|Cover Rating: ★★☆☆☆|
Series: Outlander, #2
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Pages: 960 (Kindle edition)
Release Date: January 1, 1992
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 ...
I feel like I'm going to be reviewing three different books here, but based on the length of Dragonfly in Amber, I could be! But seriously, each third of the book is very different than the others as Claire tells her story. The book starts out in 1968, which definitely threw me off, despite reading the description. I couldn't help but wonder why the heck Claire is in the future, with a 20 year old daughter who looks like Jaime.
The answer to that comes fairly quickly, as Claire asks Roger to help her research some of the men she knew. She wants to know if Jaime had died in battle, before she reveals the truth to her daughter. Of course, I feel like the answer to that question is fairly obvious since there's more books to come, and it's the main reason why this wasn't a 5 star read for me. However, it was still interesting to see what led Claire to return to modern times.
The first third of the book was a little strange, other than taking place in the 60s. It flip-flops between 1st and 3rd for the first six chapters as the story follows either Claire or Roger. It was a little annoying, but it didn't last long, for which I was grateful. Then once Claire is telling about her time in the 18th century, it was a little slow. She and Jaime are in Paris, and are on a mission to stop a battle that results in the death of many Scots. The author is quite wordy, but I could easily picture everything taking place, even if it wasn't the most exciting or interesting.
The middle third is fantastic! There's plenty of Jamie and Claire, and everything that can go wrong does go wrong. It's heartbreaking watching them go through these things both together and separately. This isn't a happy section of the book at all, but it is the best part, in my opinion. We see Claire and Jamie challenge each other, as well as support each other. They go through so much together during this period, but their love never falters!
Once the battle begins the book slows down again. The final third involves a lot of Claire tending to injured men and traveling. There are a few tense scenes that added some action though. It felt like a waiting game, since I knew we were getting close to the point where Claire has to travel back to her time. It doesn't happen at all how I thought it would, but it does happen in a way that's consistent with the characters. It really is a heartbreaking scene.
The ending isn't shocking or unexpected at all, like I already said, but it does involve a major cliffhanger, and of course I'll be continuing this series! There's also some fun connections to the first book which I wasn't expecting. Well, this review is getting quite lengthy, so I'll just end by saying this is a nearly perfect sequel to a fabulous book!