When I saw this was about life in a brothel in Pompeii I clicked to add it to my cart so fast and I do not regret it. Even if it didn’t have the one thing I was hoping it would have.
But that isn’t a loss. I’m just saying if you’re going in just for the you know what everyone thinks about when they think of Pompeii prepare to think again.
Our main character is Amara but Elodie Harper does a good job with all the women giving us back stories and strong personalities. Standouts are Amara’s friend Dido and top prostitute Victoria. Amara used to be a doctors daughter but when he died and the money ran out her mother sold her and then committed suicide. Dido was kidnapped. Victoria left on a dump as a baby.
It’s a very sad tale in many ways yet the women bind together and create a strong relationship that carries over. Amara is an interesting one as well. She’s smart and rather ruthless when she needs to be sometimes without always thinking about the consequences you would think but then she points out that she doesn’t want to live like this forever, in fact knows she can’t, and you understand her.
She knows what she has to do and often times that puts her directly into the good graces and the line of fire of her violent boss. Her safety and fate depending on his mood even more so than the men who want to purchase her or the slave she begins a real relationship with during the book.
It’s a brothel so we do get descriptions of sex and often times sexual violence. One particular slave brought in the middle of the book fights every time no matter what. But I must say Harper gets the point across without being gratuitous. There’s also a male slave that works in the brothel and later in the book a suicide.
Again I actually think Harper walks the line mixing together the horrendously dark aspects of the life as well as enjoyably entertaining descriptions of glittering parties the girls perform at and Pompeiian Festivals.
I couldn’t help think how adaptable The Wolf Den would be. The only thing I will say and this isn’t a bad thing while it has a clear ending I also want to see more. Luckily it’s the first book of a series so I assume we’ll eventually be getting to the you know what 🙂
Along with all the fallout from this book but I don’t want to spoil it for you!