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Ride Proud, Rebel! by Andre Norton, Science Fiction, Western, Historical

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A man scuttles out of the brush -- and Drew only half sees the figure snapping a gunshot at him . . . Feeling the sickening impact of the bullet in his middle, suddenly Drew cannot pull any air into his straining lungs. The reins fall from his hands -- but he clings to the saddle as the mule leaps braying ahead. Abruptly from beneath the mule's hoofs the ground gives way -- A man scuttles out of the brush -- and Drew only half sees the figure snapping a gunshot at him . . . Feeling the sickening impact of the bullet in his middle, suddenly Drew cannot pull any air into his straining lungs. The reins fall from his hands -- but he clings to the saddle as the mule leaps braying ahead. Abruptly from beneath the mule's hoofs the ground gives way -- tumbling both of them into the icy stream! Drew plunges into instant blackness, shutting out the terrible agony shaking him. ". . . dead," says someone above the boy.


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A man scuttles out of the brush -- and Drew only half sees the figure snapping a gunshot at him . . . Feeling the sickening impact of the bullet in his middle, suddenly Drew cannot pull any air into his straining lungs. The reins fall from his hands -- but he clings to the saddle as the mule leaps braying ahead. Abruptly from beneath the mule's hoofs the ground gives way -- A man scuttles out of the brush -- and Drew only half sees the figure snapping a gunshot at him . . . Feeling the sickening impact of the bullet in his middle, suddenly Drew cannot pull any air into his straining lungs. The reins fall from his hands -- but he clings to the saddle as the mule leaps braying ahead. Abruptly from beneath the mule's hoofs the ground gives way -- tumbling both of them into the icy stream! Drew plunges into instant blackness, shutting out the terrible agony shaking him. ". . . dead," says someone above the boy.

30 review for Ride Proud, Rebel! by Andre Norton, Science Fiction, Western, Historical

  1. 4 out of 5

    Perry Whitford

    Drew Rennie is a scout in the Confederate Army during the last year of the Civil War as General Sherman advances into their heartland and the Rebel forces zigzag southwards. Like many Kentuckians, Rennie comes from a home divided in sympathy by the conflict. When his fifteen year old cousin, Boyd, threatens to enlist, Rennie tries to persuade him, but to no avail. Their Aunt Marianne tasks Rennie with finding and looking after the boy, who is about to suffer a rude awakening about the inglorious Drew Rennie is a scout in the Confederate Army during the last year of the Civil War as General Sherman advances into their heartland and the Rebel forces zigzag southwards. Like many Kentuckians, Rennie comes from a home divided in sympathy by the conflict. When his fifteen year old cousin, Boyd, threatens to enlist, Rennie tries to persuade him, but to no avail. Their Aunt Marianne tasks Rennie with finding and looking after the boy, who is about to suffer a rude awakening about the inglorious realities of war. Andre Norton is actually Alice Norton, an influential genre novelist primarily known for her work in that most un-female friendly of all fields, science-fiction. She proves here to be a dab hand at a Civil War story and the Western too, all in one, for 'Ride Proud, Rebel!' is a smart and satisfying blending of those two genres, where battles and raids are juxtaposed alongside stick-ups and range riding. There is also a compelling back-story as Rennie, in the company of Anson Kirby, a laconic Texan with a fine line in Lone Star state slang ("Lucky I ain't in a sod-pawin' mood, hombre" etc), mulls over his own heritage, for his father was from Texas too, which for some dark reason gave him an outsider's upbringing within his adopted family. As the trio do their best in a losing cause at famous sites such as Harrisburg, the Yankee 'blue bellies' are not the only trouble they face. They also have to deal with the bitter cold weather, starvation, the scavenging of bushwhackers and, in one instance, the designs of their own Rebel comrades. This book was a real pleasant surprise. I have read a fair few novels covering similar territory over the years, but few as understated yet convincing. The battle scenes were short but grittily told, the characters brave and likable but not unrealistically heroic such as they often are in similar works. There was a follow-up story written, called 'Rebel Spurs', which I will certainly be reading soon.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth

