“Rebel, Book One: Bull Run, 1861” by Bernard Cornwell (Harper Perennial, 2002)

The Nathaniel Starbuck Chronicles:
Part One of Four

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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 Starbuck, a soldier who has defected to the Confederate South because of a lady, and yet he is short-changed, soon finds himself about to be tarred and feathered, but then is saved by a friend.  Without further ado, Starbuck joins up with the Confederate army, and while he has had little experience in warfare, having been educated in theology at Harvard, he has promise, and when push comes to shove, Starbuck unsurprisingly delivers.  Yet Cornwell has not created a common stereotype in Nathaniel Starbuck, and at the end of the first book, there is still a lot to be learned about this enigmatic Yankee.

If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

Originally published on November 4th, 2002.

Originally published in the Long Beach Union.

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