Mark of the Thief

markofthief_XLGBook 1: Mark of the Thief –  Available Now (Scholastic)

When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods — magic some Romans would kill for.

Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic’s newfound powers for their own dark purposes.

In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire’s most powerful and savage leaders.

Praise for Mark of the Thief

star —Kirkus, starred review

“The fast-paced, ingenious plot, charismatic hero and highly diverse cast of characters—including the ancient, eternal city itself—make this series opener a captivating joy ride.”


“This [story] maximizes Nielsen’s scope for creating page-turning twists while evoking a milieu that retains its appeal for history buffs.” —Publisher’s Weekly


“This genre mash-up of history, fantasy, and action/adventure is fast-paced and explores themes such as class struggles, familial ties, and the immorality of slavery.” —School Library Journal


Mark of the Thief will hook reluctant readers and avid readers alike, and both fantasy fans and readers more comfortable with realistic fiction will find plenty to love.” – Nerdy Book Club


“Mark of the Thief” includes twists at every turn and a gripping cliffhanger ending.” —Deseret News


“Although Nielsen keeps her readers on their toes, they will be always cheering Nic on to win over evil. Full of adventure, MARK OF THE THIEF closes with a startling cliffhanger that will keep readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.” —Kidsreads


Recognition for Mark of the Thief

  • A Junior Library Guild pick
  • 2016 YALSA Teens Top Ten Nominee
  • Sold translation rights in Turkey, Indonesia, and Germany
  • 2015 Whitney Award Nominee
  • 2016-17 Tome Society List; 2017 Grand Canyon Reader Award nominee (Arizona), 2017-18 Indiana Young Hoosiers Award nominee
  • Dedicated Scholastic website here


Buy from your local bookstore when possible.  Or you can order here: