and that is about all you will find happening in this book. Strictly for fans of flagellation and nothing else. Having been promised by the liner notes to learn about the erotic uses a ballet dancer may discover for her body, it was somewhat of a disappointment to learn in the first chapter that the imperial russian ballet apparently liked its dancers on the 200 pound-plus side. If you like fat ladies being flogged and beaten from cover to cover, this is the book for you. If your definition of "erotica" is somewhat wider than that, you may find even the one star overdone.
This is a book from within the erotic genre that deals with dominance and submission, reinforced by physical punishments. Within this genre, pre-revolutionary Russian settings and characters always signify rather extreme chastisements, mostly using designs of chastising implement that leave bodily injury. In addition, dominant females frequently predominant, with female victims who may or may not be willing partners in the activities described. Male characters tend to appear when their particular physical accoutrements are needed for these activities. This book contains all of these characteristics, and describes the progress of a young girl towards full absorption into the 'system' as a submissive mistress or hired employee. Unfortunately, the book falls into the trap that all-too-frequently catches work in the erotic genre, of repetition. The varied and entertaining narrative needed to avoid this trap is not very strong here, a succession of vindictive mistresses taking it upon themselves to exact flagellatory pain on their helpless charges in the context of a limited palette of scenarios and stinging instruments. However, this branch of the genre, at least, can survive such shortcomings for devotees of corporal punishment stories, and the book certainly offers a multitude of painful opportunities.
The description by the publisher is somewhat misleading: the "erotic" use of this dancer's body only means that it is whipped from cover to cover. No other activity, erotic or otherwise, takes place. Stricly for those who like scene after scene of (usually plump) ladies being whacked by a variety of whips and canes.