Mark of the Thief – Cover Reveal!

Posted by on Jun 6, 2014 in Uncategorized | 173 comments

To those who’ve asked what I’m working on now, here it is! MARK OF THE THIEF will release on FEBRUARY 24, 2015.

MARK OF THE THIEF is Book 1 of a new series by the same name (yeah, no creativity put into naming the series). It takes place in Ancient Rome with an escaped Roman slave, some stolen magic, and a battle to control the fall of an empire.


It’s an alternate history of the Roman Empire, but a lot of the story is based on actual facts. Such as:

* Emperor Julius Caesar used to claim he was a literal descendent of the Goddess Venus.images-4

So I thought…hmm, what if he was telling the truth? That would’ve made him a Demigod. What if he had magic before he was killed? What happened to his magic afterward?

* The lowest existence in Rome was for mining slaves. Because the work was so dangerous, the average mining slave lived only seven years.

So I thought…hmm, what if that’s my hero? Nic, a mining slave who has nothing else to lose. Except those he loves. What if he discovers Caesar’s lost magic?


* The Colosseum wasn’t known by that name in Ancient Rome. They simply called it the Amphitheater, and it could hold about 50,000 Romans, all who were invited free of charge to watch the games.

Hmm, what if we introduced some magic in the Amphitheater? A magic which Nic has no ideahow to use or control.

* Part of the games involved a Venatio or hunt. They would fight each other to the death, or animal hunters would take part in the battles.

And what if one of those animals belonged to the Gods? A griffin, perhaps?


Here is the Goodreads description: The new series follows a boy in ancient Rome where powerful forces struggle for control of a hidden magic; the boy becomes embroiled in a fight for freedom, survival, and the safety of the future.

You’ll see a lot about this book over the next several months, including giveaways for advance copies later this fall. If you enjoyed The False Prince, I think you’ll enjoy this too. Though the heroes have some differences, they are for similar readers.


Finally, to answer a few questions:

1. It’s listed on Goodreads as The Praetor War series.

Yeah, for now. That was an old series title. Publishing works that way sometimes. Ignore it. The series name is Mark of the Thief.

2. Does this mean you aren’t publishing any more books in the Ascendance Trilogy?

It means I’m not publishing any more right now. If Jaron comes knocking at my imagination again, then we’ll see. But for now, my focus is on this series and the standalone book, A Night Divided (Fall 2015).

3. Any movie news?

It’s not related to this post in any way, but since I get asked this question A LOT, here’s the status: Nothing new. There probably will not be any news until February 2015, when the contract option with Paramount expires. At that point, they will decide yes or no, and I will have almost nothing to do with that decision. If/when there is news, I will shout it out here on the blog first.

Credit for the book’s cover design goes to Christopher Stengel and jacket artwork by Larry Rostant. My warmest thanks to them for their immense talents!


  1. Nice title and it sounds really interesting! Ooh, another thief… 🙂

    And I edited the series title and added the cover on Goodreads for you. If you ever need anything changed next time, post it in the Goodreads librarians group or just post it on your blog, I’ll see it. 😉

    • Thanks, Wendy!

      • Hi I would love to know when ur publishing the next book of mark of the thief

        • Hi Maisy – I’ll release the next book next February. I should be able to release the cover soon. It’s going to be epic!

          • Awesome thanks for letting me know your books are really exiting to read

          • Thanks, Maisy!

          • I understand that it takes some time for the process of writing and then publishing. But, oh my goodness, the agony of waiting for another year to find out more about Nic and the war is just torture. LOVED the book….excited for the next one!

          • Yeah, being forced to have patience in this industry drives me crazy too. I’m just as excited to release the book as readers are to read it, but unfortunately, there is always a lot of wait time involved. Thank you, though.

          • What the protagonist and antagonist

          • I hope you got this figured out, Oscar!

    • im so excided im going to explode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i cant explain how happy i am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Thank you, Tammi! (But don’t explode, because, y’know…it’d be gross, right?) 😉

    • Ms. Nielson I absoulutely LOVED your false prince series and I know that this one will be equally as good and compelling.


