Series: Sleeping Beauty #4
Published by Viking Books Genres: BD/sm, Erotica, Fantasy
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Before E. L. James and Sylvia Day, there was Anne Rice: Discover Beauty’s Kingdom, the fourth novel in the bestselling Sleeping Beauty series
Mega-bestselling author Anne Rice, writing as A. N. Roquelaure, returns to the mysterious kingdom of Queen Eleanor in this new chapter of her Sleeping Beauty series. When the great queen is reported dead, Beauty and Laurent return to the kingdom they left twenty years before. Beauty agrees to take the throne, but she insists that all erotic servitude be voluntary. Countless eager princes, princesses, lords, ladies, and commoners journey to Beauty’s realm, where she and her husband usher in a new era of desire, longing, and ecstasy. Provocative and stirring, Rice’s imaginative retelling of the Sleeping Beauty myth will be adored by her longtime fans and new readers of erotica just discovering the novels.
This book is intended for mature audiences.
Kaylee: Beauty’s Kingdom, by Anne Rice, is a continuation of her Sleeping Beauty Series. It shows Beauty and her charming husband, Laurant, twenty years after their service in the kingdom of Bellavalten. They have been summoned to be the new monarchs of the pleasure kingdom, after Queen Eleanor and her son meet an untimely death. Beauty and Laurant take on the task of becoming reigning monarchs of the kingdom with relish. They are reconnected with old friends, like Dmitri, Alexi, Tristan, and introduced to some new friends, like the strong-willed Lady Eva. The kingdom flourishes under their rule, the pleasure slaves are happier than ever, and the inhabitants of the kingdom seem closer than before. Beauty, with her innovative ideas, saves Bellavalten, now commonly referred to as Beauty’s Kingdom, reviving the land in which the old queen had forsaken.
The book was filled with description, in typical Anne Rice fashion, and of course was beautiful. My only issue with the book was the lack of character development. Yes, I get it, this book is about sex, lots of crazy, lust-filled sex, but does that mean you should ignore the characters? There were chapters dedicated to certain characters, like Brenn and Sybil, and then in later chapters they are merely ornamentation in the background. Trust me, I get it, they are simply naked slaves, at the beck and call of their masters, but I would have liked to have seen more of them and their inner thoughts. Anne Rice hints at a jealousy between Brenn and another character, but does not show the resolution, does not further the discussion, nothing.
Another character that I would have liked to have seen more of was Lady Eva. It was like the moment I began really liking Eva and understanding the role she played in the kingdom and to the queen, Anne Rice ripped her from me. Yes, she solves the mystery surrounding Dmitri and Lexius (which was definitely not worth the hype the book built it up to be), but screw them. She is Lady-Fucking-Eva, and Beauty needs her, the kingdom needs her.
For all that I didn’t like in this book, there were tons of things I did like. Beauty, for example, constantly battles with herself over ruling the kingdom. How can she rule when she gains no pleasure from being a master, and instead longs for the days that she was a naked slave? This is beautifully resolved at the end, but you have read it to find out because “I’m no snitch.”
I LOVED ALEXI. Honestly, he should have been with Beauty instead of Laurant, just because. I’m sure the first three books explain a lot of why Alexi and Beauty should not be together, and readers please forgive me for not reading those first books all the way through.
This book was like a class reunion, with older characters coming back to save the kingdom that had made them, but sometimes it dragged out, and I just wanted it to be done. Other times I was like “OMG! This is amazing!” The book was good, but I wouldn’t say it was the best of Anne Rice’s many works. It still packed a decent punch though. I’d give it a 4/5.