Friday, November 22, 2013

Review: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon
Publication Date: July 1, 1992
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 743
Buy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble
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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 a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising...and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves....

The second Outlander book picks up not only right after the first one ends, but also twenty years in the future. That doesn't sound possible now does it? The beginning picks up twenty years later. Claire has returned to the land that she had once fell in love with, Scotland with her grown daughter. At some point Claire had returned to her time, back to Frank pregnant. Frank made Claire promise that as long as he lives she won't tell their daughter, Brianna, who her real father is. Now it wasn't made clear to me if Frank ever believed her story or not. Just that he's not the biological father of the baby. But with the passing of Frank, Claire knows it's time to tell Brianna the truth.

Claire seeks out Roger, the adopted nephew of the Reverend, the close friend of Frank's in the first book. She wants him to find out what happened to a list of Scottish warriors. In their search, Claire makes a devastating discovery that could change everything. She then reveals the truth to her daughter, and tells her and Roger her journey through time. This is where the book picks up from the last one. Jamie and Claire are in Paris pretending to be Jacobites to prevent the Highlanders from going to war. 

Although I did love this book, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one. I've heard many complaints about how long the book is, and how a lot of it could be cut out. But that's one of the things I love about these books. We get to see their everyday lives, and it seems more realistic. Like you are right there with them. I do have to admit the beginning with them being in Paris kind of moved slow. Maybe it's just my bias towards Scotland, but the scenes placed there were my favorite.

I didn't think my love for Jamie could grow after the first book. But once again I was wrong. We saw Jamie and Claire grow as a couple. They weren't perfect, they had their ups and downs, arguments, and then there was even a few situations you weren't sure they could work through. Their love is realistic. You don't just fall in love and then happy ever after, you have to work for it.

Trying to change history isn't an easy task. And with a few surprising discoveries, they aren't sure if they can. But  with a twist of turns of events we discovered why Claire went back to her own time. I thought that at some point the story would go back to the present time and Claire and Brianna would venture back to Jamie's time, and was kind of disappointed that they didn't.

Like the first book, I thought this was just amazing. The same conflicts show up in this one as well, violence and rape. If you can't handle those subjects this isn't the series for you. Also the Scottish dialect is used and sometimes took me a few times to read a sentence to understand.

Rating: 4/5

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