Mostly Spoiler-Free Review: Mark of the Thief

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“As part of the grand joke that had become my life, the gods had given me a master with the wit of a withered carrot and compassion of a wasp.”

Nic is a slaveboy working in a mine. Nic is forced to search the lowest cavern for buried treasure, So the Rescue Aid Society sends Bernard and Bianca to help. One day Darth Vader General Radulf comes into his life. Now Nic must fight Radulf and save the galaxy Rome.

It’s the most original story ever!

Author: Jennifer A. Nielson

I wanted to like this book. I loved Jennifer Nielson’s The False Prince but this was a real let down. Many of the elements of the plot just didn’t make any sense. And no, I’m not talking about the magic in the story, I will blindly accept that the rules for magic are explained in the later books of the series.

My problem is that there are a ton of problems with plot logic. For example, Aurelia was exposed as a baby and taken as a slave. . .  Yeah, that is not how exposure works! It’s not putting your kid up for adoption! It’s exposure to the elements and wild animals! And this BS that her dad felt bad and tried to find her, no way! You do not expose your baby just because your sad your wife died, not buying it!

One thing that bothered me, which didn’t seem to bother any other readers commenting on this book, was the religious element. This is supposed to be the late Roman empire, yet despite the fact that Nic is a slave, there is no mention of Christianity, which was the most popular religion among slaves in the late Roman empire. That was just weird.

What exactly was Nic mining anyway? At one point, Nic starts talking about marble, but he had to be lying, because as any idiot knows, you don’t mine for marble, you quarry it. It’s not hidden underground, it’s just there.

I don’t think Nielson is a bad writer, I just think this plot could have used another draft. The idea that “it’s just for kids” does not forgive things that could not happen in the logic of the story.

At one point Nic is eating strawberries which are native to North America. Did nobody catch this? or did they say “it doesn’t matter, kids are too stupid to notice” If you are going to use a historical setting for your fantasy novel, get the historical setting right! Something HAS to be grounded in reality for me to get invested.

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