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Description

Product Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The second book in Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed Outlander saga, the basis for the Starz original series. Don’t miss the new Outlander novel, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, available November 23!

“A triumph! A powerful tale layered in history and myth. I loved every page.”—Nora Roberts

 
With her classic novel  Outlander, Diana Gabaldon introduced two unforgettable characters—Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser—delighting readers with a story of adventure and love that spanned two centuries. Now Gabaldon returns to that extraordinary time and place in this vivid, powerful sequel to  Outlander.
 
For twenty years, Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to the mysteries of Scotland’s mist-shrouded Highlands. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as shocking as the events that gave it birth: the secret of an ancient circle of standing stones, the secret of a love that transcends centuries, and the truth of a man named Jamie Fraser—a Highland warrior whose gallantry once drew the young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.
 
Claire’s spellbinding journey continues through the intrigue-ridden French court and the menace of Jacobite plots, to the Highlands of Scotland, through war and death in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

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.

Review

“Diana Gabaldon is a born storyteller. . . . The pages practically turn themselves.” The Arizona Republic
 
“A triumph! A powerful tale layered in history and myth. I loved every page.” —Nora Roberts
 
“Compulsively readable.” Publishers Weekly

From the Publisher

"A judicious blend of history and romance...proves that, regarding talent, Diana Gabaldon is light-years ahead of her romance-novelist colleagues."
Daily News (New York)

From the Inside Flap

From the author of Outlander... a magnificent epic that once again sweeps us back in time to the drama and passion of 18th-century Scotland...

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 Back Cover

From the author of "Outlander... a magnificent epic that once again sweeps us back in time to the drama and passion of 18th-century Scotland...
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....

About the Author

Diana Gabaldon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels— Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voy­ager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize), An Echo in the Bone, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, and Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone—as well as the related Lord John Grey books, Lord John and the Private Matter, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, Lord John and the Hand of Devils, and The Scottish Prisoner; a collection of novellas, Seven Stones to Stand or Fall; three works of nonfiction, “I Give You My Body . . .” and The Outlandish Com­panion, Volumes 1 and 2; the Outlander graphic novel The Exile; and The Official Outlander Coloring Book. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1
Mustering the Roll
 
Roger Wakefield stood in the center of the room, feeling surrounded.
 
He thought the feeling largely justified, insofar as he was surrounded: by tables covered with bric-a-brac and mementos, by heavy Victorian-style furniture, replete with antimacassars, plush and afghans, by tiny braided rugs that lay on the polished wood, craftily awaiting an opportunity to skid beneath an unsuspecting foot. Surrounded by twelve rooms of furniture and clothing and papers. And the books—my God, the books!
 
The study where he stood was lined on three sides by bookshelves, every one crammed past bursting point. Paperback mystery novels lay in bright, tatty piles in front of calf-bound tomes, jammed cheek by jowl with book-club selections, ancient volumes pilfered from extinct libraries, and thousands upon thousands of pamphlets, leaflets, and hand-sewn manuscripts.
 
A similar situation prevailed in the rest of the house. Books and papers cluttered every horizontal surface, and every closet groaned and squeaked at the seams. His late adoptive father had lived a long, full life, a good ten years past his biblically allotted threescore and ten. And in eighty-odd years, the Reverend Mr. Reginald Wakefield had never thrown anything away.
 
Roger repressed the urge to run out of the front door, leap into his Morris Minor, and head back to Oxford, abandoning the manse and its contents to the mercy of weather and vandals. Be calm, he told himself, inhaling deeply. You can deal with this. The books are the easy part; nothing more than a matter of sorting through them and then calling someone to come and haul them away. Granted, they’ll need a lorry the size of a railcar, but it can be done. Clothes— no problem. Oxfam gets the lot.
 
He didn’t know what Oxfam was going to do with a lot of vested black serge suits, circa 1948, but perhaps the deserving poor weren’t all that picky. He began to breathe a little easier. He had taken a month’s leave from the History department at Oxford in order to clear up the Reverend’s affairs. Perhaps that would be enough, after all. In his more depressed moments, it had seemed as though the task might take years.
 
