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Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite
Cassius and Bracus, two best friends from Tuscany, serve in the Roman Xth Legion in Jerusalem. Both were distinguished soldiers, but Judea was dangerous for invaders in 16 AD. Zealots had taken Bracus' life, and Cassius, becoming overcautious, accidentally killed a local Jew in a tavern, where he and his men had sought refreshment after a hard day. Killed by Cassius, Joseph was a decent person leaving behind a family on the edge of starvation. Joseph's young son, Johnathan, witnessed his death. Now, his life and the lives of his mother and baby sister depend on Joseph's old friend, the mysterious Matthias. A girl named Mary lost her parents and was sold to the palace of Herod Antipas by her relatives from Magdala. She suffers from seizures but is very beautiful, which cannot escape Cassius' eyes. A carpenter from Nazareth, Yeshua, is a hard worker, but how come he sees the deepest corners of human hearts? And why is it so good and peaceful to be around him? The Temple keeps its secrets, Fortress Antonia is watchful, while Jerusalem and the Jewish people await the promised Messiah. A Man in Darkness by Foster Nash, the first book of a series, is a wonderful story of lost souls craving hope, love, and God's forgiveness.
Foster Nash paints a multilayered picture for his readers and creates an unforgettable atmosphere of anticipation of events yet unknown but magnificent and even frightening. Judea was conquered by the Roman Empire; nevertheless, the fight for freedom never ceases. There is something in the air of the holy city, where the Temple loses its significance for Jewish people because of the wrongdoings of the priests. We can feel this impatience on every page of A Man in Darkness. Nash crafts amazing characters that evolve and come to an understanding of the essence of things. Mary learns to trust a Roman soldier as she sees his true nature and kind heart. Johnathan's maturation is the centerpiece of the story, and he goes through its stages step by step to gain strength despite the enormous pain. In the first part of the series, Nash introduces the main characters and entangles their fates into something that promises to be much more crucial and decisive for the history of humankind. We can undoubtedly recognize many of them, but the author leaves some riddles unsolved to surprise us even more, and I can't wait to read the second part. A Man in Darkness is adventurous with many twists and philosophical at the same time, reminding us of the importance of forgiveness. Those who struggle to find faith should read A Man in Darkness. Also, it is a great book for young adult readers; for adult fans of historical and adventurous prose and novels based on biblical accounts.