Amara used to be something, she was the beloved daughter of a physician but his death sent her life into a downward spiral she's desperate to climb back out of. Now working in an infamous Pompeii brothel she's determined to find her way back into society, but what price will her freedom cost?
Head of Zeus were incredibly kind and sent me a gifted copy of The Wolf Den along with some little goodies to celebrate it's release back in May. Vividly told, Harper's first historical novel was incredible, you'll be able to tell from the following review but I absolutely loved it! Three months on (I'm behind on my reviews, I admit) I still think about it and it's probably going to be my favourite read of the year.
Straight away you can tell that The Wolf Den was heavily researched and every effort was made to make sure this was the correct representation of forgotten women in Pompeii. Amara was brutal in her approach to protect herself, leaving nothing to chance but she was so sensitive to also the emotions of others which created a well-rounded characterisation of her, she, and everything she went through, felt so real to me and I was increasingly invested in her freedom.
Whilst the main plot focuses on Amara's pursuit of being free of the brothel, there is an underlying story focusing on Felix and Simo that at first runs in the background, dropping hints here and there toward the severity of it but never fully rearing it's head until the key moment. Harper creates a sense of non-importance about this rivalry but tactfully reveals its importance when it poses a real problem for our main character, and the reader themselves with it's consequences. I desperately want to reveal what I mean by this but it'd ruin the very heart of this novel and I want everyone to experience it on their own. All I can reveal is that this novel made me cheer with relief and cry from complete sadness, the emotions were sky-high and Harper has definitely found her flow with novel writing, it was incredible.
The Wolf Den is first in a trilogy, The House with the Golden Door is due out in May of 2022 and I couldn't be more excited. If it is anything like it's predecessor it will be full of emotion, tension and female power. I was initially apprehensive as historical fiction has never been my game, even way back in 6th-7th century I just don't have a lot of interest in the past but I am definitely ready to admit my mistake here. HISTORICAL FICTION IS THE BEST AND I LOVE THIS NOVEL WITH ALL THAT I AM.
Book two, I'm ready for you!