A richly atmospheric historical fantasy about shapeshifters struggling to survive in the decadent city of Rome during the Dark Ages. Rome is mired in crumbling grandeur. Into the Eternal City comes Regeane, a young woman distantly related to Charlemagne, and as such an unwilling pawn in the struggle for political power. But unknown to all, she is a shapeshifter: woman and wolf. Betrothed to a barbarian lord she has never seen, she is surrounded by enemies. The most notorious, her depraved uncle and guardian, who will betray her to the Church unless she aids him in his sinister schemes. If the Church discovers her secret she will burn at the stake. Outside the gates of Rome there is a mysterious dark wolf who seems to offer Regeane a wildly seductive new life, yet as her marriage looms plots and deadly counterplots tighten like a noose around her neck. Fast-paced, sensual and rich with historical detail, The Silver Wolf will place Alice Borchardt squarely in the front rank of contemporary women writers. Her intricate plot and hypnotic voice will cast a spell few will be able to resist.
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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 VeroFrom 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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Book Description Voyager, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 6483852
Book Description Voyager, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006483852