Member Reviews

Last year I bid farewell to Amara when she boarded on a boat and left her child and lover behind. It was utterly heartbreaking and yet, I understood her motive. This year, I was happy to finally get reacquainted with her story and see her thrive.

The Temple of Fortuna kicked off three years after the ending of book II. The first 40% of this final volume, which described Amara’s life prior the eruption of the Vesuvio, was melancholic and slow. But essential. And when the worst happened, the author gave me exactly what I was waiting (and hoping) for.

I loved, loved, reading about how Amara was able to face the unknown, the tragedy and survive the unthinkable. I loved reading about those days, because they felt so real and raw, I couldn’t stop thinking about what might lay ahead.

I cannot talk about the exact sequence of events because it would be a major spoiler, but the ending was perfect and you should trust me on this. I could literally feel that reunion in my bones.
4 full stars.

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A fantastic final instalment. Engaging, thrilling, moving and just all round incredible.

I loved this book and couldn't put it down. This is a trilogy I know I will return to again and again and tell everyone I know to read.

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The Wolf Den is one of my favourite historical novels so I was extremely excited to read the final installment of the trilogy. I love Elodie Harper's fantastic use of contextual details and obviously in-depth research on Pompeii - even down to the frescoes and fountains in villas being accurate! I think her writing provides an immersive and at times visceral portrait of life in Roman colonies as a member of the unprivileged classes (slaves, women, freedpersons).

Part of Amara's charm as a character is her determination to advance herself in society despite this forcing her to override her own emotional and ethical intuitions - it is refreshing to have a female character who is complex and morally grey, and yet still clearly deeply emotional. I think the portrayal of motherhood in The Temple of Fortuna, and Amara's subsequent choices surrounding her priorities - family and friends or status, wealth, and security - is brilliantly written. I love that almost none of the characters in the trilogy have clear-cut affinities, including Amara, and the majority do not fail to choose themselves and their advancement over overs, as I feel this really gives an impression of the insecurity and danger of living as a non-freeborn woman, constantly having to ensure alliances and favours are reinforced.

Whilst I would love to discuss the plot further I am conscious of spoilers so I will refrain from saying anything more than that the plot twists managed to take me by surprise! Being familiar with Pompeii's history, I thought I knew what would happen, and whilst I was mostly correct I was still taken unawares by the events in the last parts of the book.

Overall, the final part of The Wolf Den trilogy did not disappoint - The Temple of Fortuna is a masterfully written, emotionally charged, and historically fascinating book. I will definitely be rereading the entire series in the near future as I already miss Amara!

Many thanks to Head of Zeus for the opportunity to read and review this book via Netgalley.

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I loved this book! Having read the other 2 books in the trilogy I knew the characters and the back story but this book could be read as a stand alone to the others. Elodie Harper brings Roman living to life, the sounds the smells, the unambiguous position in life which imprisoned some.

Amara, in this episode of the trilogy looks to have everything she ever desired, but wealth is not everything as she still does not have her daughter with her. Will her patron accept her daughter and bring her to Rome? Will she ever escape from the blackmailer Felix?

Fantastic read highly recommended!

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Just over a month ago, I read a sample of The Temple of Fortuna, and was intrigued enough to find The Wolf Den and read it. I was hooked and immediately bought The House With the Golden Door and later waited impatiently for the full publication of the final book in Elodie Harper’s compelling trilogy. Eight years ago, I visited Pompeii and the actual wolf den in the ruins of the city, so it was amazing to be experiencing the author’s vision of what life in Pompeii might have been like.
It’s been a pleasure to share the lives of Britannica, Philos, Amara and the strong, beautiful and complex women imagined by Elodie Harper. It was bittersweet to end the story, but I look forward to reading more by the author.

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I loved reading this final instalment in Elodie Harper's Wolf Den trilogy. In The Temple of Fortuna we finally reach the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and Harper's depiction of both the horror of the eruption and its aftermath for the communities it affected, is brutal and compelling. One of the great strengths of this trilogy is the way characters are developed --they are frequently flawed but ultimately believable and I feel sad to be leaving them behind.

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After adoring the first two books in the trilogy, I was looking forward to the conclusion and I'm happy to say I wasn't in the least disappointed. I knew I could trust Elodie Harper with a wonderful finale.

