tagReviews & EssaysThe Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

bysimply_cyn©

The first of the classic erotic trilogy of Sleeping Beauty Written by A.N. Roquelaure, a.k.a. Anne Rice

Sleeping Beauty, within the fairy tale itself, stokes one’s imagination into a realm of fantasy. The genre of fairy tales in themselves invite readers into a fantasy world in which dreams can be expanded ... re-enacted through the characters within in. We are all drawn, in a way, to the pretense of "good vs. evil". In this particular version, Anne Rice, originally under a pseudonym, takes us on an erotic journey through this classical fairy tale unlocking dark and forbidden desires of the characters and quite possibly, the reader. She, through her writing, allows us an opportunity to see fairy tales in a whole new light.

As a collector of children’s literature and quite recently a researcher of fairy tales, I have been fascinated to find that most classical fairy tales were developed and told to children in order to scare them into obedience beneath their parents’ rule. Based on this theory of thinking, Anne Rice has taken Sleeping Beauty into a whole new dimension of erotic discipline and sadistic fantasy. I, myself, have never looked at fairy tales and their classic re-telling in this way but it has been both fascinating and enjoyable. I think, in each their own way, an element of sadistic fantasy evolves in the darkest corners of our dreams, even if we are too prudish at times to admit it. The Beauty series spoke to a part of me that remains dark and hidden, lost in fantasies and unspoken dreams.

Beauty, according to the traditional re-telling, is woken from an enchanted curse by the kiss of a particular prince that arrives after the hundred year passage. In this erotic version, Beauty is actually awakened through extended sexual activity upon her sleeping form by the prince himself. Besides the obvious reasons for this act … the act of awakening the princess itself, lust on the prince’s part for the young princess laying prone and helpless before him … the prince, in this sense, “claims” the girl as his personal and first love slave. This is the reader’s first introduction to the sexual nature of this first book and the episodes to follow. The prince is quickly shown to be both domineering and educated exactly in what he both wants and expects out of the princess and the kingdom in which he has freed from its curse. The reader is introduced to the way in which servitude is repaid and collected in the kingdoms surrounding that of the prince’s … quite a bit of a turn-around from the classic fairy tale in which we all grew up having memorized.

At this point, in the traditional tale, the prince and princess emerge to live “happily ever after”. However, Anne Rice gives us a detailed account of what “happily ever after” looks like. The conquering prince heralds from the most dominate kingdom in the land and Beauty learns quickly that all royalty, upon a certain age, travels to this particular kingdom as either “tributes” or simply for training in preparation for their eventual positions of power. Beauty is both shocked and fearful to find that this service is performed in a sexual manner. Each prince and princess acts as a sex slave purely for the enjoyment of their multiple Lords and Ladies, coupled with discipline measures that lead to self-control, patience, and humility on the part of the royal slaves.

A lot of time is devoted to specific examples of Beauty’s face-to-face experiences with her journey through her allotted time in servitude. Although sexually excited by the stimulus, Beauty’s character is presented to the readers as not enjoying the sadistic nature, per say, of her enslavement but, instead, of her captivity to do so. The most sadistic devices in this first saga are paddling. The slaves are driven on with paddles, moving from place to place on hands and knees. In one chapter, much time is devoted to a game/race in which the slaves are driven by both Lords and Ladies riding horses, driving their slaves onwards with much adorned paddles.

Anne Rice delves into Beauty’s profound, although confusing, attraction to this new duty in sadistic submission. Although the favored slave of the prince who claimed her, Beauty can not help but be intrigued by those in suffering around her. She is, in fact, drawn to the Queen’s favored toy, Prince Alexi. At the end of this first saga, it is apparent the path that Alexi and Beauty will trod together in their erotic servitude and training beneath those that command both their sexuality and devotion, leaving us hungering for more. Thankfully she gives us another intriguing taste in the next installment in the Sleeping Beauty series. But that’s a whole new review …

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