Rise of the Wolf by Jennifer A. Nielsen #BookReview #Playlist #Giveaway

Rise of the Wolf (Mark of the Thief #2)
by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical, Fiction, Mythology, Magic, Adventure, Action, Juvenile

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?

Rise of the Wolf is the second book in a series that I wish I read sooner.Jennifer Nielsen’s writing has this way of really sucking me into the story. Her descriptions of the places, the chariot races, the villains and the main characters really manages to transport me into Rome and the story.

I’m not used to reading books with a male MC anymore. Not unless it’s part of a dual pov so it was actually really different to be in Nic’s perspective. I really like him as a character though. He might be reckless and impulsive at times but he is also stubborn and defiant. He owns his mess ups and is loyal to his friends and family. He doesn’t always have an easy time expressing his feelings.

I would never have thought from Mark of the Thief that I would grow to like Radulf. He still seemed evil but there are little instances that made me start to wonder. I know he’s a villain but if I had to pick a villain to root for. He would be the one. The series happens over a tumultuous time for Rome. Where the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I also find myself wanting to like Radulf because of the way he worked his way up in the ranks and broke free from is slavery.

When I was a kid I loved the chariot race in the movie Ben-Hur, I do realize how weird that makes me. So when I got to the chariot racing part of Rise of the Wolf I couldn’t help but be sucked in. Chariot races are brutal and scary and not usually my kind of thing. I felt like Jennifer does a really great job with the descriptions of not only the main event but the practices as well.

I love the mixture of the Roman empire and the Gods. Historical mixed in with the mystical. The world that is created is lush and interesting.

So much happens that I don’t know how I’m going to wait for the next book. I need to know where this going!!! Rise of the Wolf followed in the same action packed vein of Mark of the Thief. There is no sophomore slump here, the plot keeps rolling.

I can’t wait for the next action packed installment.

So for the playlist I decided to go with classical music. For some reason it just felt more appropiate.
Jennifer lives at the base of a very tall mountain in Northern Utah with her husband, three children, and a naughty puppy. She loves the smell of rainy days, hot chocolate, and old books, preferably all at once. She is a former speech teacher, theater director, and enjoyed a brief but disastrous career as a door-to-door pollster. In her spare time, Jennifer tends to panic, wondering what she has forgotten to do that has allowed her any spare time.