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A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander) Hardcover – September 27, 2005

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A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander) + An Echo in the Bone (Outlander) + The Fiery Cross
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

After waiting nearly four years since The Fiery Cross (2001), readers will find every expectation fulfilled in the sixth book of the popular Outlander series. Gabaldon shines as she unfolds the continuing story of the Frasers, heartbreakingly heroic highlander Jamie and his time-traveling wife Clare. Set during the three years leading up to the American Revolution, this compulsively readable mix of authentically set historical fiction and completely satisfying romance maps both violent loss and strong family ties. On the eve of war much is changing on Fraser's Ridge and Jamie and Claire encounter much harm. This vivid and haunting novel, therefore, brings an aching sadness, but it is balanced with sheer joy, revelation, and solace. The large scope of the novel allows Gabaldon to do what she does best, paint in exquisite detail the lives of her characters. Gabaldon's ability to invoke the heroic and the harrowing writ large, while also creating moments where you dare not take a breath for fear of missing something tiny and fine, is her hallmark. For it is in describing the sound of rain on the roof, Jamie's injured hand, or the understanding between father and daughter that the world of the novel comes alive and offers readers an enthralling experience. Neal Wyatt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

“The sixth instalment of the adventures of Claire and Jamie Fraser, already number one on the bestseller list, is a whopping 980 pages of action-packed escapism. It also has surprisingly melancholy and insightful views on the experience of growing old and dealing with the losses that entails…. One of the things that sets Gabaldon apart from other romance writers is exhaustive research of the times in which her characters live, so evident in her attention to period detail…. plot lines and stand-alone yarns are expertly woven together with the overall theme of impending doom and the question of predetermination.” —Toronto Star

“Fans of Diana Gabaldon’s popular Outlander series have another rousing historical-science-fiction-romance novel to savour in A Breath of Snow and Ashes…. For fans, this book is another slam-dunk hit. It’s a massive, long-lasting source of entertainment.” —Gazette (Montreal)


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Product Details

  • Series: Outlander (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 1157 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press; First Edition edition (September 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385324162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385324168
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,507 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Diana Gabaldon is the New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels-Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, and A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize)-and one work of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion, as well as the bestselling series featuring Lord John Grey, a character she introduced in Voyager. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

638 of 673 people found the following review helpful By Ers Consulting on September 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I was one of those many readers who loved the first four books but was harshly critical of The Fiery Cross, her fifth book. However, this book is terrific. First of all Claire and Jamie are more present in this book with all their love and passion, fierceness and courage, which had been dimly expressed in The Fiery Cross. Brianna and Roger are more believable and loving towards each other - Roger is less of a wimp, Brianna has gotten over her whinny self, and Jemmy is a terrific kid, not just a pooping, nursing machine.

Ordinarily, I am impatient of a lot of description, do a lot of skimming, and want to get down to the meat and potatoes of the plot. But not in this book. Every vignette, even if not central to the plot, is vivid and fascinating, giving the reader a glimpse into life in those days. I found myself devouring every word, enjoying the journey rather than being in a rush to the destination. Gabaldon is just such an incredible writer; such an imagination - you find it hard to believe she wasn't actually there. And when Jamie says things like "If I die, dinna follow me. The bairns will need ye. Stay for them. I can wait." I find myself crying and feeling like an idiot, since this is fiction, but it touches me so.

Enjoy!
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345 of 372 people found the following review helpful By Mel on September 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you've been waiting for certain things to be resolved . . . well, you're in luck. It was with a great deal of satisfaction that I finished this book (at 2:30 this morning), because I finally had answers to a lot of the things I'd been wondering about.

Unlike Fiery Cross, this book is much faster moving, with no long descriptions of diaper-changing. Brianna and Roger seem to have found their places at Fraser's Ridge . . . Brianna is much more likeable, much more mature, and a lot less whiny. And, of course, Claire and Jamie are featured very prominently . . . it's still their series. There's action, adventure, abduction, illness, war, and of course, sex.

A book more in the tradition of Voyager and Drums of Autumn . . . I wasn't disappointed.
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242 of 264 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on October 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Bodice-ripper romance? Check. Historical fiction with oodles of period detail? Double-check. Time-traveling fantasy? You bet. A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES (actually, all six volumes in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series) combines most of the genres I love, which means I couldn't put it down --- and at a hefty 992 pages, that's saying a lot. While immersed, I felt I was never far from Fraser's Ridge, the North Carolina homestead where Jamie Fraser, an exiled Scotsman, and his wife Claire, doctor and displaced 20th-century person, make their home. There are two other refugees from the contemporary world in the community: the Frasers' daughter Brianna (conceived in the 18th century, born in the 20th), and her husband Roger --- plus assorted saints, ruffians, eccentrics, rogues, floozies and fanatics.

Gabaldon's conceit, for those new to the books, is that certain individuals are able to pass from one century to another by means of ancient circles of standing stones. In OUTLANDER, the first volume, Claire time-travels quite by accident while vacationing in the Highlands; from 1946 she is hurtled back some 200 years, when the Jacobites, Scottish supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie, were fighting to oust the English and reestablish their own king. She meets and marries Jamie, but after the rebels are crushed at Culloden in 1745 and he is condemned to death, she returns to modern life (and her bemused 20th-century husband) to save her unborn child.

Sounds pretty crazy, but Gabaldon makes it plausible because her research is so meticulous and her characters so sympathetic: heroic, yet attractively flawed. You get to know the central quartet --- Jamie, Claire, Brianna and Roger --- especially well, since they take turns narrating the book.
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63 of 75 people found the following review helpful By L. Recker on December 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Snow" is better than FC, but I still have some major complaints about the book:

1) The recycling of characters/plots from Gabaldon's previous books:

Claire ends up in the gaol after trying to save a baby's life; A man to whom she shows mercy returns not to thank her, but to threaten her life; Claire is betrayed by her only close female friend; Claire is kidnapped and Jamie must track her down; Claire is saved by an unlikely admirer...well, gosh, we've read all this before.

2) Too many tangents

Gabaldon's storytelling reminds me of the network coverage of the Olympics. You tune in to watch the men's gymnastic all-around competition and are quite absorbed and entertained for an hour. Then, suddenly, you're told to "stay tuned" and the next thing you know you're sidetracked watching women's tiddlywinks. You have zero interest in tiddlywinks. Yet you find yourself watching tiddlywinks anyway because it is what you must endure to find out how the men's all-around gymnastics competition ends.

That's how I feel about both FC and ABoSaA. I am reading these books because I was, and am, intrigued by Jamie and Claire's story. In all honesty, I have very little interest in Roger and Brianna except how they affect Jamie and Claire's story. I care even LESS about Lizzie's perverted relationship with the Beardsley twins, whether Manfred infects his prostitute lover with syphillis, whether her brother had incestuous feelings toward Malva, or whether Aunt Jocosta and Duncan are sleeping with their slaves. (By the way, what is it with Gabaldon's pre-occupation with sexual perversity? What's next? Ian's unnatural attraction towards Rollo?
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