A tasteful book review of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice
I have never been the person that heads to the grocery store to pick up the latest Fabio on the cover book; Katy, if you are reading this - I love you! My roommate in college introduced those erotica books and at the time had no reason to read them. However, then the whole 50 Shades of Grey craze it and I followed the crowd and picked up the series. I did my 50 Shades of Grey reviews and honestly, they were okay, nothing amazing and pretty tame if you ask me. In fact, I was not one of the many woman freaking out about the "abuse" in the books because it was pretty obvious that the whole plot, if you can call it that, was a tame submissive S&M relationship that results in pleasure.
Okay, now bring this to the present. We were heading out for the weekend and I wanted a book to read. So, I asked a coworker for a good book recommendation and Anne Rice was brought up in conversation. Like most people when they hear Anne Rice the immediately think of Vampires! Yup, that was me. So when I search on my nook for my next week I searched Anne Rice and saw the Sleeping Beauty series. The reviews were high and I vaguely remember having another coworker years ago suggest this series LONG before the whole 50 Shads stuff. So...I bought the first book in the series - The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.
The synopsis of this book is all about Beauty waking up from a 100 year sleep set in a historic novel. The first chapter is all about the Prince who conquers Beauty which results in her waking up. Because he woke her and broke the sleep - he "owns" her. This sweet young lady is brought to the Princes kingdom and is introduced to a world of slaves and playthings. Yes, playthings. The slaves are known as tributes and are trained for years on how to become sexual property for the kingdom. There are both male and female tributes in this experience.
The book goes into a good amount of detail about the training that takes place - this is where I was surprised and found myself wondering how close these sexual games were to rape and lack of consent.
Through out this book Beauty finds another tribute that she falls for. She disobeys the orders of the kingdom and finds herself desiring this slave instead of her Prince. Even after many stories and examples of what would happen to her if she disobeys she continued and the book ends on her being sentenced to being sent to a neighboring village.
While this book does have a good amount of "clean" relations between a number of characters I found that that the language used to describe the acts were a bit hard to read. I will be the first to admit that I am not prude and find that every one should be able to be sexual in their own way but I may have reached my hard limit in this book! Pun intended!
When I put the book down I did find myself wanting to know what happens to Beauty but again, not sure I am ready to read the details of the sexual slavery and S&M descriptions. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty blows 50 shades out of the water! This is the real deal so be ready!
This book is recommended for adult audiences only. Read at your own risk and keep an open mind about Anne Rice. Rice firmly believed that women should have the freedom to read and write whatever they pleased, and considered the trilogy her political statement. I can totally see this statement after reading the book.
I have not read the second or the third book of the series and cannot decide if I will. While the first book was certainly an interesting read and a quick read I have not decided if this is a genre of book that I find I need to continue reading.
Have you dove into the world of Anne Rice' Sleeping Beauty?
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