4 out of 4 stars
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No Dark Clouds by R W Nelson is a Christian fictional account that entwines the lives of Jesus (from the point He started getting popular for His teachings to His Ascension), seven beggar children (The Beggar Boy, Aditya, Scooter, Rebekah, Baa Foo, Figs, and the deformed baby), and a Roman Centurion, Leonidas. The story revisits some of the miracles performed by Jesus. It also shows how the Jewish elders grew to hate Jesus for proclaiming that He is a King. This then leads to Jesus' arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection.
The story kicks off by introducing the reader to the beggar children, with most of them working as slaves for "Taskmaster". The characters of the beggar children are inspired by actual beggars in India, and the author does a wonderful job of painting a picture of what their struggles are like. It was very touching to see how the children had to beg each day, submit the proceeds to Taskmaster, and get punished if they didn't make enough money.
I really enjoyed the character development in the story, especially that of The Beggar Boy (later given the name "Zachary" by Jesus). Zachary was sold into slavery at a very young age. He had to go begging each day and return proceeds to his master, just like most slaves. However, his master was very cruel to him and ended up giving him scars on his face for not meeting his daily target. Zachary had to find a way to escape, which he did. His experiences made him stronger and able to fend for himself alone in the world, but it also made him so angry. I liked how his search for Jesus to heal his face changed him. When he finally got to meet Jesus, he learned about forgiveness.
The story also includes the theme of friendship, which was shown by the beggar children's relationship with each other. I also liked the author's style of writing in a descriptive way. This made me feel like I was watching the story as a movie. However, the author seemed to not be too descriptive when it came to scenes with violence. This favoured me, as I am not a fan of gore, but people that enjoy gore will not like those scenes.
I found No Dark Clouds very educational, especially after the end of the story, where the author included a lot of scriptures and prophecies from the Bible. I also liked that it included "The Beatitudes of Jesus". This is definitely a part of the book that I would go back to study. The book is well edited and well organized. I found only two errors in over 500 pages of reading, which I consider to be excellent. This helped me flow through the novel easily without putting it down. The timeline in the story was also very easy to follow. As there is nothing I disliked about No Dark Clouds, I rate it a solid 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book to fans of historical fiction. People that want to learn more about the teachings of Jesus will also find this book interesting.
No Dark Clouds
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