    Ride Proud, Rebel! is a Civil War novel set in the western theater during the final days of the war. As the story opens, the protagonist, Drew Rennie, has been serving as a cavalry scout in Confederate general John Hunt Morgan's command for two years, having left home in 1862 after a final break with his harsh grandfather, who despised him since his birth because of his mother's runaway marriage to a Texan. Already a seasoned veteran at eighteen, during the final year of conflict Drew has the ad Ride Proud, Rebel! is a Civil War novel set in the western theater during the final days of the war. As the story opens, the protagonist, Drew Rennie, has been serving as a cavalry scout in Confederate general John Hunt Morgan's command for two years, having left home in 1862 after a final break with his harsh grandfather, who despised him since his birth because of his mother's runaway marriage to a Texan. Already a seasoned veteran at eighteen, during the final year of conflict Drew has the additional responsibility of looking out for his headstrong fifteen-year-old cousin Boyd, who has run away from home to join Morgan's command and has a lot to learn in the school of hard knocks the army provides. The story follows the two of them and a new friend, a Texas trooper named Anson Kirby who provides both common sense and light comic relief, through campaigns in Kentucky, Tennessee and later on deeper into the South, first with Morgan and later under Forrest. It's adventure, but not romanticized adventure. Norton paints a vivid picture of both men's and horses' struggles with exhaustion, hunger, cold, heat and thirst, aside from the horrors of battle. The historical detail is good and left me curious to know more about battles such as Cynthiana, Harrisburg and others mentioned. I read a lot about the Virginia campaigns a few years ago, but the western theater of the war is less familiar to me. On another level, the story also follows the characters' personal development throughout their travels, as Drew wrestles with the conflicting desires to know more about what caused the split in his family years ago, or to shut off all thoughts of the past to avoid being hurt by it. Barring a bit of awkward dialogue, I found the writing to be good. Norton does tend to use passive voice a lot. The only place the passivity seems to grate is when it's paired with the aforementioned dialogue or appears unexpectedly in the middle of action. The final chapter wraps things up rather quickly and abruptly, but then again, it is laying ground for a sequel.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm

    Drew Rennie is a seasoned scout in the Confederate Army, under Morgan's banner, when the story begins. Despised by his grandfather who yet saw his "duty" in raising him after his mother died, Drew has absolutely no ties to the place he grew up in, and calls the army home. While scouting out good horses for the army on his grandfather's plantation, he runs across his best friends younger brother, and afterwards Boyd joins in spite of his orders not too. Add a Texan under the name of Kirby who's Drew Rennie is a seasoned scout in the Confederate Army, under Morgan's banner, when the story begins. Despised by his grandfather who yet saw his "duty" in raising him after his mother died, Drew has absolutely no ties to the place he grew up in, and calls the army home. While scouting out good horses for the army on his grandfather's plantation, he runs across his best friends younger brother, and afterwards Boyd joins in spite of his orders not too. Add a Texan under the name of Kirby who's goal is to learn the art of war so he can go home and revenge his family's death by the Comanche's, and a few other scouts who come and go, and you have a pretty good story of what it was like for the men fighting for their cause in the last years of it's life! Guerrillas, sickness, battles and always the uncertainty of "after the war" very well portrayed. There is a sequel and I can't wait to get my hands on it as this one leaves so many unfinished parts!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Richard Thompson

    This was one of the most disappointing books that I have read in a while. Trite, flat, characters that you have seen a dozen times before, always done better, in a story that brings nothing new to the Civil War genre. I remember enjoying Andre Norton's science fiction books when I was growing up, and I was intrigued by a story about the Civil War set in Kentucky about a soldier who fought under John Hunt Morgan, the favorite son of my home town Lexington, whose mounted statue stands in front of This was one of the most disappointing books that I have read in a while. Trite, flat, characters that you have seen a dozen times before, always done better, in a story that brings nothing new to the Civil War genre. I remember enjoying Andre Norton's science fiction books when I was growing up, and I was intrigued by a story about the Civil War set in Kentucky about a soldier who fought under John Hunt Morgan, the favorite son of my home town Lexington, whose mounted statue stands in front of our courthouse. I was further attracted by learning that the protagonist ends the war fighting under the enigmatic Nathan Bedford Forest, who is unfortunately largely remembered today as one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan. So I dived in, not expecting great literature, but hoping for a rousing adventure populated with interesting and colorful characters. But I got none of that -- just a by the numbers story about a young man with a difficult childhood who runs away to join the Rebs and grows to manhood in four long years of bloody fighting and privation. Morgan and Forest are distant figures with no real participation in the story. I have trouble understanding why most of the Goodreads reviews are positive, as I found little here to like.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Morris Nelms

    Well written and well researched historical fiction. Very straight forward. The story centers on a teenager serving under Bedford Forrest in the last days of the war. Norton has an excellent ear for dialects and uses it to great advantage here. Andre Norton is a bit of a magician as a writer. She simply disappears as soon as the story starts, and there is only the story. She's better at this than most, and while I hate to trot out cliches like "underrated," it's applicable here. Well written and well researched historical fiction. Very straight forward. The story centers on a teenager serving under Bedford Forrest in the last days of the war. Norton has an excellent ear for dialects and uses it to great advantage here. Andre Norton is a bit of a magician as a writer. She simply disappears as soon as the story starts, and there is only the story. She's better at this than most, and while I hate to trot out cliches like "underrated," it's applicable here.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Howard Brazee

    I got this as part of an Andre Norton omnibus book. I didn't know she wrote non-SF books. It was published in 1961, so I had already read books of hers, but wouldn't have been stored in the same part of my school libraries. The protagonist is a Confederate soldier during the end of the civil war, and we see how tough it was to be in that war, not only for the soldiers but for everybody. He is from Kentucky and parts of his family went Union and parts went Confederacy. The book ends with him going h I got this as part of an Andre Norton omnibus book. I didn't know she wrote non-SF books. It was published in 1961, so I had already read books of hers, but wouldn't have been stored in the same part of my school libraries. The protagonist is a Confederate soldier during the end of the civil war, and we see how tough it was to be in that war, not only for the soldiers but for everybody. He is from Kentucky and parts of his family went Union and parts went Confederacy. The book ends with him going home after the war, but there's a sequel where he goes west, searching for a friend, family, and himself.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Luann