He moved toward one of the tables and picked up a small china dish. It was filled with small metal rectangles; lead ‘‘gaberlunzies,’’ badges issued to eighteenth-century beggars by parishes as a sort of license. A collection of stoneware bottles stood by the lamp, a ramshorn snuff mull, banded in silver, next to them. Give them to a museum? he thought dubiously. The house was filled with Jacobite artifacts; the Reverend had been an amateur historian, the eighteenth century his favorite hunting ground.
 
His fingers reached involuntarily to caress the surface of the snuff mull, tracing the black lines of the inscriptions—the names and dates of the Deacons and Treasurers of the Incorporation of Tailors of the Canongate, from Edinburgh, 1726. Perhaps he should keep a few of the Reverend’s choicer acquisitions . . . but then he drew back, shaking his head decidedly. ‘‘Nothing doing, cock,’’ he said aloud, ‘‘that way madness lies.’’ Or at least the incipient life of a pack rat. Get started saving things, and he’d end up keeping the lot, living in this monstrosity of a house, surrounded by generations of rubbish. ‘‘Talking to yourself, too,’’ he muttered.
 
The thought of generations of rubbish reminded him of the garage, and he sagged a bit at the knees. The Reverend, who was in fact Roger’s greatuncle, had adopted him at the age of five when his parents had been killed in World War II; his mother in the Blitz, his father out over the dark waters of the Channel. With his usual preservative instincts, the Reverend had kept all of Roger’s parents’ effects, sealed in crates and cartons in the back of the garage. Roger knew for a fact that no one had opened one of those crates in the past twenty years.
 
Roger uttered an Old Testament groan at the thought of pawing through his parents’ memorabilia. ‘‘Oh, God,’’ he said aloud. ‘‘Anything but that!’’
 
The remark had not been intended precisely as prayer, but the doorbell pealed as though in answer, making Roger bite his tongue in startlement.
 
The door of the manse had a tendency to stick in damp weather, which meant that it was stuck most of the time. Roger freed it with a rending screech, to find a woman on the doorstep.
 
‘‘Can I help you?’’
 
She was middle height and very pretty. He had an overall impression of fine bones and white linen, topped with a wealth of curly brown hair in a sort of half-tamed chignon. And in the middle of it all, the most extraordinary pair of light eyes, just the color of well-aged sherry.
 
The eyes swept up from his size-eleven plimsolls to the face a foot above her. The sidelong smile grew wider. ‘‘I hate to start right off with a cliche,´ ’’ she said, ‘‘but my, how you have grown, young Roger!’
 
Roger felt himself flushing. The woman laughed and extended a hand. ‘‘You are Roger, aren’t you? My name’s Claire Randall; I was an old friend of the Reverend’s. But I haven’t seen you since you were five years old.’’
 
‘‘Er, you said you were a friend of my father’s? Then, you know already. . . .’’
 
The smile vanished, replaced by a look of regret.
 
‘‘Yes, I was awfully sorry to hear about it. Heart, was it?’’ ‘‘Um, yes. Very sudden. I’ve only just come up from Oxford to start dealing with . . . everything.’’ He waved vaguely, encompassing the Reverend’s death, the house behind him, and all its contents.
 
‘‘From what I recall of your father’s library, that little chore ought to last you ’til next Christmas,’’ Claire observed.
 
‘‘In that case, maybe we shouldn’t be disturbing you,’’ said a soft American voice.
 
‘‘Oh, I forgot,’’ said Claire, half-turning to the girl who had stood out of sight in the corner of the porch. ‘‘Roger Wakefield—my daughter, Brianna.’’
 
Brianna Randall stepped forward, a shy smile on her face. Roger stared for a moment, then remembered his manners. He stepped back and swung the door open wide, momentarily wondering just when he had last changed his shirt.
 
‘‘Not at all, not at all!’’ he said heartily. ‘‘I was just wanting a break. Won’t you come in?’’
 
He waved the two women down the hall toward the Reverend’s study, noting that as well as being moderately attractive, the daughter was one of the tallest girls he’d ever seen close-to. She had to be easily six feet, he thought, seeing her head even with the top of the hall stand as she passed. He unconsciously straightened himself as he followed, drawing up to his full six feet three. At the last moment, he ducked, to avoid banging his head on the study lintel as he followed the women into the room.
 
