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The Sleeping Beauty Novels: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty / Beauty's Release / Beauty's Punishment Paperback – Box set, May 1, 1999

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Paperback, Box set, May 1, 1999
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 724 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Box edition (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452156610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452156616
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 4.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (459 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anne Rice was born in New Orleans in 1941, the second daughter in an Irish Catholic family. She is the author of many bestselling books. She is perhaps best known for her incredibly successful Vampire ChroniclesInterview with the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, The Queen of the Dammed, The Tale of the Body Thief (published in Penguin) and Memnoch the Devil. Her other books include the Mayfair witches sequence The Witching Hour, Lasher (both published in Penguin) and Taltos; the novels Cry to Heaven, The Mummy or Ramses the Damned (both published in Penguin), The Servant of the Bones and, recently, Pandora, the first part of her New Tales of the Vampires series.

She lived for many years in San Francisco but has now moved back to her native New Orleans where she lives with her husband, poet and university professor Stan Rice, and their son.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

249 of 259 people found the following review helpful By Valerhon on May 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
Once upon a time, The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy was one of the best kept secrets of novelist Anne Rice's body of work, published under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure. Any prolific reader of Rice's novels understands that when they open that cover, they are bound to enter a world so deeply conceived, so sumptuously described, that it takes on a life and plausibility all its own, and this series is no exception.

The tale begins with the awakening of Sleeping Beauty to ravishment by the Prince who breaks the spell of sleep on her kingdom. Indebted to the Prince, her parents consent to allow Beauty to be taken as tribute to the castle of the Prince's mother, Queen Eleanor, whose power dominates the surrounding kingdoms. Beauty is thereafter made to serve the erotic pleasures of the Queen's courtiers, male and female, who attempt to instill empathy and humility in her, and prepare her to be a wise ruler when she inherits her family's throne. This subtext of forging an entitled and spoiled aristocrat into an empathetic one is a clever and satisfying justification for the trials that Beauty must endure.

Unfortunately, Beauty and her fellow slaves Princes Alexi and Laurent, are rebellious. This results in deeper punishment, humiliations, and painfully pleasurable sexual torments. Their refusal to embrace the lessons of the Queen and her aristocracy prolongs their trials, leading to exile to a village of the common people. Here, their royal rank is meaningless and invites deeper, even resentful torments. When this also proves inadequate, they are exiled to a foreign land where they face the greatest trials of all.

To call the Beauty series pornography is to call a Rembrandt "just a painting". The eroticism is explicit, but never descends into psychological darkness.
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219 of 242 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Cooper on March 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I read the first of the Sleeping Beauty books by Anne Rice, I read it in an afternoon. I immediately went out and bought the remaining two books in the trilogy. I had purchased the first one out of curiosity, after paging through it. At first, these books may seem to be just a lot of sex, and S and M type of stuff, but there is more to it than that. Rice explores the feelings of the characters and how they adjust to their situation and surroundings, and how they relate to each other in such an extraordinary setting. I found myself reading as fast as I could to find out what happened to Beauty and her friends. If you are offended by extremely explicit and graphic sex, you would not like these books. But if that doesn't bother you, and you like a sense of fantasy and seductiveness, these are the books for you.
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199 of 220 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Kaplan on February 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
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 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.
Like everything Anne wrote before "Memnoch the Devil," the Beauty Chronicles are works of genius, in my opinion. They contain the same richness, the same historical detail, the same darkness as all of her later books to come, including her chronicles of the witches, and the vampires. I am not a regular reader of such novels, so I cannot compare them to others of the genre, but I venture to say that these books have to stand out as unique at the least, mind-blowing at the most.
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. These three books seem to prove the point, which is why I can view them as more than trash.
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.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Superstar DJ on November 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I had peeked at these novels for years while browsing bookstores but finally had the nerve to purchase the first one about a year ago. Within a week, I owned all three. While I thoroughly enjoy reading good erotica, too many authors offer the same dialog and plots that are extremely unimaginative, trite, or downright ridiculous. It almost seems like sex is joke in such novels. I found nothing like that in the Sleeping Beauty novels. You can't describe these books with words like "steamy" or "hot." The sex depicted in the plot comes from deep down inside a person who finds freedom in submission, where their bodies only exist as means to serve and pleasure another. It is more spiritual and mental than it is physical. The characters are extremely well-written, their personalities and histories are just as important as the acts they participate in. (I personally fell in love with the character of Tristan who desperately wants to submit to another but yearns for a strict and merciless master.) But ironically, I found Beauty to be the weakest character and was happy that her story became almost secondary in the second and third books.

Be forewarned: Most sex acts in these novels are between men instead of men and women. The characters are not necessarily homosexual or heterosexual, they are in bondage to please both sexes and must participate in any acts their masters desire. I used to turn away stories or novels with acts involving only men or only women, it made me a bit squeamish. But Rice writes with such emotion, that every coupling in these books is compelling and beautiful no matter which characters are involved.

THAT is what I'm trying to get at - these books are not written just to stimulate someone for bedtime or foreplay.
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