Here’s a fun fact about book nerds: One of the great joys of reading is opening a new release from one of your favorite authors. Not only that, but also when, within in the first few pages, you become instantly hooked.
This is exactly what happened with Tracy L. Higley’s latest, Palace of Darkness. Such a fantastic time diving into ancient Petra!
In an ancient city carved from stone, one desperate young woman searches for peace—in the calm before the deadly clash of empires.
In 106 AD, a single mother can be certain of one thing—destitution. So Cassia and her six-year-old son flee to Petra, her late husband’s birth city, in hopes of finding refuge in the loving arms of family.
But the great stone city is not what Cassia imagined. And a secret about her husband reveals her son’s true bloodline, making the boy the target of a royal conspiracy.
In her darkest hours, Cassia finds herself surrounded by followers of the Way, a subversive new religious group whose disciples are frequently sentenced to arenas with starved lions and blood-soaked sand. Why would this sect seek out more danger by helping her? And what kind of religion gives freely and asks for nothing in return?
Roman soldiers soon surround Petra, immersing the city in panic and further endangering her son, and Cassia realizes he cannot be saved by human efforts alone. Her only hope lies with the followers of the Way . . . and her willingness to trust their One True God.
Acts is one of my favorite books in the Bible. I love the history of the early church. It’s inspiring, it’s encouraging, it’s, well amazing. Knowing how the church grew at an incredible rate even with intense persecution is also fascinating to read about. This book does exactly that, taking place when the church was being persecuted by the Romans and other regions who followed various gods.
While the characters are from a culture far different from ours today, Higley is still able to create people who are relate-able. The same struggles and faults many of them had, we do today. It’s encouraging to know God uses and refines us, even with our many faults.
The historical details are incredible (and now I want to go visit Petra). Higley knows how to research and write it in a way that intrigues the reader, but doesn’t overwhelm. Finally, I really appreciated the focus she had on the spiritual warfare and battle against dark forces. The early church was in constant battle against such forces and Higley weaved that into the story perfectly.
Do you enjoy reading books or watching movies about ancient history? Have you had a chance to read any of Tracy’s books?
(Thank you to BookLook Bloggers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)