Friday, December 31, 2010

Petra: City in Stone

Storyline - When Cassia's abusive husband dies, she and her son go in search of family in the city of Petra where it is discovered that her son is a prince. But after going to the palace and telling the royal family about what happened, her son is taken from her and she is sent away. As she tries to get her son back and save him from a jealous queen/priestess, Hagiru, Cassia makes friends of these people who worship in one God and trust in a redeemer by the name of Jesus. One of the followers of Jesus is a man named Julian who is running and trying to hide  from a painful past and hurtful failures. Yet he is also being ask to be the future leader of the church in Petra. Can these two find their way to trust Jesus and accept his love or will they continue to fight under their own power to find what they are looking for and save Cassia's son.

Author - T. L. Higley

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - The believers in God prayed for their enemies at one time in the book which is refreshing because in most stories, and in life, people who someone doesn't like are considered not worth their time or energy. The troubles were believable and their resistance and fight against going and relying on God was real and understandable. Everyone tries to do things and fix things under their own power  and it is a struggle for them to place their entire trust and themselves God's hands. Their are people today who change themselves so others might accept them, like one of the character in the book, and don't understand how someone, even God, can love them for who they are and that they can be strong through Christ and that standing alone doesn't make you strong. Both of the main characters are running from something and it is only when they come to God that they can accomplish their goals. The queen/priestess was creepy when she prayed to her gods and desired power no matter how she got it.

Personal Opinion - I was really excited when I found out that the city seen in the 3rd Indiana Jones movie was actually a real city (that wasn't a set or prop) which had people living in it and was called Petra. The book was exciting and interesting and I understood the characters and their troubles. I do wish that Julian's background was covered more in the book but it looks like a new book, Pompeii: City on Fire, is about his parents so that isn't too bad. The author even creeped me out with the description of Hagiru, the queen/priestess, with her communications with her gods and her hatred of others and Alexander. The book went together well, the struggle and coming of faith within each character was beliefable and understandable and didn't leave you going "how did they get to that point?" Even though most of the book was brought together at the end nicely I still wondered about one character, Obadas, who was Hagiru's son, and what happened to him. Also, it was a little different having a prophet character in the book who saw the future and spoke to God and then God spoke back but that was probably because I never read a book like that so it was just new for me. I do believe in prophets and that God speaks to people, some more directly than others, but it was just different. The ending was a bit abrupt in my opinion but still good. All in all, good book and definitely recommended, especially for those who like adventure, historical stories, and ancient cities. No passport or time machine is required to go on an adventure in this mysterious city.

Links - More information can be found on Petra and other books by this author and the author herself at the Publisher's Website and Tracy Higley's Website.

Updated - November 11, 2012

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