  2. Oooo, this sounds awesome!!! Cant wait and the cover is awesome 🙂

  3. Ooooh it’s going to be an alternate history? It sounds awesome! Can’t wait.

  4. Awesome! History always facinates me but jennifer you make it more interesting 🙂 and the cover is spectacularly amazing

  5. Yay! I’m so excited. It sounds awesome. Looking forward to it.

  6. Both Sammy and I are excited to read this! Are you coming to Changing Hands any time soon?
    – Wendy Rosen Johnson

    • I’ll probably be in that area this fall, though I haven’t heard anything final on that. Hmm, maybe I should check, right? Thanks, Wendy!

  7. Omg this is so interesting I cant wait for the book to come out the cover is amazing

  8. Both thr cover and the story plot look awesome! Can’t wait for 2014 tho.

  9. Hooray, Jen! I can’t wait to read this, and my students who are WAY into mythology and gods/demigods are going to be so psyched for it, too. Congratulations!

    • Thanks so much, Tara! It definitely draws on some Roman mythology, which I’m excited about!

  10. can u pls tell us more about Nic’s personality? and if hes anything like Jaron? pretty pls?

    • All I can say now, RC, is that he has some similarities and differences with Jaron. But I hope you’ll like him too!

  11. It looks amazing! I can’t wait to read it!

  12. Yay! I’m so excited for this! I love anything about Rome or Roman mythology. I recently read The Ascendance Trilogy, and they are now some of my favorite books! I loved the plot twists, and how they kept me guessing about what was going to happen!

  13. I’ve been so excited for A Night Divided and Mark of The Thief sounds wonderful can’t wait!

  14. Loved the False Prince…very excited for this series as well!

  15. Ms Jennifer I made a comic on the false prince which was pretty cool I want you to see it but im really not sure how to. I know you will like it because I worked really hard on it.

  16. This sounds fascinating. I love hearing about the inspiration behind books. Congrats!

  17. Cannot wait. Thank you for everything

  18. Thank you!

  19. If its good enough maybe you can upload it on your blog but first i need to figure a way out to show it to you 🙂 I really want you to see it Its not complete yet but the book is long and Hopefully i will get it finished it by the summer I want you to see what I did so far.

    • Cool! a comic strip I would love to see it! what does sage look like!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to see it so bad omg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Hi Jennifer I made a comic strip for the false prince and i really want to show you!!!! But my crazy computer won’t let me!!! I worked really hard on it Its not finished but I want your advice on it so far. Do you have any idea how I can send it to you 🙂 i would be really happy If you got to see it soo far.

    • Whenever you’re ready, please send it. Instructions are in the email.

  20. OOOOOO hey mrs jennifer! sooooo ecxited to talk to you! you my idol i love your books and can’t wait till the new ones you are amazing and and a super righter i like to read your books it really easy for me to read your books thank you for taking ur busy time for me.

  21. I can’t wait! I love mixed history stories. My friends and I are counting down to Feburary 2015! 🙂

  22. Omg!I love that you are still writing books!After reading The False Prince I immediately fell in love with it and the other books!You also immediately became my favorite author!I was thrilled when people said you were going to publish Mark of the Thief.Can’t wait!I NEED to read it!Best wishes for your book!:)

    • Thank you, Ruby! And yes, I’ll be writing until many years from now when they pull the pen from my stiff, cold hand. 😉

  23. Hey Jennifer! Will you be having a book release party for this one? I would love to make it to one of those.

    • Yes, though I haven’t yet figured out any details for it, or a date. Probably need to start thinking about it, though. Hmmm….

  24. I shared it! I am really excited to see my comic on this website 🙂 your the best! I Think you the best author in the world and you should keep calm and write on 🙂 thank you for everything 🙂

  25. Can’t wait to read it!!!
    261 days, 7 hours, 26 minutes, 47 seconds until it comes out BTW.

  26. So, since you already posted a whole thing about THERE IS NO MOVIE NEWS…
    Any movie news?
    LOL jk.
    How old is Nic? How long is the book? How long until the second one comes out (yeah, I’m impatient)? Can you move the publishing date to June 9? (probably not)
    Finally, how many books have you written and how many are going to be in the series?

    • Um, most of those details will be released soon. I can tell you that it’s planned for another trilogy, and when it’s released, it’ll be my eighth book.