The story starts with a change of scenery: after becoming the concubine of Demetrius, Amara moves to Rome where she becomes entangled with political intrigues and dangers. Even though I was looking forward to her return to Pompeii, I really enjoyed this part and I wouldn't have minded reading even more about it. I just love political intrigue and I loved what we saw of it.

Once Amara returns to Pompeii, admittedly, the story becomes even better. I liked seeing her reunited with her friends, while her more tense relationships, not only with Felix and Victoria but also with Philos and her daughter, where very interesting.

The eruption of Vesuvius was, however, my favourite part of the story. It was extremely well written, tense, raw and very emotional. I just couldn't put the book down, I was so anxious to see what would happen to everyone. I also found the aftermath very interesting: Harper really showed the huge impact the eruption had on the lives of the survivors, and I really sympathized with them.

The conclusion was very satisfying. I was so glad with everything which happened to Amara, and the open ending makes me really hope that Elodie Harper will write more in this historical setting, because this series has been a wonderful reading experience from start to finish. I'm already looking forward to re-reading it.

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Thank you to Netgalley and Head of Zeus for the ARC of The Temple of Fortuna!

After devouring The Wolf Den and House With The Golden Door in January, this book was one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2023 for good reason. The Temple of Fortuna beautifully concludes one of the best historical fiction trilogies I've read in years, and to give both Elodie Harper and this trilogy its due justice, I'll be refraining from any significant spoilers and conclude my thoughts on the series as a whole.

The final novel of the Wolf Den trilogy immediately immerses us into the world of Ancient Rome, 79 CE. The Empire is left reeling following Emperor Vespasian's death; Amara finds herself embroiled in the middle of a power struggle between the Emperor's two sons, Titus and Domitian, alongside her patron, Demetrius, all the while being haunted by her past, those she left behind in Pompeii. And with the added benefit of hindsight, we know that one of the world's most catastrophic natural disasters is on the horizon.

What initially drew me into the first book was not only the setting but the key themes that continue throughout the whole trilogy. Amara's development as she regains her autonomy and processes her trauma is so intricate, raw and authentic. You truly get a sense of Amara struggling between merely surviving, using her cunning and shrewd nature, manipulating people just as Felix does, and navigating life as a freedwoman, a mother and a courtesan in the Imperial Palace. The Temple of Fortuna is a brilliantly dark study of trauma, grief, strength, revenge slavery, sisterhood and sheer determination to survive, set in a beautifully rich, fleshed-out historical setting.

How Harper fleshes out female characters adds a more profound complexity and vivacity to the women in this novel, not just Amara. In a society where their roles and lives had so little agency, it is returned to them here. I particularly loved the continued friendship between Amara and Britannica and the blending between fictional characters and literary interpretations of historical figures, namely Julia Felix and Pliny the Elder; as a reader, you can genuinely understand and appreciate the amount of research and detail given by Harper.

What a spectacular ending to a touching, powerful series that gives agency to women often overlooked in history. The Temple of Fortuna by Elodie Harper is a 5/5 for me!

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I was so thrilled to be given an ARC of this book and have loved following Amaras story. I think Elodie did an amazing job concluding what has been a highly emotional and at times difficult read. I think the story concluded beautifully.

The growth of Amaras character was wonderful to see even if hard at times of great suffering. The people she met and loved along the way and of course those she hated helped make this a compelling tale.

I wont give any spoilers but there was just one character I wanted to know fate of however it is minor and upon finishing the story I was crying and smiling. I cannot wait for more people to read this final chapter of the trilogy so I can discuss everything.

This book and the two previous books in the wolf den trilogy are perfect for those who love ancient Rome tales and strong female characters.

Thank you Elodie for sharing this with us!

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What a satisfying end to this wonderful series! I really had no ideas as to how the story might continue and the way it was handled was perfect. I look forward to many more wonderful novels from this gifted historical fiction author! Many thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book.

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Wow this book. This is my most anticipated read of 2023 so it’s been one I have held huge hopes for and was dying to read.

My rating is 5 stars and this is because this book is written so beautifully and with so much care for the accuracy of history.

