Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Scottish Prisoner

The Scottish Prisoner: A Novel The year is 1760. Jamie Fraser is an ex-Jacobite on parole in England. He is haunted by dreams of his beloved wife, Claire and by the appearance of a former acquaintance, Tobias Quinn. Quinn wants to strike up the old cause and seeks out Jamie to lead an Irish Jacobite rebellion.

Meanwhile, Lord John is in possession of a packet of documents containing damning evidence against an English officer. The documents are written in Erse, the language of the Highlanders, and he is forced to seek Jamie’s help in translating.

Soon Jamie and John are thrust into an unwitting partnership that takes them to the shores of Ireland as they become involved in something much bigger than either of them intended.
The Scottish Prisoner is a Lord John Grey novel by author Diana Gabaldon. The Lord John books can be read in companion to the Outlander series (starting after Voyager) or as a stand-alone.

If you have read my blog once, you know I am obsessed with the Outlander books. This was my first Lord John book as I have had mixed feelings about Lord John and wasn’t sure I wanted to read his stories. I’m glad I finally did.

Frankly, Diana Gabaldon can do no wrong in my book. She has a beautiful way with words; her novels are so engrossing and multi-layered, filled with love and intrigue, battles and history. There is something for everyone in her stories. And they are so big! Speaking my language!

I was able to find a new appreciation for Lord John in this book. I have always had mixed feelings about him and never really connected with him as a character but I found in Scottish Prisoner he is a likeable character, very honorable and self-possessed and at times a bit witty.

The plot itself was intriguing, involving another Jacobite plot to put the Bonny Prince on the throne. Also a bit sad, for the plot is firmly entrenched in history and makes you mournful for all that was lost and the hope and desperation that went into the efforts of restoration.

Diana always does a fantastic job weaving historical detail into her novels and her accuracy is never in doubt. From the Irish plot to the secondary characters to the Erse translations, the author does a wonderful job blending history with fiction.

Whether you are an avid Outlander fan or are reading The Scottish Prisoner as a stand-alone novel, you will have no problem becoming enmeshing in the plotting and intrigue that wait within the pages. You will be spellbound from page one. I have the overwhelming urge to pick up an Outlander book now, but can’t decide which one. 

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