Review: Mark of the Thief by Kate M.

Review: Mark of the Thief
by Kate M., age 11

After being wowed by Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Ascendance Trilogy, I couldn’t wait for the release of the first book – Mark of the Thief – in her brand-new Praetor War series. Mark of the Thief offers everything you have come to expect from a Jennifer A. Nielsen book: adventure, excitement, brave but stubborn characters, and a twist.

In this first book we meet our unlikely hero Nic, a young, slight slave who works in the mines outside of Rome with his younger sister Livia. The siblings were left there by their mother who was sold to a family near Rome. Their father was struck dead by lightning when Nic was younger. The excitement starts on page one when Nic is being forced by his owner Sal into a deep shaft cave to seek the hidden treasure of Julius Caesar. The lost treasure is rumored to be cursed and guarded by Caesar’s ghost. However, before Nic is dropped into the shaft the big, bad villain General Radulf of the Roman army privately tells Nic, “If it is truly Caesar’s lost treasure down there, then you will look for only one thing, a bulla made entirely of gold.” In the cave Nic is attacked by a Griffin and left with a deep, painful scratch. He does find the bulla, just in time too, before the whole cave collapses. The bulla, as you may have guessed, is magic and Nic’s life is not the same from that moment on.

I enjoyed this book, not only because of its suspenseful scenes, but also because of its strong, brave female character, Aurelia, who accompanies Nic on his journey. I would recommend this book for readers who love can’t-put-it-down adventure stories and historical fiction. I purchased Mark of the Thief in the teen section of my bookstore, but I think it would be a good read for anyone aged 11 or older. I can’t wait to read book #2 in the Praetor War series in 2016


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