Scottish Prisoner

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Drums of Autumn Character Choice

I've mulled it over a few days and decided my most favorite character in Drums of Autumn is Lord John Grey! I was initially going to pick Jocasta, as she has a strong personality with deep family tradition. But Lord John Grey won out because DG has revealed more of him to us. It took a lot of guts to bring Willie to Fraser's Ridge and he really didn't have to help Brianna, but he did. DG took quite a leap expecting the reader to believe Willie did not recognize Jaime, who can forget Jaime! Six year old's generally have memory retention. Anyway, I like Lord John Grey because he's true to himself (as much as he can be in the 18th century), loyal, fierce when needs be, gentle and loving in spirit most times.

What is your character choice in Drums of Autumn?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Drums of Autumn Review

'CoverCover of Drums of Autumn (Outlander)

Wow, where do I start?! This is my second "re-read"(audio version) and I must tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed every word! I read it initially in 2005, so it's been awhile. I found myself remembering bits and pieces, but not remembering the exact order or what book they are in! So I was very satisfied to get it all straight in my mind!

Drums of Autumn picks up in Colonial America circa 1767 when they left the Indies, where they rescued Ian from the evil and conniving Geilles Duncan, (back in Voyager)shipwrecked on the coast of Georgia. Of course, all survived(whew!) and the small troop began making their way to mountainous North Carolina where Jaime's Aunt Jocasta resides. Aunt Jocasta being the sister to Jaime's father and recent wealthy widow. Their journey from Georgia to North Carolina, of course, is met with violence and personal loss that sets the stage for the entire book.

In the meantime, back in the 20th century, Brianna, Claire's daughter is developing a relationship with historian, Roger Wakefield who helped Claire find Jaime alive and well in the 18th century. Sparks and passions fly between the two as they both explore one another intellectually and physically. Roger knows she is missing her mother and wants to comfort her, but has strong feelings he can no longer deny.

Jaime enlists his kinsman, Duncan Innes who made the journey with them, to locate Jaime's former prison mates from his days after Culloden. Many were shipped to the colonies as their punishment against the Crown. Jaime still feels a strong attachment to these men and has been given an opportunity to make a settlement deep in the North Carolina mountains. Jaime, Claire and Ian couldn't be more happier! Ian begins strong relationships with the local Indians and adopts a stray wolf/dog, Rollo, his constant companion. Wilderness life suits the Fraser's and they begin to construct dwellings and begin a farming life. Jaime and Claire can now finally begin to relax and settle into "normal" married existence, something they hardly experienced in the past.

"It's not that I dinna want ye, Ian. You know I should like nothing better than to keep ye here with me. But what in the hell will your mother say?

The adventure begins when Brianna(and Roger, but he is withholding his findings) locates a newspaper article from her parent's time, something that is most startling and she resigns herself to going through the stones to warn them. Roger, being her protector(not that Brianna, a modern, independent young woman would ever need protection, really Roger, how dare you!) follows her, but she's gotten a good head start and being very resourceful, Roger is determined he can find her as he's realizes he loves her and cannot live without her. Roger makes some personal discoveries of his own on the journey to find his love.

Soon after she arrives, Brianna meets her father for the first time, but not without much trepidation and events that create friction, misunderstanding and raw emotion for the entire Fraser Clan. Patience and love will be tested, sacrifices made and much turmoil. While I enjoyed the story of Brianna and Roger, you can see that DG has created them for a larger purpose.

Lord John Grey makes another appearance much to my delight. Other minor characters such as Aunt Jocasta, the mountainous Indians and the shear beauty that is described of their new surroundings bring such vibrancy to this installment of Outlander. Further revelations regarding the mysterious gem stones and much to Claire's surprise, another set of standing stones! Ian is beginning to grow into a young man, his fate is cast without his permission, but he adjusts, he is resolute in his convictions. Ian is awesome, I have much respect and admiration for him! Slavery is brought to the forefront, no holding back here!

Drums of Autumn is a story of a family caught in extraordinary circumstances in an extraordinary time. Family ties are tested, how will they fare?
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Clan Oliphant-a Jacobite History

I had been researching my family tree since 2003 and was introduced to Outlander in 2005. I believe, in Drums of Autumn, where we see Jaime searching for his kinsman to set up with him at Fraser's Ridge and other kinsmen notations, DG mentions a Scottish name, Oliphant. It's only in passing, however, jumped off the page! I have Scottish roots through Clan Oliphant. I thought I would share the Oliphant's involvement in the Jacobite cause and the Oliphant tartan. Enjoy!
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Spin-Off Suggestions to Outlander

Here are my suggestions for possible spin-offs to the Outlander book series as it appears DG will write book 8 up to 1800.

  1. A prequel chronically the life of Brian and Ellen Fraser
  2. Fergus and Marsaille(and children) and Ian post Revolutionary into the War of 1812
  3. Jenny and Ian Murray(and children; life without Jaime and Claire, Scotland life after Culloden)

That's all for now, what would like to see?

