Prince's Gambit by C.S. Pacat | Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat | Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
The Captive Prince trilogy is a twisty political story mixed with a love story. In the first two books we had some interesting worldbuilding. Two enemy nations were dealing with internal power struggles, and both nations had a culture of slavery. In one nation, a bastard brother got the upper hand and sold his non-bastard brother into slavery in the enemy nation. That prince-turned-slave ended up in the hands of the prince of that nation... one who was also losing the struggle for his rightful power.
In the first two books, the political end of things were just as interesting (if not more so) than the relationship between the two men. Unfortunately the third book fell down hard on that aspect of the story, and so much of what happened wasn't at all believable and/or felt very rushed. Luckily the relationship aspect of the story remained strong in the third book, so that somewhat carried it. I wavered between rating the third book 'okay' and 'liked', but that I skimmed most of the last 10% or so of it had to push it down to an 'okay'.
While the physical relationships (sex) in the book was never graphically described, it was still [I want to use the word "nice" or "very nice" here, but those are such mild words, it almost seems to be insulting. Yet "wonderful" or "hot" or "great" are all way too strong. "Nice" really is the right word, so long as you take it with no negative connotations. And thus ends probably the longest external debate I've ever written about my word selection in a post. Usually I keep it in my head!].
I loved the first two books so much, I wish the third one had been a better ending to the trilogy.
Reading now: The Dragon Round. I accepted it for review (even though I said I wouldn't do that anymore), but since it seemed interesting and it comes from a major publisher (Simon and Schuster), it seemed a safe bet. So far, I'm enjoying it! We haven't gotten to the dragons yet, but old sailing ships and mutinies? That works for me!
EDIT: Comments now contain spoilers for Kings Rising.