Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing The Temple of Fortuna by Elodie Harper. I enjoyed the first two books in this historical fiction trilogy and have been eagerly anticipating this final installment. You can find my thoughts on book one (The Wolf Den) and book two (The House with the Golden Door) in previous reviews, which are linked via the aforementioned titles.
The final, dramatic installment in Elodie Harper’s Sunday Times bestselling Wolf Den Trilogy.
Amara’s journey has taken her far; from enslavement in Pompeii’s wolf den brothel to her new life as a high-powered courtesan in Rome, but her story is not over yet. While Amara plays for power in Rome’s imperial palace, those dearest to her remain in Pompeii. But it is 79 CE, and mighty Mount Vesuvius is about to make itself known . . .
Readers of Jennifer Saint’s Ariadne , Natalie Haynes books like A Thousand Ships and Stone Blind , and other novels based on Ancient Roman and Greek mythology—as well as fans of inspiring feminist historical fiction exploring the worlds of Ancient Greece and Rome—will love Harper’s acclaimed Wolf Den Trilogy. Anyone looking for a book that centers women’s perspectives on the historic events of Pompeii will be captivated by Amara’s story, which starts with the first book in the trilogy, The Wolf Den , a Barnes & Noble Our Monthly Fiction Pick, a Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month, and a critically acclaimed UK bestseller.
***Thank you to Union Square & Co. for providing a copy of the The Temple of Fortuna. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***
The Temple of Fortuna was an emotional and stunning conclusion to The Wolf Den trilogy. After Amara’s choices at the end of the last book, I was unsure where the story would go next and curious to see how things would end up. The story definitely took turns I didn’t expect, but it finished in a way that was deeply satisfying despite also being quite somber.
From the beginning of the first book, I’ve always wondered exactly how Amara’s story would intersect with the tragedy of Vesuvius. The Temple of Fortuna finally showed me. I won’t spoil exactly how it all goes down. I’ll just say that the author did a fantastic job of tying in historical accounts while also making the story intensely personal to these characters. I shed tears a few times while reading, and all of the vivid detail brought the horrifying disaster to life in a way I won’t soon forget.
Amara has changed so much, but at her core is a strength and uncompromising desire to be in control of her own destiny. I haven’t always liked her or the choices she’s made, but I have respected the resolve it took for her to make hard decisions without a good option. At the start of The Temple of Fortuna, she’s at the heights of her ambition and power, and she struggled to avoid getting lost in the privilege and wealth of her new station. She never forgot where she came from, though, and did her best to avoid perpetuating the cycle of trauma she experienced herself. Her past haunted her, but she did her best to put it behind her.
The Temple of Fortuna took Amara to some of her highest highs and lowest lows. I enjoyed following her journey and will be on the lookout for whatever this author writes next. My only complaint is that I wanted more. lol. The first third of this book gave a taste of Amara’s life in Rome, working to procure information by using her relationships with other courtesans at court. I would have loved to get an entire book of this type of intrigue, but it also worked well as an opening piece to this story. So, I guess I’m satisfied.
I honestly cannot think of anything negative to say about The Temple of Fortuna. The prose was gorgeous, as with the other books in the trilogy, and I was transported to ancient Rome from the first page. The story kept a great pace and brought Amara’s story to a beautiful and thrilling end. It has solidified this series as one of my favorites. Therefore, I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Have you read The Temple of Fortuna or any of the other Wolf Den books? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments!