Leaving Moreton Bay behind, he jumps aboard The Cumberland to work for his passage to the goldfields. On the voyage he befriends Fergus, an old sailor at the crossroads of new technology. Together the pair jump ship in Melbourne and head towards the Ballarat Goldfields to make their fortune.
But, their dreams of easy riches are soon shattered as they not only battle the elements and the elusive nature of the gold, but also corrupt administrators and brutal law enforcement officers of the Colony, including an old acquaintance of Patrick's.
As the group struggle to make a living from the unforgiving earth, events move inexorably towards a fateful collision between the authorities and goldminers, testing the loyalties of the group and finding Patrick on the frontline facing Government forces as they emerge from the early morning mist.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite 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.