Format Read: Paperback/Audiobook (Collector’s Edition)
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mythology
Publication Date: 14th October 2021
Synopsis/Blurb (Taken from Goodreads):
“Sold by her mother. Enslaved in Pompeii’s brothel. Determined to survive. Her name is Amara. Welcome to the Wolf Den…
Amara was once a beloved daughter, until her father’s death plunged her family into penury. Now she is a slave in Pompeii’s infamous brothel, owned by a man she despises. Sharp, clever and resourceful, Amara is forced to hide her talents. For as a she-wolf, her only value lies in the desire she can stir in others.
But Amara’s spirit is far from broken.
By day, she walks the streets with her fellow she-wolves, finding comfort in the laughter and dreams they share. For the streets of Pompeii are alive with opportunity. Out here, even the lowest slave can secure a reversal in fortune. Amara has learnt that everything in this city has its price. But how much is her freedom going to cost her?
Set in Pompeii’s lupanar, The Wolf Den reimagines the lives of women who have long been overlooked.”
The Wolf Den is set in AD 74, and follow the story of Amara who is sold into prostitution, when her family fall on hard times after the death of Amara’s father. Amara is determined to gain freedom from brothel keeper, and have a better life that she’s always dreamed of having. However it’s not easy thing to do as women employed as prostitutes have absolutely no power to anything and also aren’t paid very much as the majority of the money they earn goes to the brothel keeper.
Wolf Den was well written, although it is rather slow to start and doesn’t really pick up until around the 4th or 5th chapter. It is at this point when things get interesting and the pace picks up. What I enjoyed the most about the story was how descriptive it was, you could really visualise what was being described. Yes at times the descriptions and topics in the book are grim, but at the same time I think they really represented what life must have been like for the women who were enslaved to work as prostitution in Pompeii.
This is a very character driven novel, and I really loved getting to know the characters. All the characters are well written and felt realistic. I liked them all, even the ones that you’re probably not meant to like. I really loved the relationships between the women. Although all the women came from different backgrounds and of different ages , they pulled together and worked as a team just to make sure they made it through to the next day. Reading what they went through each day was heart-breaking but at the same time very moving. This feeling wasn’t just toward the women but also the males in this story that were made to work as slaves in the brothel.
Although slow to start, this turned out to be a great read and gets the trilogy off to a good start. If you’re a fan of character driven novels this is definitely one to give ago. I also highly recommend the audiobook. I do suggest that you check out the trigger warnings before picking this book up. I have mentioned a few below.
Trigger Warnings: Prostitution, Rape, Slavery, Abortion, Abuse (physical & verbal), Suicide
Have you read this book? If so what did you think of it? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat.
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