What is the “Mark” of the Thief?


Jennifer A. Nielsen has produced another spectacular book “Mark of the Thief” where Nic, a slave in the mines on the outskirts of Rome, is sent into a cave to retrieve a bulla. But this was not just any cave, considering that inside of it were thousands of bars and objects made completely of solid gold. This was where the great war-winning demi-god Julius Caesar hid his treasures.


However, Nic was sent into the cave to receive one thing, a golden bulla. A bulla is a childhood gold necklace made for wealthy children. But, while retrieving it a gryphon whom he named Caela gave him a large stinging gash on his back. Though as Nic touched the bulla, the gryphon (Caela) immediately stopped attacking him, and when the walls started to collapse, Caela let Nic ride on her back out of the cave, through a lake, and finally into fresh air.


I really did not expect it when Nic’s owner sold him instead of killing him after his escape. I also wish that the author went into more detail about the room with Julius Caesar’s treasure.


In the story Nic finds himself in the middle of a rebellion against the emperor by General Radulf. The gold necklace on the picture on the left that you are looking at is a bulla. There is something else really shocking about the bulla, but you will have to read the book to find out.


“Runaway slave, stolen magic, and a war to bring an empire to its knees” — three great reasons to read “Mark of the Thief”. But trust me, it is way better reading it in the book than here.


This is a chapter book with no pictures. It has 352 pages full of words. It is slightly violent but has creativity and excitement. This is the first of a series by Jennifer A. Nielsen, but she has also written other books. I recommend this book for ages 9-15 because anyone younger would not like the plot, and older people might not enjoy it as much.