Jay Adams | 2/17/2014
" Well written, interesting story line. I enjoyed reading Cornwell's Sharpe series awhile back and this was every bit as good. Copperhead comes next chronologically, so it's on my down the road reading list. "
Nancy Ellis | 2/17/2014
" Not my favorite Cornwell book but still very good! Interesting story told from the point of view of a Massachusetts boy fighting for the South in his friend's father's Virginia regiment. Thankfully the story is not romanticized or turned into fantasy as so many Civil War novels are. Through the development of many strong characters, the flaws of human ignorance shine through and make it a very good story. "
Carrie | 2/16/2014
" Just as dramatic and gory as one would want and expect. "
Stephen | 2/13/2014
" Nathaniel Starbuck shouldn't be in South, but this son of a preacher man is positively hopeless when it comes to the ladies. Love tore him from the seminary, and it led him into Virginia just as the United States was about to be rent in war, as southern aristocrats -- having finally lost their domineering influence over the path of the nation -- seceded from the union rather than face the prospect of inevitable change. The appearance of a Bostonian in their midst on the eve of war doesn't sit right with the townfolk, and Starbuck makes his first appearance running from an angry mob set on tarring and feathering him. Fortunately, young Nathaniel is friends with the richest man in Falcouner County -- Washington Falcouner, who owns a mansion with its own name. Such influence is handy, for it saves Nate's life...but in return for his assistance, Falcouner would like Nate to join his fancy new regiment. While some fear war, to Falcouner it's a marvelous opportunity to dress in uniforms, salute the flag, woo the ladies, and win some glory. So Nate, son of an abolitionist preacher, is thrown by chance where no one would possibly expect to find him: in the ranks of the Confederate Army, where he will find what fate has in store for him.
I never expected to read the Starbuck Chronicles, for despite having been born and raised in the South, I've always been a stalwart Union man. The idea of a northern fellow fighting for the rebels did not sit well with me at all. Oh, I grudgingly figured I would try the first book one day, because it was after all a Bernard Cornwell novel, and I am rather enamored of his work -- but I didn't plan on liking it. As it happens, Nathaniel Starbuck is not an idealist. Frankly, I was off my rocker to suspect that a Cornwell protagonist would be fighting for 'principles'. No, like Richard Sharpe or Thomas Hookton, Nate is just someone who found himself in the middle of a war, realized he had a talent for soldiering, and decided to play the cards he'd been dealt. Starbuck is no more a states-rights enthusiast than Sharpe is a fan of British foreign policy, but defend it he shall, because he happened to be on that side of the Potomac when the war broke out, and -- well, it'd enrage his father, and wouldn't that be fun?
Rebel is the story of a man finding himself in battle -- at the Battle of Bull Run -- but he really starts off a boy, and this sets him apart from every other Cornwell hero I've yet read. Even when Uhtred of Bebbanburg was a boy, he brimmed over with confidence -- his charging the Norse to avenge his fallen father so impressed them that they adopted him. But Nate Starbuck is a fuzzy-faced teenager by comparison. He's utterly unsure of himself: only that profound weakness for women kept him from being utterly dominated by his father. I've haven't seen a character this easily or drastically derailed by women since The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Nathan was raised Puritan, but he can't help being a lover...and love will turn him into a fighter and see him change the fate of a nation.
Nate Starbuck amuses me. Of course the novel is superb, filled with little details that make Cornwell's world seem real, and the characters are as ever fantastic, constantly defying expectations. But Cornwell's series are known for their larger-than-life heroes, and this one has just gotten his boots on. I'm looking forward to seeing what he makes of himself. As I seem to be sliding into an American Civil War mood (for the first time since 2003...), I may be reading the series this summer. I'm interested in seeing what an English author like Cornwell makes of a conflict that involves only Americans.
The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara
Rifles for Watie, Harold Keith. Meant for teenagers, set in the west, about a young boy who joins the Union army and has various wartime adventures, including a stint pretending to be a rebel after he's caught behind enemy lines scouting. "
Ice Bear | 2/8/2014
" I know that Bernard Cornwall's books follow a similar pattern and thus it is the context that makes them stand out. I like this series and eagerly await the next episode. I also like the Vikig series, but not Sharpe. "
Ricardo | 2/2/2014
" Not quite good as the others Cornwell sagas's. Good historical placement, but the pace is awfully slow. "
Mike | 1/21/2014
" The story telling and description of the horrific action was reminiscent of the Richard Sharpe series. Which is not surprising since the conduct of the Civil War was similar to the Napolelonic wars. I think the main character is sort of a whiner and lacks purpose. "
Xthun | 1/17/2014
" classical sharpe, but in US "
Lars Johnson | 12/22/2013
" it was a very well written civil war novel also unlike other civil war novels where they just talk about the war this series also talks about the people of the time. "
Patrick | 12/8/2013
" I thought this was an incredible book. Excellent description of battle scenes and good character building. Can't Wait to read the next one! If you're a fan of historical fiction and more precisely the American Civil War, this book is the way to go. "
Anthony | 4/3/2013
" BC is awesome, as always. I will be reading the whole series immediately. Nathaniel Starbuck stumbles into the Civil War amidst an interesting, well-told, even haunting story. I really wish there were more writers out there doing this kind of thing. "
Pat O'halloran | 3/26/2013
" Disappointing first book in the series, for me too much scene building and not enough action "
John | 3/5/2013
" very cool, it gave me some knowledge of the battle of bull run I did not have "
Travis Bughi | 11/3/2012
" Normally, I really like Bernard Cornwell, like a lot, but I think I already knew too much about the American Civil War to get deep into "Rebel." It was a good read but didn't convince me to continue with the series. "
Hofo | 9/6/2012
" An engaging story about a fictional county's legion in the Confederacy and how one man came to rebel against the country and family he grew up with. "
shay | 1/9/2012
" i really enjoyed this historical fiction about the lead-up to the first battle in the civil war. the characters are interesting and nuanced and the books moves at a good pace. i'll be interested to read more in the series. "
Makenna | 9/11/2011
" A strange plot, too many characters, too much action and over-busy. Horrid for me :( "
Chris | 8/28/2011
" I kept waiting for it to get somewhere, but in vain. "