Copperhead (The Starbuck Chronicles, #2)
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Copperhead (Starbuck Chronicles #2)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,747 ratings  ·  48 reviews
It is the summer of 1862 and the northern army is threatening to capture Richmond, the Confederate capital.
Paperback, 448 pages
Published January 10th 1995 by HarperTorch (first published January 1st 1994)
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Eric_W
Copperhead is the second in the Starbuck series, and the best of the three that I have read (only the fourth remains to be devoured). It's perhaps the most thoughtful, as both Nate and his friend Adam are forced to confront their reasons for fighting the war.

Adam, Washington Faulconer's son and good Virginian, now a major, is so distraught by what he feels is an unjust war, that he decides to feed important information about rebel positions to the Yankees. Nate, the Bostonian, discovers that hi...more
Graham
Unfortunately Cornwell’s trademark excitement – as best expounded in his Sharpe series of books – is somewhat lacking in his four-volume chronicle of the American Civil War. Like REBEL before it, this is a slow-moving read that focuses on the character of Starbuck, following him as he gets caught up in the wake of some treachery stirred by his disturbed childhood friend, Adam Faulconer. Starbuck isn’t exactly the most manly or heroic of heroes but he certainly gets the job done, and there are so...more
Michael
Continues the Nathaniel Starbuck story. 2nd book. I thought this one was weaker than the first. It was a segway? But that is not really fair. BC does these series as a continuous story, and I haven't read the second two books yet.
Will
Stack the books like cordwood, Mr. Cornwell. I'll read them all.
Wayne Wilson
Great Civil War Novel. I found it a fascinating look into both sides of the Civil War or as the South would call it, The War of Secession. There were spies all over the South and North and one can kind of understand the divided loyalties. One of the characters is a southerner who hates slavery and war, yet he owes loyalty to his father and feels he must fight for the South in time he becomes a spy for the North.

Our main character, Nate Starbuck is a Northern son of a famous abolitionist who find...more
joel
It's not that the story of Copperhead is one unworthy of being read. It is simply, for me, a tale that got severely mired down in the telling. This book is a classic example of mediocre writing impeding what would have otherwise been a pretty great read. It is full of run-on sentences, inordinate use of adverbs, unsteady pacing, redundant adjectives, and a insistence on details in the particulars of the Civil War that - while impressive in their commitment to get it right as it actually happened...more
Gordon
I'm almost positive its just the Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles I am not enjoying... almost every other Bernard Cornwell book I have read has been above average to amazing... I don't know what it is, perhaps subconsciously since Nate is fighting for the confederates, a group of states that wouldn't have 2nd thoughts stringing up an Asian like me if they felt like it.

Slavery is a tough issue to touch because throughout time just about every 'civilized' society had slaves, but they were usually (o...more
Christopher
The second of Cornwell's Civil War Starbuck Chronicles covers the Peninsular Campaign of McClellan and includes the battles of Ball's Bluff and ending with Seven Pines and Gaines Mill.

The character of Nate Starbuck began as a somewhat naive and conflicted youth who threw in his lot with the Confederacy without ever really knowing why but also never really doing anything in battle (which helped him retain his conflicted, and more interesting, morality).

But somewhere between "Rebel" and "Copperhe...more
Ed
Apr 20, 2009 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Historical Fiction readers and Cornwell fans
"Copperhead" is a huge improvement over "Rebel", the first book in the Starbuck series covering the U.S. Civil War.

As usual, Cornwell's research on the actual events is impeccable and he describes his major sources in the Historical Notes at the end of the book. I knew little about the Peninsular Campaign of Spring and summer 1862. For a quick history lesson read the Wikipedia article on the campaign at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peninsul.... I now know considerably more.

Cornwell does a good...more
Stephen
Nathaniel Starbuck is a man with a mighty grumpy enemy. Wealthy Virginian planter Washington Falcouner rescued Starbuck from a mob, asking him for his service in arms alongside his son, Adam, in return. Seeing as Adam and Nate were the best of friends, and Starbuck found soldiering to be his kind of adventure, it didn't seem too bad a bargain....but after the events of Rebel, Nate's benefactor is now his nemesis. It's not that Nate suddenly decided he disliked fighting for the south against his...more
Joyce Lagow
Copperhead continues the story of Nathanial Starbuck, a Northerner who has found his home with a (fictional) Southern regiment during the US Civil War. This installment opens with the Battle of Ball's Bluff, a little known battle but bloody Union defeat and ends with the battle of Malvern Hill of McClellan's Peninsular Campaign. A good part of the book revolves around intelligence efforts for both sides, both the gathering of information through spies and the planting of false information.

There...more
Alex Telander
Nathaniel Starbuck is back again, and fighting begins anew with the Civil War at the battles of Ball’s Bluff and Seven Pines. Starbuck’s mettle is tested, but he is nevertheless victorious. The Confederates are still unable to deal with the fact that Starbuck is a Yankee fighting against his own people.

