Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) – Diana Gabaldon

Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bantam
Pages: 745
Release Date: July 1, 1992

From the author of Outlander… a magnificent epic that once again sweeps us back in time to the drama and passion of 18th-century Scotland…

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…. 

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Dragonfly in Amber is a boring and disappointing sequel.

For the first 70 pages of Dragonfly in Amber, readers are introduced to a new character named Roger Wakefield. Gabaldon’s inclusion of Mr. Wakefield is unnecessary and had me skimming the pages until Jamie showed up. Mr. Wakefield’s inclusion at the end of the novel makes sense, but I just didn’t care.

Dragonfly in Amber follows Jamie and Claire as they try to save the clans from slaughter at Culloden. They find themselves in Paris schmoozing with the elites. I very much enjoyed Jamie and Claire’s storyline in Paris, however its all undone with a single letter thereby making it practically irrelevant.

The pacing of the novel is inconsistent at best. There are large portions of the novel that are almost unreadable because they’re so boring. The deeply historical aspects of Dragonfly in Amber are incredibly boring. If readers do not have a working knowledge of what was happening at the time, they’ll probably feel lost, as I did. I often found myself Googling the time period because Gabaldon does not explain the political climate very well.

I’m going to put aside the fact that there are a lot of problematic plot lines revolving around sex and rape and how they’re sometimes used interchangeably. I’ll say this is a reflection of the time period and move on because this didn’t bother me as much as it did others. Instead, the inconsistent pace and overall boringness of the novel is what made me rate it three stars.

You may be wondering why I rated Dragonfly in Amber three stars considering my review is so negative. Well, what ultimately saved the novel from a two star rating was Jamie and Claire’s relationship and the fact that I did finish the novel. Jamie and Claire work very well as a couple for me. Their explosive and passionate relationship is thrilling to read, despite its more problematic aspects.

I’m not sure if I’ll attain my goal of reading one Diana Gabaldon novel a month because I need a break from her writing. I’m almost finished watching the first season of the TV show and I’m enjoying it a lot more than the first novel. I think I’ll watch the second season then decide if I want to read the third book.

Overall, Dragonfly in Amber is disappointing to say the least. It was hard to get through since most of the novel was just plain boring.

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Have you read Dragonfly in Amber? What did you think?

2 thoughts on “Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) – Diana Gabaldon

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