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January 09 2012 @ 02:10 pm
The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon  
Title: The Scottish Prisoner
Series: Lord John/Outlander Series
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Pages: 560
Links: Hardback, Kindle

Book Description:
London, 1760. For Jamie Fraser, paroled prisoner-of-war in the remote Lake District, life could be worse: He’s not cutting sugar cane in the West Indies, and he’s close enough to the son he cannot claim as his own. But Jamie Fraser’s quiet existence is coming apart at the seams, interrupted first by dreams of his lost wife, then by the appearance of Tobias Quinn, an erstwhile comrade from the Rising.

Like many of the Jacobites who aren’t dead or in prison, Quinn still lives and breathes for the Cause. His latest plan involves an ancient relic that will rally the Irish. Jamie is having none of it—he’s sworn off politics, fighting, and war. Until Lord John Grey shows up with a summons that will take him away from everything he loves—again.

Lord John Grey—aristocrat, soldier, and occasional spy—finds himself in possession of a packet of explosive documents that exposes a damning case of corruption against a British officer. But they also hint at a more insidious danger. Time is of the essence as the investigation leads to Ireland, with a baffling message left in “Erse,” the tongue favored by Scottish Highlanders. Lord John, who oversaw Jacobite prisoners when he was governor of Ardsmiur prison, thinks Jamie may be able to translate—but will he agree to do it?

Soon Lord John and Jamie are unwilling companions on the road to Ireland, a country whose dark castles hold dreadful secrets, and whose bogs hide the bones of the dead. A captivating return to the world Diana Gabaldon created in her Outlander and Lord John series, The Scottish Prisoner is another masterpiece of epic history, wicked deceit, and scores that can only be settled in blood.

What did you think of the book? (Why this book?, New Author? Read more by author? Keeping? Thoughts on Hero? Heroine?)
There is nothing more refreshing to an avid fan that a little tidbit here and there about their favorite character. As a very enthusiastic fan of the Outlander series, it was necessary to me to read about Jamie during his indenture-hood in Helwater, a time that actually takes place in the middle of the third Outlander book.

As this book goes, I'd say it was actually pretty good. I have read all the Lord John books (well, maybe I missed a story) and haven't been overly fond of any of them. They often left me a little confused as to what exactly was happening (though I did enjoy the Haunted Soldier). This book did give me that feeling as I was constantly wondering what exactly they were going after Siverly for, but deduced that it was highly possible this was a matter from another of the Lord John books and I simply didn't remember.

Despite that confusing note, I enjoyed Jamie's part of the book and his interactions with the people in John's life and John himself. I very much enjoyed Gabaldon's referencing moment and people from Jamie's past and giving Jamie some measure of closure or even connecting something to the Outlander story we know and love (i.e. The Druid Kings Cup???).

Something we rarely get to experience in the Outlander Series is Jamie's point-of-view. It is a nice change of pace and highly entertaining in most cases.

Still because the story takes place during the 20 year separation of Jamie and Claire, there is a bittersweet feeling to many moments as every time Jamie thought about Claire he'd pray pleadingly that she's survived and his child too. It was very sad seeing how often in that short amount of time, his thoughts went to Claire and, unbeknownst to Jamie, Brianna. I feel like we get a greater sense of Jamie's longing for those he's lost. This left me with the need to read Jamie and Claire's reunion in Voyager.

Something else I enjoyed immensely was the interactions between Jamie and Hal (Lord John's brother). Hal seems like an very honorable man. Jamie met him back in Voyager when Hal sent him home after Culloden due to a debt of honor (Jamie saving a very young Lord John). Jamie, Hal and John make a very worthy team as they try to bring Siverly to justice. I also know that Hal is going to be in the next installment of the Outlander series (in which he encounters Claire as John's wife) and do wonder if Diana thought it prudent for Hal to be acquainted with Jamie.

Either way, I was overjoyed at their interaction and cordial relationship. It became evident through the course of the story that Hal saw Jamie's own character and had a great deal of respect for him. Also we get to see exactly how Jamie and John's friendship developed and how John came to realize Jamie's connection to his step-son.

Some of the more interesting aspects of the story are poignant moments between Willie and Jamie and a little more information about Isobel, John's wife and Willie's aunt.

I've very glad I bought this book so impulsively, after not getting it for Christmas. It was well worth it.

Other Book in the Series:
Lord John Series
Lord John and the Hellfire Club (in Lord John and the Hand of the Devil)
Lord John and the Private Matter
Lord John and the Succubus (in Lord John and the Hand of the Devil)
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade
Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (in Lord John and the Hand of the Devil)
Lord John and the Custom of the Army (in Warriors Vol. 1)
The Scottish Prisoner
Lord John and the Plague of Zombies (in Down These Strange Streets)

Outlander Series
Dragonfly In Amber
Voyager (Scottish Prisoner takes place during Voyager)
Drums in Autumn
The Fiery Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
An Echo in the Bone
Written In My Own Hearts Blood (2013)