In the last, [[spoiler:Pallas and Lazar]] are an Akielon and Veretian who make an uncomplicated, fun couple who get together based mainly off of physical attraction.
* BattleCouple: Damen and Laurent.
* BigBrotherWorship: Laurent towards Auguste, before he died. Similarly, Damen towards Kastor.
* BookEnds: [[spoiler:The first book begins in the slave baths in Akielos. The third book ends there as well.]]
* BrokenBird: Laurent, although he refuses to show it.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:The earring that Laurent wins from Nicaise in a petty bet comes in use again when Laurent disguises himself as a prostitute.]]
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Red for Akielons, and blue for Veretians. [[spoiler:The lines start blurring especially as the Regent makes moves to take Akielos' throne for himself.]]
* ConsummateLiar: Laurent and [[spoiler: the Regent, from whom Laurent apparently learned all his tricks.]]
* CreepyUncle: [[spoiler: The Regent, who took advantage of a grieving Laurent after Auguste was killed.]]
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: Vere, as pretty much stated in the summary.
* DeadpanSnarker: Laurent. Though most named characters seems to have their moments.
* DecapitationPresentation: Poor [[spoiler: Nicaise]]...
* DisguisedInDrag: [[spoiler:Laurent disguises himself as Jokaste so that he and Damen can get past a patrol of Kastor-aligned soldiers. The leader of the soldiers in question is thoroughly convinced, and even [[AttractiveBentGender comments on "Jokaste"'s beauty]].]]
* DramaticIrony: Very appropriately, considering Akielon culture is based on AncientGreece: [[spoiler: the reader figures out long before Damen that Laurent was raped by his uncle.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Aimeric.]]
* DumbMuscle: What Laurent frequently accuses Damen of being, and the common Veretian idea of Akielons.
* EatingTheEyeCandy: Even before Damen started to like Laurent he was attracted to him and prone to staring.
* EverybodyHasLotsOfSex: Veretians are horrified by the idea of illegitimate birth and heterosexual sex outside of marriage, but are perfectly willing to take same-sex pets and indulge themselves in public displays of gay sex, while Akielons don't much care who you're attracted to but are shocked at the idea of doing it while someone is watching.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: The Regent. [[spoiler:Because the alternative is to call him his real name, ''Laurent''.]]
* EveryoneIsBi: Most characters in this series are fine with either gender, though there are the rare few who are exclusively straight or gay.
* ForbiddenRomance: Damen and Laurent are the crown princes of two kingdoms who loathe each other, and more personally, Damen killed Laurentís beloved brother.
** And Laurent knew of, and took glee in, the arranged murder of Damen's father and his entire household. Mostly because of the aforementioned [[CycleOfRevenge brother-killing.]]
* GambitRoulette: It's implied that [[spoiler: Jokaste pulls one off by convincing Kastor to send Damen to Vere as a slave instead of killing him, thereby giving Damen the chance to ally himself with Laurent and then bringing down Kastor together. She had no way of knowing how any of it would work out; it's possible she simply didn't want him killed.]]
* GoodCannotComprehendEvil: Why Damen was so blindsided by Kastor and Jokaste's betrayal, why it took him so long to realize who Nicaise belonged to, why he never figured out the relationship between the Regent and Laurent.
** Laurent describes Auguste this way too:
--->"Auguste was like you ... He had no instinct for deception; it meant he couldn't recognize it in other people."
* GreenEyedMonster: Kastor for all that Damianos had on virtue of his birth.
* HappinessInSlavery: Erasmus, Type 3, who was apparently chosen to be a slave because of his submissive tendencies. More generally, Akielon slaves: they're described as being perfectly submissive, bringing obedience to the form of a high art, but can expect perfect treatment and care in return.
* HasAType: Damen prefers blonde hair and blue eyes, and he's a sucker for an IceQueen. Nikandros call hims out on it extensively.
* [[HugeGuyTinyGirl Huge Guy, Tiny Guy]]: Damianos and Laurent. On a comment from Damianos that his borrowed armor is too small, Laurent suggests that he borrows the armor of a warhorse instead.
