Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. BookLook Bloggers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
And yet she felt a deeper peace underlying the concerns, a peace that whispered, All is well, no matter what happened.
Palace of Darkness by Tracy L. Higley is more than a historical fiction novel about a woman named Cassia and the early Church, the book’s spiritual, fantasy-like elements reminding me of a Frank Peretti read. Cassia’s journey to that “all is well, no matter what happens” place is by no means a straight shot but a process full of ups and downs, twists and turns as this destitute, single mother encounters followers of the Way in ancient Petra. The extent of Cassia’s physical fierceness is an element I didn’t anticipate, but she springs into admirable action when her son is in danger, even while she has much to learn about what it means to be strong and how strength and love can work together.
Hagiru, the queen of Petra and chief presider over the city’s darkness, is a whole different kind of fierceness personified, her character just kept from being too over the top by what she’s gone through as a woman that has led to her sinister state. As there’s a battle to be fought between darkness and light on more than one level, Higley paints an intriguing picture of external power coinciding with internal power and how grace and compassion can be given a place even on the brink between life and death, in the midst of one’s stormiest fight. The space made for compassion is what I found most compelling about this novel.
“The love you have always longed for is here… The One God seeks to save that which is lost.”