Thursday, October 5, 2017

Book Review: A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

Pages: 980
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction/Sci-Fi
Pub. Date: September 27, 2005
Publisher: Delacorte
My Source: Personal Copy
Other Books By Author: Outlander,  Dragonfly in Amber
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the extraordinary story of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century wife, Claire. The year is 1772, and on the eve of the American Revolution, the long fuse of rebellion has already been lit. Men lie dead in the streets of Boston, and in the backwoods of North Carolina, isolated cabins burn in the forest. With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But from his wife Jamie knows that three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence — with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. And there is also the matter of a tiny clipping from The Wilmington Gazette, dated 1776, which reports Jamie’s death, along with his kin. For once, he hopes, his time-traveling family may be wrong about the future."

The year is 1772 and the Frasers live in the Carolina Mountains. Life is hard in the mountains, but they seems to have found a happy life here.  Jamie knows, thanks to Claire, that the American Revolution is coming and which side will win. Problems occur when the King calls upon Jamie to help maintain order in the backwoods as there is unrest.  Of course there are other problems that come up as well amongst the people living in Frasers Ridge. There are gangs looking for "treasure," political turmoil, backstabbing neighbors, serious illness, and that ominous newspaper clipping that they found (from Drums of Autumn) from before claiming that Claire and Jamie died in a house fire still haunts them.  Brianna and Roger are also trying to live a simple life in the backwoods, but Brianna's desire to tinker with things, such as trying to have running water, and Roger trying to figure out just what to do with his life also adds to the many events in the novel.  And don't forget that bag guy Stephen Bonnet is still on the loose. As the days get closer to 1776, we all know that Jamie must decide which side he is on.  Diana Gabaldon's A Breath of Snow and Ashes is another hit in the Outlander series. Fans won't be disappointed.

I probably will never tire of Claire and Jamie's adventures. In A Breath of Snow and Ashes, they are a bit older, but the adventures never stop.  Just when you think they are living a quiet backwoods life, more chaos unfolds in front of them.  Claire is put through an ordeal in this novel and it truly had me worried. But through it all, Claire and Jamie are each other's rocks and I love that.

I am slowly, very slowly, warming up to Brianna and Roger. I think in A Breath of Snow and Ashes, I am just starting to enjoy them. Brianna, of course, also goes through a lot during this novel and it was nice to see her relationship evolve with not only Jamie, but with Roger Mac as well. Their little family is also nice to read about, so I guess you could say I am finally taking a liking to them after all these books.

Brianna also comes across another character that she is "related" to in A Breath of Snow and Ashes. This was interesting to see and I was dying to find out what she was going to do with this new information. I am very interested to see how this will all play out in the next few books.

Of course there's a ton of action in A Breath of Snow and Ashes. Some parts are rather slow with all the unnecessary details, but then as usual, Gabaldon picks it up at a crazy pace and puts her characters through the ringer.

Some of the Outlander books are better than others and I'm happy to report I liked this one a little bit more than Drums of Autumn and The Fiery Cross.  I am also listened to the audio book and narrator Davina Porter is an absolute gem. She truly brings all the characters to life and makes the pages go by quickly, which is quite a feat when the book is 900+ pages.

So, if you are looking for a series to get lost in and you want smart writing, history, time travel, family drama, action, and love, this is the series I always recommend. Yes, it is a big commitment since the books are extremely large, but what are you waiting for? If you are hesitant, check out the audio books; highly recommended.

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