One of my favourite aspects of this book is the timeline, the build up to what you as the reader are eagerly anticipating, the eruption of Vesuvius. I honestly was contemplating the numerous scenarios of what could happen to Amara and her family and those of Pompeii and this anticipation made the book an incredible read. I think what strikes you the most is that you already know what happens, it’s literally history, but the sheer devastation of knowing that characters you have loved for 2 whole books have the potential to be lost and it’s just a matter of finding out who it could be.

On top of that, you can see Amara’s pain and trauma from her past throughout this book, the past always being at the front of her mind and never really letting her live her life the way she would like to and it’s very much a hard read for the reader who can see so clearly what she should do but knowing that it is harder said than done.

The ending of this book was incredibly relieving and through the devastation that was Pompeii, it brings you a level of hope, that we do know people survived and they made new lives for themselves and that’s what really makes this book incredible from start to finish.

I would recommend this book and series to everyone, it will hold you so tight in it’s grip and it’s a beautiful series and conclusion.

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I adore this series so much and the conclusion to the fantastic Wolf Den and House of the Golden Door did not disappoint!

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A fitting ending to this historical fiction trilogy! I enjoyed the first two books and was excited to find out how Amara’s journey would end. This was a very well researched novel and you felt transported to AD 79. I raced through to find out what happened and there still were twists and turns even though you know there will be a big event in the novel somewhere. I thought it was a good ending to the Wolf Den and looking forward to seeing what Elodie Harper writes next.

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This is my favourite historical fiction series EVER and I was delighted to have been offered an ARC copy of the book.

"The Temple of Fortuna", to be published on 23rd November 2023, marks the riveting culmination of the Wolf Den Trilogy, beckoning readers to traverse a captivating odyssey alongside Amara. From her perilous days as a slave within Pompeii's infamous Wolf Den brothel to her triumphant ascent as a formidable courtesan amidst the heart of Rome, this narrative unfurls themes of tenacity, resolve, valour, liberty, and the indomitable bonds of female friendship.

Accompany Amara as she embarks on a fresh chapter in her existence amidst the bustling thoroughfares of Rome. Yet, her journey is far from untroubled. Despite her newfound stature and opulence, Amara remains besieged by recollections of her daughter Rufina, her cherished Philos, and the allies and adversaries she left behind in Pompeii. Much like the formidable Vesuvius preparing for a cataclysmic eruption, Amara's emotions mirror the impending tumult. You will submerge yourself in the vibrant milieu of ancient Rome, where women of the era grappled with extraordinary circumstances. Set against the backdrop of September AD 79, a pivotal juncture in Roman history marked by the volcanic wrath of Mount Vesuvius, which ultimately obliterated the city of Pompeii, this tome bestows a vivid glimpse into a bygone era.

There are so many things I adore about this series. The writing is exquisite, with sensual descriptions of smells, foods, outfits. It transports you right into the heart of Roman Empire and gives you broad perspective into what the life was like for the poorest and the richest. Pompeii and Rome truly come to life through vivid descriptions of day to day life, but also special celebrations of festivals.

I got to truly love Amara as an unwavering and formidable leading character, resolute in her pursuit of liberty and steadfast in her devotion to her companions. Across the pages of the novel, the stark contrast between those in bondage and those who have managed to rise above their beginnings and savour the sweetness of freedom is unmistakable. No matter Amara’s initial circumstances, her unbreakable human spirit and deep love perseveres, never yielding to adversity. Britannica is another character that has truly stolen my heart and I wouldn’t love anything more than reading a whole book dedicated to her and the Boudicca’s rebellion written by Elodie Harper!

What truly stands out is the amount of historical research that must have gone into this book and the descriptions of Vesuvius catastrophe. I have never read a book that described natural disaster in more skilful manner. The fear, destruction and chaos are palpable, I was holding my breath while reading the passages.
Overall "The Temple of Fortuna" is an incredible end to a fantastic trilogy, a true work of art! If you love historical fiction and want to be truly immersed in the world of Ancient Rome, go and read this series NOW!

* Thank you Elodie Harper, Head of Zeus & Netgalley for the Arc! *

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It was always going to be tricky to finish this trilogy, set in Pompeii when everyone knows what's coming! But Elodie delivers a wonderful final book to close the story, Amara feels so familiar, a fully rounded character and we've lived alongside her rise from rags to riches. Beautiful

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Fortune favours the brave.

