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Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles, #1)
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Rebel (Starbuck Chronicles #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  2,722 ratings  ·  125 reviews
A Powerful and evocative story of the civil war's
first battle and the men who fought it

When Richmond landowner Washington Faulconer snatches young Nate Starbuck from the grip of a Yankee-hating mob, Nate is both grateful and awed by his idealistic rescuer. Turning his back forever on the life he left in Boston, Nate agrees to join the newly formed Flaulconer's Legion, even

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Published January 1st 1994 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1993)
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[Redacted]
This is the first Cornwell book I have read. I am told I should start with the Sharpe series but I fell into this one so there you have it. I was immediately drawn in by the story. Nate Starbuck (I thought about coffee constantly during this book) is a yankee who hates his crazy, abolitionist preacher father. He steals money and flees to Virginia with his floozy girlfriend who immediately takes the money and leaves Nate. As it happens, Nate lands in Richmond just after the fall of Ft Sumter (For ...more
Eric_W
Rebel is the first in the Nathaniel Starbuck series. Cornwell is best known for the Richard Sharpe series, but he has also written novels about Stonehenge and the Arthurian legend (all on my must-read list). The Starbuck series follows Nate Starbuck, son of Elial Joseph Starbuck, a radical abolitionist preacher, to the South, where he enlists in the Faulconer Legion, more from antagonism toward his father than from any allegiance to states’ rights or slavery.

Nate, while at Yale Seminary, had be
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Nate
No idea what was up with this one. On paper the math is right; Cornwell + My Burgeoning Interest in the ACW = Me Enjoying This Book. Somewhere along the line though, I got really, really bored. The writing is good. The details are great, as usual. The characters...no one expects super-memorable and haunting characters from this man but they were very watery. The protagonist was lame...his "tortured past" was that he had pre-marital sex or something, I don't know. It was not good. Plus this book ...more
Gpritchard
I've gotten more interested in Civil War books, both fiction and non-fiction. This fictional book tells of Nathaniel Starbuck, a son of a northern, radical (emphasis on radical) abolitionist preacher, who flees Yale Divinity School, comes south, and ends up in the Confederate forces being led by a friend's wealthy father.

I thought the day-to-day issues of preparing for war and the variety of folks involved in war prep (some realistically honorable, some opportunistic, etc.) , absurdities, etc.)
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Graham
Cornwell’s REBEL starts off with an excellent, humiliating and very painful enaction of the whole classic tar-and-feather punishment meted out by Americans in the 19th century, and it’s enlightening to find out just what this process entails. It’s this kind of minute detail that distinguishes Cornwell’s wide-ranging research from other contemporary efforts. For example, later in the story we learn what a ‘ganderpull’ means, and Cornwell pulls no punches in his in-your-face description of it. Sur ...more
Elisabeth
I was entertained by the story, however it didn't really start to pick up until Bull Run, during the last 1/3 of the book. Felt like the character development was pretty good in everyone except Starbuck, the main protagonist. I felt like he was pretty one dimensional, again until near the end. He constantly seems to be distracted by remotely attractive women, to the point of complete oblivion, which seemed a little far fetched--are there no remotely attractive women in 19th century Boston? Also, ...more
Ed
Nov 05, 2008 Ed rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Civil War and other Historical Fiction fans
I might never have picked up this book to read if it hadn't been written by Bernard Cornwell.

I am not a big fan of Civil War novels, "Cold Mountain" notwithstanding.

This volume is the first in the four book "Starbuck" series featuring Nathaniel Starbuck, a conflicted ex-theology student and son of a fiery abolitionist preacher. He is seduced by an actress who dumps him in Richmond, Virginia at the start of the Civil War. He is rescued from tar and feathering by his best friend's father Washingt
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Michael J. Fox
It's become something of a cliche to hear people say 'I really related to character X or Y' when they talk about books, it's almost as bad as 'I couldn't put it down' (honestly? We're you orbiting the Earth or does physics hate you?) and 'It was a real page-turner' (most books involve turning pages, unless it's on a Kindle or something equally as swanky, doesn't make it special).
HOWEVER. From almost the first page I felt the story of Nathaniel Starbuck was like what my life would have been lik
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Iceman
Mais um livro que me levou uma eternidade a ler, não só porque o meu tempo para dedicar à leitura já não é o mesmo e porque, também e estranhamente, este livro, ou pelo menos este primeiro volume desta trilogia, não me cativou, aborreceu-me mesmo.

