Title: Kings Rising
Author: C.S. Pacat
Publication Date: 2nd February 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars
His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.
On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilising for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.
Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity – can it stand against the Regent’s final, deadly play for the throne?
Kings Rising was a disappointing end to the AMAZING Captive Prince series. I spent much of the book confused about where the characters were – there was a map supplied in the front of the book, but I really really dislike flicking to a map; I would rather the author just make it clear what is happening….. While the world was extended beyond the borders of Vere, I felt that there wasn’t enough time given to the new settings, and couldn’t adjust easily every time the army moved.
The book starts with an epic battle. Damen sounds like a whirlwind. I was very much attracted to the character in this scene. In contrast, we first see Laurent when he wakes in a cell, tied to a chair, at the mercy of a god-awful guard. The first two books already established that Damen is the brawn, and Laurent the brains. The first two chapters reinforce that stereotype, which the second book tried hard to break.
Despite (justified) fears that Laurent might gut him, Damen joins forces with the Prince of Vere. Laurent wants to defeat his uncle, the horrific Regent, and Damen wants his throne back from the half-brother who killed their father. The differences in culture between the two armies were pretty funny at times, awful at others. Laurent keeps his army in check with blood-curdling threats; Damen doesn’t appear to have the same effect on his troops.
I felt that the characters weren’t as interesting in this book, as neither was hiding secrets. Their relationship (which, let’s be honest, is the reason I kept reading) is strained. While it does improve (resulting in some more steamy scenes), this book has nothing on Prince’s Gambit.
I think it was the ending which bothered me most. It was too TIDY, with nowhere near enough bloodshed for the climactic scenes. And then it just stopped – I was totally dissatisfied when I finished, and this has (OBVIOUSLY) coloured my interpretation of the ENTIRE book.
I have been pretty mean to the book, despite giving it four stars. It was still a very good fantasy novel; Kings Rising just didn’t live up to the high expectations created by its predecessors.
Does the ending colour your rating of a book?