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4.1 out of 5 stars
Rebel
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on July 17, 1998
After having read all of Cornwell's Sharpe series including the recent book "Triumph", I was eager to begin the Starbuck series. I was somewhat dissapointed in the story and the main character. Starbuck lacks the conquering hero qualities of Sharpe. Starbuck comes from a good background and becomes corrupted in the novel. What appealed to me about the Sharpe series was how the hero triumphed over odds and in the course of the stories became a better person from his experiences. Although he was still a flawed hero, Sharpe was coming out of the dirty pit he had lived in so long. Starbuck is the exact opposite and seems to edge further into the gutter as the book progresses. The book begins very slowly and can quickly lose the readers interest. I was fortunate and did not give up reading this book and was eventually rewarded by a large battle at the end that truly showed Cornwell's tallent for detailing a battle. The book was a bit longer than most of Co! ! rnwell's other works. I will probably read the rest of the series in a vain attempt to satisfy my Sharpe withdrawls but will not nearly enjoy them as Cornwell's other work. I am hoping that the rerelease of redcoat will give me what I am looking for.
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on March 14, 1997
I'm familiar with other Cornwell novels (the Richard Sharpe stories), and he's a wonderful writer, so the problems with this series don't have anything to do with writing ability. Part of my problem is that, to my taste, Cornwell picked the wrong side to write about. But what I can't get around is that given Prof. James MacPherson's recent scholarship on the writings of Civil War soldiers, Why They Fought, WHY would Cornwell, who is I'm sure very much aware of MacPherson's research, create a protagonist who doesn't have much of an opinion on the war and joins up just to spite Papa? Civil War-era soldiers were among the first really literate modern armies. They thought about the war, they argued it out among themselves, they wrote about it to their loved ones. Most of them, on both sides, knew exactly why they were fighting. I just can't buy a hero who doesn't know or care why he's there, and I think the "callow youth who grows to learn of honor and true courage on the field of battle" is just too, too obvious. Hit us over the head, why don't you. I have better hopes for The Winter King
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on September 5, 1999
Oh to write like Bernard Cornwell! How is it that an Englishman so aptly portrays the inner conflicts of a northern Bostonian who has joined up with the Confederate cause? Perhaps Starbuck, the protagonist in this 3 volumn epic has a counterpart in the successful Sharp series circa the Napoleanic wars. The new Rebel is Nate Starbuck and he's just as dashing, daring, and reckless as the older hero. It's evident that Cornwell visited battlefields on-site and did extensive research prior to writing this novel. But true to Cornwell's style he is able to blend in the good/evil antagonist Washington Falconer, founder of Falconer's Brigade, add a dash of the sexy harlot Ms Truslow, and debate the morals of the good vs evil via Reverand Starbuck the hero's father and you have not just a good novel, but a great novel!
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on January 29, 2001
I find it interesting that Cornwell chose to write his story from the Confederate standpoint...nowadays many stories are told from the northern perspective. Being a current student of history, I think that it's important (even if the main character and some of those he interacts with are fictitious) that people acquaint themselves with truths from both sides. We should not be afraid of the past...however awful some events may have been, they nevertheless happened and are now part of our history. I enjoyed this book not only for looking at the "other" side, but because of Cornwell's descriptive ability...his account of the Battle at Manassas is about 80+ pages long and captures the smallest details. A very worthwhile read.
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on June 7, 1999
I have not had the opportunity to read any of Bernard Cornwell's other books but I can assure you that I will start after I finished this novel. Cornwell creates a story that is truly believable while not sacrificing the true historical happenings of the Battle of Bull Run. Although, at times, I was lost trying to figure out how much time had passed between certain scenes, I thought it did lend a bit of fluidity to the confusing aspect that war is. This is a particularly good book if you are looking to learn about the Civil War while enjoying an well woven tale.
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on June 7, 1999
I have not had the opportunity to read any of Bernard Cornwell's other books but I can assure you that I will start after I finished this novel. Cornwell creates a story that is truly believable while not sacrificing the true historical happenings of the Battle of Bull Run. Although, at times, I was lost trying to figure out how much time had passed between certain scenes, I thought it did lend a bit of fluidity to the confusing aspect that war is. This is a particularly good book if you are looking to learn about the Civil War while enjoying an well woven tale.
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on August 3, 1999
Nate Starbuck is a traditional hero in the mold of Derfel Cadarn and Richard Sharpe! Bernard Cornwell has created a character unique from his other characters, but still struggling to be the best soldier he can be. The story of Nate Starbuck is an odyssey of a man being cast out from his life, and finding in himself a new life. Nate is a failure in everything he does, and the Civil War gives him the opportunity to become a soldier. This is a great book, and I can't wait to read the others in the series. Here is another hero I can care about!
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on August 9, 2000
This book is great, althought I resent the fact that the main character is a confederate soldier. But at least he dosen't belive in slavery or anything... he's just a rebel! That's his reason and he really is! Whether trying to hunt down a disgruntled mountain man murderer to fight by his side, or blowing enemy faces off this book is pure goodness and will keep you interested the whole time. Who cares if main character has the same name as a succsesful coffie shop? This book is great.
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on January 4, 2000
Rebel by Bernard Cornwall was one of the best historical fiction books that i have ever read. I recently finished this book and i enjoyed it so much that that very night i started to read the second book in teh satrbuck chronicles Copperhead. Rebel is filled with fascinating characters, suck as Truslow the un rifined backwoodsman who even though he hates Yankees befreinds starbuck and even helps him at the end of the book. The battle scenes were amazing.
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on May 23, 2002
In "Rebel" we meet for the first time one Nathan Starbuck(whos last name is a mystery to me.) Like all Cornwell books you need a sidekick and Nate gets one in Sergant Turslow(the American ansewer to Patrick Harper). The book as are all(or most Cornwell books is excellently crafted with lots of detail and even interspured with humor. This serise of books is one of the finest Cornwell has ever written.
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