Series: Mark of the Thief #2
Published by Scholastic Press on January 26, 2016
Genres: Mythic Fantasy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Young Adult
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Nic may have escaped enslavement in the mines outside of Rome, but his troubles are far from over. The Praetor War—the battle to destroy Rome from within—is in full force, and Nic is caught in the crossfire. The secretive Praetors are determined to unlock a powerful amulet--one sure to bring the empire to its knees. Worse, the Praetors believe Nic holds the key to finding this amulet, and they will stop at nothing to steal it, even if that means harming the people Nic holds most dear.
When the Praetors capture Nic's mother, Nic knows he must do anything to save her. He challenges the Praetors to a chariot race. If he wins, they will release his mother. But if he loses, he must hand over a magic that will certainly destroy Rome and end his own life. Can Nic once again harness his magic and gather the strength to defeat his enemies? Or will he lose his mother and bear witness to Rome's destruction?
Okay, so maybe it’s been a month since the release, so it’s more new-ish than new, but Jennifer A. Nielsen’s book Rise of the Wolf is on my TBR list, and I can’t wait for life to stop being so crazy so I can get my hands on it and just done-in-one (sitting) the heck out of it. You may recall that I quite enjoyed the action-packed awesomeness of the first book in this series, Mark of the Thief.
And if you’re new to the series and intrigued by the synopsis above, let me give you a feel for it with a quickie session of Bookalikes!
Here are my five bookalike choices for Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Mark of the Thief series, of which Rise of the Wolf is the second book. Plus, if you keep reading, you’ll find there’s a giveaway at the end of this post!
1. Daughter of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce
Being the daughter of a lady knight—the King’s Champion, no less—and a thief-turned-noble-spy can put a lot of pressure on a girl, and when she runs away after arguing with her mother, she gets captured by slavers and is sold to a noble family in a faraway country. It’s a bum deal, and one orchestrated by a trickster god, but she not only finds her way out of slavery, but she lands herself in a position to change the course of a whole nation. I’m definitely feeling the similarities between this series’ basic plot elements and Nielsen’s, although the paths of these two heroes (not to mention their personalities and outlooks) definitely diverge.
2. The Collegium Chronicles by Mercedes Lackey
This series is even closer in some ways to the Mark of the Thief books, as it also features a mine slave who has known nothing but poverty and hard work given the opportunity at something more. Only instead of being granted powers after acquiring a magical object like Nic does in Nielsen’s books, the hero of Lackey’s series bonds with a magical spirit-horse and with help learns to harness the powers he was born with to become one of Valdemar’s Heralds, who form the backbone of the country’s entire governmental system.
3. The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
Aya is abducted and forced to participate in a barbaric auction of women, thanks to the ruling culture in her land that holds women as human-shaped cattle to be bred with. And while Nielsen’s character may have had to battle things out gladiator-style in order to escape, Aya’s experience is subtler yet just as dramatic and danger-filled. Better yet, both Aya and Nic find friends (of the opposite sex, so you get a potential love team) during their incarceration, and these friends eventually help them win their freedom—or at least evade recapture.
I also see obvious similarities between this and something like Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, although that’s one set of books I have yet to set my teeth to. I’m also feeling the bookalikeness of Jessica Khoury’s The Forbidden Wish, which I’ve only read a few chapters of, but with its themes of slavery, escape, and redemption, I’m thinking this would make the list if I’d already managed to finish it instead of just reading an excerpt.
So if you’re a fan of any one of the books I’ve mentioned above, you might want to check out Jennifer A. Nielsen’s Mark of the Thief series, whose second book, Rise of the Wolf. is not available in print and digital formats. And if you are a fan of this series, but think I missed out on mentioning a few bookalikes, I’d love for you to leave a comment!
Series Reading Order