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Mark of the Thief

Mark of the Thief

Written by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Narrated by MacLeod Andrews


Mark of the Thief

Written by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Narrated by MacLeod Andrews

ratings:
4.5/5 (147 ratings)
Length:
8 hours
Released:
Mar 1, 2015
ISBN:
9780545788571
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Jennifer A. Nielsen, author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Ascendance Trilogy, has woven an electrifying tale of greed and power, magic and destiny, and one boy's courage at the heart of it all.

When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods — magic some Romans would kill for.

Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic's newfound powers for their own dark purposes. In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire's most powerful and savage leaders.

Released:
Mar 1, 2015
ISBN:
9780545788571
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Jennifer Nielsen lives at the base of a very tall mountain in Northern Utah with her husband, three children, and a naughty puppy. She wishes to make it clear that most Yetis are not as threatening as the one in this book. Sadly, she cannot say the same for Centaurs. Visit www.jennielsen.com

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Reviews

What people think about Mark of the Thief

4.3
147 ratings / 16 Reviews
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Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds himself in possession of an ancient amulet filled with magic once reserved for the Gods, and becomes the center of a conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and destroy Rome.
  • (4/5)
    Nic is a slave in the mines in ancient Rome. He is forced to try to steal an old amulet of Cesar, said to place a curse on any who attempt it. He escapes a cave-in to find his life has totally changed, and not necessarily for the better. He is taken prisoner for the amulet and its magical power and a griffin he found in the caves that he seems to be able to communicate with. They both are doomed to death entertaining the crowds in the colosseum, but there is more at stake than just the lives of a boy and a griffin. This mix of history, fantasy and adventure is the first in the Praetor War series and recommended for grades 5-8.
  • (4/5)
    Nic has worked as a slave in the mines, separated from his parents, he and his sister take care of each other. When a power hungry General appears at the mind determined to find a bulla once owned by Caeser. Nic stumbles into Caesar's treasure room and the griffin guarding this gold. Once he has the bulla and the magical mark, he becomes hunted and desired for his power. Soon Nic finds himself embroiled in a struggle for the future of Rome and a fight for his very survival. A bit slow in the middle of the narrative, but it may have been the audiobook format.
  • (4/5)
    I have never read this author's prior series. I picked up this book for my nephews thinking they would enjoy it. I had a good time reading it. I had to check it out to make sure it was right for them. While there is danger with blood spilling, it was mind and not gory. So my nephews who are 10 and 11 years old will be fine with this. There is a lot of action packed into this book. This is a really good thing as I was not bored and my nephews will not be either. I like the way the author really brought to life the story of Rome, the legend of Caesar, and Nic. A fun way to learn a little about history although maybe not all true while at the same time reading a good book.
  • (4/5)
    I was a fan of Ms. Nielsen's Ascendence series, and this first book in her new series does not disappoint! It is action packed from start to finish.
  • (5/5)
    Nic is a slave in the mines near Rome. One day he is asked to go down into a cave to retrieve an amulet. It turns out the amulet is being guarded by a griffin. The griffin scratches him and gives him magical powers. He has to try to save his own life (because many other people want the amulet) navigate the political system of Rome (highly corrupt politicians) and save his sister's life.
  • (5/5)
    Good book decent ending exciting and fun and will not disappoint
  • (5/5)
    It was exciting all the was though! amazing good. Definitely a page-turner. A must read.
  • (4/5)
    Captivating book. Lots of suspense and mystery. I’m not a huge fan of the magic but it’s still an enjoyable story.
  • (5/5)
    O my O my... loved the story... Slaves Gods Roman Empire magic and so much more at one place. I specially loved the narrator. Story and the narrator are so good that you finish the book in a blink of an eye
  • (2/5)
    It took a long time to get started. Very wordy and the story was a bit obvious. Okay read
  • (4/5)
    This is great - loved the first book - brought me back to the excitement of The False Prince! But this time with mythical beasts and Roman Empires.
  • (5/5)
    Good adventure story.
