- Series: Outlander (Book 2)
- Hardcover: 752 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Press (July 1, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385302312
- ISBN-13: 978-0385302319
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32,819 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander) Hardcover – July 1, 1992
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From Library Journal
This time-traveling romantic adventure will please fans who have been waiting for the further adventures of Dr. Claire Beauchamp Randall, a 20th-century American who goes to Scotland in search of her 18th-century husband, virile Scot Jamie Fraser, whom she met and married in Outlander ( LJ 7/91). Book 2 of a planned trilogy takes readers along on Randall's quest, as she hopes to find a state or time (like that of the title's dragonfly suspended in a piece of amber) where Fraser still exists. This imaginative novel suffers somewhat from the author's overuse of personification ("spectacles gleaming with concern and curiosity") and her confusing switches between the two first-person narrations, which sometimes cloud an otherwise intriguing adventure. But Outlander 's readers will still devour this hefty volume without complaint.
-Marlene Lee, Drain Branch Lib., Ore.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
An engaging time-travel romance, the second of a trilogy (after Outlander, 1991), that animates the people and politics of a pivotal period in history--while turning up the heat between an appealing modern heroine and a magnetic romantic hero. It's now 1968, and Claire Beauchamp Randall has returned to Inverness, Scotland, with her daughter, Brianna. This is Claire's first visit back since she and husband Frank visited 22 years before--when she walked through a Druid stone circle into the middle of the 18th century. Now, Frank is dead, and Claire hopes to learn what happened to the second great love of her life--gallant Jamie Fraser, laird of Lallybroch whom she married during her journey into the past. She's also looking for a way to tell Brianna who her real father is. Framed by these dilemmas, the bulk of the story consists of the second installment of Claire and Jamie's adventures. Escaping the English death sentence passed against Jamie, they flee to prerevolutionary Paris, where they secretly work at foiling Bonnie Prince Charlie's efforts to regain the Scottish throne. But this espionage is only the beginning...A most entertaining mix of history and fantasy whose author, like its heroine, exhibits a winning combination of vivid imagination and good common sense. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Top Customer Reviews
Why write ANOTHER review?
First, to give author Diana Gabaldon her due. Not only did she write this long novel (plus seven more, plus some related novellas and such), and keep it endlessly entertaining with vivid characters and fresh plot twists galore. No, that was not enough. She had to write some of the most vivid sweet prose around. Over and over I found gems--dozens of them. They are the kind of verbal jewels that make any author gasp and say "I wish I wrote that." What a feast!
Second, to comment on my fellow readers. While reading OUTLANDER it seemed Gabaldon was everywhere. I recently transitioned six times through airports. EVERY airport had someone reading a Gabaldon paperback. Most readers had no idea what was going on around them because they were clearly a couple centuries back, in Scotland. I wonder how many missed their flights?
Third, to comment on copy editing (as I usually do). This is a long book. I did spot some errors in my Kindle version but, compared to many ebooks, not many errors. Room for improvement but overall pretty good--better than most, for sure.
The odds are slim that anyone will encounter this five-star review in the vast ocean of existing appreciation for this delightful book and its author. If, perchance, a live person actually reads this review, please let me know with a "helpful" vote. I'll know it's a good day to buy a lottery ticket.
Next up: Dragonfly in Amber: A Novel (Outlander)
How sad that people clamor over the 50 Shades of .... books. This is so much more fulfilling. As "romance" novels have become more bold and inclusive of explicit dialog I find myself skipping through that. Been there done that. Insert Tab A into Slot B... etc. etc. borING. I want the emotion and feeling of the relationship.
Diana delivers the emotion, sights, sounds, smells, triumphs and failures with her words. She always finds alliterative and clever phrasing to bring everything alive - whether it is a trip across the sea or a dangerous encounter or mundane every tasks or Clare and Jamie enjoying the delights of each other intimately. The characters live and breathe.
There are not many books I reread. I am glad I chose to reread the Outlander Series. There is so much richness and depth I had forgotten. I also note things I missed the first time which deepen the experience of the stories.
These are excellent stories with something for most everyone.
This was a difficult novel for me to review, because for every aspect I liked about it, there was something I disliked. A few examples:
1. The writing is quite good. There are passages with amazing descriptions; there are paragraphs packed with emotion and brilliant word-weaving. And there are long passages that do little to nothing to advance the plot and feel like filler.
2. Jamie Fraser’s character is extremely well-drawn. He is complex and comes alive off the pages as an honourable, endearing man despite his flaws. I understand his motivations and why he acts as he does. Claire, on the other hand, I never felt I understood as well, which is odd since the novel is written in first person. She seemed a bit inconsistent, at times acting the perfect 18th Century lady, but at others acting more modern than a woman of the 1940s. I also never felt as sympathertic to her, especially because sometimes her actions were foolish and served to endanger herself, Jamie, and others. She is supposed to be intelligent and well-travelled. She should understand that as a stranger in a strange land one should try to follow local customs and listen to the local guides to avoid calamity.
3. I like novels with action and adventure. This novel had plenty of that. I also like a good villain and Black Jack Randall was a fantastic villain who I loved to hate. I don’t mind reading about blood, beatings, or even torture—if they advance the plot or are used for character development. I do mind such things when they are used wantonly, seeming to feed a fetish rather than to serve the story. There is plenty of blood and pain in this novel, especially in the latter part. I think, however, that the same ending could have been achieved without the gratuitous sexual assault.
4. And concerning the sex—there was a lot of it in this novel. Sex is another thing I don’t mind reading about, but it should be used to advance the plot or illuminate something important about the characters. While most of the sex scenes were well-written and several were vital to the storyline, some did feel like filler.
Overall, I like this book. I plan on keeping it in my library. Unfortunately, the truly amazing aspects of it are tempered by numerous drawbacks.