Dragonfly in Amber

By Diana Gabaldon

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Dell Pub., 1993, c1992

Genres: Historical fantasy, fantasy, historical fiction, romance, time travel fantasy

Series: Outlander series; 2

ISBN: 0440215625

Intended audience: Adults

Number of pages: 743

Settings: Scotland and Paris

Time periods: 1744-45 and 1968

Plot summary: In 1968, Claire Randall and her daughter, Brianna, return to Scotland from the United States after the death of Clarie’s husband, Frank.  Here, Claire tells both Brianna and Roger Wakefield the truth about Brianna’s father, Jaimie Fraser, and Claire’s trip through time.  Claire’s story about the past begins where Outlander ended- in the winter of 1744 in France.  Claire and Jaimie help Jaimie’s kinsman, Jared, run his wine business in Paris while at the same time trying to prevent Bonnie Prince Charles from ever returning to Scotland (in hopes of preventing the future massacre at Culloden).  When a series of life changing events befall Jamie and Claire, the Lord and Lady of Broch Tuarach find themselves returning to Scotland with a full pardon where they immediately find themselves in the midst of clan politics and a rebellion which they know is doomed to fail.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: The story begins more slowly as readers learn of the future Claire Randall and her twenty year old daughter; once Claire begins her story the pacing increases dramatically.

Characterization: Told in first person through Claire’s eyes for most of the book; the story is told in third person at the beginning and ending scenes, which include Roger and Brianna.  Secondary characters are given more time in this book for readers to become familiar with them and new and important characters are introduced for the first time.

Frame: Both the intrigue and gossip of the eighteenth century Parisian court life and the dreary, damp cold of winter in Scotland are integral components to the story.

Story Line: This intriguing and exciting story tells of the treachery involved in both love and war, especially when lovers struggle with one another in attempts to save one another.

Subject headings:

From PCPL:
Time travel — Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Scotland — Fiction.

Similar authors:

From NoveList:
Sara Donati- Into the Wilderness
Marsha Canham- Midnight Honor, The Pride of Lions
Nancy Bond- Another Shore

Other Info:

A link to Diana Gabaldon’s website.

[Annotated 1/5/2009]


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