My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As a huge Anne Rice Fan, I’ve had the Sleeping Beauty series on my Wish list for years. I waited so long to read it simply because I love Rice, and I think I was scared that if I didn’t like them it would taint anything else I tried to read of hers in the future. That said, I ultimately liked this book (and the rest of the series) but I could see how someone who didn’t “get” the book might be turned off any new Rice books forever.
Now, I’ve read some reviews and know that this series isn’t for everyone. Heck, if I’d have read it a few years earlier it probably wouldn’t have been for me either.
In order to read the Sleeping Beauty series, you mush set aside ALL of your preconceived notions about sex, sexuality, consensual sex– all if it should have no bearing on this story. This is not “your” story, it is the fictitious account of Sleeping Beauty and the Prince who awakened her (at least in the beginning, after which it becomes a story of multiple “slaves” and their many different views on BDSM.)
That above point is the key to not only reading the first book to completion, but the whole series, so I’ll say it again: SET ASIDE ALL OF YOUR PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS REGARDING SEX.
This is a different world, and as so, it comes with a very different set of expectations and beliefs regarding sexuality and pleasure. The word “rape” is only used a few times in the books to signify when a man (or men) force themselves onto another man (usually in the form of punishment for misdeeds). But even then, it’s used as an action-identifier, not a legal term and it doesn’t hold the same connotations as the modern usage.
Homosexuality doesn’t appear to exist in the context of the books as it does in our modern world either. In these books, PEOPLE have sex with each other. While some may have preferences towards type or appearance, the characters in this book are equal opportunity. It’s all just personalities and body parts, enjoying the pleasures of the flesh.
So, if you can set aside every opinion you have about sex and tuck away your “I am woman, hear me roar” mantras for a minute, then you may find these books enlightening and psychologically deep. Like several of the characters in the book are told (something similar at least)… if you can relinquish everything (control, preconceived notions, expectations, fears, repulsion, pride) then you will be free and open to the experience.
Strip away the adult bits, and Roquelaure (Rice)has penned a historical/ literary/ fantasy that is richly woven like a tapestry and full-bodied like a fine wine. Add back the naughty bits and see if you don’t come away thinking about these books for days, if not weeks.
(** I received this book free via Netgalley for review purposes. No monies were exchanged. )