* IceQueen: Laurent is a rare male example, and has been described as a "cast-iron bitch". Twice. Also Jokaste, who's cool, calculating, coldly intelligent and took "three months of courtship".
** DefrostingIceQueen: Only in private, though, and only towards Damen.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Laurent, although it comes up very rarely and disappears just as fast. [[spoiler:Despite their temperamental relationship, he has a particular soft spot for Nicaise and all other slaves.]]
* KingIncognito: What Damen tries to do as a slave [[spoiler:but fails. He never had a chance from the beginning.]] But there are plenty of other smaller stints where both Damen and Laurent do this.
* MadeASlave: Damen, within the first few pages.
* ManipulativeBastard: [[spoiler: The Regent.]] Laurent is a more honourable example.
* MasterSwordsman: It's probably easier to say who in the cast ''isn't''. Damen is of particular note, and so is [[spoiler:Laurent, although he hides this as much as he can.]]
* MissingMom: For a plot line where succession, the royal family, and bloodlines are important, no one seems to have mothers. [[spoiler: Averted with Guion's wife, Loyse, who comes forward in the third book after otherwise blending into the background in revenge for Aimeric.]]
* NoHeterosexualSexAllowed: In Vere, having an illegitimate child is highly stigmatized. As such, pre-marital homosexual relations are the norm.
* OneManArmy: Damianos, [[spoiler: if the battle of Charcy in the third book is any indication.]]
* OneSteveLimit: Played straight with all the different exotic Veretian and Akielon names until it is isn't. [[spoiler:The Regent's real name is Laurent as well.]]
* PrettyBoy: Everyone and their cousins appreciate Laurent's pretty boy looks, with varying degrees of vulgarity. Damen refuses to let the readers forget how blonde Laurent is, and how nice his facial and body structure is, and how fine his skin is, and etc., long before he even ''starts'' to warm up to Laurent.
** It is, however, not until he somewhat likes Laurent that he really acknowledges his beauty. Before that, he just describes it in a vaguely detached sort of way.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The whole culture of Akielos can be summed up into this. Damen starts as this, but changes following his interactions with Laurent and the Veretian court.
* TheReveal: Plenty in the third book, and many that might have been obvious to the audience but isn't to the narrator, Damen, in line with his inability to perceive deceptions and double-meanings.
** [[spoiler:Laurent knew that Damen was Damianos as soon as he was brought to him as a slave.]]
** [[spoiler:The Regent invokes this trope by casually mentioning his rape of Laurent to goad Damen into attacking him.]]
** [[spoiler:The true extent of the Regent's plots are all revealed in what is supposed to be Laurent's trial.]]
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Naturally, with Damen and Laurent as protagonists, but other characters as well, as the books' plot ties very intricately with royalty and the nobility.
* SexSlave: Damen. Heís doing his best to correct this. Also the many sex slaves in or from Akielos: Erasmus, to name one.
* SomedayThisWillComeInHandy: Laurent, consistently. [[spoiler:The most obvious being his conversations in Akielon with Damen, which comes in handy very quickly when he throws his lot in with the Akielons.]]
* SpoiledBrat: Laurent certainly comes off this way at first. The pets in Vere are also cherished for acting in this manner.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: Damen in one fight, which only works out of luck and because Damen is a canonical [[OneManArmy monster of a soldier]].
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: [[spoiler:The Regent, especially in comparison to his cold, difficult nephew.]]
* [[WhenSheSmiles When He Smiles]]: Laurent, [[DefrostingIceQueen naturally]].
* [[YouKilledMyFather You Killed My Brother]]: Damen killed Laurent's beloved older brother Auguste before the first book. [[spoiler: At the end of the third book, Laurent kills Damen's brother Kastor.]]
* ZeroApprovalGambit: It's implied that [[spoiler: Jokaste]] manages to pull off one of these. If Laurent's surmises are correct and she is to be believed, [[spoiler: Jokaste was genuinely in love with Damen but found out about Kastor's planned coup, and, powerless to stop it, pretended to join Kastor's faction in order to convince him to send Damen to Vere as a slave in the hope that he would join forces with Laurent and bring Kastor down. It cost her Damen's love and branded her as a traitor to her King, but it worked.]]