Sleeping Beauty book series by Anne Rice

I rather enjoy kinky re-tellings of famous fairytales. And the story of Sleeping Beauty might be the one that lends itself best to a BDSM make-over. Anne Rice certainly thought so (remember her Vampire Chronicles series?). Under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure she wrote the Sleeping Beauty series. And these might be some of the most popular and well known BDSM erotic novels to date! Today, I’ll tell you why.

Whereas the Alice in Wonderland trilogy (discussed here) has many things in common with the Sleeping Beauty series, in other ways they are wildly different. They were both written under pseudonyms. They are both about virginal female protagonists coming to terms with their sexuality. And they present a wide variety of kinks and fetishes. However, whereas Alice has waking dreams in the park with the help of her vibrator, Beauty is raped into waking from her sleep by her prince. And then carried off. To be trained as a pleasure slave. As I said, there are some differences.

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty on Kinkstarter

After having been asleep for a hundred years (something about witches and touching stuff you’re not supposed to touch), Beauty wakes to find a handsome prince pumping in and out of her. He then goes to visit her also freshly awoken parents and explains to them that as they had served his grandfather, Beauty is now to serve him. Of course, they find this a logical way of doing things. So, Beauty is rid of her clothes, put on the princes horse and displayed to her subjects in all her nakedness. Which makes you wonder… After waking her up from a hundred-year nap….

Couldn’t they at least give her a cup of coffee first?

Anyway, Beauty’s swept off to come live in the princes castle. Where to her dismay she finds there are hundreds of princes and princesses there who are used as pleasure slaves by Queen Eleanor’s court. And she is to be one of them, trained to serve and please whoever takes a fancy to her. Luckily, the one who takes most fancy to her is her prince, who’s quite in love with her. At which point Beauty loses all interest in him and starts to desire others. So she decides to pretend to run away, so that she’ll be sent to the Village for punishment. Along with a male slave she noticed like ten minutes ago and is totally in lust with now.

Beauty’s Punishment

Anne Rice's Beauty Trilogy

Which brings us to the second volume: Beauty’s Punishment. In the village, the pleasure slaves are put to use. Some of them are ponies, some of them are cleaners… There’s public places of punishment for slaves who need it and in these places the punishment is a daily public spectacle. The slaves no longer get a “royal treatment” but rather are useful tools to work and get pleasure with. And interestingly, the slaves who tell us about their experiences (Beauty and Tristan) seem to prefer the harsh discipline here over the softer luxuries of the castle.

In this novel, we find more accounts of the pleasures of submission and feelings towards Masters. The slaves find pleasure in impact play, pleasure in serving one or more Masters and pleasure in sexual stimulation. Because yes, there are a lot of orgasms in there. However, the rough bliss of the Vilage runs out when six slaves are swept off by a robbing gang.

Sleeping Beauty ‘s Release

In the third volume, we find Beauty and her slave-comrades in the tender cares of the Sultan and his Master-groom Lexius. In addition to a more luxurious feel, in this one we find an instance of Switching that is rather unique in slave training fiction. Whereas usually they are all about how people are born to be slaves, the royal nature of the slaves make for an interesting mix of desire for both submission and dominance in the same people.

The slaves appear happier than they’ve ever been.

Until they are “saved,” kicking and screaming.

We also get a few chapters dedicated to building up to a “happy ending.” Yes, between quotation marks. An ending it is, but the happiness of it could be argued.

Critical Spankings

Though one of the most famous ones, this will never be my favorite. Do not get me wrong, there’s a lot of originality. And some of the descriptions of experience are rather wonderful. However, perhaps in the tradition of slave-training novels, the relationships seem quite detached. What’s more, Rice doesn’t show much respect for the Masters in this trilogy. They are quite fickle, jealous and often care for their slaves so much that they become ineffective Masters who chase their slaves away. The slaves, on the other hand, are usually rather selfish and seem focused solely on their own pleasures (even if that’s the pleasure of serving their Master.) The consent is questionable, and there’s not much variety in body types. Honestly, this is not the most politically correct series. A lot can be said about diversity and orientalism… But I will not go there.

If you’re looking for kinky inspiration, or something to get off on, this series will give you new wonders on every page. The writing style is 1000 times better than most authors’ and the descriptions of people and acts are detailed and sexy. Just do not expect high philosophy, and you should be good with A.N. Roquelaure’s Sleeping Beauty Trilogy.

Note: a fourth book in this series was added more than a decade later, but as most people would agree that it differs significantly from the original trilogy, I have chosen not to discuss it here.

7 thoughts on “Sleeping Beauty book series by Anne Rice”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *