Published: May 12th 2022
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Romance Novel, Book Series
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this magnificent book. Thank you to Head of Zeus for the invitation to take part and the gifted copy of the book.
Freed from Pompeii’s brothel. Owned as a courtesan. Determined to have revenge. Her name is Amara. What will she risk for power?
Amara has escaped her life as a slave in Pompeii’s most notorious brothel. She now has a house, fine clothes, servants – but all of these are gifts from her patron, hers for as long as she keeps her place in his affections.
As she adjusts to this new life, Amara is still haunted by her past. At night she dreams of the wolf den, and the women she left behind. By day, she is pursued by her former slavemaster. In order to be truly free, she will need to be as ruthless as he is.
Amara knows she can draw strength from Venus, the goddess of love. Yet falling in love herself may prove to be her downfall.
The House with the Golden Door is the stunning second novel in Elodie Harper’s celebrated Wolf Den Trilogy, which reimagines the lives of women who have long been overlooked.
“There is always a price to pay for underestimating a woman.”
Ever since the jaw-dropping ending of The Wolf Den I have been impatiently awaiting book two in the trilogy and the chance to find out what was next for Amara, her fellow she-wolves and the residents of Pompeii. The story picks up a few months after the shocking events at the end of book one: Amara is no longer a slave working at the brothel but a freedwoman living in the house with the golden door that her patron Rufus rents for her. While happy to be free, she is haunted by her past, misses her friends and lives in fear of losing Rufus’ favour and her position as his concubine. Her former master is also out for revenge and she must find a way to keep herself safe against not only him, but the man on whom she now relies.
Once again I was utterly captivated by the mesmerising world that Elodie Harper brings to life on the pages. So evocative that it was like I was watching it all unfold on a movie screen in vivid technicolour, she transported me back to the ancient streets of Pompeii at a time when they were bustling with life and the fate awaiting this doomed city was unimaginable. Her research and attention to detail is exquisite, depicting day to day life in a believable and entertaining way as she explores everything from mundane domesticity to the exciting but bloodthirsty sports citizens of Pompeii once enjoyed.
“Amara wonders how long they will all be together in a household like this, and it is not only the habitual fear of being separated from Philos that makes her chest tighten. She has grown used to this place, to the strange almost-family of women she has collected.”
The Amara of this book is both the same and completely different. I enjoyed watching her learn to navigate the new world she inhabits and how skillfully she plays the game. She is a strong, intelligent woman who now not only has a thirst for revenge and determination to survive, but more autonomy and power than before, though she does fear she will never completely be free. But one of my favourite things about these books is the sisterhood the women share. There are new characters and alliances alongside the old ones, but themes of strength, tenacity, vulnerability and wiliness remain and I enjoyed seeing them gain more power and freedom than they had in the brothel. A sisterhood I particularly enjoyed was the blossoming friendship between Amara and Britannica. I loved that Britannica was given such a large role in this story and how we finally got to see the person lurking beneath the silent savage we met in book one. I adore this fierce Briton and she has become my favourite character.
Enthralling, exhilarating and unflinching, The House with the Golden Door is an accomplished piece of historical fiction. If you’re a fan of the genre then you need to read this outstanding series. Sadly I now have the agonising wait for the final instalment…
MEET 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.
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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles 😊 Emma xxxx
Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour.