Reviews - By Presidential Order

Review #1

It first it took me a while to really grasp what was happening, but once I got the hang of it, I really like how everything came together, and I enjoyed reading this unusual book! I think Anthony Anglorus writes very well. very descriptive and strong and we feel like we are there almost like watching a movie or something. We see the story unfold through several different character's perspectives from past to present (or near future, that is) and I liked the fast-paced and energetic narrative that is descriptive and with a fast flow to the dialogue. Perfect for this type of story.

Although usually I'm not a fan of the time-travel angle, it really worked here and it all came together in the end in a surprisingly believable way (as much as it can be). I like how this book felt like a mix of current politics, blended with some speculative fiction and religious philosophy. It is intelligent and looks at life through a different lens. not to be taken literally, but is more of a "what if this is what happened?" sort of approach. I for one enjoyed the 'alternate' take on religious history and Jesus's/ Jeshu role in the crucifixion.

I was wondering how the author would manage to tie it all up in the end, and I was happy with how it wrapped up. He clearly did his research on the era and historical figures and it shows. There were some editing mistakes I noticed - nothing too terrible though. Overall an engaging, surreal novel that thinks outside the box and I'd recommend for fans of literary sci/fi, speculative fiction with a religious bent. Would happily read more from Mr. Anglorus in the future. (4.5 stars)

Review #2

I was totally hooked on "By Presidential Order" by Anthony Anglorus right from the beginning and it kept my attention throughout. It was intelligent, weird, philosophical, dark, funny, deep, complex.all the things I look for in a good book. I thought the storyline and the character development to be very well done and thought out, and I liked the whole concept of exploring what a 'rogue' president would do in the name of his religious convictions and how it could affect history and the future.

Was interesting to travel back in time (to approx. 27AD) to be there ourselves first hand and experience the events as they unfold. I can see this book perhaps ruffling feathers of those who are hardcore believers, but for those who can just appreciate creative ingenuity and a different way of looking at life and history, it is an entertaining ride.

This is by far one of the more original premises I've encountered in a while, and I feel like this level of complexity could have easily ended up badly, but instead I darn near gobbled the whole book down in just a few evenings. The editing is pretty good overall (a few things here and there), and even though I didn't initially like the ending, it does fit well I suppose. This book will stay with me for a long time, but in a good way. Recommend for fans of spiritual and Sci/Fi - time travel books. (5 stars)

Review #3

This novel, "By Presidential Order" was quite a change of pace for me, as I normally gravitate towards more contemporary romance or nonfictions, but this was one engaging tale that I couldn't put down!

The opening scene grabbed me, both with the weird setup and the engaging narrative voice. I did have to have some patience in the beginning until I felt that I was more caught up in the thrust of the story, but the author does a great job of explaining all the character backstory and sub- plots.. Speaking of characters - there were some really good ones here. Happy that they were not cliché, cardboard cutouts but relatable and real. (even for not being real). I liked that I never quite knew where the story was going, and it was anything but predictable. my eyebrows shot up and my jaw dropped many times. It gets pretty intense, and I wasn't prepared for where the book went, but it was certainly different from a typical read, in fact I literally can't think of any other book I could compare it to!

A mix of politics, religious beliefs (past and present) and time travel. It does keep you wondering, and I'll say that Anthony Anglorus has a great way of writing interesting characters and snappy dialogue that moves the story forward nicely (instead of dry, boring narrative that I can't stand), and even if it isn't my normal genre, I loved it! (4 stars)

Review #4

Lately I've been in a rut of putting down books and not picking them up again because I lost interest at one point and just never continued. This was definitely not the case with this book, "By Presidential Order" by Anthony Anglorus.

From the very beginning the story moved seamlessly from one page to the next, and was unpredictable enough to make me just *have* to see what would happen next. Not formulaic or cookie-cutter at all, even though there are plenty of "familiar elements" necessary for a time-travel novel, this one is very different from others in the sense that it really incorporate real events from history and the vibe of modern-day politics in such an unusual fashion, yet it totally worked. I was impressed with this author's writing style and his attention to character detail.

