Narrated by Stephen Bel Davies
Please note this is the third installment of a story that must be read in sequential order. If you have not yet started the Captive Prince series, please see the AudioGals review for book 1, Captive Prince, as the below review contains spoilers for the prior books. Additionally, for the general background of this fantasy, medieval like story, please also see the review for the first book.
Kings Rising is a fantastic conclusion to a memorable and unique M/M, fantasy-based trilogy. Even during a difficult time, evacuating from Hurricane Irma, when most other books couldn’t hold my attention, Kings Rising was one of the few books that was able to grab my attention and provide me with a respite from the stress of my personal situation. So that speaks volumes at how well written this story is. Moreover, I enjoyed the progression of the political and romantic subplots of this story. This is a Game of Thrones-style saga that will definitely keep you glued to your earbuds until the last minute!
Book 3 picks up where book 2 leaves off: the truth of Damen’s background has been revealed. In the meantime, both Damen and Laurent are dealing with turbulent political times that will determine whether they will be able to keep their rightful places at the throne of their respective Kingdoms or whether they will die as a result of their legitimate claims. Interestingly, as forces keep calling their positions in doubt, their united forces may just be the answer to each other’s plights. But how will Laurent deal with Damen’s revelation that he is not a slave, but instead the man who killed his brother and the rightful King of Akielos, the arch nemesis of Vere, Damen’s Kingdom? Moreover, when the truth becomes known that Damen has knelt at Laurent’s feet, will Damen still be able to command the respect of a King, or will his people refuse to follow and abandon him?
I guess by the third book, Stephen Bel Davies’ narration had grown on me, as I found myself questioning it less. This is why I slightly upgraded the narration grade to a B- for this final installment. That being the case, for the most part I was able to sit back and just listen to the story. However, Stephen Bel Davies’ characterization of Damen just never sounded completely right to me. As I noted in my earlier reviews, Damen being the more alpha personality of the two men, I thought he should have used a stronger, deeper voice for him. Additionally, while I was able to differentiate Laurent easily from Damen, determining the speaker among other characters in the series was much more difficult as there wasn’t much differentiation among characters overall.
All in all, this trilogy will hold a place on my keeper shelf. While I would love to listen to it after being recast with a different narrator, the story is just so fresh and impactful that I can see myself revisiting this series again (something which I rarely do). Additionally, I will definitely be on the lookout for more works by the talented C.S. Pacat.
TITLE: Kings Rising
AUTHOR: C.S. Pacat
NARRATED BY: Stephen Bel Davies
GENRE: M/M Erotica/Romance
STEAM FACTOR: Glad I had my earbuds in
REVIEWER: BJBuy Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat on Amazon