I re-read The Wolf Den and The House with the Golden Door before starting to read The Temple of Fortuna, not only to refresh my memory, but also to give a review what the book (and the trilogy) deserves. But, as I am sitting here trying to map out the review, I still wonder, how on earth will I manage to give my opinions on a book that is so masterfully written?

I firstly have to give my utmost thanks to the team at Head of Zeus and Elodie Harper for giving the chance to read The Temple of Fortuna in advance.

Instead of re-writing the synopsis or what happened in the book, I will concentrate on the writing, language and the overall emotional rollercoaster that is The Wolf Den-trilogy. Having high hopes for the final installment to be as vivid in language, emotion, culture and history as the previous two. Did it disappoint? Absolutely not.

On this intimate historical journey I have shared laughter, tears, hope, sorrow and faith with Elodie Harper's writing. Did I want the journey to end? No, I really did not. This is one of those very rare books that really will make you stop and reflect.

I also must mention the amount of research Elodie Harper has put into these books is very, very impressive. How everything is woven into the story, merging fictional with the real world of the past. Did I at several points forget, that most of the characters in the book are fictional? Yes.

I highly recommend The Temple of Fortuna, however! Please do read the first and second book before starting this one. Although, this book could be read as a stand-alone, but... read the first two. Do it. You won't be disappointed.

I cannot wait what Elodie will write about next!

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3.5 upped to 4*
I suppose that my expectations were too high and I'm sure that my rate will change if I read it again
This is not the best instalment in this series, it's like the author felt she needed close as much as possibile and in the best way.
Rome is at the height of its power and Amara is a courtesan playing with power and powerful people.
I think the main issue was that time gap between this story and the previous made some things a bit weird.
This is a rags to riches story, Amarna was a lupa and a slave. She's able to fight and be freed. The Amarna in this book is less strong, a sort of shadow of the woman in the previous books.
Even if it's not the best in the series it's a compelling and entertaining novel. I will miss these characters
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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What a brilliant, brilliant close to a fantastic trilogy. I can't wait for it to officially hit book stores and i hope this trilogy gets the love and attention it absolutely deserves.

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"The Temple of Fortuna" by Elodie Harper presents an engaging historical fiction narrative set against the backdrop of Ancient Rome and the impending disaster of Mount Vesuvius. The story follows Amara's remarkable journey, from a slave in Pompeii to a courtesan in Rome's imperial palace. Harper's storytelling brings the vivid settings and characters to life, immersing readers in the world of Ancient Rome.

The novel effectively captures the dynamics of power, ambition, and intrigue within Roman society. Amara's quest for power and her determination to rise above her circumstances make her a compelling protagonist. The author also weaves in elements of suspense as the looming eruption of Mount Vesuvius casts a dark shadow over the characters' lives.

However, "The Temple of Fortuna" may be seen as somewhat formulaic, following the familiar trope of a protagonist striving for success against all odds. Additionally, some readers might find the pacing uneven, with the story taking time to build before reaching its dramatic climax.

Overall, "The Temple of Fortuna" is an enjoyable historical fiction novel that provides a glimpse into the ancient world and the resilience of its characters. While it may not break new ground in the genre, it offers an entertaining and well-researched story that will appeal to readers with an interest in Ancient Rome and its intriguing history.

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This book was my most anticipated read of 2023 and my high expectations were completely fulfilled.
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I’ve been a trembling mess after reading this. My heart was constantly on the edge of exploding and the fearful apprehension had my emotions fleeing to escape, it’s that vividly written, that well researched by the author, it honestly takes your breath away.
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I’m always in awe by the authors amazing ability to bring to life an ancient time & place, to make you feel fully invested in every single gripping moment with these compelling complex characters. The characterisation and narration throughout the series is phenomenal.
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This series has a very special place in my heart, inspiring me to get on a plane to Italy for my birthday. The history absolutely fascinates me. Pompeii was the highlight of my holiday and is an experience I’ll never forget, and promise to revisit one day. I’m now craving to visit Rome.
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I loved The Temple of Fortuna. It was everything I needed, wanted and more. Elodie writes a powerful piece of art that will erupt all your emotions.
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There were many times my eyes filled with tears of joy and sorrow, when I got to the epilogue I was a weeping mess. I loved the epilogue, I loved the authors choice of character to wrap up this series in such a satisfying way, perfect ending to a perfect book series….yet I will always yearn for more.

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