Night of the Wolf [NOOK Book]

Overview

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.. "It begins with a woman. She is Imona: young, proud, beautiful. The sight of her fills Maeniel with unfamiliar feelings of desires, ...
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Night of the Wolf

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Overview

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.. "It begins with a woman. She is Imona: young, proud, beautiful. The sight of her fills Maeniel with unfamiliar feelings of 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...

While readers will recognize names like Caesar and Charlemagne among Borchardt's cast of characters, it is the unfamiliar and magical presence of Borchardt's shape-shifting protagonists that makes these titles truly extraordinary.
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Editorial Reviews

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.
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345455536
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/5/2002
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: File Size: 1.2MB
  • Sales rank: 167,443
  • File size: 572 KB

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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Read an Excerpt

In the spring he was, of course, at the disposal of the winning female. She was a rangy, nervous bitch, very jealous of her prerogatives as pack mother. She constantly harassed the remaining females. This led to endless squabbling and ill temper among the younger pack members.

Despite his feeling of coldness toward her, he would have accommodated her desires. She had, after all, earned the mother right. This was what pack law demanded of him--that he meet her graciously as a mate and then assist in rearing her offspring.

But to his mild surprise, she showed no interest in him at all and took up with two males who were all that remained of the pack destroyed by the Romans. This was also her right, that she choose her own partners if she wished. He might have asserted himself more strongly. Other leaders would have, but he was more relieved than otherwise at her decision and left her alone.

She returned from her forays, finally satisfied, pregnant, and much calmer than when she left, and he found himself pleased not to be bothered about her needs. And besides, he had already met the strawberry-blond woman at the pool.

The woman came from the small village of herdsmen and farmers, down the slope and to the pond to refresh herself in the cool water, bathe, and dress her thick, reddish blond hair. She was wide hipped; her breasts were large, upright with only a slight droop. The nipples jutted invitingly. Her skin was very fair, and he noticed she kept to the shade. That skin didn't tan; it probably burned. She was covered head to toe with freckles.

He grew accustomed to seeing her each day as he dozed on the flat rock overlooking the waterfall. Hethought she looked delectable, but not in the manner of food. Usually she left when the sun was high in the sky. The pool, even at midsummer, could become very cool in the afternoon when the sun's rays no longer shone on it and the forest shadow crept in.

He found the change difficult and sometimes impossible by day. By the time he felt the long evening shadows pull at his flesh and he could sense a bridge forming between his world and the human's, she was gone.

Just as well, he thought. A few times he was tempted to slink after her when she returned to the rath where she lived. Once or twice he even entertained the fantasy of entering the circular, thatched dwelling by night. He wasn't blind in even the deepest darkness. He knew her scents. They were in certain ways more real to him than the way she looked.

Often, after bathing, she took her ease in one of the few sunny spots not choked by undergrowth or shadowed by ancient trees. The big granite rock was buried, but enough of it thrust into the water to create a platform a few feet above the lake. The top was too bare to sustain growth, but it was thickly carpeted with pine and fir needles. It got sun three or four hours a day. The radiant light would peer down, deep down, into the lake's clear water, flashing on pike, trout, and the occasional small sturgeon that would come and go like ghosts in the gloom.

All year, except during the darkest months, wild flowers surrounded the pine-needle carpet. Mother of thyme would rise from beneath the snow and twine with blue-flowered bergamot mint. Violets bloomed in the springtime, white, deepest purple, yellow. Later in summer wild carrots, the yellow composite daisies, sunflowers, and dandelions lit up the thickening grass. Harebells peered from the shelter of tall pines, hiding their drooping beauty in the shade of tile-barked trunks and thick, clustered needles.

All unknowing she left her mark on the fallen brown needles. For instance, he knew that desire rose in her, answering the moon queen's magnetism at least three times a week. He didn't know where she expressed that desire since she came to the lake alone. Her skin had a flowerlike scent. It took him a while to understand the smell wasn't just satiny flesh, but the oil of roses she anointed herself with after her bath. The smell at her armpits in the heat was mildly oniony--sweet, wild onions wrapped in clay and caramelized by a fire. When she was gone, he drifted down to drink in her complex perfume and sometimes roll on the pine carpet near the trees.

Of course, one day, perhaps accidentally, perhaps inevitably, she remained too long. She came rather late in the afternoon. The water was in shadow, but the trees on the slopes and the little clearing were suffused with golden light. She took a quick swim. The water was icy, and she retreated quickly to shore to rest in her usual spot, and let the late-afternoon sun warm her chilled body.

She stretched out on her perch. The wolf could also feel her languor, the relaxation as the deep heat flowed through her and the fiery light shone orange through her eyelids. He was a bit surprised when the fingers of her right hand sought her groin. It took him a few seconds to comprehend what she was doing. Then he understood and watched avidly.

