Alice Borchardt shared a childhood of storytelling with her sister, the bestselling novelist Anne Rice, in New Orleans. A professional nurse, she has also nurtured a profound interest in little-known periods of history. She published her debut novel, Devoted, in 1995.
This wolf is a werewolf, running loose in Rome at the time of the Dark Ages. What's more, this wolf is a woman, possessed of royal blood and in need of her wits as she evades diabolical plans to marry her off or turn her over to the Church for burning. Expect lots of publicity on this one.
`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'
Borchardt spices her usual recipe for breathy historical romance (Devoted, etc.) with a generous pinch of the supernatural. Regeane is a secretive shapeshifter living in Rome at the end of the Empire's decline. Distantly related to Charlemagne, she becomes a pawn between the French and Italy's scrappy Lombards when she is betrothed to Maeniel, guardian of a passage through the Alps who is sympathetic to the French king. Intrigues and counterplots abound as Maeniel speeds his way to retrieve his reluctant bride and Regeane lends her supernatural powers to curing the leprous Antonius, whom the Lombards hope to use to discredit his father, Pope Hadrian, and turn the Roman citizens against Charlemagne's advancing Catholic army. In Regeane, whose woman and wolf selves often spar contentiously with one another, Borchardt finds the perfect metaphor for the once opulent Roman civilization, now hostage to its bestial appetites. She elaborates the decadent excesses of the time with gleefully vivid descriptions of gluttonous banquets, grotesque leper colonies and violent lusts sated both on the battlefield and in the bridal bed. Readers who like their fantasy dusted with gritty realism and who can forgive anachronistic modern dialogue in a period melodrama will find themselves indulged with more than a few twists to this werewolf tale. (July) FYI: The galley to Silver Wolf carries a note to "Dear Reader" from Borchardt's sister, Anne Rice, stating that "it is with immense joy that I introduce to you a daring and vibrant new voice on the female literary frontier"‘although the novel is Borchardt's third.