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Rebellion: Chronicles of Charanthe [Paperback]

Rachel Cotterill
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 10 2010
When her dreams are smashed by an assignment which would leave her trapped in a job far beneath her abilities, Eleanor has nowhere to turn. The Imperial system prides itself on perfection, leaving no space for complaints. In desperation she rejects her assignment and the quality of life she would have been guaranteed - then, suddenly free for the first time in her life, finds her imagination captured by legends which tell of a secret society of elite assassins. Rebellion is the first of three novels in the Chronicles of Charanthe series.

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Product Description

About the Author

Rachel lives with her husband in the middle of the English Cotswolds. When she's not writing, she likes to gather inspiration by seeking out life's little adventures: getting lost in as many different countries as possible, collecting skills like other people collect stamps, and generally marvelling at the variety the world has to offer.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I have just finished reading Rachel Cotterill first book in the series: Chronicles of Charanthe and the First Book is REBELLION .

I have been waiting to read this book for several years after I knew Rachel was writing it, and it was everything I had hoped for and far more!

The author was able to build up a real working world that you feel there. Fully in her world, it is not just the descriptions of the world around her character Eleanor but details as types of food and cultures that she has created a living world for the reader to step into and join Eleanor as she leaves school to start on a life full of adventure.

Wanting to leave the comforts of a government school and a job already selected for her, Eleanor has her hart set upon becoming an Assassin which is not the sort of thing a nice young girl should even know about let alone dream of becoming!

As the book progresses you feel that you grow up with Eleanor as she makes her way through life.

So without giving any more away all I can say is that this is a must read, and I am personally looking forward to the next in the series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Book Nov. 24 2010
By L. Hutchings - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a really interesting book. It reads like fantasy genre, but with a unique social setup. I was drawn in by Eleanor's situation and found this very difficult to put down. I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking for the next book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Nov. 24 2010
By Robert J Stelling - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am an avid reader and am always looking for a new fiction book to read. Rachel does a wonderful job of bringing Eleanore's adventures to life. I was drawn in from the first paragraph as it captured my imagination with 'the man wearing a grew tunic was carrying a large box as he followed the head mistress'. We will all want to know what awaits each of the girls. The book is easy to follow and has me wanting more!

My family passes on these books, and I plan on sharing Rebellion: chronicles of charanthe with them in book form and on the kindle as I have others. A great holiday gift for any reader in the family!

Elizabeth Stelling
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Only for the Fantasy Aficionado Oct. 23 2010
By Josephine Hellberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This novel is as charming as it is exciting, and it contains everything I seek in a novel; mysteries, challenges, friendship, but foremost, strong characters who are easy to sympathise with, even when they do the unexpected and take a liberating step away from convention.

The novel is written in a style which is easy to follow, and the dialogue feels natural and engaging -- and doesn't reveal more to the reader than it would to the main character. It is a definite plus as it allows one to join the journey, look for clues and solve the puzzles alongside with the characters!

My overall impression with the novel is that it in a convincing manner shows that there are more possibilities available to a person than meets the eye; that the world is ripe with adventure -- does one only dare to cease the opportunity to do so. And that is something Eleanor, the main character, does with inspiring conviction, rendering this novel a satisfying read for everyone -- and not only the fantasy aficionado.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lively Adventure Fantasy with a Martial Arts Theme May 23 2012
By Thomas Cotterill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
In spite of the shared surname, Rachel Cotterill is not a relative. I was attracted to her work by the novelty of seeing my own (rare here in Canada) name on a published fantasy. My curiosity overcame my aversion to the book's horrible cover. Yes, I know it looks like some dreary leftist literary novel about Hispanic poverty in the American South-West, but the book is actually a lively fantasy adventure with a mythical setting, an interesting female main character (named simply Eleanor), and a strong martial-arts theme.

Much of the novel's abundant action takes place at a kind of Hogwarts for assassins. These assassins resemble medieval knife-wielding poison-toting secret agents who venture out on dangerous missions in defence of a shadowy Empire that straddles a forested archipelago. Robin Hobb's Assassin's Apprentice comes to mind. If you liked Hobb's book you will probably enjoy Rebellion as well. The story moves along quickly and fight scenes are abundant. The knife fights are especially good, as are the tense climbing episodes where Eleanor - never short on courage and endurance - scales prison towers or castle walls with only the scantiest of toe and finger holds. Weaponry includes throwing stars and these add a pleasing ninja touch to the young assassins. There are imaginative puzzles to be solved, unusual competitions to be won, occasional glances at Eleanor's ambiguous feelings towards a certain young man, and for good measure, some deep-seated grudges among the students, which mean scores to be settled. These elements provide more than enough variety to ensure a good read.

