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Night of the Wolf Hardcover – August 3, 1999

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Editorial Reviews Review

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

From Publishers Weekly

This pseudo-historical fantasy sequel to last year's The Silver Wolf needs an exhausting amount of novelistic foreplay to stoke its climax, the assassination of Julius Caesar. Maeniel, the man who was empowered in the previous novel with the ability to turn into a wolf, now meets menopausal Dryas, a fiercely independent warrior from the White Isle's northern highlands. Dryas has been summoned by Archdruid Mir as the Celts' last hope to stem the Roman invasion by assassinating Caesar. First, though, she is supposed to seduce and kill Maeniel, who has been savaging Mir's people to punish them for having sacrificed a Celtic princess with whom he had an affair. (Their libidinous entanglement provides grist for several sexy flashbacks.) Many pages later, Maeniel and Dryas have become allies and are in Rome as the fateful Ides of March approach. Borchardt effectively conveys her sympathy with wolf psychology, but she rides militant feminism into the ground. Her dialogue runs to the cheesy, especially the vaporings of Caesar's doomed wife, Calpurnia, and the stock chitterings of stereotypic gay Roman epicureans. Undigested chunks of familiar Latin and Shakespeare constantly impede the action, so that hunky primitives and gratefully lustful middle-aged temptresses notwithstanding, Borchardt's attempt at mingling wolves and women, Avalon's mists and the debauchery of Rome turns out irrevocably sterile. Author tour; foreign rights sold in Germany, Holland and the UK. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345423623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345423627
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,495,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Burnett on June 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Alice Borchardt (the sister of Anne Rice), spins a tale of sex, violence, and politics, set to the backdrop of the Roman Empire.
We follow the adventures of Maeniel, a wolf/man (not a warewolf, but a shape shifter), who because of his curiosity and fasination with women, (attracted by their smell, hooked by their taste), finds himself trapped in a world where you either conquer or are conquered.
Torn between two existences, Maeniel, who has lived most of his life as a wolf, must now learn what it is to be a man, after he is trapped through sorcery in his human form by a beautiful Amazonian warrior.
In his human form he discovers new pleasures and perils, estacy and agony. A dichotomy which, as a wolf he had never experienced before, and the reader witnesses through his innocent eyes, the cruely of man.
His adventures take him from a struggling Britain to Europe where he meets, and is befriended by Mark Anthony, the alcoholic, womanising right arm of the Roman Emperor, Julius Ceasar.
Sex in the woods and battles in the fields and in the area add to the flavour of this tale while history brings this tale to it's natural ending.
At times it seemed that there were two different story lines happening in this book. Although interesting, it would have been easier for the reader to follow if the writer concentrated more on the principle character, Maeniel. There were times in the story where too much seemed to be going on.
However, the writer has an enviable skill and talent. Her descriptions are clear and uncluttered, lyrical in places and easily understood. From the very 1st page, she quickly transports the reader to a time long since gone, enabling them to enjoy the tale.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kirin on February 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It was a bit slow to get into, but once started, I couldn't put it down! Yes, it had some sort of erotica in it, but all with a purpose behind it, herding the story along. It was about human nature....and very well written. I had expected to be dissapointed, because I would have rather read about what happened to Maenial and the Silver Wolf, not Maeniel's past, but it was really very interesting. I loved this book and all the twists in it. When is Alice Borchardt coming out with a new wolf book?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stacy on February 1, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this prequel/sequel to be a bit hard to follow at times. Jumping from the long distant past to the present and from wolf to man made the beginning 1/2 of the book very difficult to read. I forced myself to continue and was glad that I did when I found a powerful 2nd half. If only Ms. Borchardt had been able to carry that quality throughout the entire novel.
This book follows the earlier exploits of Maeniel who was a secondary character to Regeane in THE SILVER WOLF. It again primarily takes place in Rome, but now at the time of the great Caesar. I was overjoyed to find wonderful characterizations on every page. Lucius- the roman noble, Dryas-the female warrior, and surprisingly Caesar's wife Calpurnia were delights, but so little was learned about Maeniel himself. The story revolving around him was so much more interesting than he was. If you had removed him all together I would still have found this an interesting storyline. Maybe then we could have avoided all of the confusion in the first half of the book.
I have yet to read THE WOLF KING which reverts to Maeniel's life with Regeane, but I can only hope that the author keeps the strong characters and plot and loses some of the wordy confusing attempts to make us understand what it is like to be a werewolf with all it's mysticality. It just doesn't work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By fuzcat on January 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Night of the Wolf by Alice Borchardt
In this, the second book in Alice Borchardt's Silver Wolf series, we find the author taking us further back in time. The first half of the book is about Maeniel, the mysterious bridegroom from The Silver Wolf. The book takes us back to his origins and the time of Julius Cesar. We learn how he became a shape shifter and watch as he struggles to understand and learn the ways of men.
The second half of the book focuses on Lucius, a wealthy Roman citizen, and Dryas, a Caledoni queen with a desire for the death of Julius Cesar. While I enjoyed both halves of the book, there seemed to be almost two complete, or rather incomplete, stories taking place. I was able to follow the plot, but at times was left wondering why I was doing so. Still, I found the second half of the book entertaining and I particularly liked the character Philo. Philo seemed to be what Mir and Blaze (the last druid priests of Gaul) should have been.
Aside from the fact that the book was supposed to be about him, there seemed to be little point of Maeniel being in the second part of the story. He was given a bit of a role at the end, as if to justify his continued existence, but was mostly left hanging out with his tongue lolling out of his mouth.
The ending to me seemed weak and a bit muddled. I often find this in books though. (Attention authors: If you are going to take several hundred pages to set up the ending, please feel free to take more than a page to actually end the book.) I think part of the problem was that it did not seem like a good place to end. Many of us passed either History or English or Drama in high school and know that Julius Cesar dies. I was quite ready to continue on with Dryas's journey and see what awaited her when she reached home. I think another few chapters would have made a big difference.
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