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The Silver Wolf (Legends of the Wolves, Book 1) [Mass Market Paperback]

Alice Borchardt
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 29, 1999
Into decadent Rome of the Dark Ages comes Regeane, an enigmatic young woman distantly related to Charlemagne. But the blood she has inherited from her murdered father makes her much more than a child of royalty. Regeane is a shapeshifter--woman and wolf, hunter and hunted--possessed of preternatural agility and strength, primal memories extending back thousands of years, and senses so keen they can pierce the veil of death itself.

Betrothed to a barbarian lord she has never seen, Regeane is surrounded by enemies. But outside the gates of Rome, baying at the moon, there is a mysterious dark wolf whose scent awakens the animal in Regeane. Now, as deadly plots tighten like a noose around her neck, Regeane must fight to live with dignity as the proud creature she is: civilized and savage, partaking of both, yet infinitely more than either . . .

Frequently Bought Together

The Silver Wolf (Legends of the Wolves, Book 1) + Night of the Wolf (Legends of the Wolves, Book 2) + The Wolf King (Legends of the Wolves, Book 3)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (May 29, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345423615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345423610
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 4.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusually lyrical story of werewolves October 22, 1999
By A. Ryan
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book before I realized that Alice was Anne Rice's sister. Therefore, I developed a much less biased opinion than I might have. I think The Silver Wolf's style shares a lot in common with Rice's vampire novels, but this only became obvious to me after I made the connection. However, there's enough difference between these two authors that I think the constant comparisons going on are really unfair to them both. The Silver Wolf explores the werewolf legend from a fresh angle. There is no hint of any compulsive murdering on the part of the werewolves, or bloodlust for human flesh. Indeed, they are portrayed as more human and humane than anyone else in the plot. The imagery is rich and takes on the quality of a dream from time to time. The romantic subplot between Regeanne and Maniel (werewolf main characters)is convincing but I felt that it came too late and was hastily explored.
Overall, this was one of my favorite werewolf novels. The criticisms I've heard about it, such as the plot dragging in the first half and being a bit fragmented, are true enough in my opinion, which is why I rated only four stars.
PS-the official book review states that Lucilla was Maniel's mother--I don't know where that came from, unless that particular reviewer was just confused by the fragmented storyline and numerous flashback scenes.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark and moody werewolf tale worth reading May 8, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Regeane is a beautiful young woman with werewolf blood. Because of this, her nasty uncle has kept her captive and beaten and starved her. When she discovers that he plans to sell her to a wealthy barbarian she risks her life and escapes. The remainder of the book concentrates on Regeane's self-discovery and the other, often odd, sometimes depraved people she encounters. She's known she can shapeshift but she also learns that she has visions and can speak to the dead. Eventually she becomes embroiled in a dangerous political situation and meets her soul mate and all ends pretty happily ever after.
This book, set in Rome during the Dark Ages, is rough, meaty and often very dark. It's not a book for everyone because the author gets really graphic and vividly describes numerous vile acts including torture and assorted bodily functions. The book also goes off into tangents when the numerous secondary characters take center stage but their stories were interesting even though they rarely advanced the plot. My mind only started to wander during the times when the book got into heavy political details - which aren't my thing.
If you can get past all that, and don't mind a highly descriptive book you'll find a very interesting story that is often (at the most unexpected times) very hilarious in a morbid kind of way. I found this story, for the most part, very difficult to put down and am looking forward to the sequel which I hope ties up some loose ends.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hmm... November 27, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Wolfs normally aren't my thing, and I surprised myself by picking up this book, mostly because she's Anne's sister and I wanted to know if she was as good or bad. Not surprisingly I was cringing through Regeane's first change, thinking "Oh my, how am I ever going to make it through this thing?"
Like her sister, Borchardt has a love for bringing to life the surroundings in her novel, getting sometimes carried away and filling the page with very descriptive detail. So much that at points I found myself banging my head against the wall, screaming, "I don't care about how the darn wine sauce tastes or how this stupid ruin is lying in ruins, I want some story development between Regeane and Maeniel!
Right from the beginning the story was set-up that Regeane was to be married to Maeniel. So right from the start you are already waiting for this to happen and the two of them to finally meet. But instead you are left with 300+ pages to read through instead, all building up to the marriage. I can't say most of it wasn't enjoyable, but you are so set-up for them finally getting together that the rest becomes annoying.
In my opinion Borchardt should have based her story around Regeane living in the pass with Maeniel, partly not knowing of the families secret. In other words, taken 200 pages out of the beginning and added 200 to the end. I was left unsatisfied with all this build-up of 400+ pages and only 5 to resolve it. I also got the feeling that Borchardt was avoiding story development between the two, as if she didn't know what to do with them once she got them together.
But in the end though the good outweighs the bad, and Borchardt certainly has talent. Some scenes were simply perfect, and some left me rolling on the floor laughing, such as the wedding feast. Bravo. Now if she could roll that talent into something more satisfying, Rice would have something to look out for.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible book! December 18, 2005
By Shade
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Awhile ago I read The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt. Sister to Anne Rice. Of all the many "truths" I felt in this incredible book... I wanted to share this one. As it is not within a woman's faceted heart to deny continued creation... we may one day lose our mothers instinct and with it, our compassion.

