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.
Thomas Nelson has released another of Tracy Higley’s older titles, and this is the one I’ve been waiting for. Petra is one of my dream places to visit, and it has been since I saw it in an Indiana Jones movie. How were such incredible buildings carved into (out of?) the rock? And why did the Nabateans choose to leave this amazing city that they had created?
There is a dark presence in the Petra of Higley’s novel. It taunts everyone, especially the followers of the Way. When the Nabatean queen, Hagiru, sends assassins after them, it will take Godly strength to protect them. The tension builds to a supernatural climax at the high place of Hagiru’s god where good fights evil in an effort to save one small boy, and it all takes place in an ancient city that Higley describes in detail.
Palace of Darkness is not just Cassia’s story. It opens in Rome, where a man named Julian desperately tries to save his betrothed from the brutalities of the arena. It’s a peculiar first chapter because Julian isn’t mentioned in the book’s description and there’s nothing about Cassia who is. He does, however, become a pivotal part of the tale. He protects Cassia and is instrumental in planning the rescue of her son, but he’s also running from both his past and his future. Cassia and Julian want to rely on their own strength – a dangerous notion when faced with Hagiru’s dark forces – but come to accept that it is when they accept their weaknesses that they can be made strong in His power.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for my complimentary copy of Palace of Darkness, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read Palace of Darkness? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 09 September 2014
Page Count: 368