five reasons to read the wolf den by elodie harper | listed

by - 1:30 PM

"Either we choose to stay alive, or we give up. And if it's living we choose, then we do whatever it takes."

 isbn: 978-1454946540 | pages: 488
      publication date: March 29, 2022 | source: physical, publisher
     genre: adult, historical fiction

     A M A Z O N    |    G O O D R E A D S    |    B O O K S H O P * 
     B O O K D E P O S I T O R Y    |    B A R N E S A N D N O B L E S
links with an (*) are affiliate where, when used to purchase gives me a small commission to support my blog at no extra cost to you!

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are 100% my own.

1. an immersive historical setting
The Wolf Den is a story that jumps right into the world of 79 CE Pompeii. The author sets the readers right into the everyday lives of Amara and her friends and does not shy away from the blunt and abusive environment they are in. It's a story that feels like a slap when you first start reading but that also becomes the hook that keeps the pages turning.

2. accessible writing and characters
The historical setting is set up in a way that is very accessible and straightforward. While it was a bit surprising how modern the language felt at first, it becomes part of the story as you continue. The unapologetic language states the abuse as an indisputable fact that the reader has to grapple with alongside Amara as she comes to terms with her life as a prostitute and how to win back her freedom.

3. a conversation of slavery and sexism
I think, save for maybe 3.5 men, the rest of the male population is crude, demeaning, and honestly trash. But it works for the setting because the author is using the characters' experiences as prostitutes in Pompeii to paint this picture of injustice. 
The she-wolves are constantly put down and used by the men and the story revolves around their understanding of self-worth and humanity. In a society where everything is measured by wealth and ownership, Amara challenges that with the strength of her mind, redefining what it means to be a woman of her time. 

4. survival and friendships
This is a story that is built on the relationships between the characters. Of course, there's competition between brothels and the fear of losing business, but within Amara's groups, there's a sisterhood that is explored. Elodie Harper allows each of the she-wolves to have a fully fleshed-out backstory and personality that made them seem more than just characters on the page. 

5. the start of a new journey
As the first in a trilogy, The Wolf Den served as an introduction to Amara's story. After all the hardships and pain she's experienced in the first novel, there's both hope and fear for what the next step of her journey will entail. Rather than a fast-paced adventure, The Wolf Den is a slow but powerful exploration of Amara's life and how there are no limits to one's potential, even if they are a prostitute of Pompeii.

I went into this thinking it would be along the lines of Circe with more of a mythological touch but Into the Wolf Den is a very raw and insightful historical fiction novel. It serves to portray the lives of these women as they're navigating through what life has handed them and using their resources to build better lives for themselves. It's sad, infuriating at times, but at its core, a story of empowerment and friendship.

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