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  • By Alex Reeves
    Apr 25, 2011
    The furry creatures of the English woodland have traditionally never received much attention in the volumes of military history. Perhaps this is because they have never actually been involved in any events thought noteworthy by the narrow-minded and stuffy historians who write the books. Thankfully, Michael Roach has done his bit by creating an alternate history for the creatures of the woodlands in The Stoat Rebellion – a meticulously detailed account of a bloody, twelve-year civil war which tore English woodland society to shreds. The Stoat Rebellion is narrated by Aubrey Fossedale – a vole who lived and fought through the conflict who has taken on the task of providing a definitive record of the civil war. Through a series of historical narratives, lists and eye-witness accounts, Fossedale details each vital stage in the conflict, from the original stoat uprising against the weasels and voles, through each major battle in the conflict to the end of the war and the reforms it... More > brought to the English woodland. The various methods of storytelling Roach employs give an immersive sense of realism to the account. Most of the book is written as a straight-forward retelling of events in a historical manner but, occasionally, descriptive moments of narrative seep into the text, punctuating it with rich narrative snapshots of the rebellion’s important moments. To supplement this, personal accounts from characters such as the swashbuckling, knife-wielding Brocky add a bit of vivid colour to the historical storytelling. To plunge you deeper into this fabricated history, Roach has included the structure of the armies involved in their entirety, listing the name of each individual regiment involved in the conflict, and even details the order of one battle to the minute. He has also created a great depth of detail in the extensive glossary, which makes up over a tenth of the book’s length and goes as far as to explain what the rations for the stoat soldiers consisted of. The account of this epic conflict ranges across the English countryside, attaching new and immersive historical events to places many will be familiar with. Bolton and Rotherham are transformed into military bases for the stoat rebels, whilst one of their enemy’s most prolific regiments hails from Henley-on-Thames. This historical narrative is comprehensive and compelling, but every so often Roach’s sense of humour emerges to surprise the reader. Whenever one is reminded that these bloodthirsty soldiers and merciless freedom-fighters are weasels, voles and stoats, the usually serious nature of war is transformed into something quaint and bizarrely cute. Phrases such as “paw-to-paw combat” cause one to double take, and provide a heartening sense of fun to what seems most of the time to be an authoritative and well-researched historical document of a gruesome civil war. It is this incongruousness that makes The Stoat Rebellion such a joyful book. Never before has bloody war been so adorable and never before have small, furry creatures been so badass.< Less
  • By felicity.bowers
    Jan 18, 2011
    “A heart-rending tale of bloodshed, politics and frivolity that cannot be missed” The Woodland Times
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Product Details

April 19, 2011
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.33 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6.14 wide x 9.21 tall
Product ID
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