Petra: City in Stone (The Lost City series - Book 1) by T.L. Higley
Publication Date: September 2010
Publisher: B & H Publishing Group
Format: Paperback, 344 pp
Genre: Christian Fiction
(Received for review from B & H Publishing Group)
Synopsis (Book Blurb):
She believed the city hidden in rock would protect her from the past - until it threatened to destroy her future.
Cassia, a destitute young woman in need of hope, seeks refuge for her little boy in Petra, home of his dead father's estranged family and capital of the flourishing Arabian empire. Surely this rock-carved city, hidden away between towering sandstone cliffs, can protect them from their past and provide for their future.
But the boy's father was not the man she believed, and when a murderous queen plots to take Cassia's son, her hopes of security are ripped away.
As the plot against the young Alexander unfolds, Cassia finds unexpected allies in the mysterious followers of The Way, who sacrifice everything to help Cassia rescue her son from the queen and her pagan gods. But it will take more than new friends to have her son.
It will take a power beyond any Cassia has known - and a faith that can save a city.
I found this book really interesting. I have heard stories about Petra all my life. The city made of stone. Author, T.L. Higley continues to amaze with the first in a new series, Petra: City in Stone. Higley's attention to detail and descriptions of the city could only have come from someone who had been there. There is a real authenticity to her writing and I believe she has crafted a novel that historical fiction fans as well as Christian fiction fans will love.
Cassia, has lived in fear for far too long, her husband Aretas thinks of her and her son as nothing more than possessions to do with as he pleases. When he is murdered for cheating a caravan leader, Cassia is left with no way to provide for their son, Alexander. She decides to make the fateful journey to Petra the city her husband always talked about where his family remains.
Julian, is a Christian living in Rome. When his outspoken words cause the deaths of several of his friends in the arena, he decides he can no longer stay in Rome because he cannot stay silent. He journey's to Petra, trying to outrun his heartbreak.
When Julian and Cassia meet their attraction for each other is secondary to the storm that is brewing Petra. Cassia has learned that her husband was a lot more than he led her to believe. Her son Alexander is heir to the throne and Queen Hagiru will stop at nothing to destroy him, so that her own son can be King. Julian must face many trials and tribulations as he attempts to rescue Alexander and teach Cassia about Jesus in the process.
I really liked this book. The attention to detail that the author gave to every aspect of the book was amazing. The descriptions of the city itself as it may have been in 100 AD will make the reader feel like they are really there, walking down the streets with Cassia or worshiping with Julian. I have always enjoyed stories written about the early Christian's and what they had to face. Julian's experience with his friends in the arena was a reminder of how much we have to be thankful for in being able to witness about Jesus without the fear of retaliation.
The characters in this book were very well written. I really identified with Cassia, a single mother trying to protect her child. It was easy to see that she had come out of very abusive relationship. Her husband used her a punching bag as well as someone to give him pleasure. He obviously didn't care about her or her son. With is death she was given an opportunity to learn about Jesus even in the midst of the turmoil surrounding Alexander. It reminds me that God sometimes works in mysterious ways. Julian's character had a very strong faith and because he could not remain silent he risked the lives of those around him, but he could not be silent. He was courageous and had a great faith. I liked his character a lot.
I would recommend this book to both historical and Christian fiction fans. It is very well written. Easy to get into and it's hard to put down. The love story as well as the story of faith are both portrayed in an honest and forthcoming manner. I think readers will be enthralled by the story and engaged with the characters.
Petra: City in Stone is available NOW from your favorite bookseller from B & H Publishing.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
T.L. Higley holds a degree in English Literature and has written three previous novels and more than fifty drama productions for church ministry. She is especially passionate about "breaking down emotional and philosophical barriers that people have put between themselves and Christ."