Friday, 18 September 2015

Review: Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #2)

Title: Dragonfly in Amber
Series: Outlander #2
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Arrow
Publication Date: 19 February 2015
Pages: 976
Genres: Romance, Historical Fantasy, Time-Travel

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to the majesty of Scotland's 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 warrior whose gallantry once drew the young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful daughter as Claire's spellbinding journey continues in the intrigue-ridden court of Charles Edward Stuart, in a race to thwart a doomed uprising, and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves
The sequel to Outlander was unexpected and I like many others had a little panic.

Claire is back in her present day but 20 years have passed since she had returned. She has a grown daughter and she is back in Scotland to tell her story and find out what truly happened to the men of Lallybroch at the battle of Culloden. What?!

The reader knows from the beginning that obviously something had happened in 18th century Scotland because Claire had returned and not knowing what happened was torturous. For me, I had to find out what the hell happened and so this burning desire is what pulled me through the first 2 thirds of the book. I had read a lot of reviews by other readers who found this sequel very boring because there is a lot of complicated political intrigue and a lot of characters to get used to in France. The France section of the book is quite long and its not as fast paced or action packed as the first book was. I quite liked the slow-paced parts of the book because it allowed the reader to witness Jamie and Claire interact with each other as a married couple without the stress of being on the run and having dangerous situations separate them and just interrupt. There are some beautiful moments between Claire and Jamie and I found that to be quite heart-warming and a nice break from disaster after disaster. That is not to say France doesn't have its share of a few undesirable situations and by the time that part of the book is over, my jaw was dropped in just utter shock.

The story does return to Scotland and I don't want to spoil anything but that is where the pace starts to pick up and the final events start to unfold. Because of what is known from the beginning of the book, you know something is coming and I had a deep feeling of dread in my stomach. I challenge anybody soft of heart not to ugly cry at the end of this book.

My favourite parts of the book were the trials and tribulations of Jamie and Claire's marriage - it was refreshing for me to see that its not all sunshine and roses and Gabaldon tried to be realistic with their romance. I also loved the little details about everyday living for Claire in 1740s such as what did she use for toilet paper and what about body hair? It was just pretty sweet.

One thing that did distract me a bit was Claire is pregnant, as we know from the first book but she drinks alcohol ALOT. Surely a woman from the 1940s present day would know that alcohol was hazardous to the baby?

This was truly an epic sequel, I give it 4 stars only because it was not as fast paced as Outlander and it was quite slow in some places.

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