Petra: City of Stone

Overview

Petra, the wondrous ancient city carved from the mountains of modern Jordan, is at the height of its glory in this gripping historical novel by T. L. Higley. A young widow, Cassia, and her son, Alexander, have arrived there seeking protection with her late husband's estranged family. But when Cassia discovers the man she married was heir to the throne, the power-hungry Queen Hagiru plots to murder Alexander so that her own child will someday rule. The queen, priestess of the sun-god, Dushrat, calls on demonic ...

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Overview

Petra, the wondrous ancient city carved from the mountains of modern Jordan, is at the height of its glory in this gripping historical novel by T. L. Higley. A young widow, Cassia, and her son, Alexander, have arrived there seeking protection with her late husband's estranged family. But when Cassia discovers the man she married was heir to the throne, the power-hungry Queen Hagiru plots to murder Alexander so that her own child will someday rule. The queen, priestess of the sun-god, Dushrat, calls on demonic powers in her quest, but Cassia is prepared for the fierce spiritual battle to save her son, joining a Roman named Julian and his community of believers in the Jewish Messiah. Together they seek a mighty movement of God far stronger than any dark heart or city made of stone.

Endorsement

"It is impossible to read a T. L. Higley novel and not be transported. Petra is filled with all the intrigue, drama, and flavors of the ancient world that Higley is so well known for. With heart-pounding action and characters that carve their way into your heart, Petra is an adventurist's read, and an escapist's dream. Who needs Indiana Jones?"

Tosca Lee
, author of Demon: A Memoir and Havah: The Story of Eve

"Set in early second century AD, this historical Christian novel provides great tie-ins to Scripture and early church history. Malik was a real disciple of Paul, and martyred by Trajan Christians in the arena. The characters are complex and believable . . . The good- versus-evil conflict in this book is especially powerful— Cassia against Hagiru reflects the bigger struggle in the spiritual realm between Jesus and the demons behind the false gods of Petra. Readers will come away with renewed appreciation for the courage of Christians in the face of uncertainty and persecution."

Christian Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433668562
  • Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/15/2010
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

T. L. Higley holds a degree in English literature and has written six previous novels. She lives with her family near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 1, 2011

    Check this one out

    I have always had a love for Petra. T. L. Higley really makes the historic Petra alive. His characters became real to me and I felt like part of the story. Great Read!

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting and wonderfully written book.

    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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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Historical Spiritual Battle Between Good and Evil!

    Cassia never imagined how her life would turn out once she headed to the ancient city of Petra. She was returning there to her husband's family after he was tragically murdered in their home. Not sure just who they are, she enters the city among a caravan of merchants in search of a family she has never met and one her husband didn't speak of.

    As night falls Cassia and her son, Alexander are assaulted and robbed leaving Cassia with nothing but their scattered articles while she lays unconscious. When an old man by the name of Malik offers her a safe haven and miraculous healing, she feels strangely at ease among the strangers.

    What she learns at Malik's is that Alexander is the prince of the royal family and heir to the aging king of Petra. Relieved at the hope that they will rejoice in the reuniting of grandfather and grandson, she is about to face the worst evil and darkness known to man. The current Queen isn't about to give up her son's rightful place now that Alexander is brought before her and when she takes Alexander into the palace and has Cassia thrown out, all hope is lost.

    Will Cassia be able to retrieve her son? What will she do now that she has no family in Petra? What darkness will attempt to reach out and keep the city in shadows while The Way moves in? Find out in the lastest book by T.L. Higley, in Petra, City of Stone.

    I received the eBook reader edition of this book, compliments of NetGalley and B & H Publishing Group for my honest review and LOVED it. The best part of the book is living in the times of the Ancient Egyptians and Romans and seeing just how difficult life was like. Not only that, seeing the pictures of the real city of Petra inspired me to imagine just what this story would be like during that time frame in a true spiritual warfare between good versus evil in the days where Christian were thrown to the lions. This book rates a 5 out of 5 stars for its historical accuracy to detail and in creating a very believable Christian fiction tale.

    This book is available in paperback and eReader formats.

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  • Posted October 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    awesome book

    Set in 106 AD, during the rule of the Roman Empire over a large part of the known world at that time, we open this story to find Cassia, mother to Alexander and concubine/slave to Aretas. Abused by Aretas and treated as nothing but a punching bag and a pleasure giver, Cassia, is ready to make her run for it. However Aretas's greed changes all her plans, when he is caught cheating a traveling caravan leader and murdered for that act. Escaping, with just the clothes on their backs and a few coins, Cassia heads for the unknown city of Petra. Knowing that Aretas came from there she hopes to find sympathy and a home for her and her son. What she finds instead is frightening and will test Cassia to her very depths.

    Once she discovers who is the family of Aretas, she knows that all has changed, her son is in line for the throne, and dark forces at work will do anything to prevent it. Operating through the current queen, the dark forces are determined to kill Cassia's son. How will she save him from this menace, she has no understanding of?

    Cassia's new friends who have helped her from her very arrival into the city, are new Christians, followers of Christ and enemies of the dark forces at work over the city of Petra. Will they be able to help her save her son?

