In the final volume of Anne Rice's deliciously tantalizing erotic trilogy, Beauty's adventures on the dark side of sexuality make her the bound captiv...moreIn the final volume of Anne Rice's deliciously tantalizing erotic trilogy, Beauty's adventures on the dark side of sexuality make her the bound captive of an Eastern Sultan and a prisoner in the exotic confines of the harem. In "Beauty's Release", Anne Rice makes the forbidden side of passion a doorway into the hidden regions of the psyche and the heart.
Part of the allure of this version for me was a release from the utter crudity of the European castle and village. Religious and philosophical thoughts of the region combine to show them that they are simply cogs in a grander scheme, and they take pleasure and freedom in this anonymity.
The first moment of their sultanic experience is to be degraded even more. Their being transformed into sexual toys is considered by their captors as destroying their intellect. They thus become mute animals that have no other level of existence than this very sexual drive and desire to satisfy all sexual and also cruel pulses in the sultan and his court.
But this third volume shows the metaphoric or even allegorical dimension of the trilogy. Beyond the erotic speculation in the book, Anne Rice shows how degrading a human being leads to the discovery she says, the building of a new consciousness that will have a lasting existence. Human beings are emerging in their humanity or even humaneness through the difficulties and the challenges they encounter, and first of all the degrading and enslaving situations. The more overpowered one is, the greater his psychological strength. This is kind of optimistic because many human beings are destroyed through these experiences and experiments. But it is based on the concept of resilience in human beings : their capacity to resist degredation, not by rebelling, but by reinforcing their psyche.
Upon completing the series, it helped to think of it anthropologically as if these strange undercurrents were the results of a completely different culture. In that respect it was quite interesting to observe the push for control, compliance, dominance, and love, and question whether that can be squared with ideas of entwined aggression and tenderness. Anne Rice provides the framework and fairy tale, but readers must ultimately decide that answer for themselves.
Title Beauty's Release (Conclusion of the Erotic Adventures of Sleeping Beauty, 3) Author Anne Rice writing as A. N. Roquelaure Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)
This sequel to "The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty", the first of Anne Rice's elegantly written volumes of erotica, continues her explicit, teasing explo...moreThis sequel to "The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty", the first of Anne Rice's elegantly written volumes of erotica, continues her explicit, teasing exploration of the psychology of human desire.
Beauty, having indulged in a secret and forbidden infatuation with the rebellious slave Prince Tristan, is sent away from the Satyricon-like world of the castle. Once again Rice's fabulous tale of pleasure and pain dares to explore the most primal and well-hidden desires of the human heart.
"Beauty's Punishment" is the continuation of "The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty", Anne Rice's erotic retelling of the popular fairy tale. In the second installment, Beauty is punished for having rebelled against the Prince. She, along with Prince Tristan, an insubordinate slave and object of Beauty's desire, is auctioned, captivated and subjected to the most erotic, tantalizing and cruel games of domination and submission.
In the village Beauty and some others are auctioned to the civilians who transform them into working slaves : they have to work, the boys are turned into horses or poneys, and their masters and mistresses are degrading them and punishing them into a new stage of submission. They develop their dependence on this enslavement to the point of getting in love with the punishment and the punishing masters or mistresses. At this moment they cannot even imagine themselves leaving or escaping from that degrading position because their psyche has been made dependent on it, because their intellect has been centered on it.
Their whole vision of the world and of themselves in the world holds only because of this enslavement that becomes the cornerstone of it, the apex of any intelligent or sensual reaction and action. They need the punishment to remain structured. Without the punishment they collapse into sheer non-existence, a scattered jigsaw puzzle whose pieces cannot be set back into any kind of a pattern.
Again, Anne Rice does an excellent job in illustrating the psychological implications of the human desire. She also does a splendid job in taking the course of the story to unexpected turns...
There are various differences between "The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty" and its sequel. In "Beauty's Punishment", the language is less fanciful and more explicit. Also, Prince Tristan is the focal character in this book -- thus, making Beauty seem as though she were a secondary character at times.
Title Beauty's Punishment (Erotic Adventures of Sleeping Beauty, 2) Author Anne Rice writing as A. N. Roquelaure Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)
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 s...moreMany 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.
In the traditional folk tale "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. 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 skillful pen, a compelling experience.
Keep in mind that this book will put off anyone who does not see romance and sensuality in a power exchange. If you can't tolerate the idea that a woman, or man, may actually wish to submit to another person because they wish to please the Dominant then the concepts will probably seem too far fetched to keep your attention. Also, if you are put off by homo-erotic concepts then you'd best keep a distance. It's not for everyone, but for those open to the above mentioned "flavors" then the book will probably be entertaining at the very least.
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.
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.
Title The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty (Erotic Adventures of Sleeping Beauty, 1) Author Anne Rice writing as A. N. Roquelaure Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)