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Rebels and Traitors [Paperback]

Lindsey Davis
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Sep 2010

Set against the terrible struggle of the English Civil War and the dark plots of the Commonwealth, Rebels and Traitors tells of soldiers, adventurers, aristocrats and kings, tradesmen, politicians, radicals and scavengers - and the hopes and dreams that carried them through one of the most turbulent eras of English history. Men who never imagined fighting a war gladly risk their lives; women strive to keep families and businesses together through years of deprivation; innocents are caught up in bloodshed and terror.

After years of struggle Gideon Jukes and Juliana Lovell, on opposite sides of the Parliamentarian/Royalist divide, are brought together by fate on one of the significant dates of the struggles and its aftermath. After adversity and loss, their mutual attraction may one day bring the comfort and companionship for which they both have yearned through a disastrous war. But a dark shadow lurks over them and even in peace the past is not far behind.

Rebels and Traitors is an absolute epic masterpiece, poignant and convincing characterisation and razor-sharp historical realism.

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Rebels and Traitors + Master and God + The Course Of Honour
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Product details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (2 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099538571
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099538578
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lindsey Davis has written nineteen novels, beginning with The Course of Honour, the love story of the Emperor Vespasian and Antonia Caenis. Her bestselling mystery series features laid-back First Century detective Marcus Didius Falco and his partner Helena Justina, plus friends, relations, pets and bitter enemy the Chief Spy. Her books are translated into many languages and serialised on BBC Radio 4. Past Chair of the Crimewriters' Association and a Vice President of the Classical Association, she has won the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, the Dagger in the Library, and a Sherlock award for Falco as Best Comic Detective. She was born in Birmingham but now lives in London.

Product Description


"Every now and then along comes an historical novel with such scope and ambition that it takes your breath away...So it is appropriate that Lindsey Davis's monumental English Civil War epic, Rebels and Traitors, is billed as the equivalent of Margaret Mitchell's American blockbuster Gone With The Wind ... Rebels and Traitors is as much an informative history lesson as a gripping historical novel and Davis spares us none of the terrible realities of this disastrous war - the slaughter of innocents, the break-up of families, the shattered dreams and the desperate struggle to survive. A magnificent evocation of time and place" (Lancashire Evening Post)

"Davies is a prolific and popular writer, with a wide following for her thrillers set in the classical world. This is something different, large-scale and very ambitious. The word "epic" is overused, but this book deserves it. Davies never forgets that this is not the "English" civil war, but a conflict fought in Wales, Ireland and Scotland as well ... Her research has been assiduous and detailed, her commitment to the subject is impressive, and the background detail is often eye-opening." (Hilary Mantel Observer)

