Chronicling A Series: The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon (2)

Dragonfly in Amber (Book 2)

NB: Please note that because this series of posts will be discussing the progression of reading the series, there may contain spoilers. I will do my best to keep what I tell of the storyline, to what is clearly known, and can be found of the cover of the book, itself; should a spoiler find it’s way into these posts, the paragraph which contains it, will be preceded by a warning.

Was this really the second time I’ve read this novel?

When discussing this series with potential readers, I always describe Dragonfly in Amber as the second-half of Outlander. Essentially, it is the continuation of what remains unresolved in the first novel; Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, from this perspective, can be viewed as one entire episode of the life of Jamie and Claire Fraser.

I mentioned in the first post, that coming back to Outlander was done so with a clean slate; returning to Dragonfly in Amber was done so with a blank slate! From the very first page, what happened in Dragonfly in Amber was completely new to me; it was like I had never read the novel before.  I’m kind of wondering what I have forgotten from the rest of the series!

Jamie and Claire have taken on a daunting task; because of Claire being from the future, she has knowledge of historical outcomes that can save lives. On the mind of both Jamie and Claire, is the impending battle at Culloden, led by the Bonnie Prince Charlie. With Claire’s knowledge that Culloden ends terribly for Charles and his Scottish followers, Jamie sets out to try and stop it. The story of Dragonfly in Amber, takes us back to Scotland, as well as France. We meet some very important characters who will carry on the story (and create their own) later in the series, but we also learn some very important key facts regarding Claire, Jamie, and Roger Wakefield (who was very young in the beginning of Outlander). The twists and turns in this novel are extensive, making it even more awe-inspiring that I forgot about 99% of this novel! Of course, I’m not going to blow those twists and turns out of the water for you, but just remember that there are some shocking revelations, should you choose to pick up Dragonfly in Amber.

Dragonfly in Amber is the reason we started reading Outlander; for those that wanted to read about the Jacobite uprising, as well as meet (as much as possible) Bonnie Prince Charlie, the story finally reaches its climax in this novel.

What a Story …

Dragonfly in Amber, by itself, is quite a tale! Scenes, as well as some skirmishes 😉 are absolutely classic! If you think that 900+ pages are going to be daunting, the effort is well worth it! Political intrigue, historical battles, high-end French living, duals, beatings and witchcraft (or should I say medicine?) keep the attention fixated and fascinated. Gabaldon has caught the reader’s attention in Outlander, by ending with an implied ‘to be continued’ and she doesn’t fail to deliver with Dragonfly in Amber. It is in this story that we learn about Scottish pride, which in the bleakest of moments, never seems to falter; we learn about a love that transcends time, causing a woman, centuries later, to find her husband who may have died on the battlefield. It is in Dragonfly in Amber, that we learn of a man that will do everything in his power to save the woman he loves (even if it means changing history).

What else can I say?

Just like with Outlander, I strongly encourage you to read Dragonfly in Amber. Without spoiling the entire story (because so much happens, placing it succinctly in a post would be near impossible), Dragonfly in Amber is a tale of love, war, and surviving. Most of these themes will carry on throughout the series; Dragonfly in Amber is just the beginning.

Following Dragonfly in Amber, the third novel in the Outlander series is Voyager.

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