The Exile: an Outlander Graphic Novel

By Diana Gabaldon; illustrated by Hoang Nguyen

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Del Rey, 2010

Genre: Historical fiction, fantasy, adventure, time travel fantasy, historical fantasy, romance

Format: Graphic novel

Series: Outlander Graphic Novels; 1

ISBN: 9780345505385

Audience: Adult

Number of pages: Unpaginated

Setting: Scotland

Time period: 1743

Plot summary: Young Jaime Fraser returns to Scotland after living in exile.  He is met by his godfather, Murtagh, who tries to guide Jaime back to his home – Lallybroch.  Jaime isn’t ready to head home, though.  He’s much more interested in the mysterious Sassenach that Murtagh saved from the English Captain Black Jack Randall.

Illustrations: Exquisitely rendered in color; the pictures reveal both a wondrous natural environment as well as a range of detailed facial expressions which highlight intricacies in the story.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Even with consciously slowing down to pore through the details in the art, this is a fast read.  This book focuses upon most of the action scenes from Outlander.

Characterization: Told in third person, mainly from Murtagh’s perspective.  There is a significant character in this story who is much less significant in the original Outlander.  Also, many of the smaller characters from Outlander do not appear in this story.

Language: A few French and Gaelic words are used in the story have been translated into English.

Frame: Murtagh’s vows to both of Jaime’s parents set the frame for this story.

Story line: An exciting story about family treachery, oppression, love, and trust.

Subject headings:

From Pima County Public Library:

Time travel — Comic books, strips, etc.

Scotland — History — 18th century — Comic books, strips, etc.

Graphic novels.

Similar works/ authors: I have not been able to find any graphic novels similar to this one.  There is nothing listed in NoveList and the closest things I could come up with using the search related features are not very close at all.  I found one historical fiction graphic novel with time travel to the past – The Dreamer: the Consequences of Nathan Hale by Lora Innes.  However, this book is aimed at teens, the art is very different, and the time period involved is the Revolutionary War.  There are also some graphic novel versions of Macbeth, which were the second closest works I could find.

Personal notes: I really enjoyed this story and found the drawings to be amazing.  That said, I have to take issue with a review I read which said that is book failed as a graphic novel because it was too text heavy and there were too many talking head panels.  The reviewer also criticized the book for glossing over issues such as Claire’s marriage and the beating Jamie gave her.  I think the reviewer forgot to keep in mind that this story is not Outlander.  It is a separate story.  And while Claire has much to say about her marriage and her beating in Outlander, this is not her story.  This is Murtagh’s story, mostly, and he doesn’t think much of Claire.

Other (diversity, themes, websites): Diversity – time travelers, Scottish, English

Diana Gabaldon’s website

Hoang Nguyen’s website

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