 
 
‘‘I’d meant to come before,’’ said Claire, settling herself deeper in the huge wing chair. The fourth wall of the Reverend’s study was equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows, and the sunlight winked off the pearl clip in her lightbrown hair. The curls were beginning to escape from their confinement, and she tucked one absently behind an ear as she talked.
 
‘‘I’d arranged to come last year, in fact, and then there was an emergency at the hospital in Boston—I’m a doctor,’’ she explained, mouth curling a little at the look of surprise Roger hadn’t quite managed to conceal. ‘‘But I’m sorry that we didn’t; I would have liked so much to see your father again.’’
 
Roger rather wondered why they had come now, knowing the Reverend was dead, but it seemed impolite to ask. Instead, he asked, ‘‘Enjoying a bit of sightseeing, are you?’’
 
‘‘Yes, we drove up from London,’’ Claire answered. She smiled at her daughter. ‘‘I wanted Bree to see the country; you wouldn’t think it to hear her talk, but she’s as English as I am, though she’s never lived here.’’
‘‘Really?’’ Roger glanced at Brianna. She didn’t really look English, he thought; aside from the height, she had thick red hair, worn loose over her shoulders, and strong, sharp-angled bones in her face, with the nose long and straight—maybe a touch too long.
 
‘‘I was born in America,’’ Brianna explained, ‘‘but both Mother and Daddy are—were—English.’’
 
‘‘Were?’’
 
‘‘My husband died two years ago,’’ Claire explained. ‘‘You knew him, I think—Frank Randall.’’
 
‘‘ Frank Randall! Of course!’’ Roger smacked himself on the forehead, and felt his cheeks grow hot at Brianna’s giggle. ‘‘You’re going to think me a complete fool, but I’ve only just realized who you are.’
 
The name explained a lot; Frank Randall had been an eminent historian, and a good friend of the Reverend’s; they had exchanged bits of Jacobite arcana for years, though it was at least ten years since Frank Randall had last visited the manse.
 
‘‘So—you’ll be visiting the historical sites near Inverness?’’ Roger hazarded. ‘‘Have you been to Culloden yet?’’
 
‘‘Not yet,’’ Brianna answered. ‘‘We thought we’d go later this week.’’ Her answering smile was polite, but nothing more.
 
‘‘We’re booked for a trip down Loch Ness this afternoon,’’ Claire explained. ‘‘And perhaps we’ll drive down to Fort William tomorrow, or just poke about in Inverness; the place has grown a lot since I was last here.’’
 
‘‘When was that?’’ Roger wondered whether he ought to volunteer his services as tour guide. He really shouldn’t take the time, but the Randalls had been good friends of the Reverend’s. Besides, a car trip to Fort William in company with two attractive women seemed a much more appealing prospect than cleaning out the garage, which was next on his list.
 
‘‘Oh, more than twenty years ago. It’s been a long time.’’ There was an odd note in Claire’s voice that made Roger glance at her, but she met his eyes with a smile.
 
‘‘Well,’’ he ventured, ‘‘if there’s anything I can do for you, while you’re in the Highlands . . .’’
 
Claire was still smiling, but something in her face changed. He could almost think she had been waiting for an opening. She glanced at Brianna, then back to Roger.
 
‘‘Since you mention it,’’ she said, her smile broadening.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
17,739 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Sheila M
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Political Intrigue and Romance With Claire and Jaime
Reviewed in the United States on April 9, 2016
FINAL DECISION: I ended up liking this one better than OUTLANDER itself. The story seemed tighter, the relationship between Claire and Jamie more complex and although there is plenty of death and pain in this book, it felt more civilized after the events of the first... See more
FINAL DECISION: I ended up liking this one better than OUTLANDER itself. The story seemed tighter, the relationship between Claire and Jamie more complex and although there is plenty of death and pain in this book, it felt more civilized after the events of the first book. And I ended up in tears for most of the end of this book.

