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 Faulconer's Legion, even though it means fighting against his native North.
But Nate's dilemma is only one of many within the Legion. Faulconer's own son cannot bring himself to fight, while his daughter's cheating fiance plots for control of the family fortune. As they come together to march into battle, the men are prepared to start a war...but they aren't ready for how they, and the nation, will be forever changed by the oaths they have sworn for their beloved South.
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I am impressed with Bernard Cornwell's Civil War Novel. He has created a wonderful set of characters: lost seminary student Nate, eccentric Thaddeus Bird, war-torn, confused Adam and many other compelling people. Even though I knew the end of the story -- big spoiler: the North wins! -- I was still listening intently to find out the fate of these characters that Cornwell had made so real for me.
Tom Parker reads the story with great tones, emphasis and emotion. The excitement, sorrow or glory of the scenes are personified by Parker's reading.
The battle scenes are very detailed, vivid, the text teeming with realism. You can feel the texture of the cannons and hear the sounds of the rifles with Cornwell's words.
From what I've read, Cornwell is very accurate in his chronology and descriptions of the events. There is a lot to be learned from the book while it is still enjoyable listening. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good read (or listen!).
The author demonstrates a great knowledge of the Civil War, including its events, the personalities of the key figures, the details of the armaments and equipment, while weaving an extremely enjoyable tale. As a student of the War Between the States, I found the novel quite entertaining, as I am sure it would be for someone with less interest in the war.
I finished listening to Tom Parker's superb narration of the Starbuck Chronicles over a month ago and I still have not been able to bring myself to start any new books. In some ways, you may wish you never listened to this series; everything else seems pale and boring by comparison. Cornwell's story-telling and Parker's narrative zest left me speechless. Indeed, it has taken me a month to even sit down and write this review. I certainly hope there is more to come.
The parallels to the Sharpe series are blatant, which is good if you're a fan of Sharpe, as I am. Truslow is to Starbuck as Patrick Harper is to Sharpe, from the way they met through their working relationship. Cornwell even introduces a lesser character in Col Lassan, war observer for the Government of France who turns out to be Sharpe's son. If you like the Sharpe series you'll like the Starbuck series and vice versa. Similar characters, different war.
Wrapping a history lesson around the exploits of likeable, fictional characters is no simple task. A few do it, fewer still do it well. The Aubrey Maturin series is one available here on Audible. My personal favorite is the Flashman series though, unfortunately, it's not (yet) an Audible offering. Cornwell does a great job and Tom Parkers read is just great. It feels odd routing for the South, knowing the outcome, but you will and the Starbuck series is a great way to get a history lesson you'll not forget.
This book is a wonderful work of historical fiction. The southern characters are well-developed, without making them into stereotypes. the action at the first battle of bull run is exciting, and accurate for the period. this is an excellent book, with a genuine flavor for the time in which it is set. the narrator is excellent with his voices. the book has been a pleasure to listen to. i look forward to the rest of the series.
Cornwell did a fantastic job in character development. However, after reading and listening to the entire Sharpe series, I was disappointed that the battle did not occur until the last 3 hours of the 15 hour novel. Once the battle was initiated, Bernard Cornwell is at his best. I just felt that it took so long to get the actual battle. Perhaps the next three will improve upon this concern.
I love Bernard Cornwell, so was looking forward to starting a new series. However the quality of the recording was so bad I couldn't listen to it. It reminded me of the old 1970's documentaries I had to watch in school - tinny and rather monotone.
I expect the story would be up to Cornwell's usual standard, but I couldn't get past the sound quality to really care what happened to the character.
Please re-record this, and I might give it another try.
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
I've read a lot of Cornwell & the pace of this book was a lil'slo for me, I've heard the Starbuck Chronicles are good but I guess they start a bit slow & develop the characters more in the beginning. I wasn't over blown by this book as I was in many of B.C.'s books & series.
It's Basically about a guy from Boston who wants to fight for the south, there is a lot of soul searching, incompetant ignorance which was funny except for people dying due to this thought process... Now that Starbuck has set the history I can only think the series gets better, It's Cornwell afterall!
It's a long ride to the battle but I do enjoy Cornwell.
Cornwell is excellent in creating characters and relationships.
The performance was fine... did not bother me at all.
He typically builds the central character to the point that you can't stop listening.
LOL, just kidding, it was a really good book. i highly recomend getting it and listening to it. i even let my parents listen and the gave an outstanding review. you will not be disappointed.
"Another hero for Cornwell"
This superb novel is indicative of Cornwells work. Rebel charts the life of Nate, a Boston Northerner living in a steadfast Southern Virginia, in the months leading upto the American Civil War and the first Battle. This son of a Preacher embroils himself in theivery, whores and murder. Enemies abound, but friends are found in the most unlikly places. If you are a Cornwell fan then this is a must read/listen. It is easy to 'get into' and ne'er impossible to switch off.I WILL be getting the next 2 chronicles next month.
A masterful story from the pen of the master.
The listener is taken back to the Confederate state of Virginia just prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War and joins in the excitement and spirit of adventure experienced by those volunteers and small farmers who joined up to defend the Confederacy and the rights of the Southern States.
The final chapters of the book vividly describe the first battle of Bull Run, the waste and destruction of battle and the indignity of death.
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