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 nation. 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 among his treacherous “friends” he trusts.
Praise for Prince of Prigs: 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
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.
(disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)
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.
Original review posted at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf.
*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Adventure? Check. Intrigue? Check. A hell of a good read? Double check!
I must first blame the Seventeenth Century Lady for getting me so fascinated by this era…and I must now blame Mr. Anglorus for fully thrusting me into the love of it. The English Civil War is not one that is really focused on in a lot of books, which is a pity because it is a very fascinating time and honestly, it’s almost unbelievable in how it occurs. I mean, beheading your own King? (Poor Charles I!) Usurping the power and ruling the realm with a Puritan iron fist? Okay, I mean, I know it happens in France a century later, but it seems like no one really pays mind to this period of time.
Fortunately, The Prince of Prigs takes us there and introduces us a to delightful cast of characters. I must give endless praise because the author gives us a story that has great depth, emotion and the feeling of being there right in the midst of all of the action. Captain James Hind is extremely likeable; a Robin Hood of sorts. He is our main character and I’m glad that he was; though the story was driven by the events and strong characters like our good Captain, he really was what kept it going. (Did that make sense, I think it did.) Zachary Howard….you’re going to positively despise him. And I mean that. I could go on and on about each character, but that would defeat the purpose and I really want you to go read this book! The author does a brilliant job of making you empathetic towards characters on each side of the realm here, peppering it with very human moments that we might not think about otherwise.
I am absolutely delighted that there’s going to be a sequel and I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
A good read with characters true to the time period and conflicts of seventeenth century England. The author is knowledgeable about King Charles 1, Cromwell, and the time period. The story takes you on a journey where you hope the Highwayman is successful as he steals in Robin Hood fashion, and maneuvers the treacherous world of good and evil always for the good of the Crown. The author treats you to a world that only few can imagine and leaves you wishing for more
I really enjoyed reading The Prince of Prigs, I love that Captain James Hind is a Robin Hood type. He didn’t believe in killing someone if he didn’t have too. I love reading historical fiction and but I am not a historian, especially European history. I loved reading this story and thinking that I am so glad that I didn’t live in that era. The characters were all very interesting and was very interesting to read. There is shooting, beheading, killing and other bloody stuff in this book, but it is part of history. I loved reading about Captain James Hind and how he tried to do what he thinks is right for his country. I felt the author Anthony Anglorus did a great job of writing this story and made history a little bit more interesting to read. If you love reading historical fiction, and wars, this book is really good. I did receive an ARC from the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.
I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
I'll admit, I don't know much about England and Scotland's history surrounding the Roundheads and Cromwell, aside from the basics, so I started this book with a very open mind. Immediately, I found myself giggling at the antics of James as he tried to escape from soldiers dressed as a prostitute. I was not disappointed throughout the rest of the novel. Although I found parts a bit slow, as a historical fiction author, I understand sometimes it's important to discuss some of the historical and political issues of the time frame. It allows the reader to have a better understanding of the people living during that period. Overall, this is a solid four star read for me.