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

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,667 Ratings  ·  165 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

Published January 1st 1994 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ed [Redacted]
Jul 12, 2012 Ed [Redacted] rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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
Mar 06, 2010 Eric_W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 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
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
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.)
As usual, Benard Cornwell writes a well crafted historic-based fictional story. He takes us into the mind of Nate Starbuck (and other characters) at the onset of the Civil War. The opening scene has Nate in Virginia being abused by Southerners who think Nate is a Northern spy (although any non-southerner is enough to harass). Nate abandons his Yale's religious studies to follow a beautiful woman who ends up dumping him as they travel through Virginia on the way to New Orleans. As Washington Faul ...more
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
Zena Ryder
I liked this alright, but not nearly as much as the Sharpe series. There wasn't enough of the historical context, and the story was mostly about a handful of fictional characters and their interactions. And I simply didn't like the main character, Nathaniel Starbuck, all that much. It seemed as though Cornwell was trying to create a character with more psychological depth, but he's just not as good at that as he is at the swashbuckling Sharpe stories. Too often, Cornwell needed to provide explic ...more
I enjoy historical novels that successfully immerse me into the atmosphere of the times being described. This is why I have enjoyed the novels of Georgette Heyer, Ivo Andrić, Ismail Kadare, and also one or two, set in the past, by Peter Carey (especially “Parrot & Olivier”). I suppose the Southern African novels of Wilbur Smith also fall into this category.

“Rebel” is the second of Bernard Cornwell’s novels that I have read. Set during the opening moments of the American Civil War, this is a
Nov 01, 2015 Trina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
War saves Nathaniel Starbuck from the fate of family respectability. A preacher's son and a northerner, Nate turns rebel and fights for the southern cause. The Civil War provides the backdrop for this story of conflicted conscience since Nate wavers between loyalty to his newfound friends as an 'honorary Virginian' attached to the made-up Faulconer Legion and his deep-seated attachment to his native New England if not his abolitionist family. While some of the characters are real, like Generals ...more
Nov 05, 2008 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  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
Michael J. Fox
Feb 22, 2013 Michael J. Fox rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 06, 2015 Art rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles are an amazing, albeit incomplete, chronicling of the Civil War.

I think they are better than Shaara, who I like a great deal.

But Cornwell has a gift for writing about Civil War battles in a way that makes the strategy and the hour-by-hour movements more clear than anything else I have read about the Battle of Bull Run.

The series is worth the read, even if it does stop at the mid-point of the war.

Sarah Goodwin
Feb 17, 2016 Sarah Goodwin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nord und Süd

Wegen einer Eskapade mit einer Frau hat Nathaniel Starbuck seine Ausbildung zum Pastor abgebrochen. Sein Vater, ebenfalls Theologe, ist nun überhaupt nicht gut auf seinen Sohn zu sprechen. Und so will Nathaniel lieber zum Elternhaus seines besten Freundes Adam reisen. Dass Adam aus den Südstaaten kommt und Nathaniels Vater vehement gegen die Sklaverei predigt, stört Starbuch nicht weiter. Lieber will er für die Konförderierten kämpfen als bei seinem Vater zu Kreuze zu kriechen. Doch
Apr 30, 2014 Iceman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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”
In the early 90s, Bernard Cornwell thought he had finished with Sharpe. Following the old Axiom of 'it it ain't broke, don't fix it', he then started a new series, set during the American Civil War and told from the perspective of a Northener fighting for the South (more out of a grievance against his firebrand of a preacher father than for any real dedication to their cause), and thus was born the Starbuck Chronicles.

The series seems to have been more-or-less abandoned: I'm going to quote the f
Rick Brindle
Nov 05, 2015 Rick Brindle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tsvetelina Stambolova-Vasileva
Накратко за книгата: В навечерието на войната между Севера и Юга, Натаниъл Старбък, студент в семинарията бяга от гнева на деспотичния си баща-проповедник на юг, където е взет под крилото на Вашигтон Фалконър, ексцентричен и егоистичен богаташ, баща на най-добрия му приятел. Фалконър, лелеещ мечти за военна слава и всеобщо признание, сформира елитен отряд, наречен Легион, който се предполага, че с една битка ще сложи край на войната. Присъединявайки се към Легиона, Старбък се превръща в изменник ...more
May 12, 2009 Will rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 22, 2016 Ernesto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I discovered Cornwell’s Anglo-Saxon saga of Uthred Ragnarson a year and a half ago and was instantly hooked to the point I couldn’t help binge-reading all installments one after another. I was surprised also by the fact that his amazing three decades long career managed to stay so much time under my radar, what with my obsession with World history and historical fiction. After finishing Uthred’s books I had to decide which one of his many sagas to read next, and since I’ve been a Civil War ficti ...more
Triin Kübar
I have a habit of staying with one author for a while. And Cornwells historical novels have been brilliant! True to events, enriching them with colourful characters and witty detail, full of action and humor. Until I got stuck with this book... My concience hasn't allowed me to start a new book until I've finished with the last. And I really and truly tried my best with this one, I mean with clenched teeth with iron determination. But I failed miserably.
The main character of the book must be the
Mar 25, 2014 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 10, 2015 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
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
Sep 10, 2009 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Wayne Wilson
Jun 22, 2010 Wayne Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 29, 2013 Torben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 05, 2013 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Cornwell was born in London in 1944. His father was a Canadian airman, and his mother, who 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, C ...more
More about Bernard Cornwell...

Other Books in the Series

Starbuck Chronicles (4 books)
  • Copperhead (The Starbuck Chronicles, #2)
  • Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles, #3)
  • The Bloody Ground (The Starbuck Chronicles, #4)

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