Review Prince’s Gambit by CS Pascat (Narration by Stephen Bel Davies)

I gave this audiobook an A- for the story and C for the narration at AudioGals.

Narrated by Stephen Bel Davies

Please note this is the second installment of a story that must be read in sequential order. If you have not yet started the Captive Prince Trilogy, please see the AudioGals review for book 1, Captive Prince, as the below review contains spoilers for the prior book. Additionally, if you want the general background of this fantasy, medieval-like story, you can also read the review for the first book.

I devoured Prince’s Gambit, this second, somewhat longer (but more normal length – run time of 9 hours and 55 minutes) installment of the Captive Prince Trilogy, in just one day. While the narration still mostly suffers from the same flaws that I noted in my review of the first book, Captive Prince, I was generally more able to fall into a rhythm with this narration from the get-go (perhaps because I already knew what to expect). Additionally, this second book overall had a slightly different feel from the first: less dark in nature (so much so that I have dropped the dark romance classification for the genre) and much more focused around war and political strategy and the developing of trust and a bond between Prince Laurent and Damen. For romance lovers like me, this means that we finally do get some intimate interactions and indeed begin to see the turning of what commenced as primarily a hate relationship turn into something that promises to be so much more.

Book 2 picks up where book 1 leaves off: the Uncle Regent has convinced Prince Laurent that he must go to the border to quell a potential uprising. While Damen suspects this is a trap that the Uncle Regent has sprung to finally get Prince Laurent out of the line of succession of the Vere throne, Damen nonetheless determines that the well-being of Akielos (his kingdom) is also riding on making sure that Laurent succeeds in this mission. This is because they are making it appear that Akielos is the one that has been attacking Vere, which undoubtedly will lead to war between the kingdoms. Therefore, Damen convinces Prince Laurent to take him with him – even as he knows that once this mission is complete, he must finally escape Prince Laurent’s captivity and go back home to regain his rightful place on the Akielos throne.

What ensues is a clever chess game of troop training, battle strategies and uncovering of allegiances and secret plots. Meanwhile, during this trying and difficult time, the one man who proves himself to be the most trustworthy to Prince Laurent is the one man he at one point hated and mistrusted the most: Damen. This leads to unprecedented interactions and exchanges of thoughts and feelings. As the mutual admiration and affection inevitably follow, will Damen be able to carry through with his plans to escape Laurent’s captivity at the end of the battle? Moreover, how will Prince Laurent react once Damen’s true identity is inevitably revealed?

See the full review at AudioGals.