Flames of Rebellion by Warwick O’Neill is a historical novel set against the backdrop of colonial Australia, and it brilliantly portrays the life of gold diggers under the British administration. Ex-convict Patrick Flanagan desires nothing but to settle down and raise a family, but then he learns about a “golden” opportunity and he sets out for the gold fields in Ballarat. This could mean fortune, but does gold come that easily? Patrick and his new found friends will discover very soon that all that glitters is not really gold as they have to work in harsh weather conditions and face the challenge of corrupt administrators. Who’ll find that gold and who’ll ultimately own it? What might have begun as the pursuit of a dream ends in a nasty confrontation between the astute and resilient gold miners and the unforgiving government authorities, and Patrick could be the poker chip. The reader feels what happens when the underdog is enraged.
From Queensland to the gold fields, the reader is immersed in intense action and a powerful conflict develops at different levels throughout the story. Warwick O’Neill’s use of the first person narrative pulls the reader irresistibly into the worldview of the main character. The prose sings to the reader’s ears with strong and vivid descriptions, the characters are well developed as well as the different themes, including friendship, perseverance, corruption, and the effects of colonization. Patrick Flanagan is a character readers will root for, well sculpted and easy to follow. It isn’t hard to feel the ache in his soul for life or the rage against people who will rob one of everything and still try to steal one’s self. Flames of Rebellion is a captivating read, a great success in both its entertainment and informative potential. Great story, great characters, powerful conflict.
By Amazon Customer on 2 August 2016
March 2016, Valda B – Queensland. This historical story of early Australia set in the time of gold discoveries in Victoria is full of action from Queensland to the gold fields. With a descriptive style and first person narration, the author gives a creditable impression of what life was like for ‘would be miners’ like Irishman Patrick Flanagan. The several other characters, most becoming mates, hold your interest as they are confronted with the many obstacles like the weather , living conditions, the environment , the Government and the Law Enforcement Agencies. The imbalance between the Colonial authorities and those like Tom, Fergus, Harry, Pippa and Pat who are trying to eke out an existence on the fields to improve their life is well depicted.This chronological account of the many events and the details of the action the diggers took is well documented and makes this an interesting and informative book to read.