Wednesday, February 11, 2015

ARC Review: Mark of the Thief (Mark of the Thief #1) by Jennifer A. Nielson

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Expected Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 5 Stars

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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.

This is my first book by Nielson and I must say that I've already went and bought the Asendence series because her writing is wonderful. High fantasy is looking to be one of my favorite genres to read. I felt like the characters were easy to identify with and the setting of the story was magical. The setting and tone of the book was perfect; it made me want to go to Rome. It's a world that's scary to even think about living in. It's amazing how well Nielson built this world and made it seem so real.

 Nic is a slave that works in the mines when he's thrust upon finding a treasure that was Julius Caesars. It's said to have magical powers beyond belief but when Nic gets it, it brings him nothing but trouble! With a magical creature by his side and a fiercely independent yet beautiful girl; Nic will do whatever it takes to save Rome. But how can he when there's a high price for his head and there isn't anyone he can trust. Meaning, they all want to use him for their own gain. Sounds horrible but that's his life.

Along with almost getting killed at every corner, Nic has to worry about saving his sister's life. Then their is the beautiful girl I was talking about earlier. Her name is Aurelia and she is a bad ass. Plain and simple. I enjoyed this particular character very much because even though she tried acting like a tough biotch, she had an underline vulnerability. Which is why she offers to help Nic. Now she admits she's doing this for monetary gain, but there are times when her actions seriously prove otherwise.

Could she possibly be a contender for as a love interest as well? Hmm...well I guess you would have to read the book to find out. Hah!

A character people may love to hate is Sage, the guy who oversees Nic in the mines. That guy is seriously a jerk! From the very beginning of the story he makes Nic's life a living hell. Luckily our boy doesn't let anything get him down. 

Traitors, villians, and fights to the death, oh my!

 To say I enjoyed this is an understatement. I adored everything about Mark of the Thief. The action was great, there were hints of romance, and I even enjoyed the villain. I have no doubt that teens and adults will enjoy this story about an underdog who fights his way to the top.

*Thank you to Scholastic for providing a review copy for an honest review.

Buy Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon CA available March 1

About the Author:
Jennifer lives at the base of a very tall mountain in Northern Utah with her husband, three children, and a naughty puppy. She loves the smell of rainy days, hot chocolate, and old books, preferably all at once. She is a former speech teacher, theater director, and enjoyed a brief but disastrous career as a door-to-door pollster. In her spare time, Jennifer tends to panic, wondering what she has forgotten to do that has allowed her any spare time.   

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