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Voyager-my character choice

So much happened in Voyager, it was an incredible journey, wasn't it? I'm having a difficult time choosing a character I most resonate with on this one. I think I may fall back on Jenny again. Her deep committment to her family and how she handled the situation with Ian is exactly what I would of done. Plus I love how she interacts with Jaime. She loves him dearly, but he drives her crazy at the same time!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dragonfly in Amber - my character

Ok, I've been thinking about it and the character I most resonate with in Dragonfly in Amber is.....(drum roll, please): Roger Wakefield. Being a historian and set to task by Claire to locate Jaime, I found familiarity in what I've accomplished with my own personal genealogical research. Ok, not so exciting, but hey, this is my blog after all! Please feel free to leave a comment as to who you most associate with in Dragonfly in Amber.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Outlander -What character would you want to be?

Being that I'm a historical fiction fanatic and fasinated by time-travel, I've often tried to place myself in the shoes of a certain character in the Outlander series in addition to my own ancestors. So, I need to figure out which character I most resonate with in Outlander, who fits my personality the best. I don't think I would make a good Claire, I'm too chicken to do most of things she does, my goodness, trekking through the woods with highland warriors would scare the bejeavers out of me. No......I need someone safe and content. Jenny comes to mind, she's opinionated, sensible, but motherly and caring. She cares too much at times, I think, making Jaime's problems her own, but hey, that's what I do as well with my family that I love and care for! Yes, I think I'd make a good Jenny. What does everyone else think?(For those who knows me well!) Now this is who I think I would be in Outlander, let me ponder on a character in Dragonfly! Feel free to comment on who you think would best fit your personality(male or female!) or who you wish you could be, now that's a thought!

Outlander Challenge 2009-Voyager(Audio)

Preclude: I've "read" Outlander, Dragonfly and Voyager twice each plus to "catch up" and in anticipation of Echo due out in September, I am now listening to the audio. Narrated exquisitely by Davina Porter. If you thought the books took you away to Jaime and Claire land, the audio will entrance you , the essence of them, it's almost indescribable! I find myself getting all blushed and giggly when hearing their bedroom scenes, oh my!
A novel could not have a more appropriate name! In the 3rd installment of the Outlander series, DG truly takes the reader on a voyage further exploring the lives of Claire and Jaime Fraser separated by war and time, but never forgotten to one another.
"I stretched out a hand toward him, as much to stop as to welcome him. I wanted more than anything to touch him again, but was unaccountably shy. After so long, how were we to start again?"
The story picks up 20 years after Claire has gone back through the stones, back to Frank, pregnant with Jaime's child, at Jaime's insistence to save Claire and his child from an almost certain death to them all. DG weaves the story by letting us see what they both have gone through in their 20 year separation. Claire gives birth to a daughter, Brianna, becomes a doctor, resuming her life and marriage with Frank, but not without issues they both must face. Jaime survives the battle of Culloden but is forced into seclusion for 7 years to avoid prison. We also learn of the fate of Jaime's tormentor, Jack Randall.
The intensiveness and descriptive story plot is enhanced in the audio version. Raw emotion and pain which is DG's signature, is supreme and the listener cannot help but feel what the characters are going through, I actually felt transcended into their lives.
In Voyager, we are introduced to a delightful character, Lord John Grey. Jaime forges a relationship with Lord John in a manner that only DG can concoct! Eventually Jaime is captured and spends time in prison, but with Lord John on your side, Jaime is taken to England as a horse groom for a wealthy English family in which DG carves a story arch that will certainly delight. Brilliant!
Through very extraordinary circumstances and the help of Roger Wakefield, historian, Claire finds her way back to Jaime after the death of Frank. Her daughter, Brianna is grown and Claire feels now more than ever the tug towards the love of her life.
Voyager is also much about adventure and further story lines on Jaime's sister, Jenny, and in particular, Jenny's youngest son, Ian Murray. Ian is Jaime's nemesis always wishing to mimic his uncle's life and adventures. One cannot help but fall in love with Ian! Practically from the initial reunion of Claire and Jaime, we are taken on a whirlwind journey with twists and turns that leaves the reader(listener) breathless and wondering, how do they that??!! Murder, piracy, kidnapping, mysterious gold and gemstones and a trip to the Caribbean to boot where the couple is reunited with a sinister character from the past with a hold on what Claire holds most dear, her daughter, Brianna. We also see an emergence of Fergus, the adoptive son of Jaime who is now grown and has plans of his own.
Even still with all the craziness, life saving and much travelling, Jaime and Claire find each other still in love just as before and the passion, sparks and tempers are as prevalent in this installment as ever before!
And just when you think DG cannot possibly invent and create more, the ending will astonish and surprise as Jaime and Claire begin a new chapter of their life that neither one of them ever expected.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Outlander Challenge 2009-Dragonfly in Amber

Dragonfly in Amber excerpt, page 67:

"Yes, I did," I told him. "That's why we went to Paris. I'd told Jamie about Culloden-the '45, and what would happen. We went to Paris to try to stop Charles Stuart."

And so the adventure begins in the 2nd installment of the tale of two dynamic characters ever told, met by chance, married for convenience, loves for life.

At the end of Outlander, Claire lets Jaime know she is with child, his child. How can Claire ever go back to Frank. She has adapted to Jaime's time period and is known as a white witch, a healer, a woman of "the sight".

