Night of the Wolf by Alice Borchardt | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Night of the Wolf

Night of the Wolf

3.9 31
by Alice Borchardt

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The fearsome legions of Julius Caesar have crushed resistance to Roman rule. Watching the tragic aftermath through yellow eyes afire with curiosity and intelligence is Maeniel, a gray wolf . . . and a shapeshifter unaware of his preternatural duality. But a new Maeniel is about to be born from the ruins.

The sight of the beautiful Imona fills Maeniel with


The fearsome legions of Julius Caesar have crushed resistance to Roman rule. Watching the tragic aftermath through yellow eyes afire with curiosity and intelligence is Maeniel, a gray wolf . . . and a shapeshifter unaware of his preternatural duality. But a new Maeniel is about to be born from the ruins.

The sight of the beautiful Imona fills Maeniel with unfamiliar feelings and desires, triggering his transformation from wolf to man. In her arms he learns what it means to love. It is a knowledge that will change him forever. When Imona vanishes, Maeniel follows her trail—unaware that he is being pursued by a warrior-woman sworn to kill him. But the hunt upon which the two adversaries embark will lead them farther than they can imagine: to the gates of Rome itself—to the gates of their very souls . . .

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A writer with the vision and scope to conjure up her own thrilling mythos and the craftsmanship to render it in breathtaking, shimmering prose."
Anne Rice
A daring and vibrant new voice on the female literary frontier . . . The Silver Wolf is a stunning initiation into a dark and dazzling realm.
Johanna Lindsay
A fascinating tale--brutal, ribald, engrossing, poignantly beautiful.
Romantic Times
Mesmerizing . . . Astounding . . . A lush, richly crafted tale . . .With intricate detailing and hypnotic prose, Alice Borchardt unleashes a new world to readers.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
For her fourth outing, a sequel to the well-received The Silver Wolf (1998), Anne Rice's older sister once again plays to her strengths by drawing readers into the sensibilities of her werewolf protagonists. Borchardt's semi-mystical style keeps the reader in a state of half-comprehended wakefulness, aflow with information drawn from scent and from the werewolf's moonlit pre-Cambrian mind. Awareness is all. During the time of Roman power in the Alps, as Caesar's eye turns toward the conquest of Britain, the man-wolf Manael, leader of his pack, is captured and trained as a gladiator, a job for which his natural battle-madness lends him unconquerable ferocity. Manael's rise among the Romans climaxes with the Ides of March and Caesar's visit to the Senate. What really sells this tale, however, is the depth of animal identification that Borchardt achieves. Whether eating, having sex, or reading the feeling-signatures of all living things on leaves, twigs, bushes, or the ground, Borchardt's wolves have a sensuous intensity that matches the best suspense fantasy being written today. Even stronger and deeper than The Silver Wolf.

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Random House Publishing Group
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4.25(w) x 6.85(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

The wolf awoke. He lifted his head from his paws. Above, the moon was full, but only a drifting ghost through the mixed pine and cedar on the mountainside. The rest of the pack slept.

He alone felt the touch of ... he knew not what. Wolves don't grieve. Not even for themselves.

He rose and went through the rite of fur straightening, then drifted down silently to a stream formed by overflow from a lake above. It was just wide enough to mirror the sky in its water.

Since she died ... no, since she was killed, he had awakened every night at this hour, an hour when all else sleeps ... remembering.

The night has rhythms of its own. Rhythms that resonate in the flesh, blood, and bones of all earth's creatures. Man, alone, has forgotten them, forgotten they ever mattered.

But to the wolf, they came as memories, memories not his own, fragments of a dream. He touched an immortal consciousness as old as life, the experience of a creature not yet self-aware and so immortal. The first of our kind, swimming in the water column of the Cambrian sea. At this time in the night, it ceased the flexions of its muscular body and drowsed in a shimmer of moonlight.

He, the wolf, understood that a catastrophic disruption of his consciousness had taken place, depriving him of the birthright handed down to him by that first dreamer of the ocean sea.

His muzzle shattered the image of the moon in the water in the way sorrow shattered his sleep.

Above, the drifting clouds drowned the moon. Near their kill, the wolves of his pack slept soundlessly and without dreams.

The air around him was cold. It was late autumn, nearly winter again, but he felt a fire within himself—a fire that the wind from the glaciers towering over the mountain passes couldn't quench. A fire that heated his skin under his heavy winter coat.

Fire! They were creatures of fire. And fire followed them everywhere. The smell of burning always tainted the air around their dwellings. Earth, air, fire, and water. All living beings on earth partook of those elements, but of them all, only man was the master of fire.

Why? How did they seize such power? Nothing in his memories could tell him.

When his kind first met them in the darkness and struggle of the world's winter, they controlled flames, extinguishing and kindling them at will, their only advantage in a ruthless battle for simple survival against the omnipresent night and cold. Otherwise, they were pitiable, naked things.

Pitiable, naked things like he himself was, at this moment, because as the last rays of moonlight were caught by the drifting clouds, he became a man.

He remembered that she said—she told him—fire was a gift of the gods.

He had laughed at the word gift. He had already seen enough of the humans to know they stole and despoiled without conscience or compunction and read in the minds of the gods the things they most wanted for themselves. Worship and submission to the feckless, arbitrary commands of those who maneuvered themselves into a position to rule their own kind.

"A gift," he had asked, "stolen perhaps?"

"Perhaps," she answered with a shrug. "The thieves were mocked by their theft, because, as always, power is a two-edged sword."

