Top critical review
Better than the first
on 16 August 2017
Prince's Gambit definitely doesn't suffer from second book syndrome. The pace quickens, the world gets some depth added to it, the characters develop more. Everything that should happen within a sequel happens.
In this book we pick up pretty much where its predecessor leaves us. With Damen and Laurent travelling South in an attempt to stop war between Vere and Akielos. What follows is a masterful display of political power play that is both intriguing and suspenseful.
The development of the characters essentially comes from the slight change in dynamic within their relationship. Damen goes from just being Laurent's slave to becoming a respected and strategic member of Laurent's army. They make up for each others weaknesses. With Damen's strength, strategy and war-worn mind and Laurent's tactical, calculating and ever-thinking mind they become a good team.
C.S. Pacat subtly places elements of back story for Laurent in small moments. It gives you a better understanding of him and makes him more likable. It was interesting to see the progression in Damen. In the first book he was forcibly taken from his home and and placed in a country and society he isn't familiar with. Understandably, he wasn't at ease. Now however, he is heading towards his home and given some form of free-reign. It was nice to see him in his element, fighting and being a strategist.
There is so much tension and hate between the two main characters and yet they still have a deep connection. It feels like a masterclass in how to write the perfect slow burn.
In all, I am pleased and surprised with Pacat. She has created an enjoyable world but given twists and betrayals that I never saw coming. The reason this book is still within the 3's is because even though I do like and enjoy them I'm not madly in love with them. They're a nice easy read and I would recommend them if this type of book is something you're into but I'm not scrambling to turn the page and practically hanging off my seat. But, I still like them.