The third in a series of exceptionally well written time travel, adventure/romance books by the author, it tells a gripping and highly entertaining tale. There are four such novels published to date in what is hoped to be a series of six books. I urge the interested reader to start at the beginning and read each and every one. Do not be daunted by the length. Trust me when I say that you will wish that they were longer, so riveting a story does the author unfold. A masterful storyteller, the author employs the superlative use of historical events and period detail to weave an engaging three dimensional tapestry of timeless love and adventure. While the core of the story is about a love that transcends time, it is, however, much more than that. It is an adventure story that grips the reader from beginning to end and is positively addictive!
The love that spans time is that which twentieth century Englishwoman, Claire Randall, has for eighteenth century Scottish highlands warrior, James Fraser. Those readers who have read the first book in the series, "Outlander", know that in 1945, Claire, a combat nurse during World War II, is reunited with her husband, Frank, after the war. While on a second honeymoon in Scotland, she visits a strange, flat topped hill, where a forbidding stone circle draws her. Touching one of the stones, she is hurled through a vortex in time and finds herself in eighteenth century Scotland, where she meets a brave and brawny, red headed Scot, James Fraser, with whom she falls head over heels in love. Finding herself thrust into the midst of clan warfare and intrigue, she and her beloved 'Jamie' have enough adventures to last a lifetime.
The second book, "Dragonfly in Amber", is a continuation of that story, told from the perspective of the twentieth century where Claire, now a doctor, has lived for the past twenty years. Upon the death of her twentieth century husband, Frank, Claire returns to Scotland with her grown, red headed daughter, Brianna. There, she discloses to Brianna the events of her secret past, as well as the truth of whom Brianna's biological father truly is and of the love that Claire bore him.
While in Scotland, however, Claire discovers something that will forever change her future, as well as her past. You see, for the past twenty years, Claire has mistakenly believed that her beloved 'Jamie' died in the historic battle of Culloden. It was there that the Scottish highlanders bravely fought the English in a misguided attempt to restore Charles Stuart, their bonnie Prince Charlie, to the throne of England, only to be decimated on the battlefield. Those few who survived were branded as Jacobite traitors and imprisoned, and their families disenfranchised. It is this very event that Claire and 'Jamie' had conspired to change, only to fail.
Their story transports the reader from the turmoil of the Scottish highlands to the intrigue of the French Court and regales the reader with the adventures of the two lovers, as they conspire to change the very course of history. It was this valiant attempt that ultimately brought Claire and 'Jamie' to the crossroad that would compel them to part and have Brianna become a denizen of the twentieth century.
In "Voyager", Claire, now realizing that the love of her life and soulmate survived the battle of Culloden, makes the decision to go back in time and find James Fraser, as for the past twenty years her love for him has remained constant. Leaving her daughter, Brianna, she once more hurls herself into the vortex of time to eighteenth century Scotland to begin her search for James Fraser, in hope of being reunited with her 'Jamie'.
This book tells the story of what happened to Claire Randall and James Fraser in those intervening twenty years. It tells of their ultimate reunion and rediscovery. With historical events as a backdrop and an unforgettable cast of characters, it regales the reader with their new adventures, as Claire returns to a still divided, turmoil ridden Scotland. Reunited with James Fraser, none the worse for wear, they seek to make a life for themselves. As their love comes full circle, they take to the high seas, and their adventures continue. This compelling time travel saga is sure to captivate the reader.
on April 27, 2000
After finding out that Jamie survived the battle of Culloden, Claire makes the heartwrenching decision to leave her grown up daughter, Brianna behind in the present, and after a hilarious scene at a shop that sells period costumes, Claire finds her way back to the stones of Craigh na Dun and Jamie, who lives under various guises as merchant, printer and smuggler
Their reunion is passionate but not peaceful for long. Jamie and Claire's efforts to save his nephew, Ian take them to the West Indies where they meet Geillis Duncan, the time traveller from Outlander, who not only holds the boy hostage for her own sinister purposes, but who also threatens Brianna all the way in the twentieth century. Their final escape hurls them into a storm that nearly kills them all, but lands them in a new world - together.
Throughout the many twists, turns and revelations of incidents past, we never doubt Jamie. Not when he is constantly thrown from one danger to another, not even when he warns Claire that she might not want the man he has become. Her answer is our own, and her implicit trust in him is truly justified as he tries to explain every circumstance that fate has thrown at him. But he has changed. He has been forced by blackmail and loneliness into a loveless marriage with one woman and to father a son on another. These relationships will be explored in further installments of the series.
