The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper

the house with the golden door

The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper throws you right into the life of brothels in Pompeii AD 74.


Penniless after her father’s death, Amara’s mother sold her as a concubine. Now, enslaved in one of Pompeii’s most notorious brothels, Amara reminisces on her past life in Greece and dreams of being a freedwoman. She knows it would be next to impossible to buy her freedom from the pittance she earns through tips. So, Amara begins to devise ways of increasing her earnings while staying safe and finding moments of happiness and peace with her friends.

Review of The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper

The Wolf Den boldly confronts the violence and trauma that enslaved women experienced in brothels at this time. The tone is fairly dark and fraught throughout, but there are some moments of hope and beauty.

The writing style is clear and easy to read, making this a quick one to get through. It is told entirely from Amara’s perspective.

The author did a superb job of bringing Pompeii and historical figures to life, especially Pliny the Elder. From the text and my own trips to Pompeii, I could easily see the world that Elodie Harper recreated here.

At first, I found this story a bit brash because it plunged right into things and almost seemed like it was trying to be shocking. The language can be quite vulgar and blunt at times. But after a while, that feeling passed, and I could not put the book down.

This first book takes place five years before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, so I am very curious where the next two books will go. I am excited to read more of Amara’s story and armchair travel back to Pompeii.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Expected Publication: 29 March 2022

Thank you to Union Square & Co. for providing an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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