The Wolf Den (Paperback)Elodie Harper (author)
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Set in the seedy yet complex milieu of Pompeii’s brothels, Harper’s masterful first historical novel follows Amara and her fellow ‘she-wolves’ through a city where opportunity is rife for even the lowest born slave.
Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for September 2021
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 now 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 the Wolf Den's other women, 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 is the first in a trilogy of novels reimagining the lives of women who have long been overlooked. Perfect for fans of Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls and Madeline Miller's Circe.
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Number of pages: 464
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'Hope and humour runs through this powerful, moving story - I loved it! Elodie portrays the brutal indignities and tragedy of these women's lives with so much warmth, sensitivity and respect. I was captivated by Amara - her strength, compassion and her determination to thrive in a cruel, unequal world. I can't wait to follow the rest of her story' - Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne
'An utterly gripping story. It humanises the men and women who had their humanity taken away from them, and helps to remind us that the brothels of Pompeii were far more than seedy tourist attractions' - Daisy Dunn, author of In the Shadow of Vesuvius
'Harper's style is exhilaratingly direct, with images lingering long in the mind's eye. You smell the oil lamps and temple incense, taste sticky figs, feel physical blows, and the dialogue packs powerful punch too. It's a vivacious piece of work, and all underpinned by a woman's longing for freedom' - LoveReading
'A riveting tale of power, love, hate, privilege, female empowerment and female friendships found in the most unlikely situations, The Wolf Den truly delivers and you will laugh and be heartbroken alongside the women nicknamed she-wolves, whose lives were deemed disposable, and their determination to find ways to escape the brothel both in body and mind. Set in a rich and prosperous Pompeii, Amara's story takes off at a brisk pace and ultimately delivers a stunning ending that left me both satisfied and very eager for the next book in the next book in this series' - Buki Papillon, author of An Ordinary Wonder
'What a book! Utterly compelling, unflinching in describing Amara's life as a slave-prostitute in Pompeii and so incredibly transporting. Best book I read in ages' - Sophie van Llewyn, author of Bottled Goods
'A gripping tale, which celebrates female solidarity and empowerment in the face of oppression and adversity. Rich in historical detail, beauty and brutality, The Wolf Den brings to vivid life the doomed city of Pompeii and the powerlessness of its women. I loved it' - Caroline Lea, author of The Glass Woman
'The best historical fiction holds a mirror up to the present and The Wolf Den is a triumph. Elodie Harper transports us thousands of years and thousands of miles and yet we see ourselves reflected there' - Claire McGlasson, author of The Rapture
'Captivating and compelling, at times heartbreaking ... Reading this, it was hard to believe that this is a debut. It is well-written and deeply researched ... Full of historical detail about the city so famous for its destruction ... Sprinkled with just enough detail to make the setting come to life, without overpowering the story and characters at the heart of The Wolf Den ... This will appeal to readers of books like Circe or Sistersong, straddling that fine line between genre fiction and broader literature ... A truly modern book telling an ancient story' - Grimdark Magazine
'A compelling story of survival, friendship and courage. Amara and her fellow she-wolves are vividly drawn in a fascinating depiction of women at the time. Utterly spellbinding' - Woman & Home
'An entertaining firecracker blazing with wolfish verve and a woman's desire to escape the Pompeii brothel she's enslaved to' - LoveReading
'A gripping historical story about a slave in Pompeii's infamous brothel' - Independent
'A one-of-a-kind historical novel ... This is a mesmerising, richly detailed tale of sisterhood and courage that fans of Circe will love' - Red Magazine
'A story of survival, friendship and courage, Amara and her fellow 'she-wolves' are vividly drawn in a fascinating depiction of women at the time. Spellbinding' - Woman & Home
'Vivid, wise and unflinching, this is a triumph' - The Times
'A tale of female solidarity and sisterhood, of women having each other's backs and caring for one another when nobody else will ... If you enjoyed Jennifer Saint's Ariadne then you'll be unable to put The Wolf Den down ... Elodie Harper's next book will be one to look out for' - CultureFly
'Elodie Harper's vibrant and thrilling story is steeped in historical detail while remaining contemporary in its concerns ... Harper tells her gripping tale with conviction and wit' - Observer
'Well-researched, this first book of the trilogy follows Amara's growth in character and self-determination, revealing how even the lowest of slaves can strive for a reverse in fortune' - Gazette & Herald (Ryedale)
'Lifts the curtain on a world full of deceit, lies, abuse, lust, and above all, hope' - Waterstones
'Colourful, compelling ... Harper's narrative never romanticises the exploitation Amara suffers, but it leads eventually to a kind of painful redemption' - Sunday Times
'Utterly spellbinding' - Woman
'A wonderfully clear-sighted tale seen from the viewpoint of its main protagonist, Amara, a doctor's daughter, who was sold as a slave into prostitution when she and her mother became destitute after his death. You really live and feel Pompeii in this book. An amazing achievement' - Financial Times
'Fab cover; fab, compelling story - this deserves to do really well, and I can't wait to read the next one' - The Bookseller
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