I never thought I'd be the kind of person who would get swept up in a series of thousand-page epic fantasy adventure book, but here I am having finished book #4, mad that I have to wait a couple of days until the next installment arrives in the mail. I spoiled myself a little for Drums of Autumn, not so much on its contents, but I became aware that many fans consider this to be one of their least favorites, and one of the slowest of the books. So I went into it with a bit of a bias that I have to say was happily proven incorrect. For me, this book almost lived up to Voyager, and was miles above Dragonfly in Amber.
Not going to lie, for me one of my favorite elements of the series will always be the Highlands, and I'm still disappointed we didn't get more time there. I assumed I didn't love DiA as much as the others because the setting moved from Scotland to France. But that wasn't it, because the move to the American colonies I had been dreading wound up working well. I think what went wrong with DiA was the remake of Jamie into kind of a dandy, trying to fit in with the silly French noble class. Jamie just doesn't make sense to me as a character outside of a rugged setting with a battle to fight. I worried I wouldn't enjoy the expanding cast of characters, or the shift in focus outside the Jamie/Claire dynamic, but it wasn't as clumsy as I'd feared. That said, I like both Brianna and Roger a little less after this book. In large doses, they are both super annoying. But I could read about Ian (and Rollo!) and Lord John all day.
I didn't think the plot was slow. In fact, it gets a little old for me when Jamie and Claire have to escape death every 20 pages. But there was still a lot of story movement here. Enough to make it a page turner for me, for sure.