Book Review: “Mark of the Thief”


Publisher: Scholastic

Mailynn Nguyen, Writer

Book by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Publisher: Scholastic

Mark of the Thief is a fantasy novel based in Ancient Rome. It includes magic, history, and mythology.


Nicolas Calva, called Nic by his superiors, is a slave in the mines of Ancient Rome. Although he has survived the harsh conditions of the mines so far, he’s nearly certain he’ll die from being overworked within the foreseeable future.


One day, however, Nic is forced to help a general with suspicious records to find the mysterious pendant that Julius Caesar once owned. Supposedly, this pendant, called a bulla, wields the magic and power of the Roman gods. When Nic does find the bulla and learns to control its power, he becomes responsible for the fate of the Roman Empire, and possibly the world. But why and how could just one boy and a bulla affect anything more than his life? He soon finds out that the power of the bulla, when united with three other sacred artifacts, could be used to either instigate or prevent a future war amongst the Roman gods.


Jennifer Nielsen is also the author of many other fantasy novels based on history. Her latest story, debuted at the 2018 National Book Festival, is called Resistance.


Mark of the Thief is a great book that you can check out at the Jefferson Library or Arlington Public Library.