Literature / Captive Prince
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. Pacatnote
, all three books of The Captive Prince Trilogy are now officially published.
Captive Prince contains examples of:
- Badass Gay: In a setting with tons of sword fights and intrigue, and where most characters are gay by some degree or another, you get lots of this.
- Beta Couple: Each book has a couple getting together in the background that serves as a foil to Damen and Laurent.
- In the first book, Torveld and Erasmus are an "ideal" master/slave pairing.
- In the second, Jord and Aimeric are a rough soldier and a pampered, pretty noble who have an easy, affectionate relationship that leads to tragedy due to Aimeric's dark secrets.
- In the last, Pallas and Lazar are an Akielon and Veretian who make an uncomplicated, fun couple who get together based mainly off of physical attraction.
- Big Brother Worship: Laurent towards Auguste, before he died.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys
- Consummate Liar: Laurent and the Regent, from whom Laurent apparently learned all his tricks.
- Creepy Uncle: The Regent, who took advantage of a grieving Laurent after Auguste was killed.
- Deadly Decadent Court: Vere, as pretty much stated in the summary.
- Deadpan Snarker: Laurent. Though most named characters seems to have their moments.
- Decapitation Presentation: Poor Nicaise...
- Dramatic Irony: Very appropriately, considering Akielon culture is based on Ancient Greece: the reader figures out long before Damen that Laurent was raped by his uncle.
- Driven to Suicide: Aimeric.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Even before Damen started to like Laurent he was attracted to him and prone to staring.
- Everybody Has Lots of Sex: 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.
- Everyone Is Bi: Most characters in this series are fine with either gender, though there are the rare few who are exclusively straight or gay.
- Forbidden Romance: 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 brother-killing.
- Gambit Roulette: It's implied that 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.
- Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: 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.
- Happiness in Slavery: 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.
- Has a Type: Damen prefers blonde hair and blue eyes, and he's a sucker for an Ice Queen.
- Ice Queen: 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".
- Made a Slave: Damen, within the first few pages.
- Manipulative Bastard: The Regent. Laurent is a more honourable example.
- Missing Mom: For a plot line where succession, the royal family, and bloodlines are important, no one seems to have mothers.
- No Heterosexual Sex Allowed: In Vere, having an illegitimate child is highly stigmatized. As such, pre-marital homosexual relations are the norm.
- Pretty Boy: Everyone and their cousins appreciates Laurent's pretty boy looks, with varying degrees of vulgarity. Damen refuse 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.
- Sex Slave: Damen. Heís doing his best to correct this. Also the many sex slaves in or from Akielos: Erasmus, to name one.
- Spoiled Brat: Laurent certainly comes off this way at first.
- You Killed My Brother: Damen killed Laurent's beloved older brother Auguste before the first book. At the end of the third book, Laurent kills Damen's brother Kastor.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: It's implied that Jokaste manages to pull off one of these. If Laurent's surmises are correct and she is to be believed, 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.