Sandra 's Reviews > The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by A.N. Roquelaure
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did not like it
bookshelves: arc-netgalley, are-you-effing-serious, dipshit-heroes, dont-even-bother, fantasy, gonna-be-sick, made-me-ragey, no-just-no, violence-non-con
Recommended for: cannot recommend this to anyone in good conscience

I've heard lots about this trilogy, good and bad. It's been touted as great BDSM fic, an erotic fairytale and a great read. There were voices that said it's vile and horrible. There seemed to be no middle ground

Curious, I requested the books on Netgalley when Penguin made them available as a re-release.

Curiosity killed the cat. I should have remembered that old adage.

Despite my usually high tolerance for kinky stories, I struggled through this book, with my teeth clenched and my fists balled in anger. I felt sick to my stomach on many occasions, especially when Prince Alexi tells the tale of his own abuse and degradation.

Whoever claimed that the story told in this book has anything to do with BDSM ought to look up the term and learn that one of the key elements of BDSM is the ability to make it stop, with a safeword that ends either the scene or the relationship. It's also supposed to be sane, safe and consensual.

None of the slaves in this book gave their consent for the treatment they received, nor was it sane or even safe. No thought was given to the fact that injuries would occur, especially if someone is sodomized repeatedly without lube, or proper preparation.

No, this book is about abuse, repeated rape degradation, humiliation, breaking the spirits of young, innocent boys and girls and spanking. It describes the pain, horror and fear these boys and girls experience at the hands and tools of their masters, after having been thrust into this world of sexual sadism without an explanation and being simply expected to obey, in all things, no matter how abusive and humiliating those things are.

Did I mention spanking? Spanking, as punishment or for the amusement of the vile people who are in charge. Spanking with bare hands and paddles and leather covered sticks. Spanking while strung up like a roast pig, spanking while scurrying on hands and feet to pick up things, spanking while bridled (incl. bit) and wearing hoof-like shoes, running for your life. Spanking while having a rod inserted into your anus to hold you up. Spanking, spanking, spanking. Spanking until your behind is welted and bruised (which isn't spanking but beating, but let's not split hairs).

I can't even call this a rape fantasy, because that still would require that the slaves in this book have any kind of recourse to stop the fantasy.

Alas, they have none. None whatsoever. NONE.

I don't understand why the author shrouded this as the retelling of a fairytale. There's nothing remotely romantic or erotic about any of the plot, contents, or characters. Nor does it have anything to do with awakening someone's sexuality.

There's not even much emotion in it. Sure, Prince Alexi confesses his love for Beauty, but I can't believe that he knows what it really means, considering his own story. I don't think any of the characters in this book know the true meaning of love.

The characters are one-dimensional, without any emotional depth. The only one that somewhat intrigued me was Prince Alexi, who then lost all points with me when he unemotionally recounted the tale of his own abuse.

The writing style, keeping it in the tone of a fairytale, also doesn't lend itself to showing. We're told of emotions, but I could never actually comprehend them in the given situations. Lady Juliana professes to 'love' Beauty, but does nothing to help her situation. The Prince who claims her professes to be obsessed with her, that he loves her like no other, yet is the one who begins the rape, abuse and humiliation.

And the Queen, his mother, is the vilest of them all. Her conduct is sadistic and cruel and utterly reprehensible, and her depravity knows no end.

Strangely enough, she doesn't seem to have a husband. I wonder if that means anything.

Perhaps I'm missing the point. There is a scene at the end of this book in which Beauty takes a stand and manipulates the situation to get an outcome she desires (albeit one that may not be in her best interest), which is the only time her character shows any kind of backbone. This is the only reason I will likely read the next book, because I'm curious enough to want to see what will happen next.

Cats have nine lives, right?

Also, if you decide to call a male penis an organ or a phallus throughout the entire book, then you probably don't want to call the matching female anatomy a vagina. That just didn't gel for me.

One positive thing I can say about this book is that Ms. Rice succeeded in keeping the writing tone (not the plot or the contents) to that of a fairytale.