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.
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Chris R
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Goodbye social life until I finish the series
Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2017
Just be forewarned that once you start this series, you can''t stop. But wait, this is a review for book 2 so you probably already know that! In fact, you''re probably not even wasting precious time to read any of these reviews and are already glued to this 2nd book. Why... See more
Just be forewarned that once you start this series, you can''t stop. But wait, this is a review for book 2 so you probably already know that! In fact, you''re probably not even wasting precious time to read any of these reviews and are already glued to this 2nd book. Why am I wasting precious time writing this review when book 3 is impatiently waiting?! I don''t know!!! **panic starts to creep in** If you''re reading the Kindle version, I''d highly recommend purchasing the Audible companion as well so you can switch back and forth and maximize your time wrapped up in this beautifully woven story. One word of advice though, if you get the Audible version and listen to it through your car stereo while driving, don''t do what I did.... Don''t be so engrossed in the story that you forget your windows are down at a red light, in dense traffic, with plenty of others with their windows down, while the book is at one of the steamy scenes between Jamie and Claire, and you''re sitting there behind the wheel, alone in your car, smiling like a fool, 😏 blissfully unaware of all the stares until you''re jolted out of your reverie by all the honking.
53 people found this helpful
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Nancy Jane
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It''s a wonderful, densely detailed
Reviewed in the United States on August 15, 2017
I am a victim of Outlander addiction, both the TV show and the books. I''m mystified about what it is that is so compelling about these huge tomes but never in my fairly long life have novels grabbed me so intensely. This is the second of 8 published so far. It''s a... See more
I am a victim of Outlander addiction, both the TV show and the books. I''m mystified about what it is that is so compelling about these huge tomes but never in my fairly long life have novels grabbed me so intensely. This is the second of 8 published so far. It''s a wonderful, densely detailed, imaginative story with epic characters. At times it rambles and is overly wordy but it''s important to read every line because you never know what''s going to crop up in the next book. The language is so rich that sometimes I have to take a few days break from the linguistic decadence. Gabaldon is truly a force of nature...an inspired writing machine. I fell down this rabbit hole in January, have read 5 of the 8 books and have already read the first two twice. Warning: these books are addictive. You could be entering a world beyond your control!
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Tammy Pigott
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
3.5 Amazing Writing! But slow with too many subplots
Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2018
Slow start. I was hoping the pacing would pick up after the beginning section, but it kept a pretty steady pace throughout the entire novel. The flow wasn’t bad, it just drug with too many details that didn’t add in any way to the storyline; could have easily been cut by a... See more
Slow start. I was hoping the pacing would pick up after the beginning section, but it kept a pretty steady pace throughout the entire novel. The flow wasn’t bad, it just drug with too many details that didn’t add in any way to the storyline; could have easily been cut by a huge percentage and still come away with the same basic principles - A lot of tangential subplots.

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.
13 people found this helpful
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D. Mikels
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
"He will expect to lie with you."
Reviewed in the United States on May 25, 2019
Imagine being blasted to the year 1939. Hitler is ravaging Europe, the allies are enabling...and you know what''s going to happen. What do you do to avert this global train wreck? This dilemma visits Claire Randall, along with her husband Jamie Fraser, as they attempt to... See more
Imagine being blasted to the year 1939. Hitler is ravaging Europe, the allies are enabling...and you know what''s going to happen. What do you do to avert this global train wreck? This dilemma visits Claire Randall, along with her husband Jamie Fraser, as they attempt to manipulate the French Court to prevent Charles Stuart from invading Scotland--to the ultimate destruction of the Scottish clans at Culloden in 1745--in Diana Gabaldon''s spellbinding sequel to her epic debut novel ''Outlander'': DRAGONFLY IN AMBER.

In this sequel Gabaldon employs a terrific "hooking" device: (*SPOILER ALERT!*) Middle-aged Claire, in 1968 Scotland, informs her 20-year-old daughter Brianna, that Frank Randall is not her biological father--but 18th Century Highlander outlaw James Fraser, is. And as evidence, she outlines the events of DRAGONFLY IN AMBER, as Claire and Jamie--assisted by Murtagh and pick-pocket Fergus--operate behind the scenes in Paris to thwart the Stuart''s claim to the English throne--and avoid the disaster of Culloden. In the process, we''re introduced to a colorful ensemble of characters, including the ever-serving Mother Hildegarde, the mysterious Master Raymond, the scowling, menacing Comte St. Germain...even Louis himself, a shallow scoundrel of a monarch. Claire and Jamie do their best to derail Bonnie Prince Charlie in his efforts to reclaim his father''s throne, yet history will not be denied. Gabaldon''s story leads the characters back to Scotland in the throes of the 1745 Rebellion...and to inevitably interact with the evil Captain Jonathan "Black Jack" Randall.

