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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
An eye for an eye? Edgar and two other young men have only just joined the prince’s parish at Arterbury Castle as novice curates. Within a day tragedy strikes; not once but twice. Two people are dead, but the prince, summoned to pass judgement, deems the deaths as accidental. But were they? Edgar knows the truth and he manages to obtain a confession. But the guilty person has threatened both Edgar and the only other minister remaining at the parish. Can and should Edgar issue a warning? Tell his superiors what he knows? Or will he be forced to take matters into his own hands? To meet out justice where it’s deserved? Then who will be the guilty party?
Joshua Robertson’s short novella, The Prince’s Parish, quickly pulls the reader into the story with active descriptions of the characters and the setting. Starting with an illicit game of chance in the church basement, each character reveals something of his true nature, a key element to the plot that develops with speed and efficiency. As the plot unravels, Edgar, the protagonist, is constantly assaulted with temptations and treachery that challenge his intent to become a disciplined and learned man of faith. His upbringing as a sheep farmer might suggest a metaphorical reference to the meek life of prayer and study that he seeks, but his firm belief in standing up for what he believes is right and just is instantly put to the test, and in ways he could never have fathomed encountering amongst a religious order. A powerful testament to the conflict of faith and beliefs.