There are so many twists and turns this is probably one of the most original premises I've come across in a while.Great writing and so much action I literally couldn't put down the last 20% or so. Could use better proofing, but overall was a tightly-focused and engaging ride. Will be looking for more from Anthony Anglorus in the future! (4 stars)

Review #5

I definitely enjoyed this book by Anthony Anglorus. I'm not exactly sure how you would classify it (Religious? Science fiction? Political? Action? Drama?), but it was very good. I won't rehash the plot (that is what the book description is for), but in my opinion this is one of those books that really is so much more than what the blurb can convey.

It was surprisingly complex and visionary (pardon the pun) and managed to keep me complete engaged. I noticed that the author avoided the common rookie mistake of "telling" instead of "showing" which was a huge relief (especially in sci-fi where authors so often feel the need to 'describe' everything to death), and I felt a part of the action the entire time, starting with the earliest dialogue and 'conversations' with the characters, past and present. Anglorus does a great job with the 'alternative' world-building and for the most part the pacing was spot on.

There are some interesting insights and alternative viewpoints presented here I that think are worthy of consideration, even if not taken literally, can be pondered upon and deserves further speculation. It does present some ideas that could perhaps offend the more hardcore Christian crowd, but if you can read it with an open mind and just enjoy the creative and though-provoking journey through 'time' it's a great ride! (4-5 stars)

Review #6

"By Presidential Order" is an excellent novel that captured my interest from the beginning, pulled me in, and never once let go! Anthony Anglorus is a writer who knows how to grab and keep our attention! Each scene was riveting, imaginative, and flowed smoothly from one to the next. never a "dull part" where you get bored or want to skip ahead. in fact almost the opposite with the various interweaving plotlines and going from one character and event and time period to the next, from the desert to the moon.

The descriptions were very strong, and I mean with the author's word choice. unique and powerful.. Had a very 'literary' and spiritual quality, especially for a speculative fiction/ sci-fi book, which may or may not work for some readers, but I loved it. I felt like I was genuinely inside the characters' hearts and heads experiencing the world through their eyes, for better or worse.

I would love to read more from Anglorus in the future.He has a natural gift for creating a well-thought out story and developing deeply memorable characters with intelligent and thought-provoking message. Recommend for ages 16 and up. (5 stars)

Review - The Prince of Prigs

"Historical fiction is a genre that holds much potential for both entertainment and education, basing its premise on facts and weaving in a healthy dose of fiction for embellishment and attraction. At its best, it provides a strong segue between fiction and nonfiction, and does so in such a way that history comes to life in the form of characters and settings steeped in realistic presentations and based in truth.

"The Prince of Prigs is such a beast, based on the life and exploits of highwayman Captain James Hind, who adopted a Robin Hood-type role between 1633 and 1649. He was generous to the poor, witty even during his robberies (which were designed to not hurt anyone even as money transferred hands), and focused his attacks on rich political figures. There was much historical background and lively source material, therefore, for The Prince of Prigs, which does not disappoint in its lively presentation of the highwayman (and women!) at work.

"Court proceedings, Cromwell's contentions, issues of liberty and peace, fair trials and manipulators and monsters: all these facets of the times come to life in a ringing tale that captures a pivotal moment in British history and brings it to life.

"Any who view historical fiction as dry or plodding should pick up The Prince of Prigs: it wraps courtroom drama, social issues, flamboyant personalities and British politics under one cover and represents a rollicking good read even for audiences who normally eschew the genre. As for those who know how compelling it can be - The Prince of Prigs is ample evidence of the powers of historical fiction."

D Donovan, Midwest Book Review

Review - The Prince of Prigs

As I was setting up this post, I noticed in the author blurb that he is working on the sequel to The Prince of Prigs. I must say a hearty, "HUZZAH" to that, as I thoroughly enjoyed this book! And the way in which the end of Prince was set up was great. I knew the end was coming as the pages were getting fewer and fewer by the minute, but thank goodness Mr. Anglorus does not give us one of those abrupt endings that leaves a reader hanging.

I learned as much about the English Civil Wars from reading this book as I had in any world history class, and enjoyed it far more! Rare would be the highwayman that showed charity with the less fortunate citizens of the time (of anytime, really), so it was hard not to like Captain James Hind, thief though he may be. It's hard not to draw a comparison to Robin Hood, with the steal-from-the-rich-give-to-the-poor mentality of Hind's.

