TW: Mentions of rape
Title: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty
Author: Anne Rice
Rating: 1/5 stars
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’s retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince reawakens 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 skilful pen, a compelling experience.
I mean, my first thought is what in the name of God did I just read?
Now, I’m not prude; I’ll read smut, BDSM, pretty much anything under the sun. I have literally no issues with any of the content of this book besides one minor detail…
…literally none of it is consensual.
Within the first chapter, we have this ‘Prince Charming’ that shows up and wakes Beauty up by – sorry to be crude – sticking his dick in her. And absolutely none of the people around Beauty (including her parents) object to this??
I 100% understand that it’s the point, that they all went through the same thing etc, but surely as an author you have a duty to actually call out this kind of thing for what it is? For that alone, I couldn’t properly enjoy this book. A few times I did have to put it down because it was so sickening.
The other times I had to put this down were because of the poor writing. I’m not sure what my issue was exactly, but parts of this were just straight up painful to read?? The style is so juvenile; something like this needs finesse and style, of which there is practically none.
Some parts of this were inventive, I have to give credit for that. The whole concept is somewhat new, and the ‘punishments’ were…interesting at best. My only issue is that I’m am 100% bored to tears with spanking. Find something new, would you? If I ever read another description of welts on buttocks and thighs and tears coursing down faces, I might actually throw the book across the room. (I probably would have done with this one, had I not been reading it on my phone -_- )
The plot was basically non-existent, I can’t even lie. Prince Alexi is there, and a solid 20% of the end of the book is his tale of woe and then suddenly we’re introduced to this Prince Tristan *cringe* who I gather is the love interest in book two? Even though he exists for what, ten pages? And suddenly he and Beauty are legitimately getting it on in the back of a truck?
I don’t even know.
One…well, I don’t know if it’s a positive exactly, but one thing I noticed is that gender is pretty meaningless in this book. Females are with females, males are with males, they’re with each other, and it’s all pretty fluid. Not once does anyone really mention it or pick apart why everyone winds up with one another. That’s a bonus, I guess?
I honestly don’t know what to make of this book. On the one hand, I have no need to EVER read any more of this. On the other, I have a morbid curiosity to see if they improve at all…
Lots of love,