In a dystopian Ancient Rome, enslaved prostitutes are brainwashed to eat and sleep only after sex. Love is a concept exclusive to the elite. Sex is a means of survival for the powerless.
During the last days of the republic, a surly teenage girl called Matt-Lin is trafficked to the titular brothel, where she uses a hidden strength and intelligence to seek a way out.
The Lupanarium is the first book in The Many Trials of Matt-Lin and Jak, a series that draws from modern human trafficking, and explores how trauma survivors struggle to find freedom, retribution, healing, and love. With the amount of sex in the series, it would be easy to categorize it “erotica” or “pornography.” However, this book’s primary function is not to titillate. Instead, it comments on, critiques, and satirizes these genres, subverting tropes that often serve to normalize rape culture. This book comes with a graphic content warning for its depictions of sexual assault and child rape.