City on Fire

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As Vesuvius churns, a slave girl-turned-gladiator joins forces with an unlikely source to seek justice.

In the coastal town of Pompeii, a new gladiator prepares to fight. But this gladiator hides a deadly secret: she’s a runaway Jewish slave girl named Ariella, disguised as a young boy. A savvy fighter, Ariella determines to triumph in the arena, knowing her life will be forfeit should anyone uncover the truth. 

Cato, a wealthy politician, moved to Pompeii after tiring of the corruption in Rome. But he soon learns that Pompeii is just as corrupt, and if he doesn’t play the game, his family could pay the price. Determined to bring about justice for the citizens of Pompeii, Cato searches for allies. But what he discovers instead is a confounding group of Christians . . . and a young female gladiator whose fame is growing daily.

Political unrest reaches a boiling point as Christians are jailed and executed, and the mountain in the distance threatens to destroy the city with its river of fire. Cato and Ariella must act quickly and courageously to save their loved ones before all is lost.

Palace of Darkness

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In an ancient city carved from stone, one desperate young woman searches for peace―in the calm before the Romans attack.

In AD 106, a single mother can be certain of one thing―destitution. So Cassia and her six-year-old son flee to Petra, seeking refuge in the loving arms of family.

But the great stone city is not what Cassia imagined. And family cannot be trusted. When a secret reveals her son's true bloodline, the boy becomes the target of a royal conspiracy. He's snatched from Cassia's grasp.

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 they 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 Cassia's son. She 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.

Reading Group Guide Included

"Higley's meticulous research enhances readers' understanding of the daring lives of the first Christians." ―RT Book Reviews, of City on Fire

"If you liked Francine Rivers' A Voice in the Wind, you'll love Palace of Darkness! It grabbed me from page one and never let go." ―Colleen Coble, USA Today bestselling author