Rebel: Bull Run, 1861 : Starbuck Chronicles

  • by Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by Ed Sala
  • Series: Starbuck Chronicles
  • 15 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great story, but weak performance.

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.
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- Cisco Rivera

Another Cornwell success

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.
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- Gordon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-08-2011
  • Publisher: Recorded Books