    A fast moving story, that you will quickly be able to read, your interest will be caught from the beginning to the very last page. This story was a beautifully written story, true T. L. Higley style. I enjoyed every page of this story and hated to see the end of the book. A must read! 328 pages $14.99 US 5 stars


    This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.

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  • Posted September 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    History at its best

    T.L.Higley has done it again! She has picked a period and place in time that few people dare to tackle and she has brought history to life through a fascinating story. She has created characters that I love, a setting that I want to learn more about and a story that I didn't want to end. This time the setting is Petra, the city of stone, the time is about 170 AD and Rome is spreading their empire to absorb more and more places. Next on the list... Petra. Enter Cassia and her son Alexander who head to Petra upon learning that Alexander's dad was from there and so Alexander has relatives they could meet. They arrive to find more than they bargained for and before long both of their lives are in danger. Separately Julian arrives in Petra after leaving Rome to keep his family out of harm's way. He meets up with the church in Petra and Malik who is the elder there. Things are definitely stirring in the heavenly realms. The story takes off quickly and it is difficult to put down.

    This book will be required reading for my daughter as part of high school history along with T.L.'s Ancient Wonder books. Her ability to bring history to life is an invaluable tool for keeping my daughter interested in ancient history. I can't wait for more from T.L.

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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    Fictional Characters Bring the Ancient City to Life

    Julian is a follower of the Way living in Rome. His strong faith and outspoken manner contribute to the arrest and gruesome arena death of his friends. Only his family's wealth and position save his life. Unfortunately, their position cannot protect him from his guilt or from his need to continue to speak out. In an effort to separate his family from his fate, Julian flees to Petra.

    Cassia and her son Alexander quake at the sound of the boy's father at the door. Aretas is gruff, dishonest, and abusive toward Cassia and their son. After his unexpected death, however, Cassia is left with no means to provide for herself and her son. She makes her way toward Petra in an effort to find the family Aretas talked little about.

    In Petra, both Julian and Cassia meet unexpected trials and tribulations; in each other, however, they find understanding, support, and encouragement to follow the Lord's lead and to accomplish the impossible. Petra: City of Stone is a beautifully crafted story of strength, persistence, love, and above all, faith.

    Two years ago, I had the privilege of traveling with my parents and a group from our church to Israel and Jordan. It was an amazing 11 days as we walked in the footsteps of Jesus and his followers. Our journey through the Middle East took us to the architectural wonder of Petra, a city of stone that even today continues to baffle and amaze modern-day architects and engineers.

    To now read T.L. Higley's fictional account of a host of well-developed characters living in the cliffs of Petra is to breathe life into the wonders of the remains of this ancient city. I walked through the siq Cassie and Alexander traveled to enter the city. I was awed by the same aqueduct into which a curious Alexander dipped his finger. I viewed the altars, the sculptures, the palace, and the homes carved into the hillside. I walked in the footsteps of Cassie, Alexander, and Julian, the fictional early followers of Jesus in Petra: City of Stone.

    Petra: City of Stone would have been an enjoyable read even if I had not had the opportunity to travel to the City of Stone and witness the awe-inspiring setting of the book first hand. The characters are interesting, and there is enough mystery in the plot to make the book difficult to put down.

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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Experience the battle of good vs evil

    I have always been fascinated by Petra and was anxious to see how the author would treat it. It was easy to see that she spent time there for the physical details were extraordinary. I felt like I was living in the city with the hero, Cassia. In this story Cassia arrives in Petra in the early 100AD's with her son looking for her dead husband's family. There she discovers that there was more to her husband than he told her, that his family is under the influence of evil. She also discovers the Church of Petra and struggles to understand the idea that strength is not gained from the inside but rather from the love of Jesus inside her. Cassia's fight to save her son from becoming an evil sacrifice while at the same time learning to trust Jesus is fraught with suspense and intrigue at every turn. The author has described the evil living in the palace and in the High Place in a breathtaking way that brings it alive in your mind and makes one wonder about today's examples. Definitely a book worth reading

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  • Posted September 12, 2010

    1st in Lost Cities series has something for everyone

    Petra by T.L. Higley is the first book in the Lost Cities series. Cassia takes her young son, Alexander, and heads to Petra, the home of her late husband's family in the hopes of finding a place for them both. Instead she discovers that Alexander is the heir to the throne and immediately in mortal danger from the queen, Hagiru, who wants her son to be the new king, and Hagiru has allied herself with the dark gods of the city in order to assure her son's accession. The only people in town who help Cassia is the small community of Christians led by wealthy Malik. Julian has fled from his home in Rome after the death of his fiance in the arena because of his faith in Jesus. He just wants to blend into the crowd, but his attraction to Cassia and desire to help her will test his faith more than he's ever faced. Higley excels at recreating ancient cultures, as in her former Seven Wonders series, and her description of Petra really brings the city to life. It's fascinating reading about the days of early Christianity, especially outside of Jerusalem. The novel is filled with suspense as to Alexander's fate, romance between Cassia and Julian, and faith as Cassia learns about Jesus and Julian learns what it means to be a leader, so there is really something for every reader.

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