Thursday, March 08, 2018

Pet (Captive Prince short stories #4) by C. S. Pacat

Note: This review contains SPOILERS.

SUMMARY (from Goodreads): Pet follows the rise of Ancel at the poisonous court of Vere. Set during the events of Captive Prince.

MY THOUGHTS: 

Pet turned out to be one of those why-haven't-I-read-it-sooner books for me, because I wasn't particularly interested in Ancel, but I should have known better.

Not only did C. S. Pacat ruin me with Laurent/Damen feels despite them appearing in the story only in that single horrible scene (you know which one) yet again but also managed to make me feel for Ancel.

On first impression, Ancel appears to be driven by ruthless ambition alone, but beyond that it is survival itself that drives Ancel to master selling himself in order to climb the social ladder to the top; and who can blame him for that? The path is, however, paradoxical, because the higher one gets in the Veretian society and the more means for a (luxurious) living one obtains, the more one's very life is in danger.

In addition to the familiar atmosphere of intrigue, we see through Ancel's eyes how ingrained the oppressive concept of 'pets' is in pets themselves, most notably at his utter disdain for Erasmus and his predicament/distress, which with only his own experience to judge the matters by makes perfect sense (despite, obviously, being wrong.)

I really liked Berenger's character and the somewhat surprising tones of the relationship between Ancel and Berenger.

And finally, I loved the ending for the rather unexpected positive turn that looks into a hopeful (hopefully!) future, knowing the path of the main series. But at the same time I am also a bit mad/sad/frustrated that this is The. End. Darn.

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