Rise of the Wolf - Jennifer A. Nielsen

Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Rise of the Wolf is another amazing book in the Mark of the Thief Series.  The story takes place two months after book one, Mark of the Thief.  This historical fiction/fantasy novel takes place during the Roman Empire three hundred years after Julius Caesar’s death.  The story is suitable for young adults. 


Rise of the Wolf starts out with Nicolas Calva learning how to race chariots and living with his grandfather, Radulf, and sister, Livia.  Nic has a new group of adversaries, the Preators, the judges and governors of Rome.  They are headed by Decimas Brutus, a descendant of Marcus Brutus.  The Preators are a dangerous group that can stop magic with a touch.  They worship the goddess Diana and want to destroy Rome.  To do this, they want to use Nic by having him retrieve the Malice of Mars, a powerful amulet that gives the owner victory in battle.


Nic is a great character.  He is strong, courageous, clever, and noble.  Being a former slave, his ultimate goal is to have freedom.  He has grown tremendously throughout this series.  I felt he was much wiser than his older grandfather.  I also like Aurelia.  She has become a good friend to Nic.  She is loyal and brave.  She cares for the greater good. 


I loved the introduction of Callistus the unicorn that Radulf gives to Nic.  I also respected that Nic feels that the unicorn should be free.


My favorite quote in the novel was from the vestalis, “Victory comes in protecting those you love, not destroying those you hate,” very wise words.


Jennifer A. Nielsen does a fantastic job with her descriptions in this story.   I was especially impressed with how she explains the feel of the different types of magic.  I loved the plot.  It was well executed and thrilling.  There was a great use of foreshadowing.   There were unexpected plot twists.  Nothing ever seemed to go as planned for Nic because his friends or family seemed to always unintentionally mess up his strategies.  The ending was intense leaving me anticipating the next book.


I think people that enjoy Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and The Heroes of Olympus Series would enjoy the Mark of the Thief Series.  I am very certain my thirteen-year-old son, and his friends would love this book and suggested they read it.  The Mark of the Thief Series would make an excellent movie.


Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review.