Thursday, September 9, 2010

REVIEW: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

From Amazon: “For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones ... about a love that transcends the boundaries of time ... and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his....

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart ... in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising ... and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves....”

After reading Outlander a couple of months ago, Jamie and Claire became my favorite fictional couple right after Scarlett and Rhett. I was anxious to continue the journey with them. The first couple of chapters threw me for a loop because I didn’t know the second book would start out 20 years after the first book ended. It made perfect sense once Claire started relating her story though.

In the last installment, Claire and Jamie have fled to France so he can heal from the horrifying abuse he suffered while in prison in Scotland. Claire tells Jamie that in 1745 great strife will come to Scotland as Charles Stuart tries to regain the throne of England Ireland and Scotland by starting an uprising that will have disastrous consequences for the highland clans. They decide they must stop at nothing to see that the uprising does not occur so Jamie, his clansmen, and the rest of Scotland will be safe. They travel to France where Jamie fills in for his merchant cousin Jerod, a position that is perfect for him to make the necessary political inroads to throw a wrench in things. While there they discover much to their dismay that old nemesis Jack Randall is still alive and they make new enemies along the way. In addition to the seemingly impossible task of stopping the uprising, Jamie must also decide between his desire to seek revenge against Captain Randall and his love for Claire. If he kills Jack Randall, Claire’s husband in the future- Frank may never come to exist.

In the “present” as Claire’s story unfolds her daughter Brianna finds it increasingly difficult to believe that a Scottish warrior from centuries ago was really her father and not Frank Randall who raised her. A romance also buds between Brianna and Roger Wakefield, a history professor and nephew of the deceased Reverend Wakefield, and he agrees to help Claire track down what happened to the 30 men of Clan Fraser during the Jacobite rising. Claire finds out a piece of information about Jamie that is shocking and may throw her life into chaos once again.

First let me say that Diana Gabaldon definitely knows how to paint a realistic picture of the time period she writes of. I really love the history aspect of her novels, so much so that the romance angle that usually has me rolling my eyes and speed reading through those passages doesn’t really bother me at all. In addition to the vibrant historical aspect the romance is also wonderful because you feel the characters genuinely care for each other. I don’t think I cared for this one as much as Outlander because it felt less action packed. While the problems that Claire and Jamie encounter while trying to stop the rebellion were interesting, it felt so drawn out at times I found myself thinking “Come on! Get to battle already!” and about ¾ of the way through I found myself thinking “Get to the end already so I can find out how Brianna reacts to all this!” Once again the synopsis on the back of the book was misleading as it made it seem like Brianna would play a main part in this one. As it turns out 98% of the book took place in Scotland detailing the fight to stop the uprising and how Claire came to be back in present times.

The love was definitely still there between Claire and Jamie, I just wasn’t feeling this one as much. I will still be continuing on with Voyager to see what happens next.

This book is from my own personal library


  1. I liked this one a lot, but some of my favourite scenes are from Voyager. I just started Echo in the Bone last night. Need to get some serious reading done to finish it.

  2. OMG I love these books! But I have to tell you, stay away from Jamie, he's been my fantasy lover for years! LOL

    Thanks for visiting me today, hope you come back again. Enjoy your weekend.