Compare James Hind to the character of Zachary Howard, who, like Hind, was a soldier loyal to King Charles. When that side was defeated the Parliamentarians stripped him of his lands and titles, leaving him little choice but to take up the same subsequent profession of Hind, that of a highwayman. But there the comparison ends there. Hind was not well-to-do to start with, but shared his 'ill-gotten booty' with those even less fortunate than him. Howard had been rich, and took his revenge on the family of the least offensive Parliamentarian there, stealing silver and jewelry, tying up the household staff, and sexually assaulting both the man's daughter and wife all in the same evening. Hind went out of his way to leave his mark alive. Howard seemed to take perverse pleasure in killing. I think I may have cheered out loud when Howard got his comeuppance on two occasions.

In setting themselves up as absolute power in England, the Parliamentarians (and those specifically those in the Commons who ignored the House of Lords and barred entry to the Commons to those duly elected members who did not agree with them) could be offered as a proof of the Lord Acton statement that, "Power tends to corrupt; and absolute power corrupts absolutely." They were no better than the King they deposed and put to death.

I feel it is a testament to the skill of the author that I had empathy for many characters on both sides of the action - even ones I did not particularly like, with that one notable exception above. The scenes, especially between the various officers, Parliamentarians and their wives were poignant and showed that despite their different 'positions' or 'ranks' they were all, indeed, husbands and fathers ... they were men.

If you like historical fiction, you will like The Prince of Prigs, regardless if you are male or female. Ditto if you like action stories a la Three Musketeers or Robin Hood. If you are not versed in the English Civil Wars, you will learn something...and have a great time doing so.

Backporchervations blogspot

Review - The Prince of Prigs

FROM GOODREADS: The union of England and Scotland under one crown is not even a half century old, and the Parliamentarians already threaten the very fabric of the nationl These are the adventures of highwayman Capt. James Hind who, in Robin Hood fashion, steals from the Roundheads to help fund the royalist cause. When Cromwell comes to power, James, the Prince of Prigs, must be careful whom amony his treacherous "friends" he trusts.

MY TAKE: I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Anthony Anglorus. It was a delightful "backstage" view into the lives of several powerful figures in history with a lovely dose of fiction for sheer entertainment.

Many questions popped into my head while reading this, mostly regarding the actual English law and the blatant disregard so many of the elected politicians had for it. (Of course, here we are centuries later and that is still an issue we're dealing with.) Some of the "court" scenes were actually a little comical while also being maddening at the same time. I've read a lot of history regarding Charles Stuart and his reign and while not a fan of the inept King, I think the injustice of this entire period is sad and terrible.

The author was very adept at giving us the mental picture and feel of what it might have been like to been in that room. I have to admit to laughing at the spot where Charles pokes John Cook in the back with his cane. The same cane that the head had fallen off of earlier and Charles was forced to pick up himself. Small human moments like that really pulled me into the story. The descriptions of the people and the scene were spot on.

Characters in this book were very easy to become involved with. It didn't matter if they were the good guys or the bad, they are so well written that you can't help but become engaged in their story. I enjoyed that we were allowed to see so many sides of these people. James Hind, our Prince of Prigs is shown as a soldier, a thief, a friend, a family man and a political insider. Moll is an aged prostitute who is involved in several threads and intrigues. Even Cromwell has his moments as a father in contrast to the dastardly deeds he's masterminding behind the scenes. The same can't be said for Zachary Howard though, I felt he was a horrible person with nothing to redeem him. I was seriously rooting for him to get what he deserved.

In all, I highly recommend this book. If you are a fan of historical fiction with adventure and intrigue thrown in the mix, this is the book for you. If you just want a political thriller with some true historical figures as stars, this is the book for you. I loved it and I am excited to also let you know that a second book is in the making.

One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Review - The Prince of Prigs

This was such a fun and interesting read! James Hind is a very rich and entertaining character. I loved the way the author told this story and enveloped me in the mist of the English Civil war. The author gave so much insight into the turmoil of the time. He grabbed my attention from page one. I loved both the adventure but also the emotion that the author injected into his characters. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, found it very informative and highly recommend it.

Book Nerds

Review - The Prince of Prigs

I found this on

"I tend not to read this particular genre but an enforced hospital stay found me reading this book. I found it engaging from the start and I was unable to put the book down.

The fast moving storyline was skillfully integrated with the history of the period and hence the book was both educational and enjoyable.

A masterful first book for the author and a triumph in converting me to this genre. I look forward to more from this author. - Amazon Customer"

I kinda like it. Glowing a bit, in fact.