Anne Rice may be known as the queen of vampire fiction, but between writing her first and second Vampire Chronicles books — which were released nearly 10 years apart — Rice had a naughty little side project — The Sleeping Beauty trilogy. Beginning with The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty originally released in 1983, Rice published the erotica trilogy under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure. And let me tell you, these stories put much of today’s erotic fiction to shame with it’s super spicy heat level! If you’re unfamiliar with these books, think of the most outrageous thing you’ve ever read in an erotica, and now multiply that by ten … or maybe a hundred … and you’ll get an idea of how risque Sleeping Beauty and her buddies got under Rice’s pen.
Series starter, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, begins not-so-innocently when the Prince Charming wakes up Beauty with a whole lot more than a kiss and takes her back to his kingdom, where instead of living happily ever after, Beauty instead becomes a sex slave. The Prince’s kingdom is filled with sex slaves, and they are all trained to be obedient submissives and act as sexual servants for the nobles and each other. When Beauty meets Prince Alexi, the two begin an intimate relationship until Alexi disobeys the Queen and is sentenced to a humiliating punishment. Beauty, having learned nothing from Alexi’s example, follows suit and experiences her own brutal purgatory.
Claiming was followed up with Beauty’s Punishment in 1984, which follows Beauty and fellow sex slave Prince Tristan as they’re bought at an auction and forced to perform a multitude of sexual acts upon several people, including the Captain of the Guard, an innkeeper and countless others. At one point Tristan’s Master forces the Prince into pony play, which, if you’re not familiar with, I’ll leave to your imagination (or to the Googling powers of The Internet, if you’re so inclined). However, the story takes an interesting turn when Tristan confesses he loves his excessive punishments.
The third book, Beauty’s Release, released in 1985. This story finds a kidnapped Beauty and Tristan in an exotic land pleasing a sultan and his court. The sexual exploits continue, and without giving away any major spoilers I will say that there are some very explicit scenes in this book. These trysts ultimately reveal that the slave characters we’ve met thus far, including Beauty, do enjoy, for the most part, being dominated by their captors.
Rice’s trilogy is not for the faint of heart, and perhaps speaks to the erotica published during the 1980s. On the heels of E.L. James' successful 50 Shades series and the resulting explosion of BDSM fiction, Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy was re-released by Penguin this month. If you’re curious as to how the horror maven writes erotic fiction, RT is giving away the entire trilogy to one lucky reader!
GIVEAWAY ALERT: One reader will win Rice's Sleeping Beauty trilogy — that's a copy of all three books! To enter, leave a comment telling us why you're looking forward to reading Rice's erotic re-imagining of Sleeping Beauty. You can also e-mail your response here with the subject line "Anne Rice Erotica Giveaway" along with your U.S. mailing address. The winner will be announced August 13.
BLOG UPDATE 8/13/2012: The winner is Lara Schmitz.
For more steamy reads, visit our Everything Erotica Page.