The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty is a "very" different take of the Sleeping Beauty folktale we are all used to. Obviously Disney's version flew right out the window after reading a little into the second page. The gist of the story remains the same... a princess and her court are all cursed and have been in slumber for hundreds of years. Along comes a Prince and instead of kissing Beauty he sexually initiates her into waking (yes, my eyes were the like saucers when I read this - and this was only like the 2nd page) . The Prince then drags her off to his kingdom where she becomes his sex slave to pleasure and punish at his every whim.
To be honest, I can't say I really liked this story - and not for the reasons you would think either. Obviously from the cover alone you can tell this is an erotic version of the story. Which is fine. I'm not much of an erotica fan - but I can deal with it well enough. What I couldn't deal with was Beauty's submissive nature. I wanted her to put up a fight - I can't imagine just letting myself be put in the dire position she was thrust into (no pun intended) without putting up even a tiny fist in the air and screaming at someone, scratching, biting or throwing a shoe.
Once I realized what the story was about (and after someone being sexually impaled on a statue) I really considered putting the book down - this was obviously not my cup of tea. So I put it down for a couple of hours and I tried not to think about it. I really did. But I couldn't help myself. I needed to see how much more poor Beauty would endure and if she would ever grow a backbone. I picked it up again and just couldn't put it back down.
This is the first book of a 3-part series by author A.N. Roqueluare (pen name for Anne Rice). It made me blush, gasp and I know more than once I had to glance around just to make sure no one was reading over my shoulder. It is by far the most sexually graphic novel I have ever read. The ending is a cliff-hanger and obviously sets you up for the next book in the series - I haven't decided whether I'll pick it up or not. I will confess that I am intrigued to see what will happen next... hmmm.
My final thoughts - in order to truly enjoy this story you must be able to completely give yourself over to the fantasy and leave your inhibitions and "Girls Rule" attitude at the door and then all I can say is enter at your own risk.