''Outlander'' was magnificent in its depiction of brutal life in 18th Century Scotland, yet in DRAGONFLY IN AMBER Gabaldon has truly formed her stride. Her prose is elegant, witty, and forceful, while she draws exceptional images of the characters she creates. The reader will find him/herself immersed in her story, while 900+ pages evaporate. Is DRAGONFLY IN AMBER the best of the ''Outlander'' series? Time will tell.
~D. Mikels, Esq.
7 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent!
Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2020
I am continuing to thoroughly enjoy these books. All of the characters are excellent, especially the leads, Jamie and Claire. The prose is well written and often beautiful, and there is plenty of action and romance--enough to please pretty much any reader. Ms.... See more
I am continuing to thoroughly enjoy these books. All of the characters are excellent, especially the leads, Jamie and Claire. The prose is well written and often beautiful, and there is plenty of action and romance--enough to please pretty much any reader.

Ms. Gabaldon calls this "historical fiction" and there is plenty of evidence to back up her claim. Her research and detail are excellent. However, her stories often border on being "Bodice Rippers", or at the very least well-written romance novels. I''m usually not a fan of these, but Ms. Gabaldon so deftly weaves in historical intrigue I can''t complain.

My only complaint is I am NOT a fan of switching POVs. It takes me out of the story and makes me feel I''m just reading a story and not experiencing it. As a device I think it calls attention to itself, and as such, should be avoided. Plus, Claire is such a wonderful storyteller that anytime someone else takes over I feel cheated.

