Carol Awards: Long Historical: Finalist: Petra: City in Stone
Title: Petra: City In Stone
Author: T.L. Higley
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group (Karen Ball, Editor)
Genre: Long Historical
Reviewed by: Cara Putman
After reading the first installment in T.L. Higley’s Seven Wonders of the Ancient World series, I have become a huge fan of her writing. Now when a book arrives in my mailbox, it flies to the top of my TBR pile, begging to be read that moment. I love them because these books tackle ancient civilizations and bring them to life.
Petra: City of Rock is no exception.
You’ll smell the aromas, feel the heat of the sun, and sense the oddness of the towering walls and structure of Petra.
From the first page you are pulled into Rome in the years after Christ. You are thrust into the action at the Coliseum, where the games are about to begin. And you race alongside Julian to try to stop the slaughter of Christians, including his bethrothed.
Then the story turns to one of a battered wife who longs to escape her brutal husband. She is in Damascus but longs for freedom, something unheard of in those times for women. Through twisting events she escapes with her young son and fades into the stone city of Petra. There she finds a community that welcomes her. . And her life intersects with Julian.
Higley brings these ancient locations to life. I can smell the aromas, feel the heat of the sun, and sense the oddness of the towering walls and structure of Petra. I feel the characters’ emotions and sense their struggles. The other thing she does so well is to draw the religious threads of the story out in such a way that they are absolutely integral to the rest of the plot. You can’t have the story without Julian’s struggles with guilt and his need to walk away from his faith or Cassia’s slowly growing attraction to the band of Christians who live in Petra.
Add in political intrigue and a romance and this story is one you won’t be able to put down.
Buy this book