Review: Dragonfly in Amber

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2)
By: Diana Gabaldon
Release Date: July 1st, 1992
Publisher: Bantam
Series: Outlander Series

 The obsession continues for me in this sequel to Outlander. A well written sequel that picks up right where we left off I have to say that I nearly missed my train stop a few times when reading this book. 

Diana Gabladon continues to run with the story here, giving us more and more reasons to cheer for her characters, worry about them and turn page after page. Did I mention I almost missed my stop? Gabladon’s characters are on a precarious journey to literally change history but, the question is, do they succeed? Some spoilers/ spoiler hints ahead, you have been warned! 


Gabladon’s research, pace and characterization does not give up in this book. With Claire and Jamie desperate to find a way to save Scottland (because Claire has told Jamie the outcome of the rebellion) they embark on a journey to the court of King Louis XV of France to try and aid the Jacobites.  

After Jamie’s recovery from the terrors of book one, and a good portion of time spent on his recovery process (which is difficult to say the least) we see the pair begin to plot the best ways to get what they want. Gabladon’s research into the ways of life at that time is extensive enough to be realistic in reference to the medical treatments of that time as well as the way of politics at that time. 

Gabladon’s perfection of writing characters continues to surprise me here. Any new character we meet is beautifully fleshed out. Returning characters are also continue to evolve in realistic ways. Motives, choices and dialogue is believable to each character. There is no moment where you feel the author got stuck on one characters cadence, ideals or motives and mistakenly transplanted them onto another character. Instead, each character is their own, as real as a fictional character on a page can be and for that I love these books. So often characters become redundant, predictable and while some of her characters are like that (because some people are like that) the diversity among her characters personalities, descriptions, etc is perhaps my favorite part of her stories.  

Another fun twist to this book is that we see Claire Randall, returned to her own world and time period. We see her struggle to recover from her adventures, reconnect to some degree with her husband Frank (whom she no longer loves) and give birth to the child she conceived with Jamie. The struggles the pregnancy causes are more on Claire’s end as we see her struggle to accept Frank’s terms in regards to raising the child Brianna. We also get to see how, twenty years after she returned home, Claire bring Brianna to Scotland and explaining the truth of who her father is was intriguing, exciting and heartbreaking. Brianna’s struggle with her true identity, to accept that her mother is not crazy and to understand the reality of her situation was perfectly handled.

Claire’s search for Jamie in the modern time, to find out how her husband’s life progressed after her departure was sweet and heartbreaking. Her desperate search for answers, to track him through time serves to prove how deep Claire’s love for Jamie goes. During this search we also get to see glimpses of what I suspect will be a future pairing in Brianna and Roger who are simultaneously drawn to each other and uncertain of one another.

My major complaint with this book is the cliffhanger at the end is of the sort that will torture bookworms. If you find yourself halfway through this book and know you’ll want to continue on make sure you have Voyager on hand so that you can jump right in.


About author

Brittney Soban

Brittney is a writer, reader and general lover of all things that end up printed on a page. With a few published poems and a lot of unpublished stories and novels she spends her days doing a nine to five job while wishing she was home working on the worlds she loves to create. As “punishment”, her and her brothers were banned from watching television for a week, leading to Brittney deciding that the free books at the library were better than TV and, in a very Matilda fashion, she took home loads of books every day and has never looked back. A reader of all types of literature, she will read practically anything put in front of her as long as something within it, no matter how small, sparks her interest. Give her high fantasy, science fiction, mystery, it doesn’t matter, but her love does lie within the fantasy and YA genres. A series junkie on top of everything else, she picks and chooses when to begin a series based on how many standalone books also await her attention in her to be read pile. Once she starts a series she will read every installment available back to back until she finishes a series or is forced to wait for the next publication. Called a book dragon by her boyfriend, the term is fitting as she owns more books than anything else and is quite sure her obituary will state she died under an avalanche of books. She truly wouldn’t have it any other way.

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