Beauty's Release (Sleeping Beauty Series #3)

Beauty's Release - A.N. Roquelaure, Anne Rice Review of the first book.Review of the second book.WARNING: Disturbing stuff ahead.And here is where we hit the rock bottom.As in, mass nonconsensual permanent genital mutilation.I know there are some people out there that like it, but I daresay it's one kink that doesn't need pandering to. Otherwise we might just as well have Gilles de Rais erotica.Or was it not supposed to be a kink?It's at this point where I started to wonder if Beauty series were supposed to be erotica in modern narrow sense of the word - titillating - or just an exploration of extreme? It doesn't work well in either capacity. I daresay pacing problems and digressions would pose a problem even to people who enjoy the subject matter. Maybe even overload - there is always something sex-related going on. If it's meant to be an exploration of controversial matters - it fails to include any liquids or soft solids. (Not a fan of those, either, but as long as they are among consenting adults, I'm cool.)It could be that this is meant to present their current captors - Turks - as evil. Unlike their kind noble masters from book one. I daresay that when put like that, it seems like horrors of book second might have been staged to show princes and princesses were better off as slaves to the nobility than roaming around. It makes even more sense given the ending.Consequently, this is probably the least sexy of books, since the author now has to wrap up the plot somehow.So, how does it end? We had one prominent "prince" in book one - he was ignored in book two. We had another in book two - and he is ignored here. Both of them, particularly the first one, were the only characters in their respective books that showed discontent with the whole concept. But neither of them is the one. Beauty, instead, gets raped (and I don't even mean technically as part of the games or orders - he comes to her on his own volition, no spectators, and the way the scene was written, she doesn't seem willing at all) by a newcomer. (He is not content with his situation either, but that's because he prefers to be the aggressor.) Then Beauty gets released back to her kingdom. But she is dissatisfied with her suitors because none can give her what she wants. She even starts torturing some as the test, but finds them wanting. Then, aforementioned rapist gets released early - unwillingly - because his father is dead and he is the only heir. He is grumpy because he cannot harrass any more newbie princes. But then he hears his old acquaintance is available. So he comes in to sweep her off her feet, put some genital clamps on her and ride off into sunset. They lived abusively ever after, and author gave up on any pretense of moral dilemma and kissed it goodbye, then swatted it with a carved jewel-encrusted paddle a few times for a good measure.