She had some swelling and moisture that brightened the red-gold hairs on her vulva. They shone gilt blond in the sun. Her lips parted slightly. He could see the tip of her tongue between them. Finally, her back arched. The expression of deep concentration became a quiet smile. She heaved a deep breath as the first wave broke over her, then a second gasp and a soft "Oh" as the one following caught her up in its greater intensity. Her hips began to pound as if she entertained an invisible lover. Her belly muscles tightened as her hips closed on the dream penis. Then she sighed deeply, reminding him strangely of the mother of the pack. She relaxed bonelessly, sighed again with pleasure and satisfaction, then slept.

The wolf rose to his feet. His decision was made. He was cursed, and yet delight coursed like pure fire in his veins. He remembered the glade. He and the wolves knew more of the Lady who dwelt there than humans did, because they had sometimes seen her shadow walking there. No one had ever seen her face and lived. A few caught sight of her in the pool when they stooped to drink. No one, brute or human, ever turned to stare directly at what gazed down into the water over their shoulder. But he knew he had just seen one of her images mirrored in a human face.

She awakened, a bit alarmed to see that it was late, the sun long behind the mountain and lighting only the rocky slopes above the tree line. She rose quickly, wrapped herself in her mantle, ready to hurry up the well-beaten path between the trees. When she lifted her head, her breath caught in her throat.

He was standing only a few feet away. Naked, but clothed in profound beauty. She had married, she had taken lovers, and she was something of a maven where looks were concerned; he was the most magnificent specimen she'd ever seen. Frank, open desire burned in his eyes: a question, a plea, a promise, an urgency, and last but not least, a command.


"WELL, WELL, WELL," DRYAS CHUCKLED, "HE CERtainly wasted no time taking you down a peg."

"Thank you for reminding me," Blaze said sourly.

"What do you want me to do about him?" she asked.

"Kill him," Mir said.

Dryas burst out laughing. She leaped to her feet, then kicked the chair across the room. It clattered across the ramshackle hut and crashed into the wall.

"Oh, you're a pair of beauties, you are." She drank from the cup of wine she held in her hand, then walked over and picked up the chair and tossed it back at the table. It landed accurately on its legs where it had been before. She slammed her heel into the wall. Mud rained down from the wickerwork structure. "Wattle and daub," she said.

She walked over to the fireplace, picked up a pan and a flesh fork, and made a circuit of the room, pounding the pan loudly with the fork. She exited the hut and walked around it, pounding loudly, then returned, closing the door behind her.

Both men looked completely stunned and bewildered.

"Listen!" she ordered. "You tell me this creature can walk on two legs like a man. And there is a good chance he can understand what we're saying to each other. So you sit in this dilapidated dwelling and talk of our plans in loud voices. How do you know the creature is not, in fact, lying in the weeds not far from here? Listening to every ... word ... you ... say."

Dryas was tired. She'd come a long way and all she'd seen on the journey were death, destruction, and pain. The Romans had broken the people's will to resist, and worse, the chieftains who should have been the backbone of that resistance were all too often murdered, enslaved, or bought by Roman power, helpless to change the fate of their people.

Enclaves like this were all that remained of a once-proud and brilliant nation. The scarred, broken, despairing girl eked out existence where once a family, intelligent, valiant, and handsome, ruled. No, not ruled: led a society that tried to live together in justice and peace.

In her journey across Gaul, Dryas had seen something she had not even known existed ... die. The sorrow that ruled her heart was so deep it seemed to blot out the sun, even on a bright day. Something was perishing here. Something more important than any mere human who shared it. A thing greater than the sum of its human parts.

She was frightened not only by its destruction, but also by her inability to comprehend what her deepest instincts told her was happening. She was not an intellectual, but a warrior, a person of action. So the feelings of grief threatening to drown her soul in a tidal wave of pain caused her to lash out in fury at these two old fools--the few surviving remnants of a class of thinkers and teachers who had shaped the only world she knew since the beginning of time.

She drew a deep, shuddering breath and covered her eyes with her hand. Then she felt on her other hand the dry touch of Mir's fingers. He patted it softly, gently, as he might comfort a child.

Tears leaked out from her eyelids and, when she opened her eyes to look at his face, she saw an understanding, a weary comprehension deeper than any she thought possible.

Her fury and sorrow faded together, leaving her drained and feeling slightly foolish for having taken so much wine on an empty stomach.

"Are you then refusing to help us?" Blaze's question carried the full freight of outraged authority.

Dryas turned toward him, anger beginning to flush her face again.

