Rise of the Wolf (Mark of the Thief #2)
By, Jennifer A. Nielsen
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 bring about the end of Rome -- as well as 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?