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Novum Orbis Regium
476 CE. Badon Hill is under siege by the Saxon warlord Oesc of Kent. Arthur’s cavalry holds the high ground. A heavy mist rolls into the valley during the night, blanketing the Saxon camp and giving Arthur his chance to end three generations of war. As the blood-red sun rises above the mist, Arthur and his horsemen plunge down the mountainside in hopes of finally turning their isle of woes into a Camelot to be dreamed of by generations to come. Modern Day. For fifteen centuries, the Clan Camulodunum has kept Arthur’s bloodline from ending in the hopes of one day bringing a new Camelot to the world. William “Mac” MacCrarey, Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations and Arthur's last living descendant, has called for a Charter Amendment Conference to begin transitioning the UN into a world-wide democratic government – a Novum Orbis Regium. During his decades-long rise through the ranks of the United Nations, the ruthlessly ambitious Secretary-General Rene Boujeau has amassed a black-market fortune and used it bankroll dictators in key countries and build their armies to massive levels. Now he’s ready to coalesce them into a single military force capable of bringing the world to its knees. Only America will be strong enough to stop him…if he doesn’t undermine her democracy first. With the help of a U.S. Senator, a popular televangelist, and an event of biblical proportions, he devises a plan to place a puppet President in the White House and foment social and political bedlam. Entrusted to execute the plan is Boujeau’s cold-blooded Under-Secretary-General Gerhardt Schoen, whose family's dark and secret past has haunted Arthur’s descendants for centuries…as it will Mac and his young daughter Cameron.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 6 out of 10
Overall: 6.75 out of 10


Plot: As much mythical as mystery, and as much polemic as thriller, the author's take on America lurching toward a Trumpian theocracy is engaging in itself, though references to the first book in an apparent series are opaque at times.

Prose/Style: The author's prose style, when it comes to action scenes or inter-character dialogue, is for the most part clean and crisp, if occasionally didactic, but the initial descriptions of major players are overly detailed. That being said, the author's litany of how his brave new democratic world would function is breathtakingly long-winded.

Originality: Though barely grounded in reality -- it's unlikely a would-be assassin could perch unseen in a General Assembly translation booth -- Holdsworth's blend of the legend of Camelot, a hidden Nazi village and the world's increasingly illiberal tendencies is compelling.

Character Development: Characters central to the narrative are fully dimensional, despite a couple of back-from-the-dead implausibilities, but too many of the hero's numerous sidekicks are ciphers.

Date Submitted: June 12, 2019

Readers' Favorite

“These are the times that try men’s souls.” – Thomas Paine. Novum Orbis Regium is an engaging thriller by W.A. Holdsworth. In 476 CE, King Arthur’s cavalry fights the Saxons at Mons Badonicus. An unusual fog covers the Saxon army, enabling Arthur to end the war and focus on bringing harmony to the world. Fifteen centuries later, his descendant, William MacCrarey, Deputy Ambassador to the UN, carries on his legacy. MacCrarey’s work and vision to maintain worldwide democracy are undermined by General Secretary Boujeau and General Schoen. They conspire to turn the country into a white supremacy affiliated with the Christian National Fellowship Pact. However, the heir of Arthur stands in their way. Schoen’s dark past also yearns to come to light and claim its revenge.

“The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” – Leonardo da Vinci. Novum Orbis Regium will keep you in a contemplative mood with its historical and contemporary facts and figures, as well as a religious theme. Its politics and some characters were realistic, while certain acts of discrimination displayed are similar to modern times. I felt the impact of W.A. Holdsworth’s strong, imaginative storytelling. The characters were impressive and it was nice seeing a new twist on King Arthur. There was a particular twist that took me off guard and I loved it. This thriller was truly a delight to read and is one that will make an interesting debate discussion with its quotes, scripture verses, and other significant references. This book is highly recommended.