Kim’s Review of Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon

dragonfly2bin2bamber2bmodernAs I stated in my review of the first book in the Outlander series, I never thought someone would replace Darcy as the leading man in my life.  That was before I met Jamie Fraser.  Then everything changed.  After reading Outlander I finally found out what all the fuss was about.  I needed more.  Jamie has everything I could ever ask for, and the story of Jamie and Claire kept me captivated from the get go.  So, where do we go from here?  On to book two: Dragonfly in Amber.

As the plot is fairly complex and involves time travel, I’ll let Goodreads do the talking here:

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 think the most important thing to say about this series is how multi-dimensional it is, not only on a genre level, but on an emotional level.  On a genre level, this is more than just a series about Jamie and Claire’s love, it’s about political upheaval in Scotland, witchcraft and women’s rights, honor, integrity, standing up for what you believe in, and accepting the repercussions of being/doing wrong.  This is a historical fiction novel at heart, but it’s also an adventure novel, a romance novel, and a science fiction novel.  There’s so much passion in Gabaldon’s writing and storytelling that it becomes difficult to find a place to begin speaking about why these books are so amazing.  I’ll admit, the book did move a bit slower than the first in the series, but there were a good number of surprises sprinkled throughout the plot that made the book seem fresh and intriguing.  That cliffhanger at the end?  Utter perfection.  Another integral part of this book (and this series in general) is how Gabaldon is able to manipulate the reader’s emotions.  It’s like an abusive relationship: she rips out your heart with amazingly heart-wrenching scenes and then puts it back together by restoring your faith in her characters, only to then repeat the cycle all over again!  Her ability to elicit such strong emotion in her readers is one of the reasons why she is such a phenomenal writer.  I strongly urge you to not only read this book, but the series as a whole.  I’ve heard amazing things about book three, Voyager, which I’ll be sure to finish in the coming weeks.  Look out for my review!

4 out of 5 stars

This is my fifth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

This is my third completed review for the Color Coded Challenge

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
Random House (2001)
Paperback 752 pages
ISBN: 9780385335973


10 thoughts on “Kim’s Review of Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon

  1. Oh my goodness!! I can’t believe you are just reading this series now!!! I love it too and James *sigh* such a great character. I love that you get a fill of the history, as well as the character development, and incredible description of everyday life as well as the land. So glad you’re enjoying it and now I want to read them again. School needs to hurry up and end so I can read fun things rather than textbooks 😦

  2. So glad you enjoyed this one. I’m looking forward to getting into this one. I’ve recently read Cross Stitch (or Outlander), now I’m working myself up to getting into the next one. I am nervous though, that the rest won’t be as good as the first. And I too am in love with Jamie Fraser. He is everything I always wanted! So well written, character development is great, action packed – I hope the rest of the series is just as good as the first!

  3. I’m a big fan of this series, and you nailed why:
    “This is a historical fiction novel at heart, but it’s also an adventure novel, a romance novel, and a science fiction novel.”

    It really satisfies on multiple levels, and Gabaldon is an excellent storyteller and writer.

    I confess, I enjoyed Dragonfly more on the second reading–I’ve read the whole series twice through–I think because I was racing through it the first time just to see what happens next. I hope you’re enjoying Voyager as it’s really my favorite of the entire series, but they’re all so much fun.

    I’m a bit curious as to why you gave this book 4 stars instead of 5–we all have our internal gauges, but I’m wondering what you thought lacking.

    • I haven’t started Voyager yet! I’ve got a few more review books to get through so I’m saving that as my pat on the back for sticking to my schedule!

      I rated it 4 stars instead of 5 because I felt like the pace was a bit all over the place. I read parts that were perfectly paced and other parts that moved too slow for my preference. That for me was enough to knock it down a star. Maybe upon a 2nd read I’d find the pace more even?

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