“In the traditional folktale of “Sleeping Beauty,” the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind’s unconscious. Now Anne Rice, writing as A.N. Roquelaure, retells the Beauty story and probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince awakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty’s complete and total enslavement to him… as Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes, with her skillful pen, a compelling experience. Readers of Fifty Shades of Grey will indulge in Rice’s deft storytelling and imaginative eroticism, a sure-to-be classic for years to come.”
WARNING: THIS IS NOT A BOOK FOR CHILDREN OR EVEN YOUNG ADULTS. IF YOU ARE 18 OR YOUNGER, STOP READING THIS REVIEW RIGHT NOW!
Sleeping Beauty and the whole castle have been asleep for 100 years and no one has been able to wake them. When the Prince finally arrives, he successfully wakes Beauty and claims her as his in return for restoring the kingdom.
That is the rated PG-13 synopsis.
The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty is a triple x rated erotica book about BDSM, which stands for Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism. I’m not going to go into details about that because you can look it up on the Internet if you don’t know what it is, just get ready for some really explicit pictures. However, according to others, this book is not even hard core BDSM. So be prepared.
First I want to address the whole Fifty Shades thing. I have read reviews that state if you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Gray, you will enjoy this series. It looks like there is actually a re-release of Beauty that states the same on its cover. This is not necessarily the case. Fifty Shades is soft core, chick porn and compared to Beauty, it’s practically Mother Goose. I’m not saying you are dealing with the Marquis de Sade here, his stuff is truly disturbing, but you aren’t going to get any Christian Greys in Beauty; if that is what you are expecting, you better stop reading this review and skip the series altogether.
This book is twisted; there simply is no other way I can think of to describe it. It begins with the Prince awakening Sleeping Beauty by raping her while she is unconscious, and then it goes downhill from there. The degradation is pretty bad and the sexual assaults are violent and graphic. There is a lot of spanking and that gets old after a while.
Basically, while Beauty was the Prince’s prize for restoring that kingdom, the other slaves are selected by their respective kingdoms as tributes to the powerful Queen and her court. Each is assigned to an individual who basically keeps the slave as a pet. While the slaves are used as servants, their primary function is sexual. So the book is full of violent, graphic and disturbing sex, torture and rape. And I promise you, I am being mild.
It may be difficult to believe, but Beauty does have a storyline and I do find it interesting. There are a lot of issues in this book that make for excellent discussion topics. In addition, I would like to know how this whole system came to be. Maybe that will be revealed in one of the sequels.
Still, I am having a really hard time with the rating and decided not to give one just yet. Also, I am not going to post reviews anywhere other than Goodreads. I know it’s kind of wimping out, but I just don’t know what to think yet and I can always edit my review on Goodreads.
I could go on and on. In fact, I could easily write a thesis on Beauty. However, due to the nature of this book, I am not going to recommend it. If you are 18 or younger, in my opinion, you have no business reading this book and should not have even gotten past the first two lines of my review, per my request. If you are older than 18, use your best judgment.
Reviewed by Christina
UPDATE, January 6, 2013: Now that I have switched blogs, any discussion would be welcome. If you want to know more details or wish to discuss any issues, please post below.