  • (4/5)
    A fantasy novel set in a mythical Rome, Mark of the Thief, is about trust and betrayal.Nic is a slave who works in the mines. He dreams of being free, being his own person, but he can’t run until he can do so safety with his sister, the only person he loves. Unfortunately, destiny has a different course for him. Forced to explore a cave where Julius Caesar’s lost treasure is supposed to be, Nic finds a griffin he must fight in order to get a medallion, called a bulla. The head general, Radulf, plainly states that he isn’t to put it on. Nic has to because he needs his hands. Magic immediately begins coursing through him and the griffin comes to him. Life is now changed. Nic is taken to Rome, a place full of politics--everyone wants the power that Nic has. Who does he trust? Can he trust anyone? Nic’s life is constantly in danger as he runs, fights, learns magic, and meets the leaders of Roman. The gods can back him and give him more magic or the magic can be taken from him. Someone has Nic’s sister, but he doesn’t know who, so he has to stay and fight. Every character’s motives must be questioned so that Nic can save Rome and his family.This novel is a solid middle school novel. The novel is well-paced and full of intrigue. You never know who you can trust or what will happen next. The ending leaves Nic in a precarious situation, so you’ll have to wait for book two to see what happens. You’ll like the book if you like magic, adventure, betrayal, and good vs. evil.
  • (5/5)
    Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Mark of the Thief is an excellent start to the series. This historical fiction/fantasy novel takes place during the Roman Empire three hundred years after Julius Caesar’s death. Mine slave, Nicolas Calva, discovers the Bulla of Julius Caesar in a sealed cavern. The amulet gives him magical abilities allowing him to talk to animals and added strength. All he wants is his freedom, but he finds himself trying to stop a plot to destroy Rome.I loved this story that is suitable for young adults. Jennifer A. Nielsen does a fantastic job with the historical aspect and plot of this novel. I like Nic. He is hard working, brave, and devoted to his sister Livia. I enjoyed his relationship with Caela, the Griffin. I loved Nic’s appreciation for food, and all the things that a free person would take for granted. Nic undergoes a lot in this story. He has no idea who he can trust. Radulf is a worthy opponent. The Roman General will do anything in his power to crush the empire. I found his connection to Nic interesting. Mark of the Thief is a great new historical fiction/fantasy. This book kept me mesmerized and was hard to put down. I would love to see this book turned into a movie.Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
  • (3/5)
    I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. I was very excited to read it because I really loved the first two books in Nielsen's Ascendance trilogy. I didn't like this book nearly as much as Nielsen's Ascendance trilogy; I just had trouble engaging with and enjoying the protagonist of the story.Nic is a slave in some mines outside of Rome. When he is forced to enter the cursed tomb of Julius Caesar he finds more than just gold and gems, he finds a magical bulla and a griffin. When the griffin marks him and he puts on the bulla Nic finds himself able to command some serious magic skills. Unfortunately everyone wants this bulla and Nic finds himself drawn into the politics of Rome and involved in conflicts with some of its leading rulers.This book was okay. It's basically a historical fantasy set in Roman times. There are some magic elements like a magic bulla, characters that can use magic, and a griffin. However mostly the book is about power struggles between the various leaders of Rome.I didn’t like Nic much as a main character, he was hard to engage with. Also he has supposedly been a slave most of his life, but he never really acts all that slave like. This is dealt with very inconsistently. At one point he is struggling to look people in the eyes and other characters are reminding him he’s not a slave. At other points he is challenging generals very brashly...his behavior is just all over the place and it made for an awkward story.None of the supporting characters really stood out for me. They were all very stereotypical. Additionally, all the twists and turns in the story were very predictable. My last complaint is that I thought the dialogue between characters was a bit simple and very awkward at points. All the negative comments aside, this was an interesting idea and I did enjoy the fight scenes in the arena. The magic the characters use was intriguing and I really enjoyed the ancient Rome setting.Overall this was an okay historical fantasy series. I enjoyed the setting and some of the action scenes, but I thought the plot was predictable and the characters were hard to engage with. I probably won't be readying any more of this series. There are just too many wonderful middle grade/YA fantasy series out there.