There’s more to Petra than a scene from Indiana Jones

Ah, Petra.

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones never utters those words in his quest for the Holy Grail, but the stone city’s Treasury building plays prominently in the movie’s plot.

You know the place.

(courtesy Tracy Higley)

This was about all I knew of Petra until I read Petra: City in Stone by Tracy Higley. Higley is one of my new favorite authors, especially because her books open my world to times and places with which I’m unfamiliar and unknowledgeable. Hers are historical fiction set in the ancient world featuring Jewish characters and early Christians in settings of the Seven Wonders.

I haven’t disliked any of her books yet.

In Petra, a young poor woman named Cassia seeks a home for her son in the city where his father’s family lives. She and the boy travel to Petra with few clues as to how to find this family. Cassia’s expectations are shattered when she learns the truth about her son’s family and she finds herself fighting dark and powerful forces to save her son. But she doesn’t have to fight alone. Followers of The Way, an early name for Christianity, sacrifice to help Cassia rescue her son and overcome the city’s pagan worship.

If that’s not enough introduction, then check out the book trailer below.

As with most of Higley’s books, I get so caught up in the story and the setting that I can’t put the book down and when I do, I don’t want to leave the characters or the place. I’ve heard this is the key to success in novel-writing, and Higley is a master storyteller.

FAVORITES: Higley is thorough in her research, and I enjoy reading her travel journals and seeing pictures from her trips after reading the books.  My faith is strengthened by these stories, which I consider in a class of their own when it comes to historical fiction. (And I love all kinds of historical fiction!)

FAULTS: They make me want to see the world, which is not really a fault. Reading Higley’s stories infects me with a travel bug that I can’t properly feed at this time. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop reading.

IN A WORD: Enriching. My faith grows, my world opens and I’m challenged. Higley’s books are a treat for the mind and soul.

Higley has a new book releasing in late spring/early summer this year, and I, for one, can’t wait. Meanwhile, Marduk’s Tablet is available here for the Kindle for 99 cents. Pennsylvania friends, you might find her books in the library, too, because she lives here.


Tracy started her first novel at the age of eight and has been hooked on writing ever since. After earning a B.A. in English Literature at Rowan University, she spent ten years writing drama presentations for church ministry before beginning to write fiction. A lifelong interest in history and mythology has led Tracy to extensive research into ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome and Persia, and shaped her desire to shine the light of the gospel into the cultures of the past.
She has traveled through Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Italy, researching her novels and falling into adventures.

Visit the author’s website.


2 thoughts on “There’s more to Petra than a scene from Indiana Jones

  1. Pingback: Historical imagination: author interview and review of Tracy Higley’s Garden of Madness « The Home Front

  2. Pingback: 5 on Friday: Authors who feed my travel bug | Living Echoes

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