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Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander (Gabaldon)) Audio CD – Audiobook, October 3, 2006
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"A triumph! A powerful tale layered in history and myth. I loved every page."--Nora Roberts
"Compulsively readable."--"Publishers Weekly"
"From the Trade Paperback edition."
From the Inside Flap
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....
"From the Trade Paperback edition.
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THE STORY: After the events of OUTLANDER, Jaime and Claire have fled to France. There they will try to prevent the coming battle of Culloden in order to prevent the destruction of the Highlanders culture. Their scheme requires them to participate in Eighteenth Century French court politics and intrigues with Bonnie Prince Charlie and the King of France. There are still repercussions from Jamie's torture and rape at the end of OUTLANDER. Intrigues, danger and the past threaten to tear Jamie and Claire apart even at the point where they share joy at the coming of their child.
OPINION: I liked OUTLANDER, but I liked DRAGONFLY IN AMBER more. OUTLANDER was about Jamie and Claire discovering one another and falling in love. This book is about letting their love and marriage mature. In OUTLANDER Jamie and Claire ran the gauntlet of danger. This book is a slow burn. Things are quieter, more outwardly civilized and yet even more complicated and dangerous. Politics, society and intrigue take up the majority of this book.
For those readers who read OUTLANDER but don't know more about the series, they will be surprised by the beginning of this book. (I don't want to give it away, but it is a clever story device to begin the narrative there instead of being strictly chronological). The book feels fresh and different after OUTLANDER. The characters have grown and changed (not always for the good) and there are lots of new characters to get to know. Old friends and enemies also have returned so there is a good reason to review the events of OUTLANDER if you haven't read it in a while.
Jamie is more remote in this book after the events with Jack Randall in OUTLANDER. He is still struggling with the aftermath and the pressures of trying to save the entire Highlands. Being involved in the political intrigue means that he and Claire spend less time together and thus immense pressure is placed on their relationship.
Claire is also struggling to find her role in this new situation. The new life in the Court of France has new conflicts and restrictions upon this twentieth century woman. She has to use her imperfect knowledge of the past to help avoid Culloden while know knowing whether such a thing is possible. She is also struggling with her relationship with Jamie. She gave up her entire life to be with him and now she has to deal with those consequences.
On a more philosophical point, the book also investigates the idea of changing the past. Is it even possible for Jamie and Claire to change the events that lead to Culloden or does everything they do actually cause that event to happen? Can the past be changed at all? These are universal themes in time travel stories and this book examines those issues with complexity and subtlety. Even better, there are no real answers.
I began reading OUTLANDER when the television series started because I always want to read the books first and I began reading this one in preparation for Season 2. I don't know if I have been influenced by the series, but I felt that this book went more quickly and the events were clearer, the characters more defined and the outcome more devastating. I cried through the end of the book because it was incredibly well written and sad. At the end of this book, I desperately wanted to begin VOYAGER (book 3) to find out what happens.
WORTH MENTIONING: This book ends on a cliffhanger.
CONNECTED BOOKS: DRAGONFLY IN AMBER is the second book in the Outlander series. It can be read as a standalone, but why do that. Read OUTLANDER first to really appreciate DRAGONFLY IN AMBER.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.
With that said, the writing is stellar! I’m glad I read it for that fact alone. I had the most highlights in this book than any before it at 808!!! The flow, choice of phrases, and unique expressions are eloquently written. Descriptive, evocative writing help create the world for Claire and Jamie in such a way that carries the reader along the journey rather than looking at it through a window.
The story was enticing enough to stay with it, but I found myself easily putting it down. It wasn’t as nail biting and gripping as Outlander, for sure. However, I definitely plan to read Voyager once I’ve mentally prepared to take on another massive tome because I love Claire and Jamie’s relationship.
Top international reviews
Dragonfly in Amber has two big storylines. One set in the 1960's, where Claire is ready to tell her daughter the truth about her father. The other storyline is set in the 18the century and picks up where we left Jamie and Claire at the end of outlander.