    As an Andre Norton fan and collector, I purchased this book years ago and then never read it. It is a historical novel, not fantasy or science fiction, and I wasn't that interested in the Civil War era. However, I pulled it out this spring when cleaning out our book collection and tackled it. I won't claim it was an easy read for me. Not that it isn't well-written, because it was done at the height of her career and it is well-done. But I occasionally had difficulty with the language of the chara As an Andre Norton fan and collector, I purchased this book years ago and then never read it. It is a historical novel, not fantasy or science fiction, and I wasn't that interested in the Civil War era. However, I pulled it out this spring when cleaning out our book collection and tackled it. I won't claim it was an easy read for me. Not that it isn't well-written, because it was done at the height of her career and it is well-done. But I occasionally had difficulty with the language of the characters and the subject matter. I'm glad I persisted, for the story is a good one and I learned a bit more about the Civil War.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    Young Drew Rennie's adventures during the Civil War. This book is told in an unromantic, realistic way that brings the time to painful life. Drew rides under General Forrest, which is interesting. Most people avoid Forrest for his involvement in either Fort Pillow, or his post war activities. However, he was a brilliant general, and this book focuses on that. I highly recommend it. Young Drew Rennie's adventures during the Civil War. This book is told in an unromantic, realistic way that brings the time to painful life. Drew rides under General Forrest, which is interesting. Most people avoid Forrest for his involvement in either Fort Pillow, or his post war activities. However, he was a brilliant general, and this book focuses on that. I highly recommend it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    This is not my usual genre, being female and into flowers, fairies, and afternoon teas, but this kept my interest through the tough adventures of a soldier. I have even begun the next story in the series. Great characters and writing style.

  10. 5 out of 5

    William Mc Callum

    Great read After the Civil War a young man travels to the west to find his father. The characters are very will developed. The story is violent as were the times with a great conclusion. I would recommend to reader of history. Enjoy reading 2020

  11. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Fugate

    A good story. More about the personal side of the war with sections of battles interspersed. A good study of bonds formed between soldiers.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bram Slaats

    Not a bad story having said that I don't mind a bit of accents worked into the story or unique language but I prefer to have a legend so I at least know what they are saying. Not a bad story having said that I don't mind a bit of accents worked into the story or unique language but I prefer to have a legend so I at least know what they are saying.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    Who knew? I have been a fan of Andre Norton for as long as I can remember but never knew of this particular book before! Great book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mark Zodda

    Mostly engaging, but overly long story fictional story that follows a young Kentuckian who rides with General Nathan Bedford Forrest as a cavalry scout for the South. I wonder what Andre Norton knew about Forrest when she first wrote this book in the early 60s? It seems amazing today to read a fictional tale that holds Forrest up as a paragon and hero when what first comes to mind is that he was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and secondarily a brutal Confederate cavalry command Mostly engaging, but overly long story fictional story that follows a young Kentuckian who rides with General Nathan Bedford Forrest as a cavalry scout for the South. I wonder what Andre Norton knew about Forrest when she first wrote this book in the early 60s? It seems amazing today to read a fictional tale that holds Forrest up as a paragon and hero when what first comes to mind is that he was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and secondarily a brutal Confederate cavalry commander. In this story about the final years of the Civil War, Norton only has Forrest appear as the cavalry commander. Not sure if there is any justification for treating Forrest as sympathetically as Norton does, but I do know that I probably never would have read the book if I had known before I downloaded it that it would treat the man who founded the KKK as a hero.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    A bit embarrassing to admit, but not coming from the USA, while I know bits and pieces about the American Civil war, the different names for each side kind of confused me. I think I got three quarters of the way through the story before realising what side the main character was fighting for. What never really came across what why he was fighting for the South, when he came from the North. To be honest, I'm still confused. Apart from that though, it was quite a good adventure/heroism book. A bit embarrassing to admit, but not coming from the USA, while I know bits and pieces about the American Civil war, the different names for each side kind of confused me. I think I got three quarters of the way through the story before realising what side the main character was fighting for. What never really came across what why he was fighting for the South, when he came from the North. To be honest, I'm still confused. Apart from that though, it was quite a good adventure/heroism book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rob Roy

    The prequel to Rebel Spurs. An interesting tail of riding with Forest in the last year of the Civil War

  17. 5 out of 5

    Roger

    Reminiscent of Zane Grey’s westerns, Ride Proud, Rebel is equal to any of Grey’s writings.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Taj

  19. 4 out of 5

    John O'Callaghan

  20. 4 out of 5

    Forrest Dee Jeffcoat

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matt Velasco

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Fox

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marie

  24. 5 out of 5

    J

  25. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Evavold

  26. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Daugherty

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marta Blochowska

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sue

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brett

  30. 4 out of 5

    Oral Groves

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