Review: The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper

Book Review

The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper
Wolf Den Trilogy #1
Historical Fiction

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Amara was once the beloved daughter of a doctor in Greece, until her father’s sudden death plunged her mother into destitution. Now Amara is a slave and prostitute in Pompeii’s notorious Wolf Den brothel or lupanar, owned by a cruel and ruthless man. Intelligent and resourceful, she is forced to hide her true self. But her spirit is far from broken. Buoyed by the sisterhood she forges with the brothel’s other women, Amara finds solace in the laughter and hopes they all share. For the streets of the city are alive with opportunity—here, even the lowest-born slave can dream of a new beginning. But everything in Pompeii has a price. How much will Amara’s freedom cost her? The Wolf Den is the first in a trilogy of novels about the lives of women in ancient Pompeii.

What I thought

Thank you Union Square & Co and Elodie Harper for giving me an ARC of this book for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings expressed are my own.

I really enjoyed this book, even though it took me a few tries to start it.  I knew going into this book that I was going to have to be in the right headspace to read it because it was definitely going to trigger me.  Even knowing that, I was so sold on the premise that I wanted to read it anyway.

I could not find a list of Trigger Warnings, so I am just going to throw some out there:  rape, abuse, sexual violence, physical violence, emotional abuse, and murder these are just to name a few.  So please be warned if you decide to pick this book up.  I knew what I was getting into, and it took three tries for me to be able to get past the beginning.

This felt like a very real retelling of what life would have been like for a brothel slave in Pompeii.  The author did not sugar coat any of it, it was brutal and violent at times, but the author did not over do it.  Which is why I think I was able to read this book and enjoy it.

Even though this story is brutal, it is also what makes the story of Amara so amazing.  Amara was sold out of desperation by her mother after her father died.  She was then sold at auction and bought by the owner of the Wolf Den.  She is highly educated, which is not the norm for a brothel worker during this time.  The way she takes on her situation and decides to persevere instead of giving up is inspiring.  I still find myself thinking about her from time to time like she was a real person.

If you think you can read this book with the possible triggers, I would highly suggest you give it a try.  I think this one is going to stay with me for a while.   

My Rating: /5

Have you read this book? If so what did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

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