The Captive King

A Royal States Novel

Fiction - Paranormal
318 Pages
Reviewed on 02/11/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite

In the Royal States of America, magic rules all, but life—and love—always finds a way. Summer Cassidy, a pre-doctorate archaeologist determined to achieve that objective at all costs, is forced to sell a priceless Aztec necklace at the Texas Charity Auction to raise money for further exploration of a temple in Mexico. Here she meets Bachelor #103, a man who finds her description of human sacrifice charming rather than appalling. He buys her necklace for millions; she buys his company for a quarter. One coffee date, a dinner, and a curse later, Summer is thrown into a deadly adventure where magic, cinnabar, gods, and ghosts control her destiny as she struggles to solve a mysterious curse that could give her everything she’d dreamed of or cost her life.

In The Captive King, one of three stand-alone novels in the Royal States Series, Susan Copperfield has delivered a romantic fantasy tale of unequaled suspense, adventure, mystery and imagination. In a future world, that followed a revolution, the United States has been divided into individual kingdoms. The populations of these kingdoms consist of royals, elites, regular folks and a group of talents—those who can manipulate the elements, foretell events or determine a person’s truthfulness, among other things. Summer is an earth weaver, prized at archaeological sites for her ability to move, reshape, or excavate dirt and stone with her mind and hands. She discovers the jade necklace, the crux of the story, which she sells at auction and kicks off the events for the rest of the story.

The Captive King is among the most compelling, imaginative and dynamic stories in this genre that I’ve read in a long time. Summer and Bachelor #103, aka Landon, provide a constant series of the most facetious, sarcastic, and alternatively loving and allegorical dialogue I’ve ever read. Their story is fast paced, the characters beautifully and perfectly portrayed. The mystery and the magical elements of the story are mesmerizing and unforgettable. I’ve become a fan of Susan Copperfield and this series... it’s irresistible.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

Dressed in mud-caked cargo pants, Summer Cassidy clearly doesn’t belong at a Masquerade Ball for the elite of society, but then neither does the jade necklace she has to auction off there. That belongs in a museum, and if she had any say in the matter then that’s exactly where it would be. But the university where Summer is doing her doctorate in archaeology seems determined to use her earthweaving magic and skill in translation as cheaply as possible, for as long as possible. So here she is, still an intern, describing human sacrifices to masked elites in the hope of selling a priceless artefact. At least one of the elites understands her reluctance, the charming Bachelor #103. A coffee date, dinner, and a one night stand later, Summer is back to excavate more ruins. Doing a favour for a colleague she doesn’t even like leads Summer to believe that some ruins should stay buried.

I couldn’t stop smiling while reading The Captive King. Susan Copperfield’s prose is filled with fascinating information about ancient Mesoamerican culture, as well as wit and sarcastic humour. Summer has a powerful personality and I found her immediately likable. Copperfield layers Summer's struggles against the misogyny of her male-dominated field and the appalling attitude of her university in a manner that’s relatable and realistic without turning these challenges into a depressing burden. The plot moves swiftly and throws out unexpected obstacles from early in the book. While some of these incidents confused me initially, everything made sense by the time The Captive King neared its conclusion. I would’ve liked to know more about the magic system and what other type of talents exist. The Captive King is an unputdownable urban fantasy.

Melinda Hills

Summer Cassidy is out to prove that magic is real, but she just doesn’t know how much it will affect her life in The Captive King: A Royal States Novel by Susan Copperfield. Right from a Mexican dig site, Summer is tasked with presenting a priceless artefact at the Texas Charity Auction to raise funds to continue excavations. Much to her surprise, Bachelor #103 takes an interest in her and the sparks begin to fly. With the beautiful jade necklace sold, Summer goes back to Mexico where her talent opens up a new surprise and she is catapulted to an as yet undiscovered ruin. Things get even crazier as Summer makes her way between ruins and ends up in Bachelor #103’s kingdom where a mutual interest deepens and her no-nonsense approach to life wins her his admiration. The question will be whether the magic that surrounds Summer will help her or kill her as she tries to piece together the meaning of the jewelry and inscriptions on the Mesoamerican temples where human sacrifice was the norm.

Blending the science of archaeology with paranormal experiences and a touch of romance, post-modern politics and a strong sense of justice, Susan Copperfield has created a fantastic story that will make you cheer. The Captive King: A Royal States Novel captures your interest immediately and doesn’t let go until the end as you follow Summer through her adventure, fighting established academic policies and trying to protect the culture and memory of extinct tribes, all while appreciating her straightforward approach to life and men. Vivid descriptions of dig sites and the cultures that have been unearthed provide a brilliant backdrop for the main action involving the greed and narcissism of elites as well as the old-fashioned values of honor and love. A beautiful and powerful story on several levels, The Captive King: A Royal States Novel is full of excitement and leaves you wanting to hear more about these wonderful characters and their unusual talents. A fabulous, engaging story that is sure to be a big hit!

Jessica Barbosa

The Captive King by Susan Copperfield starts with an unforgettable meeting between Summer Cassidy and Bachelor number 103 at a masquerade ball, where she tries to charm him, in muddy cargo pants and with pockets full of digging tools, with stories of Nahua human sacrifices and romance in an attempt to get him interested in buying the priceless marital collar once worn by an Aztec queen. In the end, she wins herself a coffee and dinner date, and a one night stand before she goes off to excavate again, only this time she is determined not to be undermined or used by her university and colleagues any further. However, one priceless artifact and a curse later, Summer Cassidy finds herself with bigger problems as she is literally flung across the Royal States and into an unexpected adventure that could change her life forever.

The Captive King is a magical, unique, and witty adventure-romance with a stubborn badass heroine, named Summer Cassidy, leading the charge against whatever troubles and trials life decides to throw her way this time. I was drawn in from the very first chapter with Cassidy's struggles to get her doctorate, being chained to the university so that they can take advantage of her earth magic at a cheap price, and then finding this mysterious man who seemed charmed and amused by her passionate stories about human sacrifice and love. Even the information about the Nahua and the Maya were fascinating to read and only drew me in further. Copperfield has crafted a fast paced story line with electrifying moments that compels readers to forego sleep in favor of finding out what comes next. All in all, a wondrous addition to the Royal States collection. Definitely worth the read and more!

K.J. Simmill

Summer Cassidy was an earthweaver with a passion for archaeology. A passion her university exploited. Her talents made her an asset; she could manipulate the earth, unbury sites, all without others needing to lift a finger. If she ever got her doctorate she would rise through the ranks and earn herself a comfortable living, that was, if she ever got her doctorate. She had failed twice, and it was only since the words of bachelor #103 that she realised this was a deliberate ruse by the university to enable them to exploit her gifts for a meagre sum. Fate had crossed their paths that night. She was devastated at having to sell a priceless artefact to fund their dig. But there is where the real trouble begins; everyone knows that with ancient artefacts come curses. Summer had never known the jade necklace; she would have changed everything, but it was too late for that. Now she had no choice but to roll with the punches and attempt to set things to rights. Find out if she can succeed in Susan Copperfield’s The Captive King.

I really enjoyed how well Summer Cassidy’s brash and stubborn nature was put across throughout the book. She is a strong character and I really enjoyed the infusion of history, and the world filled with magic. The book, while being a bit like Indiana Jones meets Tomb Raider in some parts, is also told me a lot about Summer’s growth as a character. She really blooms throughout the book, and gains some great depth of character. I really enjoyed this urban fantasy, and it has certainly made me want to pick up more books in the series. If you’re looking for an action-packed, thrilling adventure with magic and ancient curses, then look no further than Susan Copperfield’s The Captive King: A Royal States Novel.