  27. OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!! I’ve been waiting for this post for FOREVER!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!! I love history, and my big topics that i love to research is medieval times (The False Prince), Roman and Greek mythology (The Percy Jackson series {both} and now Mark of the Thief too), and Eygptian and Norsk mythology (The Red Pyramid and so to be in 2015 a new series by Rick Riordan about Norsk mythology). So ya, if I hadn’t made it clear before…I am REALLY excited about this. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thank you, Anna! I’m really excited about it as well – and super glad you’re already into a lot of those same themes!

  28. YES! When is the release tdate for this? Also, I’m sooooooooooooooooooooooo excited! Can’t wait to get my hands on this book! (LOL: I’ll probably finish it i a day :))

    • What! FEBRUARY! I can’t wait that long! ;(

    • February 24, 2015. I’ll probably do giveaways for advance copies later this year.

      • I got this book on February 12th. I got it before the release date. Hope this isn’t too late to say.

  29. Did you see the comic? if you did not get it just let me know

    Thank you

    • I absolutely LOVED it, Fajjar! It made me think of how cool the book would be as a graphic novel. Excellent mix of dialogue from the book with your own additions. Thanks so much for sharing it with me!

      • I am so happy that you like it! I should be the one thanking you for taking your busy time out for reading my comic i am really happy that i actually got some feed back from you!!!! I can’t wait for The mark of the thief It seems like an awesome book! Thank you for reading my comic 🙂 🙂 😉

        • Are you kidding? You created that awesome comic – the honor was mine! Thank you again!

  30. OMG! So excited! I love the cover and the topic. I am so into Roman mythology. This is #1 on my reading list 🙂

  31. I really can’t wait I seriously will be the first one buying this book me and my friend Aqsa already have a plan of how we will be the first ones in line 🙂

  32. After reading the Ascendance Trilogy you’ve become one of my favorite authors. I’m looking forward to this book although you don’t understand how much I’m going to miss reading about Jaron(I absolutely loved all three books and him)
    Anyways I have a few questions. The decision on whether or not the movie will be made is based on what? Will it be based on how well known the book is by 2015? And you’re saying that there might be a possibility that you’ll write another book for the Ascendance Trilogy? I’m really hoping you will!

    • Thanks Adriana! The decision will be based on Paramount’s enthusiasm for the screenplay, projected budget, other projects they may have on board, etc. And it’s always possible that I’ll write a fourth book, though nothing is currently in the plans.

      • oh god, thank you for replying! Can’t wait to hear more news about everything

  33. I LOVE the Ascendance Trilogy! I think Sage is one of the best fictitious character EVER written. I admire your writing and love how your style and genre has inspired me! I can’t wait to read the Shadowed Throne!

    • Thank you, Joziah!

      • I was thinking: Why don’t the Carthyans have British accents (like Cambridge, England) and the Avenians have American accents (Avenia, America, see the resemblance.)?

  34. It sounds truly great and I can’t wait to read another great book from you! You’ve inspired me to become a young writer myself, and I’m working on the first of many drafts on my currenty untitled story that hopefully might be published in a few years. I just want to say thank you for providing me with something good to read in my free time. I can always count on you to write a riveting tale!

  35. If Nic’s anything like Sage, he’ll be amazing. Jennifer, you are my all time favourite author!
    PS. Have you seen the fanart people have done on your characters on Deviantart? It’s so cool, and everyone’s comments are about how much they love your books! 😀

    • That’s awesome, Leo – thanks so much! I’ve seen some of Deviantart’s fan art but not all. Thanks for letting me know – I’ll check it out!

    • Leo, I doubt even Jennifer could outwrite Sage! Though I’m sure Nic’ll be amazing too 🙂

  36. What a nice book cover for the Mark of the thief, also I like the story plot 🙂 Can’t wait to read that one. I also love the Night Divided story plot as well 🙂

  37. Ms. Nielsen, you are indeed the coolest author ever, I love the ascendance trilogy and the Mark of the thief sounds amazing! I am a huge mythology fan and I cant wait to see what happens, the concept sounds really cool and I have a feeling I will fall for the Protagonist as quickly as I did for Sage / Jaron / ruler of all things awesome and sarcastic. Huzzah!
    P.S on a random note, when can I please celebrate Jaron’s/ Imogen birthday and eat cake?

