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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and grittingly realistic
I am quite a fan of Bernard Cornwell , one of the great historical novelists of today,. his books are both easy to read and difficult to put down, I have not yet read the Sharpe series, but have read the Saxon Chronicles, The first book in the Warlord Series, the Grailquest series, , Stonehenge, and the historical detective novel, Gallows Thief.
This book, the first...
Published on 2 Jun 2012 by Gary Selikow

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A slow start to an excellant series.
At first i was dissapointed, both in the amount of time it took to get anything to actually happen to Starbuck and the character of Starbuck himself. This is a slow and very slightly boring book but vital if you want to enjoy the delights of Cornwell's American Civil War series which is easily as good as his famous Sharpe series. Starbuck takes the entire book to...
Published on 26 Oct 2001 by michael_hawkes@cwcom.net


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A slow start to an excellant series., 26 Oct 2001
By 
This review is from: Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles, Book 1) (Paperback)
At first i was dissapointed, both in the amount of time it took to get anything to actually happen to Starbuck and the character of Starbuck himself. This is a slow and very slightly boring book but vital if you want to enjoy the delights of Cornwell's American Civil War series which is easily as good as his famous Sharpe series. Starbuck takes the entire book to transform from the indecisive, lost little preacher's son to the intelligent, decisive rebel captain of the next book. As an introduction to the series i was almost put off but i persevered and was grateful for doing so, Starbuck ends up just as strong and entertaining as the great man, Sharpe himself and i'm already eagerly searching for the next book in my series. The end of the book is well worth the wait though and the battle scene is wonderful, describing the ineptitude of both armies and the emotions of the men fighting their first war. The Starbuck chronicles are great and i strongly recommend this book to get into them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and grittingly realistic, 2 Jun 2012
By 
This review is from: Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles, Book 1) (Paperback)
I am quite a fan of Bernard Cornwell , one of the great historical novelists of today,. his books are both easy to read and difficult to put down, I have not yet read the Sharpe series, but have read the Saxon Chronicles, The first book in the Warlord Series, the Grailquest series, , Stonehenge, and the historical detective novel, Gallows Thief.
This book, the first in The Starbuck Chronicles did not disappoint. It is both grittingly realistic and exciting. It explains how Nathaniel Starbuck, the son of a fiery anti-slavery preacher, (who treated his own children no better than the slaves he championed)came to fight for the Confederacy It traces Starbuck's development from a less than confident seminary graduate to a crack soldier. It brings the American Civil War and the America of the time to life, focusing on characters from across the social spectrum.
Starbuck serves the father of his best friend, Washington Faulconer, a wealthy Virginian landowner who raises the Faulconer legion, various other friends and foes populate the novel including the antagonist Ethan Ridley, who Starbuck vows to murder following his cruel betrayal of the beautiful girl from a humble background Sally Truslow.
The narrative in interesting and it is a treat for every history buff and a vivid tale of men at war, with detailed and gory battle scenes
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable enough, 6 Jan 2008
By 
D. Hughes (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles, Book 1) (Paperback)
Bernard Cornwell is best known for his Sharp books, set in the napoleonic war. I've never actually read any of those, but I've seen the TV series (it still counts). I have read a couple of books in his Grail Quest trilogy however, and found its setting of the hundred years' war fascinating. The book Rebel is the first of a quartet set during the American civil war. He seems to like his wars does Mr Cornwell.

Rebel fits firmly into Cornwell's usual formula. The protagonist is an officer who doesn't quite belong into the army he is fighting for. There is a roguish streetwise sergeant sidekick, a bumbling and incompetent superior officer, and of course the mandatory bloody great big war.

Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. Rebel moves across the pages most agreeably. But I have been spoilt for historical novels by George MacDonald Fraser's excellent Flashman series. Rebel's Starbuck seems a little bland when compared to the magnificently amoral Harry Flashman. In addition I didn't come away from the book actually feeling like I'd learned anything. Sure the book was packed full names, locations and strategies of the battle of Bull Run (the first major conflict of the American civil war); but to be honest I'm not convinced much of it will stick. Perhaps it is a little unfair to blame Cornwell for my own intellectual failings however.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good read, 29 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles, Book 1) (Paperback)
A rather ropey start sets this novel of the American Civil War off on the wrong foot, but stick with it few the first half dozen pages and you're in for a treat. Good characterisation and wonderfully patient description rub shoulders with high action in a novel which shows Cornwell is capable of a good deal more than the Sharpe novels which brought him to fame. Rebel is the first of a series of novels (subtitled The Starbuck Chronicles) which chart the history of Nathanial Starbuck, a Northerner who turns his back on his own kind to join the Confederate army of the South. In addition to the jibes and aggravation of his new brothers in arms, Starbuck must deal with the ethical problems of fighting against friends and family through some of the biggest battlkes of the conflict. All in all a cracking good read and highly recommended to anyone with an interest in America's most turbulent times.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Inauspicious Begining, 10 Nov 2002
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles, Book 1) (Paperback)
One of my favorite writers of historical fiction kicks off his Civil War series with this remarkably tepid tale. A number of flaws make themselves manifest over the course of the book, the foremost of which is an unlikable hero. Cornwell seems to have decided to take the hero of his wildly successful Napoleonic era series, Richard Sharpe, and make his new hero come from the exact opposite background. Unfortunately, while one is naturally inclined to root for an orphaned, gutter-bred, ill-mannered rogue who rises through the ranks due to sheer merit, one is much less likely to root for the privileged scion of a Boston abolitionist preacher who joins the Confederate forces as an act of rebellion against his strict upbringing! Indeed, while Sharpe grows and learns a little in each book, the only thing Starbuck seems to learn in this first volume is to devalue human life! Indeed, his overall transformation seems rather forced.
It doesn't help that Cornwell appears to be creating the same setups as in the Sharpe series, giving his hero a dangerous and loyal sidekick, a passel of idiotic officers, with one or two sprinkled in who recognize the hero's value. There's even a tempting woman to lead all the men astray! It's also rather slow and plodding compared to the Sharpe books, although granted, it appears to be designed more as a prelude to the series than anything else.
The story follows 20ish Nate Starbuck, as he enlists in a local Confederate force being mustered by the fabulously wealthy and dangerously vain father of his best friend. The book sees the slow build to war, as the "Faulconer Legion" equips and readies itself, before finally getting into action at the Battle of Manassas (aka Bull Run 1). The battle/action scenes are adequate, but not as gripping as his Napoleonic stuff. I suspect this may be because the Civil War is more familiar to us Americans-we've seen it in print, on TV, in film, even reenacted!-whereas the Napoleonic battle has the allure of something new.
As always with Cornwell, there's a ton of interesting little details, and various historical figures popping in and out of the plot. He does seem to play rather loose with a number of facts, but it is fiction after all. I'll read the next in the series, but this one was a serious disappointment for this Cornwell fan!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read., 8 July 2013
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I enjoyed this book. It fits plausible characters into a strange time in US history. Clever use of one character, Nate Starbuck, into the mix allows the view of both sides to be aired. Starbuck being a Bostonian fighting for the South.
The book goes at a good pace and is very informative.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebel (Starbuck Chronicles) Bernard Cornwell, 15 Dec 2009
By 
A. Johnson (East Yorks, England UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles, Book 1) (Paperback)
If you are interested in the American Civil War then this book is definitely for you. I read the third book in the series (Battle Flag) first and was so impressed that I had to buy the whole set. Cornwell must have done an incredible amount of research - his attention to detail is remarkable. I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping that he will write a further novel re Nathaniel Starbuck's exploits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb historical ficion, 9 Jun 2013
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Fasten your seat belt and prepare yourself to go adventuring with Nathaniel Starbuck through the American Civil War I have read this series twice once started cannot put it down. Brilliant
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebel, 7 May 2013
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Excellent read. I have read a number of books by the same author and I have never been disappointed. Fiction set in a background of historical fact.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 11 April 2013
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Really interesting read. The battles were really good, just purchased the next book in the series. Would highly recommended this book.
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Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles, Book 1)
Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles, Book 1) by Bernard Cornwell (Paperback - 10 Jan 1994)
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