Claire has been dealt a rough hand in some ways, and she has also become tougher during the twenty years of separation from Jamie. Her profession of surgeon serves her well in this book and her decades of loneliness in the 20th century, while remembering the love she shared with Jamie, only strengthen that love when they rediscover each other and she sees how very much he has changed. Claire clings to the chance of happiness she knows she is lucky to have, even if it means leaving behind her beloved daughter.
The scene where Claire shows Jamie photographs of his daughter Brianna, taken at many stages in her life, is heartbreakingly tender with the pain of what could have been. Claire and Jamie do not dwell on this, but instead face each new challenge together. Old friends and nemeses are back, each of them adding their own piece of the puzzle to this intricate story, but Jamie and Claire are, again, the center of it all. We know them now and we cheer for each victory and despair at each cruel twist of fate.
In the end, the theme of Voyager is one of tremulous hope. Hope, because this is a new beginning for Claire and Jamie. After all their misunderstandings and disagreements have been dealt with, they find themselves on a new continent which represents their new chance at a life together. Tremulous because, let's face it, this is a Gabaldon novel, and we have not only Drums of Autumn after this installment, but two, or perhaps three more books. In any case, Voyager is a well-crafted work, not overwhelmed by the carefully detailed research that has gone into it, but supported by it.
on June 7, 2002
The third in the 'Outlander' series and still kept me riveted. In this enstallment, Claire is in her own time and its twenty years later from the time she first went back (1945)and she has a daughter from Jamie, Brianna who is 20 years old.
Claire is now a succesful doctor living in Boston and still longs for her lost love, a Scottish warrior from the 18th century named Jamie Fraser. Her twentieth century husband Frank having passed away two years ago, Claire is feeling that heartwrenching pull to return to her love.
But how does a mother leave her only child to find a man she once knew and loved almost two hundred years ago? How does she explain this to the man's daughter who looks just like him? Just seeing Brianna makes her heart ache for Jamie.
With the help of Brianna and a friend who studies genealogy charts, Claire finds out that Jamie somehow survived the bloody Battle of Culloden! Dare she risk another trip through the stones to find him?
With understanding and the love from her daughter, Claire finds the support and courage she needs to take the plunge into the unknown with the knowledge that she may never again be able to return to the future and Brianna.
Seeing Jamie again nearly knocks the breath from her. Their love is still intact, even 20 years later. Trouble is still in the air, this time they are uprooted from the battlefields of Scotland to the exotic and mysterious West Indies. Coming face-to-face with an 18th century serial killer, Claire is the only one who can stop the madness.
Voodoo magic and political intrigue, Claire and Jamie are thrust on a voyage to the pits of humanity and must use their love and trust in one another to survive.
I thought the use of voodoo and the islands in the 1700's was unbelievable! It was so fascinating and kept you on your toes! Their journey through the world of magic and greed for life made sense and also explained things to me that I missed in the first novel 'Outlander'. The stones are more in depthly explained along with the travel of time. It was so unbelievable that I was engrossed for hours and hours and found it dark outside before I thought to even eat!
This is probably one of my favorites so far of the three I've read. It moved faster and with more excitement that the last (even though I loved 'Dragonfly') and I was sad to see it end, some 1050 pages later, lol.
The time spent apart made the heart grow fonder and I was happy to see the passion still well alive between them. I love Jamie anyway, and fell in love with him in 'Outlander', but in this, I loved him even more and wished I were Claire, lol. I am anxiously ready to plunge right into the fourth installment, 'Drums of Autumn', in the New World...
1. Outlander 2. Dragonfly in Amber 3. Voyager 4. Drums of Autumn 5. The Fiery Cross
When we last saw Claire and Jaime and the gang, Claire had just finished telling her story about Jaime and Scotland to her daughter, Brianna, and a researcher, Roger. They decide to find out what happened to Jaime. Apparently, he did NOT die in the Battle of Culloden...but is he still alive in the 1760's? And does Claire want to leave behind her life in the 1960's--including her beloved daughter--to return to a man who may not love her anymore?
The Outlander series has been an emotional roller coaster ride for me. I wasn't a big fan of Outlander, but I figured I'd give Dragonfly in Amber a chance. WOW, that book was amazing, and it ended on one helluva cliffhanger. Pretty much since then, I have been ITCHING to start reading "Voyager"--the biggest drawback has been (besides nabbing an audiobook version from the library) the length.
