Reading Material 3

When I first picked up a copy of Silver Wolf, I thought it was an enchanting tale.   Not only is it loaded with historical facts, the author throws werewolves and ghosts into the equation.  When Regeane finally meets Maeniel, the grey wolf, sparks fly.  I have to say that their affection and loyalty toward each other touched my heart, so I had to buy the next two books of the series.  Silver Wolf is still by far the best. 

The Silver Wolf (Legends of the Wolves, Book 1)

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Night of the Wolf (Legends of the Wolves, Book 2)

Night of the Wolf interweaves a tale of the Roman Empire with magic, romance, and--lycanthropy. It follows The Silver Wolf, Alice Borchardt's absorbing story of the coming of age of a young woman who must learn to control and enjoy her wild side within the exotic setting of decadent Rome. This sequel begins by focusing on a mysterious figure from The Silver Wolf, Maeniel, a wolf who must contend with being a part-time human. Some of the other characters are magical in their own ways, such as Dryas, a warrior queen and priestess of the Caledoni. Others are resolutely human, such as Lucius, a Roman noble who finds himself at the mercy of Caesar and Cleopatra. Maeniel gradually begins to understand the quirks of human nature and in time finds that all roads lead to Rome, where Caesar's life is in the hands of Maeniel and his allies. With an adventurous plot, an unusual historical background, and a large helping of steamy sex scenes, this series should be much to the taste of fans of Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon or Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. --Blaise Selby --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title

The Wolf King (Legends of the Wolves, Book 3)

Alice Borchardt writes at least as well as her sister does--and her sister is Anne Rice. The Wolf King is the third in her series of alternate history novels with shape-shifting protagonists, following The Silver Wolf and Night of the Wolf. Reading the first two adds to the reader's understanding of the characters, though it's not required.
Borchardt mixes fantasy, horror, romance, suspense, action-adventure, political intrigue, and realistic evocation of Italy in the late eighth century. She uses lyrical descriptive passages to set scenes and immerse the reader in her characters' experiences. When a runaway Saxon slave rescues Regeane, the silver wolf, from a deadly blizzard, "the wind was howling around him and the world was sinking into a cold, gray blueness as the sun set somewhere beyond the clouds." He wraps her in his flea-harboring bearskin, reflecting that "this girl didn't have nearly the healthy temperature he did; maybe the little bastards would die. At any rate, the extermination of his vermin companions was the only benefit he was likely to derive from this particular adventure." He's wrong about that.
Regeane is Maeniel's mate (he's the long-lived werewolf leader of the pack, whose earlier life was featured in Night of the Wolf). Once thawed, Regeane confronts a demented abbot and a gang of (literal) cutthroats to save him. The werewolves and the Saxon head for Geneva to pledge allegiance to Charlemagne, who's about to cross the Alps to challenge King Desederius of the Lombards for control of northern and central Italy.
Soon Maeniel is in Desederius's territory and in danger. Regeane follows, despite his prohibition. They're fated to reencounter Regeane's sniveling cousin Hugo, who seeks revenge. He has become host to a powerful bear spirit who wants the wolves for his own purposes. The new Hugo has a lot in common with the Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin character in All of Me; he provides comic leavening to the sometimes grim action. Other returning characters include Pope Hadrian's tough, practical, but vulnerable mistress Lucilla; her protégé, the singer Dulcinia; and the ageless werewolf earth-mother Matrona.
The Wolf King's almost-too-rich plot lines, characters, and mixed Teutonic, Roman, and Christian mythic elements may overwhelm those new to Borchardt's alternate Dark Ages. The story also ends abruptly--leaving plenty of room for sequels. --Nona Vero --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Stay tuned tomorrow.


  1. I haven't read much wolf fiction but those covers are amazing!

  2. Interesting that you would post this.
    My "wolf fiction" is a little different, though. I am currently rereading London's "Call of the Wild." Found it on my Kindle last week and thought I would revisit it.

  3. @Shelly. Glad you liked them.

    @Jessica. I like the covers too. That's what first attracted me to the books.

    @Bryce. Didn't peg you for a wolfman. It's amazing what we're all writing.

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