Dragonfly in amber is a complicated story full of political intrigues, war, bloodshed and conspiracies. But there is also room for a lot of (brilliant) character development. The hot, searing passion between Claire and Jamie has settled down a bit. The courtship over, they are settling in their marriage. And there wasn't a moment I missed the raw passion from the first book. Because Diana creates a love that is stronger than time itself between these characters. It might sound a bit cheesy but the love they evoke for each other together and the marital devotion is just breathtakingly beautiful to read.
I think in this second novel there is also more time to bring other characters into view more detailed. I loved how Murtagh was portrayed in this novel. His loyalty, friendship and faithfulness is heart rendering. And I can't even begin to describe how much I loved Fergus and I sure hope to see more of him in the coming novels.
Speaking of those novels. Starting this one I (and all other readers reading this series now) already know Jamie didn't die in Culloden. We already know there are at least 6 other novels about the Frasers. So I wasn't expecting to suffer heartbreak. I couldn't have been more wrong. And that is where the genius of Diana Gabaldon comes into play. Even when you know it isn't over and there is more to come. She sucked me into the story and ripped my heart into a million pieces. I was so glad I was home alone when I was crying my heart out.
Brilliant in all its little details! More I cannot say about it.
The story begins in 1968 with Claire and her daughter returning to Scotland after the death of the Reverend. Written in the third person this tells of Roger’s interest in Brianna, he was only a boy in the previous book. Claire wants him to search for survivors of Culloden. In his research, he discovers Claire went missing and came back pregnant. He assumes Brianna does not know her real father, believing this is the reason for coming back to Scotland.
The story then goes back to Claire and Jamie in France and returns to the first person and Claire’s story. She tells how Jamie suffers from seasickness on the journey, how he runs his cousin’s import business while researching sponsors for the Jacobite cause. Jamie’s business interests keep him close to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite cause, while they secretly seek to prevent the events which will lead to Culloden. When Charles Stuart lands in Scotland and draws pledges from the clans, including putting Jamie’s name to the list of supporters Culloden seems inevitable.
When Collum McKenzie dies it is Dougal who succeeds him as clan leader and overhearing a conversation believes Jamie to be betraying the Jacobite cause. In the ensuing fight, Dougal is killed and Jamie insists Claire return to her own time for the sake of the baby.
Back in modern-day Scotland, we return to the third person and Roger's story. Claire in an attempt to change fate looks for Geilis Duncan to try and persuade her not to go. Like the first book the second ends with a satisfying conclusion, Claire finds out what happens to Jamie, but leaves the door open for the next book, with the question, will she return to Jamie or stay with her daughter.
In common with the first book, this is beautifully written and there are some interesting points about the court of Versailles, but I suspect the passages in Scotland are more historically accurate than those of France. This did not diminish my enjoyment of the book. I really liked the introduction of her daughter Brianna who obviously idolized her father Frank and shows the other side of this three-way, complicated relationship.
The book follows on the story of Jamie Fraser and his wife Claire, who has time travelled from the 1940s. They go to France to live and encounter 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' Claire hopes that she and Jamie can somehow change history by stopping funds going to the Jacobite army so that Battle of Culloden does not happen. Unfortunately, things do not work out has planded. This series of books is vast in size. A must if the reader liked the first one. They will not be sorry.
I won't lie, it took a while to get into but by the end I was screeching with every twist, and the final cliffhanger......
Off I race to read book three!
It picks up after about 85%, but I struggled with the middle bit (in France) - it just seemed endless. However I really wanted to find out what happened at Culloden, so I persevered. The ending was better, and it was well written (as book 1), just the pacing was off.
I can't decide if I want to carry on and read book 3. I think I'll look at some of the reviews first...
I looked forward to taking myself off to join Jamie & Clare every evening.
Thank you for the pleasure your books & T.V. series have given me Diana.