Continues the richly atmospheric historical fantasy trilogy about shapeshifters, this time set in Britain and Gaul during the glory years of Caesar’s Roman empire.
Maeniel is drawn into the lives of men when he is captured by a magnificent Celtic warrior sorceress, who thirsts for revenge against Julius Caesar. She seduces and binds him within a circle of standing stones, and too late, he realizes that he cannot return to his wolf form so long as he is a prisoner of her magic.
As the druids of Gaul force him to become their instrument of revenge Maeniel must draw upon all his primitive powers to find a way to win his freedom, while protecting his brother and sister wolves from extinction. But the path to freedom leads to the gates of Rome, and the most powerful – and dangerous – man in the world.
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Night of the Wolf comes with rave recommendations from Anne Rice just like Alice Borchardt's debut werewolf fantasy The Silver Wolf did--perhaps not entirely unbiased, since Rice and Borchardt are sisters. The story begins in ancient Gaul amid druid-led Celts now brutally subdued by Julius Caesar. Shape-shifting man-wolf Mananiel, leader of a wolf pack, discovers human love in powerfully sensual scenes that emphasise the wolf's piercing animal awareness, especially of smells. When something bad happens to his lady, Mananiel becomes a vengeful manhunter until the Caledonian woman warrior Dryas imposes a terrible, magical bondage on him. Imperial Rome is the ultimate source of their troubles, Rome and Caesar ... so the action shifts there, with much sophistication, banter, decadence, political intrigue and rapid-action arena scenes. Dryas unwillingly fights deadly beasts to amuse Caesar, Cleopatra, Antony and others, while Mananiel finds a most unexpected lover. Meanwhile, we have mystical glimpses of a realm outside time, a wood beyond the world which each major character briefly visits. In a prophecy unrecorded by history, the Goddess herself speaks through Dryas to tell Caesar his options in this year of 44 BC, and there's considerable irony in his choice. Night of the Wolf is enjoyable both as dark fantasy and as a historical novel: Borchardt deserves to outsell her more famous sister. -- David LangfordReview:
‘A daring and vibrant new voice on the female literary frontier – a writer with the vision and scope to conjure up her own thrilling mythos and the craftsmanship to render it in breathtaking, shimmering prose… The Silver Wolf is a stunning initiation into a dark and dazzling realm’
‘A marvellous tale, it is a thriller, tragedy, horror and eventually a fairy-tale love story’
‘Borchardt reaches descriptive and dramatic peaks with Regeane’s vulpine supersenses as she noses about Rome by night, reading the dead city’s skin and air. Top-flight fantasy’
‘A vividly written story. I really got into it’
Marion Zimmer Bradley
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