Petra by T.L. Higley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In Petra, City in Stone by T.L.Higley, our story starts out with a young man who sees his fiancé and friends brutally murdered right before his eyes. Next we meet a beautiful young woman who has been continually abused by her live in boyfriend. She is a mother and does everything she can to protect her young son from his father’s short temper and over eager fists. They all need an escape hatch from their current situations. Sounds like all the makings of an exciting contemporary novel, right? Actually this story takes place in 106 AD, starting off in Rome and then quickly moving to Petra, the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom. But the storyline follows many themes and questions that still ring true and are relevant to us today.
Our young man is “Julian” and a man who is fighting his past failures in Rome and runs to Petra in the hope to start over and forget his past. The beautiful young woman is Cassia, who also flees to Petra as her abusive lover has now been murdered. She arrives in Petra with her young son Alexander in tow, hoping to make a fresh start in Petra with her son. Unfortunately, her son is taken from her and she is in a desperate quest to get him back. The current queen and High Priestess Queen Hagiru is an evil woman and holding him from Cassia. Julian, along with the elder of the Christian church of Petra -Malik- and his flock hatch a plan to rescue poor Alexander from his current plight.
There are many wonderful sub-plots going on in this story- Alexander and his ability to rely on God’s strength and not his own. Another lesson he learns is how to come out from under the trap of being a man pleaser instead of a people pleaser. This is especially important as the calling for Julian’s life by God begins to unfold throughout the novel. Cassia with her abusive past , trusts no one, and so her journey in trusting Jesus takes awhile before she is able to surrender her life to him. My favorite part for Cassia is when she learned to love from a place of strength, being God’s own, instead of loving from a place of need. It was a well written touching scene in the book.
I really enjoyed this book- fast pace, great characters that drew you in, and the author’s descriptions of Petra were very beautiful and intriguing. There were just so many elements to it that I enjoyed- the suspense, the spiritual truths and the romance all worked together to bring forth a really great story. Very well done! This is my first read by this author and I am looking forward to reading more by her in the future.
Disclosure- I was kindly given a digital copy of this book by the B&H Publishing group in connection with the Netgalley program. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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