Title: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty
Author: Anne Roquelaure
Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: June 3, 1983
Pages: 253
Book Source: Library Copy


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. In the first book of the series, Anne Rice (author of Beauty’s Kingdom), 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.

My Review:

I first read The Sleeping Beauty trilogy in high school. I tried to remember where I got the copies from, because I know it wasn’t the school library. So it must have been Double Day Book Club. I paid for the books myself, so my mom didn’t know that I was reading them. But as long as I was reading, and doing well in school, she didn’t care what I read. Ask me about Tricks by Ed McBain some day….

One of my book clubs decided we wanted to read a smutty book, and not 50 Shades of Grey, so we chose The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. I didn’t remember too much about them because high school was a long time ago. But they did leave an impression on me, having read it at a younger age. I still remembered the statue with phalluses and people being placed upon them. As well as a cat, and cream… although it wasn’t in this book, so it must be in the next one.

Reading it now, I wasn’t as enthralled by it. In fact the central theme of Beauty having to do everything on her knees (including walking) in a stone castle, really annoyed me. I realize her training is for everyone else’s pleasure, but come on! It would take her forever to complete the tasks, not to mention all the blood and scabs that would be present. And bloody knees are not sexy.

Reading some parts, such as the spanking sessions, did have the proper effect on me. But for the most part I just skimmed. The characters, except for Alexi, were so one dimensional, I felt no connection to them. And the only reason why Alexi had some dimension to him was because Anne Rice had him telling Beauty his story, after they had slipped away together for some sexy, fun time.

While The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty was better formatted and edited then 50 Shades, I wouldn’t say, “Oh, wow! This book was so hot, you have to read it.” As one of my fellow book clubbers pointed out; There are so many wilder things on the internet, this book paled in comparison.

It may have been hot to me when I was a teen, or back in the 80’s, but I feel no need to read the rest of the trilogy again. I may try Beauty’s Kingdom, which came out in April. Perhaps the continuation, with a newer vibe, may be more to the liking of my older (and more jaded) self.

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