- Title: The Abdication
- Author: Justin Newland
- Publisher: Matdor Books on July 4, 2021
- Genre: Historical Fantasy
- Pages: 217
- Formats Available: Paperback & Digital
- Rating: 4/5
Trigger Warnings: Violence, Human Sacrifice, Animal Sacrifice, Bullying
Many thanks to Justin Newland for providing me with a paperback copy of The Abdication with a request for an honest review. Also, thanks to Zooloo’s Book Tours for inviting me to the tour and providing me with the content for this post.
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About The Abdication
The town of Unity sits perched on the edge of a yawning ravine where, long ago, a charisma of angels provided spiritual succour to a fledgling human race. Then mankind was granted the gift of free will and had to find its own way, albeit with the guidance of the angels. The people’s first conscious act was to make an exodus from Unity. They built a rope bridge across the ravine and founded the town of Topeth. For a time, the union between the people of Topeth and the angels of Unity was one of mutual benefit. After that early spring advance, there had been a torrid decline in which mankind’s development resembled a crumpled, fading autumnal leaf.
Following the promptings of an inner voice, Tula, a young woman from the city, trudges into Topeth. Her quest is to abide with the angels and thereby discover the right and proper exercise of free will. To do that, she has to cross the bridge – and overcome her vertigo. Topeth is in upheaval; the townsfolk blame the death of a child on dust from the nearby copper mines. The priests have convinced them that a horde of devils have thrown the angels out of Unity and now occupy the bridge, possessing anyone who trespasses on it. Then there’s the heinous Temple of Moloch!
The Abdication is the story of Tula’s endeavour to step upon the path of a destiny far greater than she could ever have imagined.Provided by Zooloo’s Book Tours for Tour Use
Justin Newland brings an alternate history to life in his newest book, The Abdication. Told from the viewpoint of Hebrew mythology, this story looks into the soul of what might have been. Every part of this book held me in awe. The origin stories are not anything I’ve ever read. Yet the whole book left me feeling as though I’ve known these origin stories all my life.
Tula fights her way through a derelict city and into war-torn areas to get to where the angels live. A place called Unity. To get there, she has to pass through Topeth. According to legend, Topeth was the Top City. But, when Tula arrived, she found a barren town full of death and devastation. Alas, she worked her way through to get to the bridge that would allow her to pass into Unity. But, as Tula passed through the city, she collected new friends and enemies. These folks made her think twice before going to the home of the angels. She knows she must get there, but will the Creator allow her to live long enough to make it?
Tula is a fantastic character. Her inner glow allows some of the townspeople to trust her. Though, others make life difficult for her. Tula’s struggles bring her to the brink of death, but she continues with her truth. I love how Tula’s story weaves in with the rest of Topeth. I saw from the start that her story led to a path of redemption for some of the townsfolk. Tula’s decision, in the end, upset me a little. But I don’t know why. The choices she needs to make are difficult for her. I knew where I wanted Tula’s heart to go, but she didn’t agree.
The town of Topeth depressed me. This town supposedly held high regard for a human’s free will. But, when gifted with free will, the citizens of Topeth turned it to ruin. The people mined the lands until there was nothing left but dust and death. They allowed the Acropolis to become an architectural ruin. They turned against the angels and the Creator to build a new religion. A religion where animal and human sacrifice were the norm. Despair and fear took over the lives of the townsfolk. I cried many times.
The last 50 or so pages of the book led me to believe that all wrongs would become right. Abel took charge of the town. He didn’t back down from the town bullies, and he took charge. The despair lifted, and the people began to believe in something again. Tula finally made it to Unity. Those tears were tears of relief and gladness. I allowed myself to hope along with the townspeople.
It pleases me to award The Abdication 4 out of 5 stars. I thought this book was historical fiction, but my joy at realizing that it’s based on myth made my heart sing. I’ve learned legends I didn’t know existed. My gratitude toward Justin Newland for bringing this story to me is strong. If you want to learn some Hebrew legends, give this book a read.
About the Author – Justin Newland
Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers – that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.
The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind.
The Old Dragon’s Head is a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times.
Set during the Great Enlightenment, The Coronation reveals the secret history of the Industrial Revolution.
His latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery.