The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (Review)

Book cover for "The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty" by Anne Rice.Title: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

Author: Anne Rice (as A.N. Roquelaure)

Publication Year: 2012 (originally published in 1983)

Pages: 272

Genre: Fiction, Fairy Tale, Erotica

Source: E-book purchased from the Apple store; I already own a paper copy back home in Canada

From the cover:

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.

After reading the monstrosity that was the Fifty Shades trilogy, I decided that I should clean my brain out with some “good” BDSM-based erotica. I remembered reading the Beauty series when I was younger – much younger, probably near the end of high school – and thought that I’d give them a re-read, both for my own personal reading and to review in comparison with E.L. James’ books.

I have to say … apparently I liked them better in hindsight.

I didn’t dislike The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, but there were definitely things that I didn’t notice (or didn’t know to notice) the first time around. For example, while I get that this is the whole premise of the book, there’s something wrong with the idea that the Prince wakes Beauty up by having sex with her. Wait, let’s back that up … by raping her. I can move past that for one reason, though, where it wasn’t so easy to move past things like that in Fifty Shades – the whole series is based on an imaginary fairy tale land where normal rules don’t apply. So, okay, let’s just let that one slide for the purposes of discussing the remainder of the books.

There’s a lot more spanking than I remember. I mean, I remember a lot of spanking, as the whole erotic punishment thing is basically the purpose behind the book. But I seemed to remember there being more of other things going on. There’s a lot less descriptive sex, and a lot less other punishment or discipline stuff, going on in this book than I remember.

Otherwise, though, if you’re just looking for a slightly-more-literary-than-most book of erotic fiction to read, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty might be for you. Just be forewarned that it’s basically a lot of spanking, with a tiny bit of other stuff, going on. And that it’s based in a fantasy world, and not in the context of consensual kinky activity. As long as you remember those caveats, you might enjoy yourself.


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