book reviews · c.s. pacat · captive prince

The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant by C.S. Pacat (CP short stories #3)

adventures

“We’ll make another kind of empire.”

I’m dead, I’ve died, I’ve gone to heaven – the third short story in the collection of Captive Prince short stories was a tiny little masterpiece that I will remember forever.

This is less of a review, and more of a general freaking-out over the perfection of this story.

So when I found out that the third CP story was set from the perspective of Charls, I was a quite irked. I didn’t really see the point of it and, to be honest, I really just wanted to read more about Damen and Laurent being in love. But, I still pre-ordered the story and set my alarm for 2 am so I could read it the second it downloaded on my kindle.

And I loved it.

There’s just something so surreal reading about Damen and Laurent from someone else’s eyes: in Charls we find out that Damen has a dimple in his left cheek.

I DON’T KNOW IF YOU HEARD ME PROPERLY BUT DAMIANOS KING OF AKIELOS HAS A DIMPLE IN HIS LEFT CHEEK AND THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION.

He also has tousled curls and smiles so sweetly that a loyal guard is swayed and does as Damen asks.

We also see the three sides of Laurent: the vicious Ice Prince facade he presents to his enemies; the fair, kind-hearted friend he reserves for those loyal to him; and the soft, loving, romantic side that only Damen sees. I love watching the complex characterisation of Laurent grow as he becomes more and more like the person he was also meant to be, thanks to Damen.

The plot was intriguing but I was too caught up in smiling over Damen and Laurent that I didn’t see what it really was about, although I was wondering, but trusted in Pacat.

All in all, The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant was fantastic and far, far better than I thought it would be. I’m so glad I read it. I seriously can’t wait for the last story now. (But it better be from Damen’s POV again or I’ll scream).

justright

download
5 stars

Best scenes:

  • Laurent’s feathered hat
  • DAMEN’S BEAUTIFUL DIMPLE 
  • Damen worrying that Laurent is spending too much time alone with the mistress of the house
  • “You do have nice eyes.”
  • “Healthy competition.” – fkn savage Laurent dropping the price of the silk to be a bitch
  • Damen putting a hand on Laurent’s shoulder when the horse was put down
  • Damen defending Laurent’s honour in the inn
  • Laurent throwing olives and hitting someone with a piece of lamb during the fight
  • Damen single-handedley taking on eight men and then roaring – like did we expect anything else
  • Just everything about the fight at the inn
  • DAMEN AND LAURENT TRYING TO SKIN A RABBIT AND MAKE DINNER AND UTTERLY FAILING
  • CHARLS LECTURING DAMEN THAT “A PRINCE’S HANDS ARE NOT MADE TO TOUCH A DEAD RABBIT” BUT NOT REALISING THAT DAMEN’S A FREAKING KING
  • Damen and Laurent laughing so much that Laurent has to wipe tears from his eyes 
  • Everyone talking about whether or not Damen and Laurent are “DOING IT”
  • Damen getting annoyed that everyone thinks he slept with someone for 6 hours when it was really 7
  • Everyone guessing how Damen and Laurent fell in love ❤
  • Saving the slaves
  • DAMEN AND LAURENT KISSING – be still my beating heart
  • LAURENT’S ASCENSION — I have waited YEARS and YEARS to read the words KING LAURENT OF VERE on the page
  • Finding out he’s actually Laurent VI of Vere
  • Laurent wearing all gold and looking fabulous
  • And Charls is still so dense he doesn’t understand who Damen really is

Best quotes:

Not everyone could have the blissful equanimity of Lamen, who seemed to pay the Prince no deference of rank, a piece of very good acting.

“That is very good of you to say, Lamen. But your word sadly counts for very little against that of a renowned merchant.”

“You do have nice eyes.”
“Did you miss me?”

Charls sat across from [Laurent], uncomfortably close to the man in the blue cloak, which on closer inspection was of untreated wool, obviously home woven. They had now been brought very low, Charls thought. 

“You’re not going to sit in my lap this time?” Lamen settled comfortably on the bench.
The Prince said, “Charls will faint.”

From that vantage, the Prince started throwing olives. They pinged off the heads of the struggling Akielons and caused no real harm, but contributed to the general confusion.

“And how is it you now fight for Veretians?” said Alexon.
Charls found himself curious to hear his answer, but Lamen said only, “I came to know one of them.”

Charls saw Lamen lift his cup and incline it towards the Prince, who echoed his gesture, the two of them smiling a little.

“You don’t drink wine,” said Lamen, a shoulder leaned against the wall.
“It was a special occasion,” said the Prince.
“Should I be glad you aren’t cornering a trade empire?”
“We’ll make another kind of empire,” said the Prince.

The Prince’s arms slid around Lamen’s neck, drawing him closer, and the kiss deepened, Lamen pulling their bodies together.
When the Prince drew back, smiling and murmuring something to Lamen, Lamen’s head dropped to the Prince’s neck. They were both speaking with obvious affection.

“Charls,” said Lamen, “I’d work my whole life to be worthy of him.” […]
“I’ll stay by Laurent for as long as he wants me,” said Lamen. 

“Long live the King! Long live King Laurent of Vere!”

“Lamen,” said Charls, in a shocked voice. “Why are you dressed up like the King?”

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant by C.S. Pacat (CP short stories #3)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s