Fiction Alice Borchardt The Silver Wolf

ISBN 13: 9780345423603

The Silver Wolf

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9780345423603: The Silver Wolf

In this new historical romantic fantasy of stunning originality and scope, Alice Borchardt breathes life into a bygone age, brilliantly recreating a sensuous, violent world--and the men and women whose grand ambitions, betrayals, and passions shape the era in which they live and die.

Decadent Rome at the dawn of the Dark Ages is mired in crumbling grandeur. Now, 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 against her, 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 private 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, deadly plots and counter plots 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 either . . .

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.

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Review:

Regeane is a fatherless royal relation who happens to be a werewolf. Her guardian, Gundabald, and his venal son Hugo plan to recoup their fortunes by marrying Regeane to a wealthy bridegroom, even though she might inadvertently make him into a bedtime snack. Gundabald forces her into apparent compliance by threatening to reveal her secret to the Church, which would burn her at the stake. As the bridegroom, Maeniel, journeys to Rome to claim her, Regeane discovers allies in her quest to defeat Gundabald's machinations, including some very strong, funny, and levelheaded women. Unfortunately for Regeane, she also has more powerful enemies than Gundabald.

Alice Borchardt brings 8th-century Rome vividly to life. Her language is earthy and sensuously descriptive: "The wolf visited Regeane's eyes and ears. The girl staggered slightly with the shock. The light in the square became intense. Smells an overwhelming experience: wet stone, damp air, musty clothing, perspirations shading from ancient sticky filth to fresh acrid adrenal alarm."

Borchardt is Anne Rice's sister, but she writes a very different sort of tale. Ghosts, the dead, and supernatural forces are here, but so is laugh-out-loud humor and a happy ending. --Nona Vero

From the Publisher:

I first met Alice at a restaurant in Houston. She was accompanied by her husband, a tall distinguished looking man with silver hair and a goatee. At first she was nervous, a little shy but quickly she warmed and began telling tales from her childhood in New Orleans including several interesting anecdotes about her famous sister, Anne Rice.

I had read the manuscript for The Silver Wolf and been captivated by the story and the extraordinary characters but particularly by the vivid sensory descriptions. Alice lets you see with a wolf's eyes, smell with a wolf's nose. And she transports you back to a fascinating historical setting from the time of Rome's decline. The manuscript quickly made the rounds among the staff at Del Rey, the hallmark of an exceptional book. The word most frequently used to describe it was "lush."

Talking with Alice, you quickly realize that she is a natural teller of tales and it's no surprise that she wrote the delightfully rich story of The Silver Wolf. It's a luscious treat!
                                                --Tim Kochuba, General Manager

"A fascinating tale -- brutal, ribald, engrossing, poignantly beautiful."

                        --Johanna Lindsay (the HUGE NYT bestselling author)

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