The Fire and the Trial (A Torch in the Empire Series Book One)


The first in a three book series, set in the first century Roman Empire, this well-researched historical fiction book weaves together fictional and real historical people and events in a gripping story of standing firm in the faith through trials.

Recommended for ages 10 and up.

by Savannah Jane McCrary
illustrated by Grace Obenhaus and the McCrary family

“Our brothers and sisters in Rome are being fed to the lions.”
A. D. 65
After the Great Fire of Rome, the Emperor Nero places the blame on the Christians, a people whose faith in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ of Nazareth carries them through the worst of persecutions.
In their home in Jerusalem, Jesse and his sister, Abigail, hear of the persecution in faraway Rome. Then suddenly it’s not so far away anymore. Jesse and Abigail’s parents are killed for their faith in a Roman Circus. After the death of their parents, Abigail clings to her faith in Christ. But Jesse is angry. He’s angry at the Romans and angry at God. More than anything, he wants revenge on the Romans, yet he feels helpless to do anything against them. Then one fateful day, Jesse and Abigail find themselves captives on a voyage to Rome. And what awaits them there? Slavery or death?


“This was a wonderful read with light, fun characters and deep spiritual truths. My daughter enjoyed reading it and was surprised at the amount of detail and research the author put into it. The author’s love for God and desire to relay accurate historic facts is evident throughout the entire book, even going so far as to place recipes in the index of meals the characters eat.
This is a fun and safe read for middle grade children whose parents want them to enjoy a good story and learn at the same time. Because who doesn’t want to learn while enjoying a good book?” – review

“A captivating read! I am in love with the way Savannah crafts her stories.. They are exciting and easy reading. She expertly weaves in solid Biblical principles into this exciting tale. It would be a great read-aloud chapter book for families. There are lots of historical details that I loved learning, and note there are discussion questions for each chapter at the end of the book. I can’t wait to read this author’s next book!” – review

“I love Savannah McCrary’s style of writing. It flows so smoothly like water in a creek that flows unhindered. After listening to her own mother read books aloud, it’s Savannah’s hope that this would be a book that mothers could read aloud to their own children. She has created a book that tells a tremendous story that needs to be passed on to the next generation and she’s written in a way that would be safe for a younger audience but still interesting to an older audience. Savannah has a wonderful skill for writing and I can’t wait to read book two and continue Jesse and Abigail’s journey.” –

“This is an honest, exciting story of what life may have been like for early Christians in Jerusalem during Nero’s reign! I loved the strong faith, courage, and humility in the characters who faced death or lifelong sacrifices for Jesus. It was beautiful seeing them in very difficult situations but still sharing Jesus and showing love to their enemies. I could tell the author did a great deal of research and prayer in creating this book which I so appreciated!” -Hosanna Emily, author

Stories of adventure, hope, truth, beauty, and light.

I’m passionate about shining the light of Jesus through stories. I write in a variety of genres but my favorite thing to write is accurate historical fiction infused with adventure, beauty, and the hope of the kingdom of heaven. I was homeschooled all the way through, and fond memories of my mother reading aloud to my siblings and me inspired me to write stories that families can enjoy together!

Books are shipped within 2-4 business days, unless my inventory runs out and I have to wait for more to be printed! Please allow a week for the production of handmade items, however if you need something by a certain date, please let me know, and I will do my best to make it happen!

I do not offer returns or refunds, however, if there is an issue, please let me know, and I will do my best to make it right.

See my website for more!