The Abdication

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  • A modern re-telling of the Biblical story of Adam and Eve and their departure from the Garden of Eden.
  • A spiritual journey of redemption and self-discovery and profound commentary on the human condition.
  • Deals with the themes of the meaning of human identity, the role of destiny within that, and the spiritual journey that awaits us all.
  • 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 fledgeling 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.

    Publisher Matador (28 July 2021)
    Language English
    Paperback 328 pages
    ISBN 9781800463950
    Dimensions 15.3 x 3.5 x 22.9 cm



    "A thoroughly enjoyable and compelling read - fast paced, full of adventure, it kept me seeking the answers to finding what was next. I especially related to the main character, who never gave up on her quest."
    Mary McGrane

    "The characters draw you in, keeping you intrigued until the end. It's a novel you won't want to finish so you can stay in Tula's world a little longer. If you enjoy mystery, philosophy and action, then read The Abdication."
    Sarah Byard.

    "As a discerning reader not easily impressed by genre fiction, The Abdication came as a long-desired, pleasant surprise. Justin Newland is a historical fantasy author who successfully broke my growing bias towards fantasy and other forms of genre fiction. The Abdication is a novel worthy, not just to be read, but for a compelling discussion afterward with fellow readers and friends.

    The journey of the young girl Tula is an old and new story successfully using the saviour archetype, embodying many themes to provoke ongoing philosophic consideration rather than relying on tiresome, ironic twists of plot. Tula's journey of self-discovery leaves the reader questioning self-determination and the possible forces guiding fate. This journey successfully winds through layers of themes revealing the ugliness of unguided humanity racing headlong with the embracement of a belief in freedom and industry that it truly does not understand and is sorely unprepared to handle.

    The story moves at a good pace and keeps the reader's interest through the eyes of Tula. In some parts, Newland slips into the treacherous areas of sounding preachy or morose with philosophy but maintains the interest by carrying deeper thoughts in a well-designed plot. These moments are rare in the novel and the necessity to mention them results only from the fact that this is a fantasy novel and the average fantasy reader will likely struggle in these parts due to lack of discernment. This is not a run-of-the-mill genre fiction novel filled with derivative characters and idiomatic motifs. If you're looking for dwarves, elves, and action spliced between the doldrums of plot - this is not the novel for you!

    Newland structures the story in many biblical and philosophic references hidden from the average reader to be discovered by the discerning reader, constructing a story driven by plot and symbolism. This lattice of thought supports the story drawing inferences both rationally and spiritually without overwhelming the reader with argument. His build of the narrative keeps the story away from a simple retelling of a saviour narrative and produces original story readers will insert themselves to realize the great journey underlying and connecting all people. Tula's journey to discover destiny leads her not just to her origin but to the origin of all people and shows the aftermath of a freewill run amuck. The end of a long walk becomes a sojourn of discovery in an industry-polluted place both morally and financially bankrupt on the road to the place of Angels. There in that place, aptly named Topeth, the reader and Tula will confront the truth, faith in oneself, faith in a higher purpose, and ultimately, what it means to abdicate that faith."

    Vincent V. Triola,, April 2021 - click here for Vincent's review at