The novel does have some shortcomings. The plot is so vaguely presented that, at times, I had trouble understanding what was going on - or why it was going on. In the early chapters Cotterill seems too focussed on showing us how her main characters try to avoid offending one another - the result of long exposure to political correctness, no doubt - but she does get over this. Then it's on to flogging the tired old feminist horse. This may be a plus for some, but personally, I think we're past all that. At one point, the story dwells somewhat morbidly, but not unrealistically, on torture and being cut. This seems needlessly extended at the time, but turns out to be important in shaping Eleanor's character and affecting her responses to critical situations later on. There are exceptions, but Cotterill's depiction of minor characters exhibits an odd juxtaposing of those who are wantonly cruel and those who are ridiculously obliging. What seaside innkeeper, to choose one incident, would loan his boat to a total stranger, for an indefinite period, without asking for a deposit or some surety? The book needs more characters with the typically human - and far more interesting - mix of virtue and vice. Motivation should arise from the realities of basic self-interest (money, sex, prestige) rather than the desire to be unspeakably cruel or super nice.

Some might question the novel's implied morality. Eleanor's values range from astonishingly shallow to dubious in the extreme. The young woman unswervingly assumes that personal need justifies stealing so long as you keep the thefts small and spread them around (with the occasional grand theft when things get dire). It seldom occurs to her that she might barter or offer to work for what she wants. I was amused when Eleanor conscientiously pays the bill at an inn - with money that she has just stolen by the fistful from a jewellery merchant in the marketplace. Why not simply stiff the innkeeper? Presumably, in Eleanor's eyes, said innkeeper was a nice obliging fellow of modest means while the prosperous merchant was - well - a nasty grasping greedy capitalist oinker, a veritable corporatist in the bud. Perhaps; but on the other hand he just might be an honest lover of beautiful, and beautifully-crafted, things who, through hard work and ingenuity, has found a way to earn his living from the very objects he so admires.

Other problems include poor handling of time and distance. I was startled to discover that Eleanor's attempts to find her way to the assassin's school had taken up an entire year, and at one point, she seems to consider recovering some stored possessions in a quick visit to a cave, which is actually many days travel away. These minor quibbles and the plot difficulties alluded to earlier could have been avoided with a bit more authorial narrative aimed at clarifying situations and knitting together story elements into a more cohesive whole.

No work of fiction is perfect. This novel's flaws impede neither the story's strong forward momentum nor its ability to sustain the reader's interest. As they should in a good adventure novel, things start happening right away and they keep on happening. Whether on land or at sea, in foreign parts or at home in the Empire, the story laid out in this engrossing novel is often exciting and never boring. The writing is sound with none of the dreadful spelling, grammar, and English usage gaffs so prevalent in indie novels. Cotterill has real talent. Reading Rebellion will get you in on the ground floor with a writer who has the potential to become a major player in the fantasy genre.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rebellion by Rachel Cotterill May 10 2011
By Jacquelyn Lane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If not for a reading group that I am in, I never would have picked up this book and it would have been a big mistake. This is definitely not the type of book I would normally read, however, I loved every second of the book.

In a world where children do not live with parents, but are schooled and then assigned a position within the "Empire", Eleanor, a strong-willed, spirited young girl goes in search of her destiny after being assigned a position in the Empire for which she feels is beneath her. During her time at school, Eleanor honed her skills, improperly assuming they would be used by the Empire and that she would use them in a highly qualified position.

Eleanor's journey takes her on adventure upon adventure she searches for clues to a "mythical" place where assassins are trained. She feels that this is her destiny. Along the way Eleanor encounters many different types of individuals. Some are willing to give her a little help and others seek to use her to their advantage. Eleanor does find an ally as she is captured, but ultimately has to leave him behind as she attempts to fulfill her destiny.

Eleanor unlocks all the requirements necessary and stumbles upon the Assassin School only to find out that it was a fluke that she was able to find the School and that no female has ever been permitted prior to this. And the adventures begin....................

I was truly enchanted by this book and can't wait until the next book in the Trilogy is released.
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