"And never learn to glory in death as some men do. Women have the power of life and death. We, after all, give birth and the fate of humanity is in our hands. That's why men try so hard to rule us, my dear. They know if we once looked well on what they have made of human existence, we might close our legs and within our barren wombs bring the comedy to an end."

Quote from an incredible character/lady, Lucilla... may all women have the strength to love with the ferocity, the single mindedness that woman was capable of. She knew that in the world of man, a woman had to harden with courage and learn to embrace the viciousness that is in a woman's soul. For if ever the nature of man were cruel... a woman can be more so but with the sweetest smile and the most loving touch concealing the dagger in her hand.

That was not an explanation on the book... btw. It was but a moment I took from it. The story is magic. It's human nature and mans conspiracy in politics during "the" post roman era. It's an extraordinary girl, Regeane... trapped in the world of mans goals... maturing to womanhood and acceptance of who she is.. hmm.. more importantly... what she is. I thoroughly enjoyed this book... and the above referenced moment was, to me, a thought worth sharing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful mix of scifi fantasy myth and historical romance
A delightful, intriguing and enchanting mix of sci/fi fantasy, myth, history and romance, I started reading this book in escape of a book I was reading which was boring me to... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Jay
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to love this book
This book had a lot going for it. It almost brought me to tears more than once. The emotional weight of the mistreatment of women in the book was so real. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rachel Kolodziej
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
the writer tells a good story, already had the book in paperback but I wanted it on my kindle. the sequels were just as good
Published 3 months ago by Phlynx
5.0 out of 5 stars The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt
The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt is a good book. Wolf lovers will love it and it is mixed with a background of ancient Rome. Interesting fantasy story. Read more
Published 4 months ago by NS
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Finish It
I had high hopes for this series. However, I was sorely disappointed. I couldn't even finish the first book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by L. Jameson
5.0 out of 5 stars Ann who's sister??? I love the mix of history and mysticism that is...
Early reining pope's, early mobs' political voting and free spirits that must fight or die. A tale that mixes all this and more with accurate historical impressions, the mythical... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Andrea Boucher
5.0 out of 5 stars Every young girl I know loves this book
Several girls I know love this book and rate it as their all time favorite and one they reread. Check it for yourself!
Published 9 months ago by Cynthia J. Mahaffey
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read
This is one of the better books with wolf-shifters of any sort that I have read. It's not only fun, but takes a look at the dark ages the way many books forget they were, genuinely... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars The story is amazing, but...
The book/story itself is my FAVORITE.

I can only give 3 stars because I bought a 'New' product, and it wasn't! Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kairimun1988
5.0 out of 5 stars Gooood book.
A mix of fantasy and yet many present day scenarios are explored in this novel even though it takes place in ancient times. A very satisfying read.
Published 16 months ago by Peter Azary
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