    • Aw thanks, Joan. I hope you’ll love Nic too – there are some traits he has like Jaron’s, and some that are unique to him. You can eat birthday cake for Jaron on May 7th and for Imogen on December 9th!

  38. MEEP! Why can’t I have a time machine and just skip to when it comes out!! >.> I knew I should of paid more attention in Science, but you’re books were just too good!
    Anyways, I can’t wait to do a comparison of Sage/Jaorn [Sage will always be a person in my heart ^-^] and that new character in your book!

  39. This sounds amazing!! Can’t wait to read it!!

  40. Yeah I have absolutely no choice but to read this book now :D!!

  41. Finally! I’ve been really psyched to hear about this! The concept already sounds amazing, and I’m dying to meet Nic! The main thing I loved about Jaron though, was his cleverness and wit. I wonder if Nic will be like that? Or is he going to be a more traditional protagonist? Either way, I can’t wait to find out!

    • Nic has some traits in common with Jaron and others that are unique to him. But I hope you’ll like Nic just as much!

  42. I got “Mark of the Thief” last week at a book fair and am more or less halfway through the book. I LOVE it so far. I think it’d make a great movie as well. I have one question – how do you pronounce the name Caela? Thank you so much!

    • Thanks so much, Paige – I couldn’t be happier to hear that you’re enjoying the read so far. Her name is pronounced with a long a – so Kay-lah.

  43. My son has this book now and loves it, he got it from his book fair at school. He is already asking about book 2 because he noticed the side of the book says book 1. Any idea when he can expect it?

    • That’s awesome, Angelica! I’m actually in the editing process right now with Book 2, which takes place in the chariot races and just gets more dangerous. But it’ll be another year until it comes out – sorry that’s so far away! Luckily, there are so many awesome books for him until then!

  44. By taking the first letters of the title…
    you get MOTT! (As in the Ascendance Trilogy character)

    • My editor and I actually discovered this together and had a big laugh about it. It just shows how hard it is to ever get away from Jaron, right?

      • Is that even possible? ; )

  45. I looked up Julius Caesar on wikipedia and found this “Caesar’s adopted heir Octavius, later known as Augustus, rose to sole power after defeating his opponents in the civil war.”
    Did you know about this Octavius when you created the character with this name? Just curoius…

    • Hmm, no Paige, I didn’t know that with Valerius. It was just a name that I liked. Interesting though!

  46. Never mind. Sorry. I was thinking about Octavius. : )

  47. …I mean Valerius. That’s the second time!

  48. ..Just ignore me. : )

  49. Um, I have a simple question, why do i have the book? It say’s it comes out on February 24 2015, but my friend randomly got it in book orders late January or early February. I was wondering if it came out on a different date? I couldn’t wait for it to come out, only to think it came out in a few weeks, so I was surprised to see it in my friends bag. Oh, and any certain date for when the next book will be out?

    • Hi Nobel! It’s kind of weird how book releases can happen with Scholastic. So yeah, the hardcover and official release of the book is on Feb 24. But the school paperback releases through the school fair a little earlier.

      My next book release is a standalone called A NIGHT DIVIDED. That takes place in August 25th. Since school isn’t in session in most places by then, the hardcover will be the first place it releases.

  50. This book was amazing please please publish a second

    • Many thanks, Blaine – I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m editing the second book right now!

  51. When will the next one come out?

    • It’ll be another year, but I love the story, Ryan and I think it’ll be worth waiting for!

  52. One of my students came in today asking for the sequel so this must be good! I assume we’ll have to wait a year?

    • Yep, it’ll probably be February 2016 when Book 2 is released. But tell your student it’ll be worth the wait – it’s gonna be epic!

  53. Loved the book, super great ending i liked the twist ending! I hope a new one comes out soon, kepp up the good work. ☺

  54. Is there going to be a book 2 to this book?

    • LOVED THE BOOK!!!!


    • Yup! In Book 2, Nic will be headed to the chariot races. It’s going to be epic!

  55. I am sooo excited about the second book! I feel like I’m gonna explode if I don’t get my hands on it soon. I hope it’s in school library like the whole false prince series was ( which was one of the best series ever with one of the best names involved, which is sage of course.) also, I liked how you made it so you could see the similarity between nic and jaron, but didn’t make them both very talented like jaron and instead made nic not so talented.
    And one last thing, I like all the twists you added in the book, like how Aurelia’s dad was horatio and radulff was nic’s grandpa.

