Knocking other people backward, disappearing and appearing out of nowhere, and protecting yourself and your friends with an invisible shield are all things that magic can do! So, when Radulf, the Roman general, comes around to the mines where slaves work, one naughty slave is told to fetch Caesar’s Bulla from a cave. Who is that slave? Nicolas Calva, who will not back down from anyone. Not even his masters!
After Nicolas is let down into the cave where he needs to grab Caesar’s Bulla, he meets a griffin. This griffin is not an ordinary griffin, though. It is the griffin who guards the Bulla! As Nic tries to grab the bulla, he has to fend off the half-lion, half-eagle magical creature.
Following his successful attempt of obtaining the bulla, Nic endures many struggles. Radulf, the general, is after him and he wants the bulla for himself. Roman soldiers are ready to capture him at every cost!
This book is a thrilling ride that does not disappoint. Nic learns about friendship and trust throughout this novel, and a lot of the lessons that he learns can be used in our lives, too.
Throughout his encounters with Caela the griffin, Nic learns how to care for someone else other than himself or his sister. After living in the mines for 5 years and not knowing life other than difficult days and starving stomachs, Nic was able to understand that there are things in life that are enjoyable, too. The bulla helped Nic get out of the mines, and as a result, Nic learned about the lives of the Romans.
This novel is the first of a 3 book trilogy, so Nic’s journey is longer than just one book!
The author, Jennifer A. Nielsen did a great job making these stories really intriguing and exhilarating. This book is definitely one of my favorite books that I have read this year and I recommend it to anyone interested in stories about magic.
I would give this novel a 10/10 rating because of how the author added important lessons using events and characters. She did a great job of including plot twists to create excitement for the reader just as the story started to slow down.
The Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen is available from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.