Well, I finally had a chance (between all the Book Club books I've been reading) so I jumped upon the chance to listen to Davina Porter transport me back to Claire and Scotland and Jaime...only what I ended up getting was certainly not what I was expecting.
I see it this way: if you go into this expecting just about anything to happen, you will do fine. If you don't mind voodoo magic, racist portrayals of all races, lots of lying between a couple that supposedly loves and trusts one another, and a 15 year old boy kidnapped and raped by a much older woman, then you will probably find this book up your alley. Unfortunately, that was not what I was expecting.
Part of what bothered me were the characters themselves. You would think when a person ages, that person would become more confident in themselves, more stubborn and less likely to take crap from people. But I didn't find Claire to be that way at all. Instead, she puts up with things I wouldn't have even bothered with (more in a bit). And Claire sure makes her decision to time hop back to the 18th century easily. Isn't there a conflict about the way women are treating back then in comparison to how she is treated in the 1960's? Isn't she afraid or worried about losing her life or identity? By the way it doesn't even cross her mind, I guess not, it's all about a man and being back with him. Jaime has always been a protective husband, but here he blatantly lies or withholds the truth from Claire. He comes across as domineering, jealous, and hypocritical. Oh, yeah, and everyone wants him, INCLUDING MEN. Brianna is such a Mary Sue. Beautiful hair, long legs, spitfire, "smart", can charm people without even having to work at it, bland personality. Practically every male gets a hard-on just looking for her. Frank turns into Cheater McAdulterer@$$. Not that I exactly blame him; he and Claire had a very rocky relationship, one that she didn't exactly help along. There is a Mr. Willoughby, a Chinese male who is hideously stereotyped. And I'm not saying that the characters say stereotypical or racist things about him; no, his entire CHARACTER is one racial stereotype after another. EMBARRASSING. There were loads and loads of other characters, but honestly, I can barely remember them (or their character seemed pointless).
Now, I will say I do like how Claire and Jaime are having these adventures and they aren't some young teenaged punks. They are mature adults, in their forties/fifties. That's awesome and I highly applaud this move. However, I doubt that a 50-year-old Claire would be THAT highly desired by nearly every male she comes across.
One of the things that drove me most nuts was the Jaime/Claire relationship. The problem I had with it was this: Jaime and Claire have been apart for 20 years, and yet they barely spend any time getting to know each other again or having ANY problems getting back together. They have an awkward night together, have amazing sex, and POW! They are an item. I would think that after 20 years, they would have changed drastically--maybe they were more or less serious, or had different interests, or had grown more mature. But it doesn't seem that either Jaime or Claire had to struggle much to "get" the other.
And this leads into the next part: Jaime lies or withholds the truth on at least TWO occasions and both times Claire swallows the apology and moves on with barely a blip. The first time this happens, Jaime doesn't tell Claire that he has a wife. This isn't a mere oversight; he spends quite a few days with her, and she has to find out when his second wife bursts into his home at Lallybroch. They have a brief spat, she leaves, he gets shot, she runs back, they kiss and make up, happily ever after. NO! This is UNACCEPTABLE. He should NOT LIE ABOUT A SECOND WIFE. No matter how much he didn't "LOVE" her or some bull.
The second incident is about Jaime's son, Willy. That is yet another blowout that Claire learns AGAIN from someone else. And yet AGAIN, barely a blip, and then Claire and Jaime are back to clawing at each other's clothes.
And lastly, you mean to tell me these two people, who spent TWENTY YEARS apart, didn't find ONE SINGLE PERSON in those twenty years to FALL IN LOVE with and marry? I know that Gabaldon was trying to make it seem like the love Jaime and Claire had for each other was eternal and blah blah blah, but geesh, I just don't buy it. I can't imagine that Claire would have remained chaste for twenty years (what was up with the Frank/Claire intimate scene after Brianna's birth? Did they reconcile or no?). Same for Jaime.
Plotwise, be open for anything to happen. And I mean ANYTHING. I'm talking shipwrecks (at least two), ocean-crossings, seasickness, VOODOO CEREMONIES AND TALKING TO BRIANNA FROM BEYOND TIME, child rape, a child being kidnapped, imprisonment, smuggling, piracy, a slave trade market (including a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE scene proving the "breeding qualities" of a black man--absolutely DREADFUL), drunken and high priests, everyone and his mother knowing Jaime or being from Scotland, plucky prostitutes, and more. Honestly, I had no idea what would happen at any time, because Gabaldon would just pick something out of the Plot Ideas Hat and toss it into the mix.