Other than that, I would highly recommend this series.
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C Orr
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Simply wonderful
Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2020
Diana Gabaldon said in the introduction that this book was difficult to write, I guess technically speaking. Be that as it may, she did a superb job of it. This is the second book in the series, but I have watched up through season 4 of the Outlander show. I know some of... See more
Diana Gabaldon said in the introduction that this book was difficult to write, I guess technically speaking. Be that as it may, she did a superb job of it. This is the second book in the series, but I have watched up through season 4 of the Outlander show. I know some of what is going to happen, but that doesn’t take away from the pleasure of reading these books in the least. The emotional lives of the characters, the love between Jamie and Claire, the vivid descriptions that incorporate all the senses, the way all the story lines weave together... these are some of the elements that make this book a masterpiece. I read the book club questions at the end, and I particularly love the discussion of the significance of the title, Dragonfly in Amber. It’s a creature stuck in time, like the characters, and it’s a metaphor for the preservation of Jamie and Claire’s love through time.
4 people found this helpful
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raveORrant
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Longer than necessary
Reviewed in the United States on August 3, 2020
I started Outlander watching the TV show; so since there is a long wait to another season I''m now reading the books. There are some slight differences between the show and the book, some I think the show did a better job. I didn''t like how the book started and the way... See more
I started Outlander watching the TV show; so since there is a long wait to another season I''m now reading the books. There are some slight differences between the show and the book, some I think the show did a better job. I didn''t like how the book started and the way Claire just dropped in on Roger right after his adopted father died. I also didn''t like Brianna''s dialogue . She seemed more like a 12 year old speaking than a 20 year old young woman. I think the show did a better job at changing the introduction there. Much of the story is in Paris like the show was and I thought it very boring to read. I didn''t care to read about all the politics and scheming. It also gets frustrating the way Diane writes Claire''s inner monologue describing every literal minute detail of every single place, scenic view or room she is in. It takes 10 pages just to describe the setting of every scene before getting to the point of conversations and things happening. I found myself skimming and skipping through many chapters because it was just too frustrating to read and not much is really happening. The book doesn''t get good until the last chapters leading up to the final battle at Culloden and Claire going back through the stones. For me, the book could have been condensed by half given the content. It was difficult to keep interested. I hope book 3 is better; if not it will be my last read of this series.
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Tracey Madeley
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Connections in France
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 17, 2019
The second book, like the first, is epic in length, continuing the rich and wonderful relationship between Jamie and Claire. It shows the lengths they will go to in order to maintain the relationship and how good intentions cannot always change the future. Steeped again in...See more
The second book, like the first, is epic in length, continuing the rich and wonderful relationship between Jamie and Claire. It shows the lengths they will go to in order to maintain the relationship and how good intentions cannot always change the future. Steeped again in witchcraft and mysticism this alluded to a century that saw a massive change in both Scotland and England. A time when Catholicism was still viewed with suspicion and the void left by the enlightenment was to be filled by darker ideas, especially at the end of the century. 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.
10 people found this helpful
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Book in wonderland
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
... author at hand when the second book is as good as the first one in a series
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2015
You know you have a gifted author at hand when the second book is as good as the first one in a series. I say as good, but to be honest I was considering calling it better. It’s difficult to say because the books are so different from each other. Where outlander was a very...See more
You know you have a gifted author at hand when the second book is as good as the first one in a series. I say as good, but to be honest I was considering calling it better. It’s difficult to say because the books are so different from each other. Where outlander was a very romantic novel in a historical setting, dragonfly in amber was a historical novel with a romantic story. It might seem a small difference but when you read other reviews of Dragonfly in amber you might notice the book is sometimes called "slow". And I actually think that the historical focus is why some people might consider this book a slow read. Diana Gabaldon is a very talented writer, who sets a story with a lot of attention for details and historical accuracy. She weaves a fictional story into historical background without any flaws. And I understand that this scene setting might seem a little bit slow. But for me it was a perfect pace and I love how she creates the feeling that you are actually there with the characters. 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.
27 people found this helpful
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Nelly
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very hard to push on with this 2nd book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 3, 2018
I adored the first book, and couldn’t put it down. I was so eager to get started on this and also continue through all the books. It was quite an exciting feeling, as I hadn’t ever read that many books by one author. But I couldn’t get past the first 200 pages, I mirror all...See more
I adored the first book, and couldn’t put it down. I was so eager to get started on this and also continue through all the books. It was quite an exciting feeling, as I hadn’t ever read that many books by one author. But I couldn’t get past the first 200 pages, I mirror all the other reviewers who also got to a point and just stopped, skimmed or read an audio version. I am considering whether to watch the series, but in reality I think that I will just draw a line in the sand at the first book and not move on to the next.
6 people found this helpful
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Susan Thompson
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great read, don''t be put off by the occasional Americanism (yes they matter!)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 17, 2015
Gripping narrative and engaging characters. Just a problem with the Americanisms that should have been edited out, and that weren''t a problem in Cross Stitch. We don''t have "parking lots", we have car parks; we don''t "fix supper", we prepare or make or cook...See more
Gripping narrative and engaging characters. Just a problem with the Americanisms that should have been edited out, and that weren''t a problem in Cross Stitch. We don''t have "parking lots", we have car parks; we don''t "fix supper", we prepare or make or cook it; a mockingbird in Paris? Really? There are others. A US reader wouldn''t notice them, of course, but as an English reader, reading the words of an Englishwoman in 1968/1740s Scotland and France I found they tripped me up and broke the spell. Hopefully Diana''s editor will deal with them before the next edition.
23 people found this helpful
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ellydee
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very readable fantasy
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 11, 2021
Gripping series which I am enjoying and learning interesting historical facts. Sometimes though it is very apparent that these books are written for an American readership by an American author, when references are made to chipmunks and raccoons, for example. The author is...See more
Gripping series which I am enjoying and learning interesting historical facts. Sometimes though it is very apparent that these books are written for an American readership by an American author, when references are made to chipmunks and raccoons, for example. The author is rather free with inappropriate swearing in the dialogue, and is geographically challenged, suggesting that a boat calls in at Orvieto (in Italy) on its way from Portugal to Le Havre. Could she mean Oviedo (Northwest Spain)? These errors are evidence of a lack of intelligent editing which is particularly important when writing about a topic without having first hand knowledge of it. Even when writing fantasy fiction you need to get your facts right to make it convincing. Otherwise, an enjoyable, heavily sexual romp through the eighteenth century.
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