The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.
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The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty Summary & Study Guide Description

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice.

The Prince arrives upon Sleeping Beauty's castle, determined to make his way to the chamber and Princess he does not believe truly exists. The Prince finds Beauty sleeping in her bed of one hundred years and he is filled with passion. After making love to her sleeping form, the Prince breaks Sleeping Beauty's spell. When the Prince and Beauty are leaving the castle, Beauty's mother tearfully requests the Prince to leave their only child with them. The Prince reprimands the Queen, reminding her of her own service in his kingdom and the benefits of it.

The journey is the first of many trials for Beauty. She leads the Prince's horse nude and on foot. When the Prince's entourage stops at an inn for the night, the Prince decides Beauty's training must be intensified. Beauty first serves his dinner on her hands and knees before the Prince orders the Innkeeper's daughter to paddle Beauty at the hearth.

Beauty arrives at the Prince's castle and is ordered once again to her hands and knees. The Queen greets her son and agrees with the Prince that Beauty is exquisite. Her Majesty summons Lord Gregory, who has Beauty mounted on the table for display. Numerous other Princesses and Princes are in the Great Hall. Also nude, they attend to the Lords and Ladies as supper is served. Beauty watches their actions as Lord Gregory speaks to her at her side. Beauty sees Prince Alexi for the first time when he drops a wine pitcher to get her attention. A Page swiftly takes Alexi up by the ankles and paddles him.

The Prince is jealous of Beauty's open appraisal of Alexi. When they are alone, the Prince uses different methods of paddling her before finally throwing her on the bed and taking her. The Prince then sends for Prince Alexi and Squire Felix. Alexi arrives late and the Prince immediately punishes Alexi for arriving late before commencing to make a display of paddling Alexi in various humiliating ways. Finally, the Prince orders Alexi to bury his face in Beauty's lap and takes Alexi forcefully as Beauty weeps.

Beauty is taken by Lord Gregoryto the Slaves' Hall the following morning. She is introduced to her groom, Leon, who bathes and prepares her for service. When Beauty is ready, Lord Gregory leads her to the hall where slaves are trained to give and receive pleasure as well as build restraint. Lord Gregory explains the scenes before Beauty, telling her that she is so passionate that she does not require the training. The Lord does, however, believe Beauty may be in need of the punishments she will see in the next hall. When Beauty is returned to the Prince, she is tormented by what she has seen and experienced, and feels horrified as well as overcome with desire. The Prince informs Beauty she will learn how to disrobe and dress him using her teeth. Beauty quickly, if not deftly, obeys. When Beauty has completed her task, the Prince orders her groomed and sent to serve in the parlor.

Beauty is prepared by Leon and taken to the parlor. When the Queen enters, she appraises Beauty more closely. Her Majesty announces Beauty will be put on the Bridle Path the following day and exits the room. Though Beauty does not believe she can handle the Bridle Path, she succeeds it with a grace the Queen recognizes. Following the Bridle Path, Beauty is quickly cleaned and groomed to be placed on display during dinner. Though tired, when Beauty sees Alexi, her desire is renewed. When Alexi is near enough he kisses Beauty's thigh and promises to see her in the Queen's chamber the following night.

Alexi carries Beauty to the Queen, waiting in her bed. The Queen slowly runs her hands over Beauty's body, declaring her as perfect as the Prince has said. Beauty transitions from feeling awe to complete hatred of the Queen as her body responds to the woman's touch. Late in the night, Prince Alexi sneaks into the Queen's chamber and frees Beauty. He takes her to a small servant's room where the couple makes love repeatedly on the blanket-covered pile of hay. Alexi tells Beauty how he came to be at the palace, in an effort to guide Beauty on her own path of yielding.

Initially, Prince Alexi attempted to flee his service to the Queen, but is quickly caught and taken to the castle. The Queen is amused with Prince Alexi's rebelliousness and enjoys punishing and training him. However, when Alexi proves incorrigible, the Queen has him sent to the kitchen to be used by the staff. Beauty listens with sympathy as Alexi tells of how he was raped with kitchen tools and vegetables and treated like an animal. When Alexi is returned to the Queen, he is humbled and eager to please.

Alexi returns Beauty to her restraints, and in the days that follow, it is clear they will escape punishment for their tryst. Beauty spends her days with Juliana on the Bridle Path and her nights with the Prince, learning how to be a personal slave. One morning, Beauty's wonderment about the village is satisfied when she witnesses the slaves being sent there for the summer months. Among the penned and carted slaves is Prince Tristan, the love slave of the Prince's cousin, Lord Stephan. Later that night, as Lord Gregory takes Beauty to The Prince's chamber, he harshly whispers about the change he has noticed in her. When they arrive at the Prince's chamber, Beauty has every intention of crawling to her master and kissing his shoes, but once she enters the room Beauty pauses. When the Prince turns and Beauty beholds his angered face, she quickly scurries from the room before rising to her feet and running. Lord Gregory quickly restrains Beauty and she is thrown into a cell in the Hall of Punishments.

In the dawn, Beauty is awakened and learns she is being sent to the village. As Beauty is led through the yard with Lady Juliana at her side, Beauty is filled with terror as well as a sense of excitement. The cart begins to move and Beauty finds Prince Tristan among the naked bodies of huddled slaves. Prince Tristan hold each other tightly. Through his gag, Tristan asks Beauty if she is afraid. For the first time, Beauty's emotions are not mixed as she answers an affirmative no.

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