I initially thought I was reading Dragonfly out of order as the initial section page said, "Inverness, 1968". DG really takes the reader on an unforgettable adventure!

Dragonfly in Amber sets the stage for so many new characters, I especially liked Master Raymond. We also get to meet Jaime's sister, Jenny and her family back at the homestead, Lallybroch. We even get a peak at Jaime's grandfather, Lord Simon Lovat, who by the way was a real person and active Jacobite during the 1715 Rising.

Dragonfly also tells us more in detail the history of the Jacobites and Scotland's struggles for independence from England. Being a history fanatic, I devoured every word and started doing some research of my own as I have Scottish heritage.

As Claire and Jaime continue their relationship in France, we see both of their strong wills and stubborness emerge. Claire tells Jaime about the famous battle of Culloden which will occur in 1745. If only they can reach Charles Stuart who is in exile in Paris, perhaps they can alter history.

As they live in Paris, some familiar characters are ressurected bringing much pain and agony to the couple as Claire, while devoted to Jaime in everyway, cannot seem to reconcile that she has left Frank behind. I love the twists and turns of this story arch! DG is the master of setting up characters and letting us see them grow and mature into fantastic and memorable characters.

A new character emerges, Fergus, a homeless young boy, a pick-pocket that Jaime takes in. I mention him as he is one of my favorite characters. The reader will see much of Fergus in the sequals that follow!

Dragonfly is just as good if not better than Outlander. Again, listening to the audio for my 3rd "re-read" of Dragonfly has most certainly enlighted me and I found myself learning even more.

My Blog title

Just an FYI for those coming here from Facebook....the title of my blogspot is an expression the male character, Jaime Fraser, says to his wife, Claire. I love this line! A Sassenach is a scottish term for an outsider, outlander. Jaime gives this term to Claire who is English, soon after they first meet. "Dinna fash yourself" means, "not to worry".

2009 Outlander Challenge

My first blog and post(I'm a virgin blogger, be gentle!)! I decided to listen to the audio of Outlander early this year after I stumbled upon Hubby got me an ipod for Christmas, I thought I would just download Podcasts. The ipod has become a permanent fixture(I sometimes fall asleep with it on, crazy!). I highly recommend everyone who has read the Outlander series, pick up the unabridged CD's or download, you will not be dissappointed. (Note: does not currently offer the unabridged version for Fiery Cross and ABOSAA. But a search at the library produced the CD's and Playaway)

So, my review of Outlander for the 2009 Outlander Challenge and how I got hooked:

First of all, kudos to DG for writing this series based on seeing a man in a kilt on Dr. Who. Amazing! In 2004, my sister gave me Outlander to take on my vacation. The plane ride gave me enough time to really get into the story. Honestly, I had a difficult time adjusting to DG's style of writing, but it didn't take long and now when I read something else, I find myself comparing! Her very detailed descriptions and conversations is what struck me first. I guess then I figured out since I'm a fast reader, I had to slow down and savor!

It was not difficult to become comfortable with Claire from the start. She's sassy, sexy, intelligent and strong-willed. I found myself thinking almost from the beginning she did not belong with Frank, him being a historian and rather dull if you ask me! Claire's sense of adventure and love of life struck me as being quite refreshing for a main character.

I've always been a fan of time-traveling novels, movies, etc. I wish I could remember the title, it was book made into a TV movie in the early 80's, a woman looks into a mirror and is hurled back in time and becomes her grandmother. I think Lindsay Wagner played the part. I'm also a novice genealogist, so with these 2 interests, DG's method of time travel resonated with me from the start. DG has taken what is real(standing stones, gemstones) and intertwined what I consider a most fascinating fantasy of time travel most eloquently. Anyway, I digress.......

It wasn't until Claire said to herself..."he can ride me....." that I truly felt her passion and pictured Jaime as man who exudes his manliness without even knowing he's doing it! As I began to know Jamie throughout the book, his devotion to family, his sense of humor and I'm sure his good looks, how could Claire resist, even though she was married!

I absolutely loved that DG let us get to know Claire more by Column's insistance that she stay put in Castle Leoch. This gave the reader a chance to hone in on her medical skills and added substance to her character. DG brings us into the castle and daily lives of people of the 18th century giving us history of the times. Man, do I ever, more now than ever, want to time-travel!

Jack Randall is one of the most sinister characters I've met. One wonders if DG is a cumulation of Claire and Jack! While Jack Randall is evil and sadistic, the book would not be as sensational without him. Geillis comes in as a close second, more kiniving than anything! Brilliant characters all around. I would like to know a bit more about Dougal and Column and what makes them tick, perhaps we will if DG writes a prequel.

While Jaimie seems to come to Claire's rescue a bit too conveniently, DG makes it seemless and gives the reader a sense of his feeling towards Claire(they truly are two twined into one!)

The imprisonment and torture of Jaimie was rough to get through. I especially liked how DG brought Jaimie's kinsman into their adventures which gives the reader a sense of how close the Scottish clans were.

The ending was perfect, setting up for the next book with the reader salivating and giddy with anticipation!