The legendary Anne Rice isn’t the only one in her family to succeed in the publishing world, her sister, Alice Borchardt, has a handful of excellent books as well. But while Anne choose vampires, Alice went with the werewolves and penned the Legends of the Wolves series. Don’t let the family ties fool you though, Alice Borchardt may write about the paranormal like Anne Rice does, but she also adds in humor and happy endings, something the Vampire Chronicles are low on.
The Silver Wolf, the first book in the Legends of the Wolves, follows Regeane, a fatherless royal relation who just so happens to be a werewolf. Her guardian, Gundabald, and his pain in the ass son Hugo plan to recover their fortunes by marrying Regeane to a wealthy bridegroom, even though she might unintentionally make him into a bedtime snack. But Gundabald forces her into the marriage by threatening to reveal her secret to the Church, which would burn her at the stake
The bridegroom, Maeniel, journeys to Rome to claim Regeane, but she discovers allies in her quest to defeat Gundabald’s plans, including some very tough and funny women. Unfortunately for Regeane, she also has more powerful enemies than just Gundabald.
The Silver Wolf description:
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.