And final pet peeve, I swear. A good portion of this novel involves Jaime and Claire racing to the Caribbean to find the missing Ian, their nephew. Only, they have plenty of time to bumble around, getting Fergus and his wife married, cavorting with drunken priests and more WHILE A CHILD IS BEING MOLESTED. And the worst part is, Jaime and Claire rarely seem to be that affected by this. They don't worry about what is happening to Ian. They don't stay up late at night, wondering where he is and what to do. No, instead, it's business as usual--hijinks and adventure and plenty of hot, hot, hot sex to boot.
I know this has been harsh review, and I really hate to be this way, particularly about a book that I was so anticipating. But I can't help but be honest about how the book affected me. I really did want to like--no, love--this book. I was excited to go back to Scotland. I was chomping at the bit to have Claire and Jaime reunite. And if I hadn't cared about the story, about the characters, I don't think I would have bothered so much with this review.
This book (series) has loads of fans; if you've already read the first two books, then I do recommend reading this, just so you can see Jaime and Claire reunite. And hey, you may end up liking this more than I did. And even though I didn't much care for this book, I'm still gonna give Drums of Autumn a chance--eventually.
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on August 12, 2009
Like many others, I loved Outlander. I must have read it 3 times in as many weeks. I enjoyed Dragonfly quite a bit and thought it a well written, if painful, continuation of the story. I had high hopes for Voyager, but now I have no plans to read the continuing saga.
I'm willing to give the author leeway in a lot of areas and I must admit that at times Voyager really did enthrall me. Some of the moments between Claire and Jamie were all I hoped them to be. But those were the few bright spots in what I thought was a largely disappointing book.
The areas I can't get past....
1. Some of the plot points were downright ridiculous. I found the mysticism of the first two books a nice balance between the tangible and the unexplainable. The 'weirdness' factor in this racheted up quite a bit and I found myself, instead of being open to the possibilities, skipping pages until something more realistic happened. In addition, some of the logic was sketchy or way off. The most painful leap, to me, happens when one character does another character a favor. This favor could have been done several years earlier, in my opinion, with really no excuse as to why it wasn't done so. My only conclusion is that it was for selfish reasons - so why does a great friendship come out of this?? There were so many times when I was reading and thinking "Really? You can't see any other way out of this?"
2. The 'coincidences' in this book are so ASTOUNDING it makes the plot seem extremely contrived. I can't shelve my logic long enough to accept all of the little convenient plot twists that happen. Coupled with the mystical weirdness, I found myself saying "Hmmm... You don't say," way too much. I'm open to the sense of fate the first two books inspire. Nothing in this book felt like fate - just like a failing story needing more 'twists' to make it interesting.
3. The writing is painfully repetitive; a good editor was obviously lacking here. I also found myself getting irritated with little details that seemed wrong. Is Jamie's scar on his right or left hand?? I'm pretty sure it's on his left, but Claire seems to find it on his right at times.
4. All of the main characters do things extremely out of character at different times. Some of what Jamie, Claire and Jenny do were so surprising to me, I really thought less of characters. I don't expect them to be perfect (they made plenty of mistakes and bad decisions in the first two books), but they shouldn't do things completely out of left field. You would expect wisdom and determination at their ages, especially with all they've survived. Instead, you wonder, at times, if you even know them at all.
5. It was more of an adventure story than the reunion story I had hoped it would be. There was so little time devoted to Jamie and Claire as a couple, I found myself longing for some boring times just so I could be with them. And, since I found the adventure largely unbelievable, I was irritated with the plot.