    • Thanks very much, Sage! I’m glad you enjoyed Book 1 and I hope you’ll enjoy the second book just as much – it’s going to be epic!

  56. Ive just finished Mark Of The Theif and I am wondering when the next one will be out?


    • Hi Leif! I’m afraid it’ll be a while. Mark of the Thief 2 is scheduled to release next February, and it’s going to be EPIC! Fingers crossed they move the pub date up, right?

  57. hi ms. Nielsen, I just finished reading the mark of the thief and I am superrrrrrrrrrr excited for the 2nd one !!!!!!!!! nic and Aurelia grabbed my attention and the whole book in general was veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy fun to read. I think u are an absolutely amazing writer and I will be waiting fro the 2nd book in the trilogy. have u thought of a name yet for the next book?

    • Hi Manvi, I’m so glad you enjoyed Mark of the Thief! I do have a title for the second book, though it hasn’t been released yet. I hope I’ll get to announce it soon!

      • hey I’m wondering when will the 2nd book come out I read the first one and it was sooooo amazing!!!

        • Hey, Mr. Anonymous (If that is your real name 😉 ) – I’m very glad that you enjoyed the first book. The second one will probably be released in February 2016. I should be able to release the cover and title very soon!

  58. I just read Mark of the Thief!!! I’m fourteen and I love your writing!! Especially The False Prince Series.They are all amazing!!! Mark of the Thief has a good ending! So exited for more to come!!!! 🙂

  59. What is the second book to mark of the thief?

  60. Dear Ms. Nielsen,

    One of my students is continually asking for the 2nd book! We can not wait! They would also like to share: Gabriel “It was a great book!!”, Jenny “It was enjoyable”, Darnell “It was one of a kind”, Jefferson “It was wonderful”, Anita “Loved the book and it was mysterious”. As the teacher it gave me an opportunity to introduce ancient Rome and my vacation pics. Thank you!


    GW Readers Are Leaders Book Club

    • This is awesome! My thanks to Gabriel, Jenny, Darnell, Jefferson, and Anita! In RISE OF THE WOLF, Nic will be headed to the chariot races. It’s going to be epic!

  61. I read The False Prince when Scholastic published it early. I loved the whole series. I just finished Mark of the Thief. It was great and I can’t wait for the next one! Your characters are the kind that a reader cares about and you just have to keep reading to make sure that they are going to be okay. You write is such a way that the twists are so surprising. Thanks for writing. My middle school students love your books…and so do I! Sue

    • Warmest thanks, Sue! I’m so glad the books have gotten love at your school.

  62. remember me

  63. Hello my name is jasmine i just started to read your first book. And it was epic i really loves it. You are the best. Thanks for the books and the magic that comes with it.

  64. And i am doing a book report on your book and i was wondering if you can anwser a qestion for me
    What was your perpuse making this book was it to give use somethig our was it just for fun

    • My purpose was to create a story that I would love, and then I hoped it’d be one that others might love too. I think that’s one of the big secrets of writing – the author knowing what it is they love and creating more of it.

  65. When did the book take place?

  66. How do Authors come up with these ideas for stories like this?

    • For Mark of the Thief, you can read about what inspired this series HERE.. I love to study history so a lot of what I discover ends up in my books.

      • This is awesome talking to an actual author or typing any way.

  67. Do you check this website every day?

  68. That is really cool. Do you know where I can get the rest of the series?

    • It should be in your library, local bookstore, or online. You also asked about mailing me a copy of MARK OF THE THIEF to sign. Send me an email at and I can give you an address.

  69. OK I sent you an email.

    • Preston, I didn’t get it. Try me again (

  70. If I get the other book can I also send them to you?

  71. OK I sent another one.

    • I’m not getting your emails, so hopefully you will get this one. If you do, you can send the book to me at PO Box 735, Morgan UT 84050. Or you can send me your address and I’ll send you signed stickers to put in your books. That would be cheaper, but whatever you prefer is fine by me.

  72. OK Thanks I will think I would like the stickers.

  73. I will give you my address in time. Is there a less public way of handing out my address?

    • You probably need to send it to me with a different email address – your parents’ perhaps? Something with your current email address doesn’t work for us in either direction.


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