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Copperhead

(Starbuck Chronicles #2)

by
4.02  ·  Rating details ·  4,240 ratings  ·  117 reviews

The beloved Confederate Captain Nate Starbuck returns to the front lines of the Civil War in this second installment of Bernard Cornwell's acclaimed Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles. It is the summer of 1862, and Nate has been bloodied but victorious at the battles of Ball's Bluff and Seven Pines. But he can't escape his Northern roots, and it is only a matter of time until h

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Audio Cassette, 0 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 1994)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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Rob
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 in the Starbuck series.

Historical fiction concerning events during the American civil war.

Once again a good mixture of historical fact wrapped up in entertaining fiction.

The Confederate forces are all but a spent force and the Northern forces are on the brink of finishing this war once and for all. But as the book says “it’s not over till the pig stops squealing”. Just when the Confederate Army can see nothing but defeat ahead of them a miracle happens ‘General Robert E, Lee’ comes into h
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Eric_W
Nov 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Ozymandias
I found the last book very entertaining and this book is very similar in structure and style. But the focus is on espionage, torture, and the need for treachery to achieve victory. As such, I found myself less engaged in the plot. Those aren’t areas that particularly interest me. The espionage angle I found particularly uncomfortable, since it involves Starbuck directly betraying his own family. That’s the sort of thing I find squiffy.

There’s a surprising lack of military material here. I suppos
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Eric
This second book picks up a few months after the first one ended: late 1861. Nate Starbuck is now a captain in Faulkner's Virginia Legion (a fictitious group of Confederate soldiers). Also back is Sargent Tresloe, Thaddeus (Pecker) Byrd, Adam Faulkner (Nate's friend) and Sally Tresloe (Nate's love interest).

The story opens with the battle of Ball's Bluff. The Union army manages to approach the Confederate army by surprise. Even though out numbered, the rebel's tenacity and sharp-shooting capabi
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P.A. Pursley
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-books
Here is book 2 in the Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles. Bernard Cornwell does a beautiful job with these books. My husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these and the creative history of the U.S. Civil War.

This book shows Nate Starbuck as he tried to reconcile his own abandonment of his home northern state and family and his relationship in the south. He finds himself in the midst of the battle of his country and in his soul.

If you enjoy stories from history, creative non-fiction, and the
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Tina Hileman
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So many twists and turns!
Wayne Wilson
Aug 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stack the books like cordwood, Mr. Cornwell. I'll read them all.
Jose Maria
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Copperhead is the second book of the series “The Starbuck Chronicles”. This historical novel was written in 1994 and describes the society and some historical facts of the American Civil War.

The fighting of the Starbuck’s family, who was divided by the war, is the guiding thread of the novel. Nate Starbuck is the main character and the one that gives the name to the novel, because Copperhead is the name given to the people that was born in the states of the Union and had fought with the Confeder
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Brian V
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott
3.5

I still maintain that this is the weakest Cornwell series I've read, although it's not terrible.

The battle scenes which bookend this novel are great and vividly described, like all of Cornwell's writing. My issue is that there's very few of them, and the bulk of the book is taken up with espionage and the like. The espionage is actually interesting in a way that you can understand why certain people during the Civil War felt the way they did, especially southerners - who tend to get a blanke
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David
Mar 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cornwall continue his series about a northern boy who throws his allegiance to the confederacy. This time Starbuck will be accused of being a spy with troubling consequences. By doing so, Cornwall gets us to the hanging event of a spy that he wants to show the reader.

This is a clever story-- full of historical flavor, but at times the historical flavor, as wonderful as it is (specifically the discussion of the cannons and guns and their support system) sometimes obscures and slows the pacing of
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Michael Campbell
This book is a bit slow like the first one, and it seems like an odd choice of Civil War battles to focus on. Not a fast paced or interesting plot line, and the only interesting bits were several oddities that occurred on both sides of the battle field.

There's some awkward and amateurish espionage, and a good deal of moral introspection. It was a pretty fun light read, but I do wish the story would pick up steam.
Farrel Sparks
More battles from the matter of war-time sorry telling

Another in a long and appreciated series of war talles from master story teller Bernard Cornwell. His take on the American Civil War is as absorbing as it is fun... if the wholesale slaughter of both sides can be called fun. This is the second of four books, and like his Archer tales, and Saxon tales, it builds from the beginning and builds momentum.
Always a good read!
Rose Bedwell
Graphic picture of the Civil War. I probably would have given the book a 3.5. Does show the war from both sides with Spies, deception, and the drudgery of war with the day-to-day hardships. Hardships like no roads, no supplies, no food, poor leadership. I do like the way the author portrayed the characters.
Simon Slidders
Nate Starbuck is not as an endearing character as Sharpe, or the hero of the Grail novels, suffering from too much early privilege, but the scenes of battle continue to impress, with the extraordinary chaos and disorder of battle. The female characters are also more strongly drawn. The surprise late appearance of a character who I suspect is Sharpe's son is also an enjoyable addition.
John Newcomb
A Copperhead was a Northern Sympathiser to the rebel cause during the American Civil War. I must admit, because of the hero and the cause he is fighting for, I find Nate Starbuck a less appealing hero than Richard Sharpe or Uthred of Bebbanburg however the Cornwall formula is always pretty good.
Anne Wise
Excellent writing from the point of view of a soldier in the Confederacy on the eastern front in 1862. Sympathetic and imaginative characters interact with real historic figures and events in a way that is both believable and satisfying. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Millstone
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice blend of history and fiction in Bernard Cornwell's normal impeccable style. The fictional elements in this one stretch credibility a tad, but as the actual historical ones at this point do so as well it all hangs together very satisfactorily.
Nate Hendrix
This series is ok. Worth reading. The problem is I compare all of Cornwell's novels to the Sharpe series and none can measure up. This is the further adventures of a northerner fighting for the South in the Civil War. It has Cornwell's detail for weapons and tactics and his historical accuracy.
Marilyn
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book

Once again Mr. Cornwell has shown us battles from the viewpoint of the common soldier, not the generals. He brings the horror of the war into a personal perspective.
Boris Z.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another wonderful book. Read non stop
Sheryl Collmer
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engaging and informative
Cathy
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
When continue the saga of Nate Starbuck through espionage, traitors, love, family and friendship as he wrestles with is place in the war.
May
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eric_W’s review says it best...
Hank
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story, but little is resolved with any of the main characters.
Duane Gosser
Great story but as avid Cornwell readers know, the details can get in the way sometimes. I will definitely finish the series and hope the pace picks up a bit in book 3.
An Odd1
Apr 15, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Who is good or bad of North or south? Torture.
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Adam Falconer... 2 3 May 05, 2019 09:19AM  

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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 birth mother's maiden n ...more

Other books in the series

Starbuck Chronicles (4 books)
  • Rebel (The Starbuck Chronicles, #1)
  • Battle Flag (The Starbuck Chronicles, #3)
  • The Bloody Ground (The Starbuck Chronicles, #4)

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“How does a lawyer lie?” “With passion, Mr. Starbuck, and with a self-inflicted belief, albeit temporary, that the facts he is reciting are the very stuff of God’s own truth.” 3 likes
“The men, who a moment before had been cursing and cumbersome creatures clambering down the clay bank into the clumsy boats, were mysteriously transformed into warrior silhouettes, spiky with weapons, who glided silent and noble through the vaporous night toward the misted shadows of the enemy shore.” 0 likes
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