There are a lot of other problems I have, but there is really no sense in cataloging any more. I was glad to see Claire and Jamie reunited, but I do regret what this book has done to my sense of the characters and story. Coupled with the mediocre reviews of the later books, I have no intention of reading further. I figure if I give it some time, I'll be able to read Outlander again with some of the joy it brought me initially - the author can truly be proud of that work. I'd rather let my own imagination, however, continue the story.
on January 6, 2015
Unfortunately, Ms. Gabaldon has turned (book one) an originally beautiful period piece with a sprinkling of magic, history, great characters and a captivating love story into a silly and preposterous series rivaling 'The Perils of Pauline'. How does one fill 700 pages.... well, have near death experiences befall Jamie & Claire so many times you'll lose count. There is no story here, only a looong string of horrors that escalate into the laughable. Really, how many times can a person fall overboard, get shot, hung, jailed, tortured, left behind, grieve for a dead partner who isn't really dead... you get the picture. By now Jamie & Claire have to wonder if their meeting was actually a curse. Love the Starz series. Have no idea how they will rescue this book if it even gets this far. Frankly, I'm bailing before I forget how wonderful Book One was.
on August 22, 1998
I think this book and the rest of the series were fantastic! They were easily the best books I've ever read - and I'm an avid reader. I laughed out loud while reading (something I very seldom ever do). I cried during some of the passages. These books were so real, I felt as though the characters were my very best friends after the first book. The author's descriptions were so vivid, you could almost see what she was talking about. She didn't repeat events over and over when she was talking about something else - she trusted you to know what she was referring to. One event didn't last for several pages; she described something fully and moved onto something else. There was something different happening all the time; this book and the series were anything but boring.
The book was over way too fast and the series could have had many more books in it. It was just over way too soon! I hope the next book is ready soon. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes to read - no matter what category.
on January 4, 2006
It is more than likely unnecessary to tell you to buy this book if you've already read the first two (Outlander & Dragonfly in Amber). You are probably dying to get your hands on this novel so just go for it.
Outlander: Claire thrown back in time. Ends up marrying Jamie do to circumstances beyond anyones control. Falls madly in love with him, rescues him from the evil Captain Randall, nurses him back to health in France.
Dragonfly in Amber: Claire and Brianna (her daughter, with Jamie) are in Scotland two years after the death of Frank Randall. Claire hopes to find out what happened to all the men she knew with the exception of Jamie who she knows died at Culloden and work up the courage to tell her daughter that her father wasn't Frank Randall but a man from 200 years in the past named Jamie Fraser.
Claire's story puts her and Jamie in France at his cousin Jared's house. Jamie is running Jared's business in Jared's absence and Claire is supposed to be taking it easy... she's with child. Jamie finds a young pickpocket and employs the both with the agreement that if young Fergus loses a hand with stealing mail for his new master... Jamie and Claire will care for him for the rest of his life.
Claire meets several strange and intriguing characters upon living in France including the woman who is supposed to marry Captain Randall, who they believed dead in the first novel, and being the line of Randall's that produce her husband, Frank, who still resides in her own time.
Claire and Jamie go through a horrible time in France (loss of their child) and end up returning to Lallybroch in Scotland only to be summoned by Bonny Prince Charlie as he gathers troops to march into Scotland and take back his thrown... an endevour both Jamie and Claire thought they had prevent. The two reluctantly join the Jacobite army. Jamie fights with the men and Claire fights to save the injured men with her doctoring.
Spoiler to Dragonfly: In the end, they both know the ill fated battle of Culloden is just around the corner and Scotland will be plunged into a horrible time when the English hunt all the men who were involved in the Jacobite cause. Because of the death of Dougal McKenzie, Jamie knows he will die no matter what and so takes Claire back to the stones (she is pregnant again) to send her back to her own time where she and their child will be safe.
This Book: The heart wrenching end to the second novel left me feeling quite raw and I was pleasantly able to simply pick this novel up off my bookshelf and begin reading.
The books tells us about Claire's return and her life with Frank Randall, who by this time realizes she is still very much in love with Jamie, and is at times cruel, but stays with her because of Brianna (Jamie and Claire's daughter) which he loves as his own.
Brianna, Roger (Rev. Wakefield's foster son) and Claire (in 1967) begin the seach for Jamie when it comes to their attention that he didn't die at Culloden.
Another story in the book is the actual telling of what did happen to Jamie from the battle fields of Culloden, to Lallybroch, to prison, to England, and then on to Edinburgh where Claire, Brianna and Roger track him too.
It takes a bit of reading but we finally get to the part where Claire throws herself back through the stones (with her daughters blessing) and goes from the stones to Edinburgh where she is almost sure she will find Jamie.
Their reunion is wonderful and their furthering adventures are spectacular! This book was far from ever being boring though some of the Jamaican parts are hard to follow but the adventure is awesome. We also get to see Jamie's family again (Jenny, Ian, Young Jamie) and we are introduced to a new man but an old character as Claire realizes one of the men so happy to see her is Fergus!
