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Night of the Wolf [Hardcover]

Alice Borchardt
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 3 1999
The Silver Wolf, Alice Borchardt's acclaimed novel of a shapeshifter's struggle to survive as woman and wolf amid the Dark Ages, announced the arrival of a ferociously gifted writer. Now, with her masterful weaving of adventure, history, and magic, Borchardt delves deeper into the shape-shifter legend, and brings an earlier, more savage time brilliantly to life.

The fearsome legions of Julius Caesar have crushed resistance to Roman rule. The power of the druids is broken; the shattered tribes retreating to the dubious safety of the high mountains or fleeing north into lands as inhospitable as those left behind. Watching all the while through yellow eyes afire with curiosity and intelligence is Maeniel, a gray wolf . . . who is also a man.

This is not the Maeniel of The Silver Wolf. Not the mature shapeshifter, secure in his dual nature, whose hard-won wisdom is the equal of his preternatural strength and passion. That Maeniel will not exist for another eight hundred years. Now he is a stranger to his human half, his reason chained to instinct. Yet as the ancient civilization of the Gallic tribes is systematically destroyed around him, a new Maeniel is about to be born from the ruins.

It begins with a woman. She is Imona: young, proud, beautiful. The sight of her fills Maeniel with unfamiliar feelings and desires, triggering his transformation from wolf to man. In her arms he learns for the first time what it means to love. It is a knowledge that will change him forever. For when Imona vanishes following a Roman massacre, Maeniel begins to learn a very different lesson.

Following Imona's trail as wolf and man, Maeniel is himself pursued by a warrior woman sworn to kill him. She is Dryas, a queen without a kingdom. But the two adversaries will prove to have much in common. And the hunt upon which they embark will lead them farther than they can imagine: to the gates of Rome itself. To the gates of their very souls . . .

With Night of the Wolf,  Alice Borchardt has given us another triumph of soaring imagination and adventure. By turns lyrical, sensuous, and violent, hers is a vision of the past that will stir both heart and mind. Her writing will possess you like a fever . . . and haunt you like a voluptuous dream.

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From Amazon

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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Night of the Wolf by Alice Brochardt Jan. 29 2004
By fuzcat
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Very uneven Oct. 13 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The author creates the brilliant character of Maeniel, and then lets him go to waste. He becomes nothing more than a man who boinks his way through life and is actually even made into a figure of fun with his transformations.
The second half of the book is dominated by Rome and Dryas, and thus really not that interesting. The love story with Lucius is a total anti-climax, and Caesar, Cleo and Antony are all like cardboard cutouts. The ending is abrupt and leaves us hanging. The whole bizarre story with Calpurnia is just too silly, but it is critical to the whole plot. I like Maeniel much better when he was in love with Imona, and his relationship with Dryas is absurd.
It starts out as erotic, and by the end it becomes, gee, they had a great time. We also get tons of characters with various depravities, but little point in introducing them.
I wonder if the author became as bored with the book as I did at the end. I mean, we all know Caesar is about to be assassinated, but there would have been more suspense! The history of the period is not really brought to life, for all the gladiatorial nonsense which has been done far better elsewhere.
I adored the Silver Wolf, but she was a much more sensual character, with real depth, and Maeniel likewise gets to do far more exciting things than hunt and sniff women. Apart from being a good hunter and lover, Maeniel just dwindles to almost nothing at the end of this novel.
I hope he will improve in the Wolf King; he was certainly a lot more interesting in the Silver Wolf.
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3.0 out of 5 stars interesting but inferior 2nd in the series Feb. 1 2002
By Stacy
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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By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Like many who read "The Silver Wolf" I was initially disappointed that Alice Borchardt's second volume in the "series" was a prequel that went back over a millennium from the time of Charlemange to the last days of the Roman Republic. Obviously the focus is on Maeniel, telling the tale of how the gray wolf accepted his human side, which has to do with his encounters with two women: Imona, the daughter of a king, and Dryas, the warrior priestess of Caledonia. The other major plot line has to do with Lucius, a Roman of some wealth who becomes involved in the perilous politics of the time and who also comes to know Dryas. As the two tales become entwined, so do the various supporting characters who flesh out the narrative, such as Philo, the Greek physician; Mir, the old Druid; Cut-Ear, the warrior from Gaul; Gordus, the champion gladiator.
Ultimately "Night of the Wolf" becomes a most inventive tale of how Julius Caesar came to be assassinated on the Ides of March. One of the strengths of this novel is that this is not clear until the final chapters of the tale. The author takes her time moving the pieces into place until Caesar's death is best of all possible worlds for our band of characters. Those who have a passing familiarity with the assassination of Julius Caesar should be impressed by the characterizations Borchardt provides for the main players. You have to be impressed by a book that makes Calpurina a more interesting character than Caesar, Cleopatra, Antony and Brutus put together. Obviously Borchardt is making a harsh historical judgment on the failings of these characters, which only adds to the uniqueness of her tale as far as I am concerned, providing a fresh take on an old story.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good
love the idea i want more. it was filled with everything that makes a good book. i did not wish to put it down,
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Finish It
I enjoyed The Silver Wolf, but Night of the Wolf just didn't go anywhere. The story surrounding the wolf character was boring and the stories about the other characters were... Read more
Published on March 2 2003 by B. Darrow
4.0 out of 5 stars Suprisingly pleasing!
To start off, this book was slow or confusing with all the flash-backs in the very begenning<key word[begenning]>.Don't let this make you stop reading whatever you do. Read more
Published on April 6 2002 by Sackatus Dominious
4.0 out of 5 stars quite a good followup
At first, the Night of the Wolf didn't grab me in the same was as her previous book - The Silver Wolf. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2001 by Shannon B Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars quite a good followup
At first, the Night of the Wolf didn't grab me in the same was as her previous book - The Silver Wolf. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2001 by Shannon B Davis
2.0 out of 5 stars If I hadn't bought it...
...I would have quit after 50 pages or so. Ms. Borchardt successfully created a mysterious atmosphere by not explaining many of the characters' actions. Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2001 by Michael Francis
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant pre-quel to "The Silver Wolf"
This is a terrific novel, that blends historical fiction with fantasy and magic. It is a pre-quel to "The Silver Wolf", in that it goes back about 800 years to tell us... Read more
Published on Oct. 14 2001 by Gilly Bean
1.0 out of 5 stars Forgive me Ms. Borchardt
Night of the Wolf was probably the worst novel I have read in many years, and I read more than 50 per year. Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Not too bad
Night of the Wolf wasn't too bad. The first part of the book kind of turned me off but eventually it got better. Read more
Published on Aug. 16 2001 by "shatteredcrystalchalice"
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