This best-selling author is highly praised by both critics and fans for his action-packed historical novels. Casts of colorful characters spring to life in battle scenes vivid with authentic military detail.
When William Faulconer rescues Nate Starbuck, his son’s friend, from the clutches of a Yankee-hating mob in Virginia, he finds a grateful and willing recruit for Faulconer’s Legion. But Nate’s decision to fight against his native North is only one of the human dilemmas facing the Legion. The Legion commander’s son is against the war, and his daughter’s fiancé is plotting for control of the family fortune. As a motley gathering of men prepares to engage the enemy at Bull Run, they have high hopes of ending the war before it starts. No one can foresee the changes in store for themselves and for their country.
Nate Starbuck and his compatriots leap from the book in full battle regalia with Ed Sala’s narrative magic. Action scenes are all the more exciting because listeners identify with the well-drawn characters and understand the circumstances that lead them to this historical moment.
Listen to more titles in the Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles.
©1993 Bernard Cornwell (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC
I am a huge fan of Bernard Cornwell, and actually began enjoying his novels with the Starbuck series then the Sharpe books. A few years ago I listened to this book and was hooked immediately. It seems to me some writers struggle with creating a fictional story in a historical setting and remain accurate to the period. These writers can create good characters, but not describe historical events correctly or with correct props. For example the description of weapons, when a person inaccurately describes equipment used by the soldiers it takes me out of the story. On the other hand someone may be spot on with the historical descriptions, but may be lacking in character or story development. Cornwell does not suffer from either of these problems. The fact that he has done his research and based his writings off of historical data makes this book seem like it Starbuck was really alive and this was his biography.
I do have one problem with this version of the story, the reader. I have listened to the other version with the different narrator (this version can be found on Audible), and he gave the characters unique and individual voices. This narrator was not able to change his accent all that much and many of the characters sounded the same. It was just not as good as I remembered, and the only reason I bought this version was because it was on sale. I would recommend the other version and will be sure to get the rest of the series with that narrator.
This one ranks at or near the top of the audible's I have listened to.
I highly recommend the entire series of Nathaniel Starbuck chronicles. Very interesting history interwoven with a great personal story of triumph and tragedy. The story really pulls you into the timeline of the Civil War.
I like the inflection of his voice, he is very enjoyable to listen too. I like the slight accent and the different tones of the voice for different characters.
I suppose Nathaniel Starbuck himself should be the obvious standout but I also enjoyed his leading officers, namely his Colonel.
This is a great "read" and I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking not only a great story of personal struggle but also the history of the Civil War and different battles.
Bernard Cornwell has become my favorite author and must surely be recognized amongst the greatest authors of historical fiction. Cornwell’s other offerings which include the “Sharpe” series; the “Saxon Chronicles” and “The Grail Quest” series all have a historical basis in his native Britain, with his main characters successfully taken from those times and places. Perhaps this is the reason, much to my chagrin, I had some trepidation as to whether Cornwell’s style would translate to the American continent during the period of the Civil War. I believe this is what is now referred to as a “duh” moment. Cornwell delivers another thrilling, action packed adventure that you will find hard to put down. His characters are interesting and well defined and engaging.
The Starbuck Chronicles were written from 1993 through 1996 and have not been revived since then. On his website Cornwell offers a glimmer of hope that we will see additional Starbuck stories but admits to focusing on the Sharpe series instead.
The narrator, Ed Sala, may not have the range of a Barbara Rosenblat but he does perform a capable rendition of the book. The five minute sample is not enough to do his performance justice.
Battle descriptions were good characters were interesting but pacing dragged a lot.
I'm a big Cornwell fan though so I'll keep on with the series
I am spoiled by Sharpe and Harper. This was interesting and enjoyable but falls well short of Sharpe and Harper. Having said that, I just downloaded the next book....
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 life. I especially liked his voice for "Pecker", Washington Faulconer's brother-in-law. I look forward to downloading the next in the series so I can find out what happens to the characters.
I have nothing to offer anyone except my own confusion.
Of the four Starbuck books I enjoyed Bull Run the best, though at times I wasn't sure if I was reading about Mr. Starbuck or Richard Sharpe (not that it matters). Among Mr. Cornwell's novels this one probably ranks somewhere in the middle.
The novel hooks you immediately. Unlike many of Cornwell's other series, the Starbuck Chronicles all take place within a two or so year window, so there doesn't have to be time at the beginning taken with laying the foundation of what has happened to the primary characters between novels. Further, the detail taken in describing the Battle of Sharpsburg is tremendous. Just a great novel.
It was good enough. He gave the various characters distinct voices, though I considered some of the southern accents a bit over drawn. He certainly didn't hurt the novel.
Yes, it drove me crazy when I learned there wasn't a fifth book in the series to start on. The ending of this novel leaves so many open story lines, none of which are resolved.
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