The Seldom Diaries: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice

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The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty
Anne Rice
Published by Plume
May 1st 1999 (first published 1983)
Paperback
Erotica/medieval fantasy/fairy tales/horror/adult fiction
253 pages

From bestselling author Anne Rice, writing as A.N. Roquleaure. In the traditional folktale of ‘Sleeping Beauty,’ the spell cast upon the lovely young princess and everyone in her castle can only be broken by the kiss of a Prince. It is an ancient story, one that originally emerged from and still deeply disturbs the mind’s unconscious. Now Anne Rice’s retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince reawakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation. His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty’s complete and total enslavement to him as Anne Rice explores the world of erotic yearning and fantasy in a classic that becomes, with her skillful pen, a compelling experience.

… … …
I love the original Sleeping Beauty. At least, the Disney version. It’s one of my favourites. When I saw this on the shelf with that little erotic twist, of course it caught my attention.
I hadn’t realized that this was previously written in the 80s. On the cover, it says that Anne Rice actually used the pseudonym A.N Roquelaure. I’ve always wanted to introduce myself to some of her works, but never really have for some reason. So I added the book to my pile with gusto. There was no better time!

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I obviously knew that this version had the kinky twist to it, but I just had no idea when it was about to kick in. I didn’t have to wait very long. I have to tell you though, the scene threw me off that I considered not reading anymore then and there.

Of course, I’ll tell you why…

As the Prince marches through a silent, dormant castle, he finally finds the chambers where the famous Sleeping Beauty has rested for the past hundred years. Instead of the tale that you and I both know: prince charming kisses the princess. She wakes up and they live happily ever after. In the beginning of this trilogy, the Prince takes things further. Maybe the journey to the castle made him a little frisky? He ends up cutting and ridding Beauty of her dress until she’s naked. (still asleep at this point, mind you!) He has sex with her. When she’s otherwise occupied, he finally kisses her awake.

This was not sexy to me. It was actually kind of disturbing to read. But despite my frowns, I tried not to judge the beginning too deeply. I continued on!

Now with her kindgom properly restored, the Prince declares that he’s taking Beauty as his tribute. She’s to go with him back to his own kingdom. The king and queen don’t seem to put up that much of a fight, which is odd. Especially when tells them that Beauty is supposed to be naked the entire time. Village to village, her naked body paraded around for all to see. If she disobeys, she gets punished. Once they reach his homeland, Beauty becomes the Prince’s very first sex slave. Unluckily for Beauty, Queen Eleanor hates her on sight because of her son’s immediate infatuation.
For most of the book, I couldn’t help feeling sympathetic. I don’t seem to appreciate the sexuality in BDSM like some people do. My bad. I don’t mind the erotica genre. I get a kick out of it for the most part. I don’t think this one in particular was my cup of tea. I’m still not quite sure what to think of it.

I do have to give Anne Rice a hand for making this her own though. What do you think of this type of genre being written?

Xox,
Sasha

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Michelle’s Paper Garden Presents Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile


Title: Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
Author: Bill Willingham
Illustrator:Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha, Craig Hamilton, James Jean
Publisher: Vertigo
Year: 2002
Type: Paperback
Number of Pages: 128 pages
Genre: Graphic novel, fantasy, fairy tales, urban fantasy, mystery, folklore

Summary:
When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. But when Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown’s sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf (Bigby Wolf), to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose’s ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21326.Fables_Vol_1]

Review:
I love fairy tales and mythology. If I could spend all of my time studying and reading mystical magical stories of heroes and monsters, I would be the happiest person in the world. For this and many other reasons, I fell completely in love with Fables. The idea of taking my favourite storybook characters and tossing them into a modern setting was exciting and new (well at least it was when I first read Fables). The characters had to adapt to living in the modern human world, and those who couldn’t were sent to the Farm which is basically made up of talking animals.

I liked Bigby (the humanized Big Bad Wolf turned detective) because he reminded me of those hard drinking, short-tempered detectives from all those old movies my dad used to make me watch. I like that style, so I thought he was cool and the ridiculous lines he has fit that style. His backstory is pretty interesting and the y later explain why he can blow houses down with his breath. The jokes were a little lame, but I like cheesy stuff so I giggled and moved on. Snow White was not what I expected. I figured she would be the annoying, high-pitched damsel from the Disney movie, and instead I got a hardass ice queen. Oh and Prince Charming is a dick, but that’s to be expected seeing as he has married virtually all of the princesses in Fabletown.

The cover art is beautiful! The art beyond that is pretty good, but of a different style.

The actual story is okay and the murder is meh, but I liked the book anyway, mostly because I kept fan girling over characters.

Okay, the only problem I had with this series is that by the fourth volume I had already figured out who the Adversary was. I am not gonna spoil anything for you, but it’s a little obvious.

I give it a 4/5

Book Wish List: Strands of Bronze and Gold

Title: Strands of Bronze and Gold
Author: Jane Nickerson
Type of book: Hardcover
Genre: Historical Fiction, fantasy, fairy tale, mystery
Pages: 352

Nothing says trouble more than a young girl, down on her luck with no money, no home and no family suddenly receiving a letter from a man you haven’t seen in years. This particular man invites you to live with him and suddenly you are saved from your desperate situation. Already her circumstances give me grave anxiety, the girl is all alone, just 16 years old and is forced to embrace a world and way of life unlike anything she has experience. Boys and girls if you are hoping for a happy-go-lucky-tale you will not find it here.

She finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her.

This is supposed to be a retelling of the fairy tale Bluebeard and for those of you unfamiliar; it is a tale of a aristocratic man who repels all women because of hideous Bluebeard. Although he has had many wives they all end up disappearing. He eventually gets himself a new wife, but soon leaves her to attend important matters in another country, and before he does he gives his new wife a set of keys which opens many doors. Bluebeard tell her that she may go anywhere those keys allow her to, except the smallest room. It was forbidden and she promises him to be a good wife and not open that room. But like any other heroine, she doesn’t listen and learns the secret of her husband’s strange hobby, as well as the mystery of his past wives. Frightening story I must say, so to have a retelling I can’t help but nibble on my curiosity and wonder what will be different and the same. WILL THERE BE A HAPPY ENDING? . I know I have an addiction so sue me… actually, please don’t, my name has yet to reveal any monetary value teehee

And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world..

Goodness I get chills at that, could he possibly trying to re-create the image of a past love with all these girls with this one repetitive feature? That is such a typical sign of a serial killer based on a lot of Law and Order.

When you are given everything when you use to have nothing what do you do when faced with a terrible secret? I know I would run for the hills, but this 1855 so obviously my solution is a lot less possible. I have heard from other reviewers that this author is rather good and the general public have been pleased. I am hoping to end up having a similar reaction and feel that my hard earn 5$ plum points will be well spent.

-Meli <3