Dragonfly in Amber: Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

Thursday, September 15th 2016

“I will find you,” he whispered in my ear. “I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you – then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest.”

His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me.

Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.”
– Dragonfly in Amber

Dragonfly in Amber: Outlander Series by Diana GabaldonDragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2) by Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander
Published by Bantam on August 7th 2001
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 743
Buy on Amazon
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 With her now-classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon introduced two unforgettable characters—Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser—delighting readers with a story of adventure and love that spanned two centuries. Now Gabaldon returns to that extraordinary time and place in this vivid, powerful follow-up to Outlander.  DRAGONFLY IN AMBER  For nearly 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 Jamie 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.

Hello Lovelies!

I have to say I am sorry for not blogging regularly, since I started to read the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon, I’m finding it very hard to do anything but read. Read. Read. Read and  read some more. I never read a novel let along a series that made me lift my heart yet break it at the sometime.

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon is the second installment of the infamous Outlander series. Diana Gabaldon writing style continue to spellbinding readers as the adventures of  Claire Randall Fraser, and Jamie Fraser continue to delight readers from around the wonder. These unforgivable characters continue their extraordinary adventure as they attempt to change the course of history, by stopping the historical Scottish massacre of the Battle of Culloden.

The place in which the Jacobite rising of 1745, commonly known as the ’45 stood their ground against Britain, creating a civil war. Despite all the history, or rather lack of history that Claire can remember she tries to help Jamie stop the  Battle of Culloden, in a adventures attempt to save the Scottish Clans of the Highland. As much as Jamie and Claire want to save their friends from meeting a impossible war on the commands of Charles Edward Louis Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart, also known as Charles Edward Stuart, through  history has “The Bonnie Prince Charlies”, or if you have the unfortunately timing of being in earshot when I stub my toe, or jam my finger in the door you might know him as my husband does, as “Friggin Bloody Bonnie Prince!” Despite the many names that this ambushes princes has obtained through history, the character in which he plays in Diana Gabaldon’s novels is unforgettable. It’s safe to say that we never really know the true character of the “Bonnie Prince,” but the character in which Galbadon has created really reflects her creativity as a writer but also as a historical fiction writer. The fact that she was able to take a very well known historical figure, a figure that is still being looked upon today especially in Scotland only shows her intelligences in weaving a story within an already existing story. This is actually the reason I don’t read many historical fiction novels. I feel that when you’re reading a historical fiction novel that I as a reader, should be reading the story that historians will never know of. I feel that a historical picture author should not try to re-write the history that is already know, but write the story that we don’t know, or perhaps the story that we will never know.

This is what really sold my heart with Diana Gabaldon, the fact that she is constantly able to craft characters within the realm of historical text without hiding, hindering, or recreating the human nature as well, never depicting a “better society” of the past, which is what I sometimes find myself reading when I read historical fiction novels. This is also another reason why I love this series so much. The events that these characters go through are not much different that what our modern time travel Claire Randall goes through, despite the fact that she entered a world that is intact 200 years older than her time. Even though Claire travels 200 years into the past,I as a reader, still see similarities of events that surround the characters in the past that readers of course can relate to. Love and Lost will always be relatable, that’s what makes this book so amazing, Dragonfly in Amber is a novel of equal give and take. The feeling of it does not feel equal, not at all, however there is a lot of emotional taking, and physicality giving. This balances between the push and pull that occurs not only between the characters Jamie and Claire, but also heavily occurring around the surrounding characters.That is another feature of this authors writing that I really love when reading her books.There is no character in this book, big role or small role that does not touch your heart. There are no characters that does not hold a special place in the entire plot point of these novels. These books are so heavily engaging, allowing you the chances to get to know each and every Clan member, or at least know their story well enough that when something happens to them you feel the same touch of sadness that touches the heart of the characters you are reading about. I feel tha that is a real test of great literary skill, making your small characters just as emotionally investing to readers that they mourn for them the same way they would if a main character was physically or emotionally pained! Ohh and there is so much love and pain in Outlander it’s no surprise that the secound book wouldn’t be even better!

