In terms of storytelling, the Rebels was a step down from the first in the series. Unlike the first novel, many historical moments are narrated. You are not afforded the opportunity to live these moments with the characters.
This should not shed an unfavorable light on the novel. Jakes skillfully weaves his story into the fabric of history. The personal dislikes noted are largely overcome by his skillful storytelling and engaging characters. The descriptions of the often squalid living conditions and on the battlefields are particularly vivid. Overall a 3.5 of five.