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.
If you read book one The Wolf Den in this series then we are back with Amara, who is no longer a slave or whore in the Wolf Den, or owned by the heartless Felix. But things aren’t simple with her new life she still dreams of her time in The Wolf Den. She must now learn a new game of survival, that of a concubine, her position in society is now elevated but she finds again that her future and happiness are determined by the affections of her new patron, she has to keep him interested in her, she tries to please him, this is someone she used to dote on, she had believed him to be her way out of a life of oppression and abuse but could she have read him so wrong?, Is he not the man she believed him to be? Then she has a new challenge that of a dangerous/forbidden love which could leave some devastating consequences if she isn’t careful.
In her dreams of The Wolf Den, she thinks of the people she considered as her friends, and worries about them still being at the mercy of not only Felix, but also those men who just see the women as pieces of meat to do with as they like, along with the memories of someone that Amara had a lot of affection for, but ended up being taken away from her in a brutal way.
Amara now finds herself being chased by the man who had once owned her, if she wants to survive and stay free of him for good, it is time for her to become ruthless. But by doing this it means she will have to make big changes, which could ultimately destroy who she is, she makes some very difficult decisions and sacrifices. She also becomes a more cold and calculating person but what other options does she have? If this is the only way to survive she has to try it, to save everyone she loves.
We see Amara bond closer to Britannica, I enjoyed this part as we learn more about Britannica. Seeing the development of this loyal and ferocious fighter and confidante and teacher to Amara.
Will Amara ever be free of the past, or will she be trapped by those memories holding her back forever, but not just trapping herself but also the ghost of someone she had once loved. There are twists and turns to keep you guessing as to what is going to happen next. Will Amara ever find true happiness and freedom?
This is book two of the trilogy, despite her now being free of the shackles of the Wolf Den, she now wishes and dreams of being free of all shackles, to live her life on her own terms, in her own way. But things aren’t always that simple. This is a beautifully written book which I enjoyed more than book one, it is beautifully written you really feel for Amara and the struggles she has to go through. Her life has not been simple by any means. Set against the landscape of life in Pompei. which is brought to life by the author, you see what it could have been like to be around in those days, as she also adds facts and actual people, weaving them into the storyline. The character development is just brilliant, as the layers are peeled away, some having more layers than others, some are brutal and at times ferocious, some confident, but every single one is interesting in their own way. Believable.
At times this story can be heartbreaking, bringing out different emotions as you read, drawing you in completely, engrossing and at times tense.
What will come in the final chapter? Will Amara get complete freedom? Will Felix die? I really hope so. I look forward to see how everything ends.
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 and presenter at ITV News Anglia, and before that worked as a producer for Channel 4 News.