I received a free ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.
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Reading Progress

July 6, 2012 – Shelved
July 6, 2012 – Shelved as: arc-netgalley
July 19, 2012 – Started Reading
July 20, 2012 –
2.0% "Well, it sure sounds like a fairy tale, just none I've ever read..."
July 20, 2012 –
5.0% "Uh... whut?"
July 21, 2012 –
50.0% "This isn't about BDSM so much as it is about utter humiliation and breaking a young girl's spirit. WTF am I reading?"
July 21, 2012 –
60.0% "This is disgusting. This is nothing but rape and humiliation disguised as a supposed BDSM story. Sane, safe and consensual my ass."
July 21, 2012 –
62.0% "I'd like to reach into the book and beat the Prince. Repeatedly. With a paddle. In the face. And kick him in the nuts. Hard. Really, really HARD! Numerous times!"
July 22, 2012 –
80.0% "I'm almost done. And still utterly disgusted and appalled."
July 23, 2012 –
100.0% "And thank goodness for that."
July 23, 2012 – Shelved as: are-you-effing-serious
July 23, 2012 – Shelved as: dipshit-heroes
July 23, 2012 – Shelved as: dont-even-bother
July 23, 2012 – Shelved as: fantasy
July 23, 2012 – Shelved as: gonna-be-sick
July 23, 2012 – Shelved as: made-me-ragey
July 23, 2012 – Shelved as: no-just-no
July 23, 2012 – Shelved as: violence-non-con
July 23, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

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MsRomanticReads Le Gasp! LOL! Wow, I never thought ... nevermind. I can't wait to see what you think.

Sandra Penguin is re-releasing these. Got them from NetGalley. :)

message 3: by MsRomanticReads (last edited Jul 19, 2012 01:04PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

MsRomanticReads Yeah, I saw them there. You should see the old hardcover one that I have, lol.

Sandra take a pic and text it. :)

Holly Noelle Oh this book is an interesting one. I'm still on book 2. I just...yeah, I'm amused by them.

Sandra Yes, amusement is what I'm expecting. :)

Sandra Amusement, while expected, ain't happening. I am mostly horrified.

Holly Noelle Sandra wrote: "Amusement, while expected, ain't happening. I am mostly horrified."

Yeah, it's kind of ridiculous. After you finish, I'll clarify what I mean by amusement. Lol.

Sandra I'm having serious issues with the non-con. And this is touted as a BDSM novel? One of the key attributes is the consensual part...which is entirely missing from this book. A young girl is humiliated, repeatedly, without her consent, and without any recourse. BDSM, this is not.

MsRomanticReads ITYS lol

Sandra FUCK!!! You did. :)

MsRomanticReads *buffs nails on chest* Uh huh.

Sandra well, at least now I know. FML.

MsRomanticReads Still not done?

message 15: by Evie (new)

Evie Interesting. My request thru netgalley was denied, but I didn't even really cared. Now that I've read your review I know I wouldn't be able to finish this book. :)

AnnMarie I am in a plethora of craziness with the release of this trilogy being tauted as "if you loved 50shades". it in no way compares. TCoSB is harcore BDSM, 50 was fluff. The fans of 50 will have an aneurysm if they read it. Now Anne Rice is an amazing writer but to allow the comparison when she doesn't allow FF is beyond me. Anytime I see the comparison, I warn the reader that it is nothing like it and the publishing PR dept should be ashamed of themselves!

Sandra Hi, just saw your comment. I can't even classify this as BDSM. It's sadistic sexual torture of young men and women who have no recourse and no right to say no. This is NOT what BDSM represents, and the community should be up in arms over this book being touted as a BDSM fic.

I agree it's hard core. Hard core abuse.

message 18: by Evelyn (new)

Evelyn Baldwin Glad to see someone else felt the same way I did about this series. When I began reading, I was shocked, not really bc of the violent nature of the story, but because the writing was subpar. Had I not known going into this, that it was Anne Rice, I would have thought it was a first time writer.
I got through the first book and thought I must have missed something, so I continued to the second... The writing was better, but the ick factor was two-fold. To me, this was less about submission and more about fetish, so it a disconnect from the first.
Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I continued onto the third book. That's about forty minutes of skimming I'm not gonna get back. It was so ridiculous. I mean how many diff ways can you describe anal? The last book presented like it was contracted but she had no idea what to right, so she watched Laurence of Arabia and had an "aha!" Moment. Definitely 1 star and an eyeroll.

message 19: by Loveliest Evaris (new)

Loveliest Evaris I'm getting the shivers just thinking about the sexual abuse (ugh) .. God. Anne Rice sucks for this book. I never thought she was this creepy and dark ._.

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