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.