The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy

The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy

The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy

In 1983, Anne Rice, writing as A.N. Roquelaure, began the first installment of a series that is now considered a forerunner of erotic literature.  This boxed set, containing the books The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty’s Punishment, and Beauty’s Release is a testament to Anne Rice’s irresistible talent.  Now in a repackaged edition, Rice’s charged eroticism and magical style is back, connecting old and new readers alike.Anne Rice casts her lurid gaze upon the the traditional tale

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3 thoughts on “The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy

  1. Valerhon
    304 of 319 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder, May 17, 2012
    By 

    Once upon a time, The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy was one of the best kept secrets of novelist Anne Rice’s body of work, published under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure. Any prolific reader of Rice’s novels understands that when they open that cover, they are bound to enter a world so deeply conceived, so sumptuously described, that it takes on a life and plausibility all its own, and this series is no exception.

    The tale begins with the awakening of Sleeping Beauty to ravishment by the Prince who breaks the spell of sleep on her kingdom. Indebted to the Prince, her parents consent to allow Beauty to be taken as tribute to the castle of the Prince’s mother, Queen Eleanor, whose power dominates the surrounding kingdoms. Beauty is thereafter made to serve the erotic pleasures of the Queen’s courtiers, male and female, who attempt to instill empathy and humility in her, and prepare her to be a wise ruler when she inherits her family’s throne. This subtext of forging an entitled and spoiled aristocrat into an empathetic one is a clever and satisfying justification for the trials that Beauty must endure.

    Unfortunately, Beauty and her fellow slaves Princes Alexi and Laurent, are rebellious. This results in deeper punishment, humiliations, and painfully pleasurable sexual torments. Their refusal to embrace the lessons of the Queen and her aristocracy prolongs their trials, leading to exile to a village of the common people. Here, their royal rank is meaningless and invites deeper, even resentful torments. When this also proves inadequate, they are exiled to a foreign land where they face the greatest trials of all.

    To call the Beauty series pornography is to call a Rembrandt “just a painting”. The eroticism is explicit, but never descends into psychological darkness. The trials are heady, playful at times, but never focused on the stereotypes of self-loathing submissives or egomaniacal dominants. The spanking, bondage and sex are a spice designed to season the characters, not destroy them. For the reader – straight, gay, or bisexual, there are characters and erotic scenes for everyone.

    Another accomplishment of the series is the ambient bisexuality of all the characters that is devoid of faux moralizing. Beauty must serve the pleasure of men and women, and her male counterparts must do the same. Rice’s medieval world doesn’t judge orientations, but focuses like a laser on the universal pleasure of sexuality and mentoring. This gives the novels depth and an unexpected uplifting effect that lingers well beyond the turning of the final page.

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  2. Sandra Cooper
    238 of 262 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    An excellent read!, March 17, 2000
    By 

    When I read the first of the Sleeping Beauty books by Anne Rice, I read it in an afternoon. I immediately went out and bought the remaining two books in the trilogy. I had purchased the first one out of curiosity, after paging through it. At first, these books may seem to be just a lot of sex, and S and M type of stuff, but there is more to it than that. Rice explores the feelings of the characters and how they adjust to their situation and surroundings, and how they relate to each other in such an extraordinary setting. I found myself reading as fast as I could to find out what happened to Beauty and her friends. If you are offended by extremely explicit and graphic sex, you would not like these books. But if that doesn’t bother you, and you like a sense of fantasy and seductiveness, these are the books for you.

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  3. Wendy Kaplan
    217 of 244 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Erotica A La Anne, February 13, 2002
    By 
    Wendy Kaplan (Houston) –

    Many years ago, as rumor has it, Anne Rice set out to prove that the world of erotica was not limited to male writers. It was her contention, so the story goes, that a women could contribute to this genre just as well, if not better.
    And so, under the pen name A. N. Roquelaure, Anne created a trilogy of intense sado-masochistic erotic novels loosely based on the fairytale “Sleeping Beauty.”
    To say that these books are overwhelmingly intense is not to state the case. It is possible to read them without having a predeliction toward the acts that are graphically described on almost every page, but be warned that Anne, aka Roquelaure, pulls no punches, and there is absolutely nothing subtle or hinted at in these books.
    Like everything Anne wrote before “Memnoch the Devil,” the Beauty Chronicles are works of genius, in my opinion. They contain the same richness, the same historical detail, the same darkness as all of her later books to come, including her chronicles of the witches, and the vampires. I am not a regular reader of such novels, so I cannot compare them to others of the genre, but I venture to say that these books have to stand out as unique at the least, mind-blowing at the most.
    It is easy to understand the deep eroticism of Rice’s witch and vampire books after sampling the Beauty chronicles. For many many years, I imagined Rice as a veritable cauldron of bubbling thoughts, erotic and otherwise, sane and otherwise, struggling to break free. These three books seem to prove the point, which is why I can view them as more than trash.
    Anne knew what she was doing, and she did it, as only she can, in a spectacular manner. Again, be warned: If you are going to read the Beauty Chronicles, expect pure, savage erotica, with nothing hidden or explained away. I read these novels to gain more insight into what makes Rice tick. I did not come away unshocked or unscathed, but I certainly read her later works with a new understanding.

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