But power, the man by the stream thought, whatever it costs, power is life. Without the theft, they and all their kind could never have survived that long-ago endless winter and they would have been winnowed out, as were so many others.

The man stretched his arms upward as if to embrace the moon, just as the cloud in its passage was silvered at the edges by the returning glow.

Then the silver light shone full in his face. He wondered what the gods really did want.

She, whose touch gave him the power to change from wolf to man and back again, seemed careless of worship and had never asked for thanks.

And, indeed, he didn't even know if he should thank her because, like fire, this gift brought suffering and sorrow in its wake. A gift garnished with cruel knowledge and an awareness of absolute loss.

Then he was wolf again, satisfied to extinguish a comprehension of life that he didn't, at the moment, want.

He remembered fire, and only fire—that spirit, that everlasting ambiguity that could protect, create, and destroy.

And the wolf set out, the only wakeful creature in a sleeping world.

Being aware and knowing awareness was a gnawing curse ... a curse to be extinguished in blood, fire, and vengeance.

How did he know who the man was? He had seen. Why was he sure of his guilt? To the wolf this would have seemed a ridiculous question. He had smelled it, with a certainty that could not be denied—the scent of guilt that is beyond resolve, or anger, or fear.

Even his most ancient ancestor swimming in that first sea had seen, had known. And somewhere its rudimentary consciousness had been able to store the information presented by its deployed senses.

Humans, in their blindness, think intelligence has one path—theirs! But his brain—older and wiser, though not as acute—knew knowledge has many facets and routes.

None of us is any one thing. No more than a bush, a tree, or even an unloved weed is. We are all a combination of many factors, shapes, sizes, odors, movements, habits. Each impinging on the consciousness of others—others we never notice.

So the wolf knew this man. He had marked him, along with those others, in the hour between day and night, in the place that was neither water nor land, never guessing the man's fell purpose until it was too late. Too late to stop him and the others from the completion of their task. A task his mind, as a wolf or human, could never comprehend, understand, or, for that matter, forgive—not in the year since, not ever.

Meet the Author

Alice Borchardt shared a childhood of storytelling with her sister, Anne Rice, in New Orleans. A professional nurse, she has also nurtured a profound interest in little-known periods of history. She is the author of Devoted, Beguiled, and The Silver Wolf. She lives in Houston.

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Night of the Wolf 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am blown away with this book! Beautifully written, wonderfully descriptive! Wolfman meets Caesar! Borchardt brings a mystical and heartful wolfman trying to understand his human side and throws him into the life of a heroic Valkryie character like no other and tumbles them both onto the doorsteps of Rome's greatest (and not so great) men. I could smell, taste, see and feel this historical moment in such a magical way! On my way to buying all her books now! 5 Stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is an interesting story, but the writing style is too confusing to really get wrapped up in it. The plot tended to jump around too much, and half the time I just wanted to get the whole reading process over with so that I could go on to other books.
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PMB March 2013
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 9is this book apropreite for me?
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an entertaining electronic book and I'm not big on books. I really like the story of a wolf changing into a human. It switches up a very classic image of the werewolf. He first encounters a woman and wants to be more human and less like a wolf. Then after a while he makes a transformation into a human, but only near her. Then when the people are attacked by the Romans he changes to an eagle to locate the soldiers. He also changes back to a wolf to hide from other humans, hiding his secret in the process, using his knowledge of the area to save her. He changes to human form for her and goes into hiding when any other humans cross their path. She even teaches him how to act human. She taught him about marriage instead of how dominant female leads the pack. I found this book interesting and can¿t say anything about this book that I didn¿t like. The main character describes his life as wolf and human and from both points of views. What interested me the most is the detail involved in his thought process and how he stays true to his wolf nature through out. My belief is good books have to be well researched and the story must provide the detail to pull you into the story completely, in my opinion, Alice Borchardt has done that in 'Night of the Wolf'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was harder to read than the Silver Wolf, but it was really worth it and I thought it was just as good as the first book. I recommend it even if you haven't yet read the Silver Wolf (which you should!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
my advice to any one is don't bother. I am sorry I wasted my money of buying this book. I will finish but just because I don't have another book to start.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was, I thought, a really terrific read, though it was not as good as The Silver Wolf. I really love how Alice Botchardt blends history with fantasy in both of them. But Night of the Wolf doesn't have the intensity that was a constant all throughout The Silver Wolf.I do reccomend reading, if not for enjoyment, but it does give a clearer background on Maeniel. It truly was a good book, and I really recommend it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am absolutely disgusted with this book! I'm a mature teenager and understand making love and everything related to that, but this book had so many sexual references and scenes that I was disgusted! I was only on page 30 and had already read multiple sexual scenes! The writing style was decent and the characters seemed to be semi-original, but please, do we honestly need so many sex scenes? I'm not into reading bestiality or anything of that sort and I can understand a few sex scenes in this book, it's understandable. However, this was over the top. Several sexual scenes could be taken out and still get the message across. My favorite author, Stephen King, manages to have TASTEFUL sexual scenes in his book that get the message across without having to occur so often or be so descriptive. I will not be finishing this book, I can't stand to read it anymore as I've already flipped forward at random and found MORE sexual scenes. I do not recommend this book to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome if you have never read it then you must
Guest More than 1 year ago
I for one found this book very coherent and well written. I've read it 7 times! I was shocked to see the bad reviews it was given, I found it as equally entertaining at the first one!