Muitos sabem o quanto admiro a escrita de Bernard Cornwell. Exceptuando os inúmeros livros da saga Sharpe, penso que já li tudo o que ele escreveu e, embora tenha gostado mais de uns do que de outros, fascina-me sempre a forma viva como Cornwell “pinta”
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Andrew
Fantastic book by the creator of Richard Sharpe. The first of the Starbuck Chronicles sees Nathaniel Starbuck, a Sharp-esque soldier (at least towards the end of Rebel), with the rare distinction of being a Northerner fighting for the South at the First Battle of Bull Run - or Manassas, if you're from the south - with a fictional legion, the Faulconer Legion, who has a major part in the outcome of the first destructive battle of the American Civil War.

As with the Sharpe books, Cornwell is at his
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Will
Maybe I should have given this four stars, but I'm new to the game and I'd like to avoid grade inflation. The book, and Cornwell's storytelling specifically, caught me up and carried me once again to the place where the world all around slides by as I live in the continuous fictive dream. When the book ended, I wanted to spend more time in the company of that star-crossed rogue, Nate Starbuck.

Christine Blachford
Plot: Nathanial Starbuck is estranged from his family and he joins the ranks of one Washington Faulconer, although he yo-yo’s between being the right hand man and being the sworn enemy of the eccentric leader.

Characters: Starbuck is an interesting character, particularly headstrong although he values his morals and his friendships. Washington is really nice to Nate at the beginning of the book but when he turns against him, you just love to hate him.

Style Of Writing: Bernard Cornwell writes well
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Margaret
A historical novel about the beginnings of the Civil War mostly from the Southern point of view. Bernard Cromwell is British, but gives us a great look at the Battle of Bull Run. His main character, Nathaniel Starbuck, is a Yankee who fights for the South. There is humor in the book and the characters really come to life. Cromwell's writing about the battle strategies of both sides places the reader in the thick of the fighting. Ed Sala's reading is perfection - he brings all the characters to l ...more
Brandon
This was the first book by Bernard Cornwell I ever read, and I did so in 7th grade. I've said for years that the Starbuck and Sharpe books were the only things that got me out of junior high in one piece.

That being said, Cornwell's unflinchingly graphic with battle scenes, and though this one is two-thirds character- and world-building, the First Battle of Bull Run is no less bloody than any of Cornwell's other battles, and just as richly detailed.

The need for Cornwell to introduce the character
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Wayne Wilson
A great read! The civil war is one of my favorite subjects and this historical novel takes a look at the war from the point of view of a young man from Boston who finds himself fighting for the South. The book is the first in I guess several that center on the impetuous Nathaniel Starbuck as he serves the confederacy.

I was struck by how unorganized the South was as they went to war. The citizens of the South were a much more individual centered society. They didn't go for many rules and they did
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Joyce Lagow
Nathaniel Starbuck is a Northerner, the son of a Calvinist, fire-eating, abolitionist preacher, who finds himself in the South in Virginia at the outbreak of the US Civil war. Having run off with an actress who has taken him for all he has, Starbuck is penniless and friendless in less than friendly surroundings. He makes his way to the home of one of his best friends whose family is one of the wealthiest in Virginia. Almost by accident and without strong convictions either way, Starbuck becomes ...more
Torben
Ich war voreingenommen. Ich liebe Cornwells "Sharpe"-Romane, mag sehr gerne die "Artus"-Chroniken und bin ein "Fan" von Romanen, die zur Zeit des Amerikanischen Bürgerkrieg spielen, seit ich John Jakes als Teenie zum ersten Mal gelesen habe. Jetzt endlich, also 20 Jahre nach der Entstehung, die deutsche Übersetzung der Starbuck-Serie. Also, meine Erwartungshaltung war sehr hoch. Aber, vielleicht bin ich etwas übersättigt, was historische Romane angeht.
Doch fühlte ich mich beim Lesen von Starbuc
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Christopher
A colorful and entertaining start to Cornwell's Civil War historical tetralogy. Young Bostonian and Yale theology student Nathaniel Starbuck finds himself in Richmond, Virginia just as Fort Sumter is falling. Why he's there and not at Yale is an amusing aside that gives a little insight into the character's impetuosity.

