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A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander) Paperback – August 29, 2006
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“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)
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Diana Gabaldon has done it again! I was just introduced to the author this spring and have now finished her sixth book of the series, "Outlander". Read morePublished 20 hours ago by Ms Matha
This continuing saga never fails to leave the reader wanting more!Published 1 day ago by Rio Abajo Community Library
Another Great Story in the Outlander Saga! I just love her writing style and the story picks you up and keeps you wishing it never ends! Love it!Published 1 day ago by GeeGee010
Great book as are all in this series! My one complaint is that author seems to be trying to cram a little too many story lines in and that dialog begins to suffer. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Nathaniel Diaz
A Breath Of Snow And Ashes took my breath away. Lots going on in this book but worth every page. Hold onto your Kindle because I heard An Echo in the Bone is just as exciting !!!Published 2 days ago by Robyn Frederickson