In my previous review of Outlander (the frist book) I fell in love with James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. Who can not fall in  love with Jamie? He’s stuborn, as a Fraser should be. His has a strong older sister that’s equally as stubborn, and lets not forget the most amazing Godfather anyone could ask for. SERIOUSLY! His Godfather makes my very absent Godfather, as well as every other Godparent I have ever known look absolutely pathetic. If you were to ask me to pain you a picture of that represented either, loyality; trust; blind faith; and skilled, I would simply paint you a picture of friggin Murtagh Fraser.

Let’s just take minute to talk about Murtagh Fraser, because he needs a moment you’re time. So Murtagh has to be one of my favorite characters when it comes to being a strong supporting character, especially for Jamie. Oh, most definitely for Jamie, but even before that Murtagh is the first Highlander that Claire and readers ever get to see.

First meeting Murtagh in the first Outlander book, when Claire is being assaulted by the ever loving Jonathan Randall, Murtagh, with his sweet Scottish Highlander fighting skills managed to instantly impress me by attacking Randall while also whisking away a very confused Claire. Even though Claire was just rescued from Evil-Not-Frank-Randall, she still manages not to  turn completely into Princess Peach, an bites her attacker. Claire bites Murtagh’s hand has he attempts to keep them hidden from Randall while at the same time leading her back to he stone cottage where Dougal MacKenzie, along with his men are hiding in a strong cottage with a very swoon worthy Jamie. If it wasn’t for Murtagh I’m sure Claire’s adventure within the 200 year version of Scotland would have been a very historically accurate assault that would have for a very angry read.Thank goodness for Murtagh, because he introduced to cJamie not only a healer but also his wife and the mother of his children. Honestly, can you say that your Godparent’s did that for you? ‘Cause Murtagh has done that and much more. Murtagh’s resume of Godparental actives would included but not limited  protection, murdering, plungering, stealing, scheming, kidnapping ( Sorry Claire), quite listening, revenge taking, and my personal favorite containing the biggest appetite for someone so extremely lean in bulit.

Murtagh is just such a great character.He’s a prefect example of how a supporting character can truly steal the focus along with the hearts of readers away from the main character. How can you not fall in love with this guy! He fall in love with a woman that did not marry him to only kneel in front of her and her son, giving his swore oath that he would allows follow Jamie always, even swearing a oath to do his bidding. What type of person has enough faith to swearing their loyalty and service to a child! Man thank goodness Jamie’s father, Brian, did right by his son, no doubt he had many examples of what not to do because of how his own father treated him, (more about this later). Needless to say Murtagh is probably my favorite supporting character. Honestly, he even help Jamie and Claire obtain a ship by pretending to have the pox, of course that didn’t work out the way the  planned but it is the  fact that he kept his oath in always being there to assist Jamie, even when Jamie and Claire ended up asking him to literally uriante blood. Murtagh Fraser with no doubt is the great Godfather and probably the best Godparent you’ll ever need to have in you’re life. Murtagh 4 lyfe!

Now that my love for ever hungry always sunny Murtagh is known lets get back to all the adventures that happen to our favorite characters in the second installment of the Outlander series. Dragon in Amber should be known as “Luring Temptation,”  because it seems that living a life away from the ever seeking dangers of Scotland only lead our characters in to the pressing underground lifestyle of 18th century  France.

The events that happen in the city of Paris where a mixture of sensual beauty. You can really tell during the events surrounding the characters how different the French court differed from the court life of the MacKenzie household. I’m sure Dougal MacKenzie would not mind convincing his brother to rebuild the home to include the French outcome within the halls.

For those of you who are watching Outlander on Starz, you already know the gorgeous red dress pictured on the cover of the Season 2 DVD is the court outfit that Claire wears when first introducing herself, of course along with her husband, to the French court. Despite how much Jamie makes such a big deal about her sensual dress no one can make  more of an erotic impact as King Louie’s own personal showing of his own. Who know that the first recorded case of nipple piercing would be in the name of “fashion,” first being displayed in the French Court.

