Reviews

The Wolf Den, by Elodie Harper

jesikasbookshelf's review against another edition

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3.0

Historical fiction set in Pompeii? Obviously I was in for this one!

This novel centres around Amara, an enslaved prostitute, and the women she is enslaved alongside. It does a brilliant job of showing the ways in which ancient society wasn't any different than ours. Gossip? Yes. Frenemies and bitter rivals? Obviously. Fast food? More of it, no one had kitchens.

I really loved the way the famous graffiti of Pompeii, preserved for the ages by the eruption of Vesuvius, was weaved into this book. It really highlighted the ways in which people found a way to communicate conveniently and relatively privately.

The book overall weaves in some brilliant historical details - how Pliny the Elder was known to work, the functioning of a necropolis and the fcelebration of feasts.

For me, though the book touched in the pain, grief and loss of self that slavery comes with, for a lot of the book it felt like Amara just had a bad job she wanted out of. It does a lot to show how she has to outwit men to achieve her own ends, but overall I would have liked to see more exploration of just how strongly and irrevocably the Roman empire was built on the slaves they acquired from the lands they went to conquer. An entire Empire was built on the idea of accepting others under the institute of Roman protection whilst enslaving the 'barbarians' to be found outside of the Mediterranean.

Overall, this is an engaging read and for such a big book I read it very quickly.

TW: that said, this book contains repeated reference to and acts of violence, abuse, slavery, sexual assault, forced prostitution, rape, murder and kidnapping. If that isn't something you can or want to read about, it would be wise to give this one a miss.

scazalaz's review

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dark reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

Given me a new perspective on slaves in Rome  

zarareadshere's review against another edition

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4.0

☀️My Thoughts☀️

The Wolf Den started with a ✨bang✨ and the first half had fully captivated me. The atmosphere, the characters, the friendship, the struggle. It was so thorough and beautiful

lunatic_g's review

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emotional hopeful reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

katiesbooktopia's review

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challenging dark emotional inspiring sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

I put off reading this book for so long because I was scared I wouldn’t love it like everyone else, but wow this book was honestly so eye opening.

Having been to Pompeii twice, it was so incredible to read this book and to envision the characters and place in the real Pompeii and I think that is what made this book for me. 

I think it is also something quite rare to see this heart-aching story of women trapped in a life they never chose and to see how each woman dealt with it. To follow these women try to live, love and make a life out of such a terrible life was incredible to read and I loved reading this story. 

I am really looking forward to the next book to see how this story progresses and if there really is a chance for these women to be saved from the life they live.

evie_89's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

gwitchinghour's review

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dark emotional sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.75

spiraljester's review against another edition

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4.0

I enjoyed this book! found it a fairly easy read and liked the characters. however i felt the ending was rushed and wasn’t fan of the language and dialogue all the time

bookworm_gem's review against another edition

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emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character

4.0

bluebirdreads's review

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challenging dark emotional reflective sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0