Author: Elodie Harper
Series: Wolf Den Trilogy #2
Publication: May 12th 2022 by Head of Zeus
Genre: Historical Fiction
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The life of a courtesan in Pompeii is glittering, yet precarious…Amara has escaped her life as a slave in the town’s most notorious brothel, but now her existence depends on the affections of her patron: a man she might not know as well as she once thought.
At night she dreams of the wolf den, still haunted by her past. Amara longs for the women she was forced to leave behind and worse, finds herself pursued by the man who once owned her. In order to be free, she will need to be as ruthless as he is.
Amara knows her existence in Pompeii is subject to Venus, the goddess of love. Yet finding love may prove to be the most dangerous act of all.
We return to Pompeii for the second instalment in Elodie Harper’s Wolf Den Trilogy, set in the town’s lupanar and reimagining the lives of women long overlooked.
Sequels can often be disappointing and not live up to the first book which has happened to me more times than I can count. But that’s why I’m so very glad that this wasn’t the case with The House with the Golden Door by Elodie Harper. I absolutely loved my time reading the book and it of course made me crave more. It’s now in my top three of favorite books of the year!
First a little description of the story. Spoilers are ahead so be prepared! After the end of the first book, The Wolf Den, where Amara got freed, she’s living as her new patron’s courtesan and has more security than she ever had before as a prostitue in Felix’s brothel. Now Amara has a beautiful home, money and her own slaves which she has complicated feelings over. But even though she has more now she had before, Amara is haunted by past in the Wolf Den and what happened to her close friend Dido who died at the end of book one. There’s also her former master Felix who seems determined to keep his power over Amara even now. As Amara falls for someone she can’t openly love, things get more dangerous and riskier than ever before.
This second book wasn’t the happily ever after for Amara even though she’s a freedwoman now. She has to pretend to be crazy about Rufus, always worrying if she’ll offend him somehow and be dumped by him. She also can’t seem to get away from Felix, especially after buying and freeing Victoria from the Wolf Den. At least there were some people she could still trust, old and new friends alike. But make no mistake, the stakes in the book were higher than ever and it was full of betrayal, gasp-out-loud plot twists and one hell of an ending!
But let’s talk about my absolute highlight from the book. Brittanica! She was also working in Felix’s Wolf Den and Amara also got her out of there alongside with Victoria. Brittanica’s character developement was freaking amazing and her loyalty to Amara was just fantastic to read about as well. I loved how stabby she was. She’s by far my favorite character in the series now. I want her to be my friend too!
The House with the Golden Door by Elodie Harper is a worthy sequel to The Wolf Den. The writing still blew me away, just like the vivid descriptions of Pompeii. It was like I was there in person. I already can’t wait for the third and final book to get in my hands. I’m sure it’ll be just as an amazing read as this one was.
About the author:
Elodie Harper is a journalist and prize-winning short story writer. Her story ‘Wild Swimming’ won the 2016 Bazaar of Bad Dreams short story competition, which was judged by Stephen King.
She is currently a reporter at ITV News Anglia, and before that worked as a producer for Channel 4 News. Her job as a journalist has seen her join one of the most secretive wings of the Church of Scientology and cover the far right hip hop scene in Berlin, as well as crime reporting in Norfolk where her first two novels were set – The Binding Song and The Death Knock.
Elodie studied Latin poetry both in the original and in translation as part of her English Literature degree at Oxford, instilling a lifelong interest in the ancient world. The Wolf Den is the first in a trilogy of novels about the lives of women in ancient Pompeii.