The Wolf Den
Shortlisted for Pageturner of the Year at the British Book Awards
A Waterstones Book of the Month ‘Vivid, wise and unflinching, this is a triumph’ The Times
‘I loved it’ Jennifer Saint
‘I couldn’t put it down’ Claire Douglas
‘Utterly spellbinding’ Woman & Home
‘Deeply moving’ William Ryan
‘One of a kind’ Red
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 owned by a man she despises and lives as a slave in Pompeii’s infamous brothel, her only value the desire she can stir in others.
But Amara’s spirit is far from broken. Sharp, resourceful and surrounded by women whose humour and dreams she shares, Amara comes to realise that everything in this city has its price. But how much will her freedom cost?
The Wolf Den is the first in a trilogy of novels reimagining the long overlooked lives of women in Pompeii’s lupanar. Perfect for fans of Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls and Madeline Miller’s Circe.
Reviews for The Wolf Den:
‘This is a mesmerising, richly detailed tale of sisterhood and courage that fans of Circe will love’ Red
‘A deeply moving and stunningly realised start to one of the most original historical fiction trilogies of our time’ Dan Jones
‘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
‘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
‘A vivacious piece of work underpinned by a woman’s longing for freedom’ LoveReading
‘Utterly gripping’ Daisy Dunn, author of In the Shadow of Vesuvius
‘Unflinching… The best book I’ve read in ages’ Sophie van Llewyn, author of Bottled Goods
‘The best historical fiction holds a mirror up to the present and The Wolf Den is a triumph. Harper transports us thousands of years and thousands of miles and yet we see ourselves reflected there’ Claire McGlasson, author of The Rapture
‘A riveting tale of power, love, hate, privilege, female empowerment and female friendships found in the most unlikely situations’ Buki Papillon, author of An Ordinary Wonder
‘It is 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
'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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