Mir clasped her hand. "Wait! Wait! I pray you both. Consider, Blaze: you have little of your former power. We are more than ever dependent on each other's goodwill. And you, girl, think. With most of the strongest warriors gone, I must, as the shepherd of an almost defenseless flock, preserve them from a scourge that can destroy them as surely as the Romans."

Dryas subsided. She snatched up the cup and swallowed more of the vintage there.

"All right," Blaze snarled. "You've made your point. I should say you've both made your respective points."

Dryas leaned forward and spoke in a very low voice and in another language, the tongue of her own people. "Yes, I'll help you." But her gaze shot to the door and walls. "He doesn't need to know that. Do you understand me?"

Mir simply nodded, but Blaze replied in the same language. "God! It's been years. My command of the language is ... flawed and I'm cursed slow, but yes, I do understand simple sentences."

She nodded. "Tomorrow. In the sun ... in the open."

Both men nodded, and she finished the wine in one pull. Then she kicked back her chair, walked over to the corner, shouldered her pack, and turned toward the door.

"Wait!" Blaze cried, "he--"

Dryas stepped toward him and spoke again in Caledonian. "Don't help me. Shut up! I know what I'm doing." Then she turned and vanished into the night.


SHE WAS A LUSH, FORBIDDEN FRUIT TO THE wolf. A mature woman, redolent of an almost incenselike confusion of fragrances. Soft, yet tight openings and velvet surfaces.

As he took her, she communicated an exquisite and unknown sensation to his mind and body as he invaded hers. He could tell, as she fell first to her knees before him and then as he pushed her backward to sprawl on the pine needles, that she both feared and desired him. And that she felt both sensations deeply.

"Don't hurt me," she pleaded.

He didn't.

It was growing dark when he released her, allowing her to scramble to where her clothing lay. He slipped into the shadows and realized she was trembling as she donned her few simple garments and began her run to the village.

Wolflike, he was puzzled by her reaction to him. He knew he'd given her pleasure, ecstatic pleasure. And more than one time. He understood that her fear lent a sharper edge to both of their desires. But what he couldn't understand was the reason for that fear. Did she think he would attack, harm her during an act that brought so much mutual delight, an act of joy?

When he was sure she could no longer see him, he shifted to his wolf shape and shadowed her up through the pines, back to the rath, the rude Celtic farmstead where she lived.

He stood at the edge of the forest when she pushed aside the skin curtain that covered the opening to her dwelling.

"Imona!" someone cried. "We were about to go down to the lake. Look, our torches are kindled. What happened? Where have you been?"

"I'm sorry." Her voice was low, almost a stammer. "I drifted off to sleep after my bath. I had no idea I'd sleep so long. The sun was already behind the mountains when I awakened ... I came back as quickly--"

The other she's voice broke in on her. "You should be more careful. I swear I believe you do these things to bring misery on your unhappy kin."

"Kat, I'm so sorry. I never meant to worry you."

Kat, eh, and Imona, the wolf thought. Screech Kat. Maeniel had met a few small, furred, clawed beasts. Loud voices, they had. They hung about and scavenged near human dwellings. They were quick and could run straight up trees. Imona's voice was low and lovely. This Kat sounded like a shrew.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

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2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2009

    Unneeded scenes!

    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!

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2009

    An okay read

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2011

    A magical, historical find!

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2008

    Good werewolf scifi with a twist

    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'.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2002

    Great Book!!

    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!)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2002

    did not care for this at all

    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.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2000

    Not what I expected but...

    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!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    Migjt pf Night of the Wolf Night of the Wolf

    PMB March 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    ? ? ?????????????????????????????????

    I am 9is this book apropreite for me?

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Night of the Wolf, Book 2

    Coming soon.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2009

    I liked it

    well the book is good but i am not fully reed it well when i get finished i will give another review and it will be better.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2006

    How Can People Not LIKE THIS BOOK

    This book is awesome if you have never read it then you must

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2002

    How can someone NOT like this book?!

    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!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2000

    took me 5 days to read this book.

    I am a 15 yr old boy and enjoyed this book alot. For any of you who haven't read it, read it!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2000

    Beautiful

    Awesome depiction of life in Rome. Though the plot was a little muddy and the transformation of Maenial was a little unclear, his attitude as a wolf gave insight to the humans of Rome.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2000

    Better than the one before it

    I absolutely loved reading this book. I literally couldn't put it down. Alice Borchardt really outdid herself when she wrote this book. There's a lot of lust in it, and a lot of battling. Not only that, it has a bit of History in it, so I learned something along with enjoyment. Altogether, this book is the best!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 1999

    Long and drawnout

    I thought the book was good, but not as excellent as Silver Wolf. There was a lot of bouncing back and forth from scene to scene and it was easy to become lost in the story. If you have not read Silver Wolf I recommend that you do, it will help put this book into perspective.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews

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