Book Description

One of the stories from the bestselling historical fiction Falco series

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too long but very good 26 Oct 2009
Lindsay Davis moves away from her usual Roman setting in this novel, to the English Civil War. It's a lively story, with a respect for detailed history of the period and its politics. The characters are real and convincing, and bring to life what would otherwise be rather heavy going for people not passionately interested in the period. It's written with Davis's trademark dry humour (see, for instance, the "slot machine" line), and couldn't be less like the usual romantic historicals set during the Civil War. An excellent read, if at times a little too detailed in its attention to historical detail. Overall, very entertaining, if a little too long.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
This is a big book that takes a little time to gain momentum, but then goes at a cracking pace. Even in the slow(er) parts, I found I was learning more about this extraordinary period in British history than I ever did from the history books. All reviewers seem to agree that the characterisation is strong. So, one might nit pick and say that some characters are of more interest than others or that some things should have happened earlier in the book, but life just isn't like that today and most certainly was not like that back in the 1600s. I'm very grateful someone has taken the time to write a historical novel that is not compromised by any need for instant gratification, a feature that tarnishes so much modern literature, in my view.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a labour of love 8 Feb 2011
This book is so obviously a labour of love that it seems unkind to find fault with it. It is the fruit of painstaking research and this is part of the problem. Lyndsey Davis takes us through what must be every single fight and skirmish of the Civil War. It was no doubt necessary to do the research, but it doesn't need to be passed on to the reader in this degree of detail. We are taken through scene after scene of violence, rape and looting in numerous small Midlands towns (a map might have helped here), but for the purposes of the story this is not needed.The fictional characters are given quite interesting situations, but they don't come alive. We are told that one favours the Parliament, another the King, but we are not given any insight into their reasons for doing so. It is clear that Davis is on the side of the Roundheads, but she does not argue for them. Considering that there is so much topographical detail, we could have done with more explanation of the difference between Parliamentarians and Levellers. Davis nods in the direction of the various different groups by making the hero's brother Lambert belong to several of them one after the other, but this doesn't make things much clearer. There is simply too much information and not enough comment- not usually a fault of historical novels. The story of the character Kinchin, for instance, could have been taken out completely with no ill effects. All in all,a strict editor could have made this very worthy novel much better.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a really fine departure 2 April 2010
I loved this book, it reminded me of a big Dickens novel. It's slow-food reading, very deep and really skilled. The Falco books are a joy, but not the same at all if you're looking for a similar book set in a different place and time. I've been given historical novels to read in the past and put them aside, this isn't a lightwieght historical romance, or an epic love story set across generations type read. There's a huge amount of fascinating historical detail, all with the feel of a great work of non-fiction, but it's combined with a tale which works very carefully, the characters are brilliantly crafted and engaging. I thought the ending was particularly strong.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for the discerning reader 4 Oct 2009
Readers wanting a light historical romp may want to think again before picking up this book. The more discerning reader will be delighted in the rich fabric of the novel, the unusual choice of lead characters, and the numerous twists and turns of the war and of fate and their effects on the common man. The tone is much more serious than her delightful Falco novels, taking into consideration the devastating physical and emotional costs of war. And, unlike a Falco novel, the reader will be thinking about the events and outcomes in the novel long after the last page is read. Rebels and Traitors is an extraordinary read, one that I highly recommend to those who care deeply about the costs of war--whether in modern times or times long past--and the strength of love.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A history rather than a novel 24 Oct 2009
Although there are a number of fictional characters in the book, this is essentially a factual account of the civil war. I am a huge fan of Lindsey Davis, but found this a trifle hard going as fact follows fact. Real events, people and places whirl in and out of the story and I know that I'm reading a true history, which is fascinating and interesting, but not enthralling, because there's too much information to take in. I'm surprised that this subject wasn't written as a series; it would have been far more palatable in slimmer volumes with more rounded characterisations of the fictional characters, on whom the impact of war was visited, and a more leisurely account of the real people who turned events.
All in all a great book, but there's too much subject here for one book. AND the ending is too bleak, this needs reviewing and better still re-writing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Two books in one
On completion I feel that I have read two books, not one. One is a history of the Civil War, complete with quotes from documents and detailed historical scenarios. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stan
4.0 out of 5 stars Civil War -the people's story
Excellent story woven in and around historic detail -personal story line drove the novel along at pace. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. Alan John Carroll
3.0 out of 5 stars Historical
Assume events are accurate but probably characters are not. Found it quite hard going at times as a lot going on for each main character.
Published 7 months ago by S F Canfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Merits and limitations in equal measure
Well, as a novel - a disappointment. Too much of the third person narrative style and this interspersed with action at a more personal or individual level, which does not mesh... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Literary Goshawk
4.0 out of 5 stars A good yarn
An interesting story, very accessible but not Lyndsey's normal standard of humour associated with the falco novels. Still I enjoyed it very much
Published 9 months ago by C. Vyse
4.0 out of 5 stars Good history.
The history is markedly reliable, the story works slowly but ends cleverly, with the characters all brought together at last..
Published 9 months ago by ANDREW J GURR
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleased
The book was dispatched quickly and received in good condition. Having enjoyed other books by this author,I am looking forward to a great read.
Published 9 months ago by no
Published 13 months ago by Mrs. B. Preston
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow going
I mainly know Lindsey Davis from her "Falco" series of novels. While this is interesting and well crafted, it does rather "plod" along, lacking pace and failing to... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr. M. Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling
I read this long book in a couple of days and suffered with the characters. Excellent research and warm empathy.
Published 14 months ago by Luise Hemmer Pihl
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