I have recently visited Amsterdam and was absolutely over the moon to find out that my next read was set in the city of Amsterdam, about 400 years ago. Set in Amsterdam in 1686–87, the novel was inspired by Petronella Oortman’s doll’s house on display at the Rijksmuseum. It does not otherwise attempt to be a biographical novel.
“Looming above the sludge-coloured canal, the houses are a phenomenon. Admiring their own symmetry on water, they are stately and beautiful, jewels set within the city’s pride. Above their rooftops Nature is doing her best to keep up and clouds in colour of saffron and apricot echo the spoils of the glorious republic.”
Writing under a pseudonym (A. N. Roquelaure), Anne Rice went through and made a whole new story starting from the fairy tale of the Sleeping Beauty. In her version though, she gets awoken by a prince only to be taken to his kingdom as a sex slave and receive sex training in the Pleasure Rooms in the palace. Here she falls in love with another sex slave of the queen called Alexei and with a disobedient one called Tristan. She made a mistake and she had to be punished alongside Tristan and send to perform humiliating tasks in the nearby village as the lowest of the lowest of sex slaves.
Tristan becomes a “pony” for the court chronicler’s carriage, having to trot around bound and gagged and with a horse’s tail coming out of his bottom.
Was it worse than trotting with anxious breaths, my head and my hips pulled inexoraby forward, my sore flesh reanimated by the long, loud snapping behind me? I couldn’t really see my Master. But with every lick, I saw him as he had been last night, and the ease with which he tormented me again astonished me. I had never dreamed it would stop because of our embraces. But for it to be intensified like this… I felt suddenly some awesome sense of the depth of submission he wanted from me.
And Beauty becomes a maid in an inn where she is paddled for fun by the mistress and used by the King’s Guard as entertainment.
Mistress Lockley lifted a white leather belt and showed it to Beauty, like a tongue extending from her hand. And gathering Beauty’s left breast from the top in her left fingers, she bunched the flesh and plumped it as Beauty felt the warmth suffusing her bosom. Beauty couldn’t keep quiet. And the moisture between her legs trickled down into the crack of her buttocks. Her spread-eagle body strained in vain to close itself.
“My little girl at the Sign of the Lion, Beauty, is the same,” the Captain said. “A naked ravenous soul that foments the passion in me dangerously.”