Alice Borchardt (October 6, 1939 — July 24, 2007) was a writer of historical fiction, fantasy, and horror. She lived in Houston and was sister of Anne Rice and aunt to Christopher Rice. Alice Borchardt shared a childhood of storytelling with her sister in New Orleans. A professional nurse, she also nurtured a profound interest in little-known periods of history.
Borchardt was born Alice O'Brien in New Orleans on Oct. 6, 1939. She was one of five sisters. Her father, Howard, a postal worker, helped her apply for her first library card at age 7. "It was the best gift I ever received," Borchardt said in a 1999 interview with the Austin American-Statesman.
Her mother, Katherine, was a feminist who taught Alice to pursue her career goals. The O'Brien family moved to Richardson, Texas, when Alice was a teenager. She began her nursing career in Houston, where she met and married her husband.
After a 30-year career as a licensed vocational nurse, Borchardt faced staff reductions at the hospital where she worked. Alice's sister Anne encouraged her, helped her find an agent, and wrote introductions to several of her books.
She was in her mid 50s when the first of her seven novels, Devoted, was published in 1995. She is perhaps best known for a trilogy about werewolves in medieval Rome. In The Silver Wolf,Night of the Wolf and The Wolf King, the orphaned Regeane and the nobleman Maeniel, both are part wolf and part human, contend with bullying chieftains, embattled emperors and supernatural interventions. The last book in the series was published in 2001.
On July 25, 2007, Bill Crider reported that Borchardt had died. This was confirmed by an obituary in the Houston Chronicle. In addition to her husband and Rice, who lives in Rancho Mirage, Borchardt is survived by sisters Tamara Tinker of Daly City, Calif., Karen O'Brien and Micki Jenkins of Dallas. She is also survived by two nephews, Christopher T. Rice of Los Angeles and Daniel Tinker of Oakland.
In the tenth-century French town of Chantalon, Bishop Owen and his lady, Elin, marshall their forces in a desperate struggle against Viking raiders, but when Owen leaves to seek aid from his kinsmen and is captured by Bretons, Elin is left to defend Chantalon alone.
The Silver Wolf (1998)
An unwilling pawn in the plotting of the Rome of Charlemagne's time, Regeane is betrothed by her depraved uncle to an unknown barbarian lord. Unable to refuse lest he betray her as a shapeshifting wolf-woman, she is strangely attracted to a dark wolf prowling outside the city gates.
Night of the Wolf (1999) (prequel to The Silver Wolf)
As the powerful forces of a conquering Rome sweep across ancient Druidic Gaul, an epic battle erupts between the shapeshifter Manael, a werewolf, and Dryas, the powerful Druid priestess summoned to destroy him.
The Wolf King (2001)
This book features Regeane and her sworn shapeshifter mate, wolf-turned-man Maeniel, in Dark Ages Italy. In a cliffhanger opening, a runaway Saxon slave saves Regeane from death in an Alpine avalanche. When the two attempt to take refuge in a nearby monastery, they discover a mad abbott under the control of an invading demon spirit, the Bear, who leads a ragtag troop of bandits and monks turned zombies. Although they escape with Maeniel's help, the Bear follows, determined to possess a werewolf body and increase its power. Maeniel undertakes a mission from Charles (Charlemagne) to scout the geographical and political landscape ahead of the king's troops as Charles lays siege to Lombardy and its self-indulgent ruler, Desederius. In the meantime, Regeane's greedy cousin Hugo bargains with the Bear spirit and finds himself caught up in Desederius's plot to capture Maeniel. Fortunately, Regeane and the Saxon arrive in time to rescue him.
The Dragon Queen (2001)
The daughter of a powerful pagan queen, Guinevere grows up under the protection of a Druid and the shapeshifting man-wolf, Maeniel, until the sorcerer Merlin forces her to fulfill her destiny as Arthur's queen.
The Raven Warrior (2003)
In Dark Age Britain, wild magic and superstitions hold sway. Even now that Guinevere has accepted the power of the Dragon Throne, she faces the threat of the Saxons and must strike first to protect her people. At the same time, Lancelot AKA Blackleg, Maeniel's wolf-born son, must prove himself as a man and a warrior.