Updated Thursday, 18 October, 2012
My friend Noelle introduced me to Alice Borchardt. We were chatting about books we were reading, and Noelle really thought I’d like Alice’s work. She also told me that Alice was the sister to Anne Rice, an author I have very much enjoyed reading. So I decided to give Alice a try, and I’m glad I did. I will definitely make an effort to read the rest of her sadly small body of work.
In this mesmerizing novel of stunning originality and scope, Alice Borchardt breathes life into a bygone age, brilliantly re-creating a sensuous, violent
Decadent Rome in the Dark Ages is mired in crumbling grandeur. Into the Eternal City comes Regeane, a beautiful young woman distantly related, through her dead mother, to Charlemagne. Regeane’s regal blood renders her an unwilling pawn in the struggle for political power. But unknown to those plotting her destiny, the blood she has inherited from her murdered father makes her much more than a child of royalty. Possessed of preternatural agility and strength, primal memories extending back thousands of years, and senses so keen they can pierce the veil of death itself, Regeane is a shapeshifter: woman and wolf, hunter and hunted.
Betrothed by Charlemagne’s command to a barbarian lord she has never seen, Regeane is surrounded by enemies. The most notorious, her depraved uncle and guardian, will not scruple to betray her to the Church unless she aids him in his sinister schemes. And if the Church discovers her secret, Regeane will burn at the stake. Yet Regeane finds allies as well: Lucilla, rumored to be the courtesan of Pope Hadrian himself; Antonius, a wise and gentle soul trapped within a body grotesquely disfigured by disease; and the little Saxon girl Elfgifa, brave beyond her years, with a tongue as sharp as a blade.
Outside the gates of Rome, baying on the moonlit expanses of the Campagna, there is a mysterious dark wolf whose scent makes the animal in Regeane tremble with desire. Now, as an infamous stranger prepares to claim his bride, and deadly plots and counterplots tighten like a noose around her neck, Regeane must fight to live with dignity as the proud creature she is: civilized and savage, woman and wolf, partaking of both yet infinitely more than
Lyrical, fast-paced, sensual, and rich with historical detail and deep insights into the heart, The Silver Wolf catapults Alice Borchardt squarely into the front rank of contemporary women writers. Her intricate plot and hypnotic voice will cast a spell that few will be able to resist. (book description)
Personal note: Wow. I gave this book a try mainly on the recommendation of my friend Noelle and the fact that Alice is Anne Rice's sister. It was definitely worth it. It is just possible that Alice was an even better writer than Anne is. One book is not enough to make a judgement call like that, but I fully plan on reading the rest of her work to have more to go on.
The Silver Wolf, Alice Borchardt’s acclaimed novel of a shapeshifter’s struggle to survive as woman and wolf amid the Dark Ages, announced the arrival of a ferociously gifted writer. Now, with her masterful weaving of adventure, history, and magic, Borchardt delves deeper into the shape-shifter legend, and brings an earlier, more savage time brilliantly to life.
The fearsome legions of Julius Caesar have crushed resistance to Roman rule. The power of the druids is broken; the shattered tribes retreating to the dubious safety of the high mountains or fleeing north into lands as inhospitable as those left behind. Watching all the while through yellow eyes afire with curiosity and intelligence is Maeniel, a gray
This is not the Maeniel of The Silver Wolf. Not the mature shapeshifter, secure in his dual nature, whose hard-won wisdom is the equal of his preternatural strength and passion. That Maeniel will not exist for another eight hundred years. Now he is a stranger to his human half, his reason chained to instinct. Yet as the ancient civilization of the Gallic tribes is systematically destroyed around him, a new Maeniel is about to be born from the ruins.
It begins with a woman. She is Imona: young, proud, beautiful. The sight of her fills Maeniel with unfamiliar feelings and desires, triggering his transformation from wolf to man. In her arms he learns for the first time what it means to love. It is a knowledge that will change him forever. For when Imona vanishes following a Roman massacre, Maeniel begins to learn a very different lesson.
Following Imona’s trail as wolf and man, Maeniel is himself pursued by a warrior woman sworn to kill him. She is Dryas, a queen without a kingdom. But the two adversaries will prove to have much in common. And the hunt upon which they embark will lead them farther than they can imagine: to the gates of Rome itself. To the gates of their very
With Night of the Wolf, Alice Borchardt has given us another triumph of soaring imagination and adventure. By turns lyrical, sensuous, and violent, hers is a vision of the past that will stir both heart and mind. Her writing will possess you like a
Personal note: This book started off a little slow, and it took me a good 50 pages to get into it, but once I did, I didn’t want to put it down. It was well worth the time spent reading it, and I look forward to reading the rest of Alice’s work in the near future.