Unfortunately for Starbuck, he finds himself on the wrong end of a Southern mob as he's discovered to be both a Northerner and the son of a prominent abolitionist preacher. In th
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Stephen
Nathaniel Starbuck shouldn't be in South, but this son of a preacher man is positively hopeless when it comes to the ladies. Love tore him from the seminary, and it led him into Virginia just as the United States was about to be rent in war, as southern aristocrats -- having finally lost their domineering influence over the path of the nation -- seceded from the union rather than face the prospect of inevitable change. The appearance of a Bostonian in their midst on the eve of war doesn't sit ri ...more
Alex Telander
In 1993 Bernard Cornwell began one of his first series to actually be completed. This book gives new insight into the American Civil War, which is an interesting series to write, considering Cornwell is a native of England. Nevertheless, this series, entitled The Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles, presents a new and different viewpoint of the Civil War, specifically from the Confederate point of view. Ironically, Starbuck himself is a Yankee.

In this first book, the reader is introduced to Nathaniel
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T.D. McKinnon
‘Rebel’ is the story of a young man’s journey, escaping his origins - a ‘Fire and Brimstone’, deeply religious upbringing, an overbearing, dictatorial father and a Harvard seminary, where he was meant to finish as a minister of the faith, like his father - to the Southern States, at a time when the North and South stood on the brink of America’s civil war.

It opens with the young man, Nathaniel Starbuck, newly arrived in Richmond and picked out as a Yankee by an angry mob.

I am obviously not an Am
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Peter Meredith
So far a little slow and a little too involved. When Stephen King goes on for a thousand pages in The Stand, I wanted another thousand. With this author, Cornwell, however, I'm already a trifle bored after only half the book. Is this about the civil war or what. An action/adventure novel should have a touch more action/and adventure for my tastes.
Finally done. This book couldn't hold my attention too long. Perhaps I was in the mood for a little more war in my war book and a lot less angst. The b
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Margaret
Having read Bernard Cornwell's first book in the Saxon series and Agincourt, I do believe that I was expecting an equal experience (or a close one) in reading Rebel. I wasn't disappointed but must say that I enjoyed his Saxon series more and I yet to explore the Sharpe series. I felt that Nathan Starbuck was not well developed for my taste and I was left wanting. I had a keen sense that he was a very "green" youngster; which he is but his character just didn't seem to carry through enough for me ...more
Christian
An interesting read about the first Battle of Manassas or Bull Run. The hero is the Boston born son of a fanatic abolitionist preacher enlisting with the fictional Faulconer Legion to fight for the South. Nathaniel "Nate" Starbuck as the young man is called, is everything that Cornwell's Richard Sharpe is not. The well educated young man, has been to theological seminary, comes from a good family and is easily struck by women (well there is something in common). Nate is looking forward to his fi ...more
Rob
Wow! I loved this book. Great prose, characters, actions, emotions, suspense, all happening at the very beginning of the Civil War. Specifically, the 1st Battle at Mananas, or Bull Run. I love the Sharpe series by Cornwell, but I think this is his best. I hunger for the next three installments of this series. Zowie! Great stuff.
Jorgen Schäfer
Bernard Cornwell’s Rebel brings us back to the start of the American civil war. Nathanial Starbuck is the son of a vehement anti-slavery preacher, but “Nate” as he is called does not like his snobby family. He starts to make friends among the “southrons,” and soon finds himself stuck in the war between the states.

As the first book of the Starbuck Chronicles, Rebel has the burden of having to introduce the characters. This gives it a slow start, but roughly halfway through I found myself back in
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Don
Reading Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles first may have ruined this book for me. As a lifelong Virginian, I have ready way too many Civil War stories. I had hoped Cornwell would have a different take. He did. But his take was very similar to his take in the Saxon Chronicles (thrust a formerly prominent young man into fighting for the "wrong" side). As a result, the formulaic similarities distracted me from what I was reading.

If you haven't read the Saxon Chronicles (or Killer Angels, honestly), and y
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Lydia
It's not very me but I found this easy to read. I was surprised when I finished it, the end sneaked up on me. I also noticed the accent of the audiobook reader didn't grate on my ears as much as most US readers do. Interesting.
Kevin
My first foray into Bernard Cornwell. I discovered him through an interview that he did with George R.R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame. The interview talked about how Cornwell was a master of writing the battlefield scenes. His better known Series is the Sharpe's Rifles bunch of books. I picked Rebel because since moving to MD/DC area the Civil War has become more interesting to me and it is set not far from here, as the major battle of Manassas or Bull Run as the Northerners called it.

It was a
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Joseph
If you've read a pile of Sharpe's books by Cornwell, you may feel like skipping the Starbuck Chronicles. On the other hand, you might feel like reading an American Civil War version of a Sharpe's book, in which case, jump right in.

The language of the battle sequences is familiar to readers of Cornwell's other books, and the characters are perhaps modestly different than the Sharpe's books, but we don't read Cornwell for striking innovation in narrative, we read him for rousing battles, dirty tr
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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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