Fergus all grown up is a delight as his on going devotion to Jamie and Claire. There are some painful realizations but everything works out enough that Jamie and Claire can be together and go in search of their nephew Young Ian, who was taken by pirates. Yes! The seasick Jamie braves the Atlantic!
We even get a wedding and the surprise return of a character I wasn't fond of the first time around but makes this story quite interesting.... wonderful... spectacular... and worth your money to buy and your time to read!
on January 20, 2014
Last week when I posted my review of Outlander, I wondered whether it would be smart to press on with the series in one massive reading binge, or whether, due to their epic length and the difficult emotional content, it would be smarter to take them slowly... as if I could. A longstanding joke in my family is that I was absent the day they handed out will power, and sure enough, even as I knew it would probably be too much for me emotionally, I devoured Dragonfly in Amber and then Voyager. And maybe it was too much of a good thing, or maybe it was just that I hit a wall and had no more empathy to waste on Jamie and Claire and their endless trevails, but I reached a point midway in this book where I just could not willingly suspend my disbelief anymore.
I'm not sure what happened. Having finished Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, I was already well used to the endless cycle of Jamie and/or Claire finding themselves in mortal peril with no way out, only they do get out, celebrate their narrow escape with sexy times, and then shortly find themselves in mortal peril again. I'd suspended my disbelief quite a bit, and was just enjoying the ride.
Back in December 2011, the DBSA Romance Fiction Podcast (hosted by Sarah Wendell of Smart B****es, Trashy Books and Jane Litte of Dear Author) had an episode about the Ridiculousness Threshold -- that point at which the reader can no longer accept character or plot insanity and no longer enjoys the book. For me, I hit the Ridiculousness Threshold the moment Laoghaire's daughter walks in on Jamie and Claire at Lallybroch and calls him "Daddy!"
After that, no matter how I tried, I could not silence my inner skeptic. Almost every twist and turn of the convoluted plot made me roll my eyes and think, "Oh, for pete's sake, seriously?" The entire rest of the book is one absolutely ridiculous coincidence after another, and even in a series where I was willing to believe in time travel and the main characters' repeated skin-of-the-teeth survival against all odds, I just could not believe in pirates and slasher-killers and secret babies and zombies and shipwrecks and all of the rest of the insanity writ large over the 870 pages of this book.
And you know, the worst of it is that even though I'm totally done, and can't shut up my inner critic enough to enjoy reading, I still want to know what happens to Jamie and Claire next. Maybe I can find some Cliffs Notes.
on March 31, 2005
I keep saying that I don't like these books, but I keep reading them! So Gabaldon must be doing something right. Voyager, in particular, is refreshing because, in this youth-crazed world, it shows that love and passion are not the sole province of the under-40. However, as with the first two books in the series, several disturbing elements keep cropping up and leaving a bad taste in my mouth. To quote the late Ann Landers, Gabaldon seems to have "a geranium in her cranium" on certain topics, to wit:
1. Homosexuality. Jamie encounters yet another English prison governor hot for his body in the person of Lord John Grey. Gabaldon may be trying to overcome the accusations of homophobia generated by her portrayal of the sadistic Jonathan Randall in Outlander by making Grey a sympathetic character, but still, it was a bit much! Why is Jamie such a guy magnet? And what of his own somewhat ambivalent response, which carries over from Outlander to this installment? He is seemingly repulsed by Grey's advances, but later (I won't give it away) acts in a somewhat inconsistent manner in this regard. Is our Jamie secretly AC/DC? Gabaldon flirts with this issue in a very weird way.
2. Physical punishment. Once again, we are treated to a detailed flogging scene, though not quite as long as the similar scenes in Outlander. And once again, there is an erotic component to the scene as Grey watches from the window. Gabaldon intertwines physical punishment and love (both erotic and parental) in a very unsettling way. There is much discussion of the impending beating of Jamie's nephew, Ian, by his father, a task which Jamie undertakes himself because he got the lad in trouble in the first place. Again, this is described with relish and at great length, followed by a similarly detailed description of Jamie submitting himself to a beating by Ian, the whole depicted as a kind of bonding experience. Creepy. (And I have never been able to forgive Jamie for his beating of Claire in Outlander, or to excuse her for letting him get away with it--and, once again, Gabaldon portrayed the beating as a turning point in her growing to love him).
If Gabaldon dropped these themes from subsequent installments of this series, it could only improve what is basically fun, escapist entertainment.