“ “ How do you like it?” Handling the train a bit gingerly, I stepped down into the room, swaying gently as the seamstress had instructed, to show off the filmy guests of silk plisse ley into the overskirt.

Jamie shut his mouth and blinked several times.

“ It’s . . .ah . . .red, isn’t it?’ he observed.

“Rather.” Sang-du-Christ, to be exact. Christ’s blood,  the most fashionable color of the season, or so I had been given to understand.

“Not every woman could wear it,Madane,” the seamstress had declared, speech unhampered by a mouthful of pins. “But you, with that skin! Mother of God, you’ll have men crawling under your skirt all night!”

“If one tries,I’ll stamp on his fingers.” I said.

 . . . 

“ All the nobility care about  is appearance. So to start with, we must offer them something interesting to look at.”

Judging from the stunned look on his face now. I had made a good beginning. I sashayed a bit, making the huge overskirt swing like a bell.

“ Not bad, is it?” I asked. “Very visible, at any rate.”

He found his voice at least.

“Visibble?” he croaked. “Visible?” God, I can see every inch of ye, down to the third rib!”

“ No, you can’t. That isn’t me under the lace, it’s a linking of white charmeuse.”

“ Aye well, it looks like you!” He came closer, bending to inspect the bodice of the dress. He peered into my cleavage.

“ Christ, I can see down to your marvel! Surely ye dinner mean to go out in public like that!” (166)
– Dragonfly in Amber

Considering the fact that Jamie and the rest of 18th century citizens of Scotland found the odd dress that Claire wore when she first appeared in the Highland strange, yet when they arrive in French Court he’s more upset about Claire’s sense of court fashion actually upsets him. Honestly, how does Jamie expect to be apart of the French Court if they don’t do what the French does. After first  Jamie really though her outfit was the most outgoing outfit until Jamie and Claire meet King Louis currently favorite Madame Nesle de la Tourelle.

Starz Outlander Season 2

“ It was  neither the gown nor the prospect it revealed that had rattled me, though. The breast of “Nesle,” while reasonably adequate in size, pleasant in proportion, and tipped with large brownish areolae, were further adorned with a pair of nipple jewels that caused their settings to recede into insighticance. A pair of diamond-encrusted  swans with ruby eyes stretched their necks toward each other, swinging precariously in gold-hooped perches.The workmanship was superb and the materials stunning, but it was the fact that each gold hoop passed “through” her nipple that made me feel rather faint.”(170)

Who won’t feel faint after seeing a woman dressed in a full length gown French gown with the bodice missing and  the nipples of the breast pierced with elegant jewelry. Honestly, if Parais has always been the worlds leading capital of fashion I am really upset that nippled piercings with midriff cut bodices didn’t become an on going fashion trend. I would make breast feeding, and breast revealing for breastfeeding more natural than what society views about breast today. How is it that nippled pierced and wide bodice gowns were acceptable but breast feeding is viewed as evil in todays point of view! It really makes you wonder what is happening to society now a days, are we truly going backwards or forwards, or are we just fallowing a ever twisting circle.

Another moment in Dragonfly in Amber thatI really admire was getting to know  a new character Master Raymond. But my favorite cast of new character was Jamie having to see his fathers, Brian, father’s family, the Fraser’s.I especially enjoy getting to meet Brain Fraser’s own father, with a father like that it’s no doubt that Brain himself became such a great loving father to his own children, he had an amazing example of EXACTLY what not to do. Thankfully Claire Fraser is a not just a  sassenach, but a quick witted English-women from the 1940’s, is the Fraser clancheiftan a match for her is the real question!

“ “Ah?” said Lord Lovat, giving me the benefit of a cold blue eye.”I’d heard you’d married an Englishwoman.” His tone made it clear that this act confirmed all his worst suspicions about the grandson he’d never met.

he raised a thick gray bro in my direction, and shifted the gimlet stare Jamie.” No more sense than your, father, it seems.”