Inevitable, he is accused of being a spy, chased, brutally interrogated, but he is not the guy they’re looking for. Starbuck’s only choice is to find out who the real traitor is, taking him back t...more
Torben
Starbuck nimmt Fahrt auf. War ich vom ersten Buch noch etwas enttäuscht, wird dieses hier zu einem der besten von Cornwell. Das liegt auch am Thema "Amerikanischer Bürgrkrieg", das mehrbödig und differziert gesehen werden muss. Das stellt Cornwell auch gut dar. Im Roman geht es nicht nur um die militärischen Manöver und Schlachten, es geht um Moral, um das "Richtige tun", ums Gewissen, um Standpunkte. Darüberhinaus gibt es viele Wendungen in der Geschichte, Perspektivwechsel und ein indirektes W...more
Jjlupa
I liked it less than 3 stars, but I think I'm just uninspired by the setting (which is kind of the point of these books, really).

Cornwell continues to do what he does best, which is paint battlefields and troop movements in vivid ways, as well as turn historical figures into dynamic caricatures for us to enjoy.

I wish it was all more my cup of tea.
Jorgen Schäfer
In Bernard Cornwell’s Copperhead, Nathaniel Starbuck has joined the army of the Confederation of the United States, even though as the son of a northern anti-slavery preacher, few trust him here. But as the army of the south loses more and more ground to the overwhelming north, some start to see a value in Starbuck’s past. Slowly, he finds himself drawn into a dangerous games of spies and counterspies.

This is the second book in the Starbuck series. While I think the characters are not quite as l...more
Pierre
I found Copperhead an entertaining and relatively fast read. The story is engaging, the descriptions of battles heart pounding, and the character development superb.

On a more technical level, the writing in this book is a tad more difficult to read than Rebel and Agincourt. I'm not sure if this is because of less than stellar proofreading, a change in the authors style, or a problem with narration. I often found myself re-reading passages and getting confused about who was doing what as the auth...more
Gary
Good sequel interesting civil war history
Dawn
Starbuck and Civil War series continued. Cornwell does well with conflicted heroes and his battle descriptions take you there.
Luckngrace
This 2nd book in the Starbuck Chronicles features the chaotic events of the Civil War, emphasizing the war within our characters' breasts between their own true allegiences and family obligations. Torture techniques of the day are examined and details provided on the workings of various field pieces. The fight for the souls of Starbuck and Adam provides the meat for Copperhead and requires the reader to go "on, on, on" through the Civil War as constant companions.
Mike
Book #1 might be skipped in favor of #2, Copperhead. In #2 we are introduced to Richard Sharpe's son with Richard Sharpe and Patrick taking the form of Starbuck and his sergeant. Altogether I found #2 a better read than #1. I wonder why the author placed the hero on the losing side. In any case, I look forward to #3 as the most of my antecedents who fought or served were on the losing side. I know not of one who fought on the winning side.
Mark Kloha
I hated this series - the Starbuck Chronicles. Just skip this entire series and you'll be doing yourself a favor. Even Richard Sharpe's descendant, who makes an appearance throughout this series, is a poorly written character. Not one of Bernards Cornwell's better series. Go back and re-read the Richard Sharpe series or get started on Patrick O'Brian's Master and Commander series. Go read Facebook updates just don't read this series.
Ambre
These books were SO boring! They are full of long, detailed descriptions of armaments and battle strategies that have nothing to do with the characters you are following. I won't bother with the third. Cornwell's books are less character driven than I usually prefer anyway, and his books about American history seem to really lack the adventure and pacing of his Britain based series.
Doug
This is a four star book basically because I'm such a big fan of Bernard Cornwell. As I've often said, he is a penultimate storyteller. Copperhead is basically the story of McClellan's ill-fated Peninsula Campaign and even though I'm enough of a history buff that I knew how it ended, I was caught up in the story until the very end.
Aztec Bill
I have read Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe series about an English solider from private to Cornel from 1799 to 1825. They were very well written, informative, and very engaging. This series is just the same but during the American Civil War. There are 3 more books in the series which I have ordered and will read.
Chuck
A "Copperhead" was a person who crossed over to the other side during
the Civil War. This is the continuing story of Nate Starbuck, a native
Bostonian, who found himself in Richmond when the war started. The
period covered here is from 1st Manassas through McClellan's retreat
from Richmond in early 1862.
Jeff
Cornwell tells a good story but I've had about enough of battle scenes with soldiers exploding in mists of blood. Impressively knowledgeable about our Civil War, the British-born Cornwell does provide interesting glimpses into the psyches of participants on both sides of that war.
Phyllis
On page 515 and finally know what a "Copperhead" is: person from the northern states fighting for the southern states during the "war between the states" (American Civil War). The hero Nate Starbuck is the copperhead. From Boston fighting in a Virginia company. He has his reasons!
Frank Kelly
Cornwell is wonderfully entertaining and I am reading the Starbuck series for the summer. And I loved this -- fast, richly detailed in wonderful historical settings. Cannot ever lose with Cornwell!
David Siler
The second in the Nathan Starbucks trilogy follows the soldier through more battles and tribulations. Wonderful and vivid descriptions of the soldier's life and horrors of battle.
Jeremy Bennett
A great follow on to Rebel. Slow to start, the novel opens out to become an exciting tale with some beautifully scripted battles. As usual Cornwell is a pleasure to read!
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12542
Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother was English, a member of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted and brought up in Essex by the Wiggins family, who were members of the Peculiar People, a strict Protestant sect who banned frivolity of all kinds and even medicine. After he left them, he changed his name to his mother's maiden name, Cornwe...more
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