Thursday, August 28, 2014

Book Review: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Pages: 768
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction/Romance
Pub. Date: July 1, 1992
Series: Outlander (#1)
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."
It's 1968 and Dr. Claire Randall has returned to Scotland with her daughter, Brianna, after the passing of her husband, Frank.  Claire has returned to find out what happened to the men, including Jamie, who fought at the battle of Culloden and to also tell her grown daughter who her father really is.  The book also flashes back to when Jamie and Claire lived at the court of Louis XV in Paris and readers get to witness their planning to sabotage the Jacobite rebellion, because thanks to Claire, they know about the disaster that is the battle of Culloden.  The book also bounces back to 1968 and readers find out what happened to Claire and Jamie and especially what happened to the Lallybroch men at Culloden. Diana Gabaldon's epic sequel to Outlander is one huge tome, but nonetheless, it had me flipping the pages throughout the night desperate to find out the fate of Jamie and Claire.

Dragonfly in Amber was much different than Outlander in that it focused a bit more on history, battles, and the Jacobite rebellion. Gabaldon spends a lot of time going into detail regarding the Jacobite rebellion and life in the court of Louis XV.  Readers can tell that Gabaldon put a lot of research into Dragonfly in Amber and while I prefer the setting of Scotland to Paris, I still found court life to be entertaining.

Jamie and Clarie's relationship was one of the best parts of Dragonfly in Amber and the reason I picked up this hefty sequel. There are so many heartbreaking, beautiful and swoon-worthy moments in the novel.  I didn't always agree with Jamie and Claire's decisions in the novel, but I still loved their relationship tremendously.  

My only issue with this books as the length and some of the focus on the subplots. I felt like there were a lot of moments in Dragonfly in Amber that could have been condensed or tangents that Gabaldon went on that could have been cut; however, that didn't take away from my overall enjoyment.  In fact, I must say that Gabaldon is such a fantastic author and even though I enjoyed Outlander a little bit more than Dragonfly in Amber, I still am a huge fan of the series.  Somehow Gabaldon makes these lengthy tomes compulsively readable and even includes many beautiful lines. My favorite from the book: 
“I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower's stem.” 

And of course, after finishing Dragonfly in Amber, I bought Voyager, the next book in the series. I give Gabaldon credit…despite the length of these novels, I keep coming back for more. It's just that good.


  1. Christina, a gal that I run with absolutely LOVES these books and is totally addicted to the new series; I may just have to dive in...! Thanks so much for the review; hope you have a fantastic upcoming holiday weekend!

    1. I recommend it if you enjoy historical fiction, time travel and hot boys. :) Haha. Thanks so much and I hope you have a great weekend, too!

  2. I did not like this one as much as Outlander but I did enjoy Voyager. I hope you will too!

    1. My thoughts exactly. I hear Voyager is pretty good as well…definitely going to have to get my hands on a copy. Thanks for visiting, Christina!

  3. I'm slowly working my way through Outlander (trying to make it last as long as possible, since this book isn't available yet at my library). Glad you enjoyed the sequel, overall!

    1. Are you liking Outlander? You should check out the new TV show on Starz as well. It's pretty good! Thanks for visiting, Lea!


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