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Mark of the Thief

About the book: 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.

My review: Jennifer Nielsen is a master at writing great young adult fiction! I love the way that she writes, this book is set in ancient Rome, and our young hero Nic is a slave being forced to enter a sealed cavern that has already killed one other slave and made another one crazy. Nic initially tries to hide and is found and forced into the cavern without his consent, mainly to protect his younger sister. 

I loved the sense of magic and adventure that is a big part of the plot of this book. Nic's simply putting on a bulla and having vast amounts of strength and power awakens my imagination, just like it will the teen readers that this book is written for. Nic goes on tons of adventures and he's almost always getting himself into scrapes that he either needs the magic of the bulla to escape from or help from Aurelia, a girl who was being paid to help hold Nic hostage. 

This is an amazing book, written for teenagers, but anyone who loves to read books about magic or adventure will love every last word!

I was able to borrow this book from my local library.

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