Exhausted Review of Dragonfly in Amber

Dragonfly-in-Amber-9780385335973Like many of you no doubt, I was lured back into the world of Diana Gabaldon’s novel by the excellent TV series, Outlander. Despite the fairly average nature of the novel (see my review here), the series has become somewhat of a feminist icon. And the scriptwriting and performances are spectacular.

So, despite my somewhat disinterested review of the first in the series, my desire to see what happens to Claire and Jamie led me to pick up the second behemoth in the series, .

Some spoilers to come, so don’t read on unless you are prepared!

At the end of the first novel (which is long after the end of he first series) we left Claire and Jamie in France expecting their first child. This novel picks up in 1968, 20 or so years after Claire’s return through the stones. The narrative then comes to explain to the reader how Claire came to return to our time. Much of this is directed at her red-haired daughter Brianna (I’ll leave you to assume what you like here).

In an exhausting 30 hours of audio narrative, we examine Claire and Jamie’s time in France, where the encounter their arch-enemy Black Jack Randall again and get involved in various political machinations, all in an attempt to stop Prince Charles’ doomed rebellion.

Later, we follow them back to Scotland as they prepare as best they can for said rebellion.

To put it bluntly, this is too long. There are plenty of good moments – especially at the end when a few interesting characters re-appear for new story lines. But ultimately, far too much of this is unnecessary. A light read should really not be this long.

No doubt I’ll succumb again at some point to the next novel in the series, but I will be needing quite a break until then….


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