Petra: City of Stone


Our story begins with Julian suffering deep anguish because he has been unable to prevent the death of his fiancée, Vita. For the Roman crowds await entertainment at the huge Flavian Amphitheatre, where those who follow the Jewish Messiah Jesus are to be fed to the lions. Julian flees Rome to protect all he knows and escape his own demise at the hands of Emperor Trajan.

In Damascus, Syria, Cassia and her son, Alexander, have finally escaped the abuse of Aretas, now dead because of his own dishonesty. Cassia and Alexander arrive in Petra, modern Jordan, seeking the protection of Aretas’ estranged royal family. Instead, Alexander is taken by the queen, a woman obsessed with demonic power and determined to become regent for the next king of Petra.

Devastated by her loss, Cassia finds shelter with a group of men and women who worship the God-man, Jesus. There she meets Julian, the Roman expected to take on the mantle of leadership of the Christians from Malik. Their involvement in Cassia’s quest to save Alexander from death evolves into a mighty battle between the powers of heaven and hell. Each character in this remarkable story evolves into a new creation, people reflecting the figurative meaning of the “Rock” inherent in the name of the city they inhabit, Petra. In spite of a great deal of repetition, this story is gripping, touching, and cinematic in scope.


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12 of the best stories selected from the 2012 Historical Novel Society Short Story Award







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