I could see Jamie’s hands twitch slightly, resisting the urge to clench into fists.

“At the least, I had nay need to take a wife by rape or trickery,” he observed evenly.

He grandfather grunted, unfazed by the insult. I thought I saw the corner of his wrinkled mouth twitch, but wasn’t sure.

“ Aye, and ye’ve gained little enough by the bargain ye struck,” he observed. “ Though at that, this one’s less expensive than that MacKenzie harlot Brain fell prey to. If this sassenach wench brings ye naught, at least she looks although she costs ye little.” The slanted blue eyes, so much like Jamie’s own, ran over my travel-stained gown, taking in the unstitched hem, the burst, and the splashes of mud on the skirt.

I could feel a fine vibration run through Jamie, and wasn’t sure whether it was anger or laughter.

“Thanks,” I said, with a friendly smile at his lordship. “I don’t eat much either.But I could use a bit of a wash. Just water; don’t bother about the soap, if it comes too dear.”(754)
– Dragonfly in Amber

Point to Claire! I could type for hours about all the things about this book that I enjoyed but I feel that I fi continue to tell you about what happen or rather the things that happen in this book I might  spend all night and day paraphrasing the entire second book, Dragonfly in Amber. I will say there are, or rather, were characters in the series that really made my heart crash, sink, and burst with sadness. I love the fact that the title of the book “Dragonfly in Amber” is truly a references to the character that we meet in “Outlander,” who gave Clair a stone,an amber stone with a dragonfly resting in the polish center, living in enteral flight. It really hurt my heart to know that this loving mute character was not just harmed but killed for trying to save Claire from her captors. Like I mentioned before, it’s the supporting cast of characters within the serious that really make me feel, as a reader, how truly involved the entire chaster of characters are to one another. There are to many books in which the author only focuses on their main character without creating a bridge of connection between the main characters and the supporting character, and even the slit yet most hopefully characters that really are more important to the overall storyline or plot point than anyone can ever really until they are suddenly, skillfully written out of the series.

“Blood of my Blood,” he whispered, “and bone of my bone. You carry me within ye, Claire, and ye canna leave me now, no matter what happens, You are mine, always, if ye will it or no, if ye want me or nay. Mine, and I wilna let ye go.”
– Dragonfly in Amber

Like always I really suggest you read series. The books are huge! I love reading full stories! I love how even the villain, Jonathan Randall wasn’t even much of a villain in the entire scheme of things. Like any true villain, he was a hero within his own story, and within his own right, it’s just his action were connected to another characters story in a negative action making him a villain in someone else’s tale. That being said I enjoyed reading the first chapter of the third book within the Outlander series, you the part where the crow gets hungry? Oh yes how I love a good murder (Google it, it’s a crow pun!). Even with Jonathan Randall stepping out the picture, I still have six more books to read to catch up to my mother’s years of reading Diana Gabaldon’s series. The ending of  Dragon Fly in Amber was heartbreaking and romantic at the same time. I really hope the love that Claire and Jamie have can really surpass the twenty years they have spent apart from one another. The only I’ll ever find out is if I continue to read the Outlander Series! I’m already on Chapter 4 of Voyager, and I can’t wait to see what’s nester for this delightful adventurous couple!

Keep reading darlings!

~Lia

About Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon is the New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels-Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, and A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize)-and one work of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion, as well as the bestselling series featuring Lord John Grey, a character she introduced in Voyager. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

2 Responses to: Dragonfly in Amber: Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

  1. On Thursday, September 15th 2016 Kathleen said:

    Great review! I need to read this series. I have steered away from historical fiction in the past for the same reasons you gave. But this sounds great!

  2. On Thursday, September 15th 2016 Lia said:

    Oh Gawd! Please read Outlander! I’ll be you’re sponsor! I swear you’ll love it my dear!



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