Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Exile by Diana Gabaldon (Book Review)

From inside flap:

After too long an absence, Jamie Fraser is coming home to Scotland—but not without great trepidation. Though his beloved godfather, Murtagh, promised Jamie’s late parents he’d watch over their brash son, making good on that vow will be no easy task. There’s already a fat bounty on the young exile’s head, courtesy of Captain Black Jack Randall, the sadistic British officer who’s crossed paths—and swords—with Jamie in the past. And in the court of the mighty MacKenzie clan, Jamie is a pawn in the power struggle between his uncles: aging chieftain Colum, who demands his nephew’s loyalty—or his life—and Dougal, war chieftain of Clan MacKenzie, who’d sooner see Jamie put to the sword than anointed Colum’s heir.

And then there is Claire Randall—mysterious, beautiful, and strong-willed, who appears in Jamie’s life to stir his compassion and arouse his desire.

But even as Jamie’s heart draws him to Claire, Murtagh is certain she’s been sent by the Old Ones, and Captain Randall accuses her of being a spy. Claire clearly has something to hide, though Jamie can’t believe she could pose him any danger. Still, he knows she is torn between two choices—a life with him, and whatever it is that draws her thoughts so often elsewhere.”

The Exile, a graphic novel, is a new addition to the Outlander series. Some of Ms Gabaldon’s avid fans may find several of the scenes depicted as being too revealing, such as enhanced bosoms in provocative costumes. This is the nature of this type of book.

That said, the story is presented in a shortened form while following the major plot points. New insights are revealed through the viewpoints of Jamie Fraser, Murtagh and Gellis Duncan.

Every reader has an image of what a character’s appearance is from the description provided by the author. That image carries over from book to book and grows as the character changes. The illustrator, Huang Nguyen, has done an excellent job of portraying the characters in appearance and historical detail. Several of the scenes that caught my attention were the opening of a stormy sea and rugged shoreline, the end of a carrot sticking out of a horse’s mouth, the wild boar, Scottish building exteriors and one of Jamie riding a galloping horse on a saddle without a girth.

This was an enjoyable read for a couple of hours while allowing me a new glimpse at another’s interpretation of a favourtie saga.

The review copy was kindly provided by Cassandra Sadek of Random House.

Book format: hardcover, 208 pages
Publisher: Random House
Author website: Diana Gabaldon
Illustrator’s webite: Hoang Mguyen
Available: September 28, 2010


Teresa said...

Interesting review, Barbara. I'm not sure I could do graphic novels. I like imagining my own movies as I read.

Charles Gramlich said...

I haven't read anything by her, in part because of the sheer length of her works. But this should be a quicker read. I'll have to have a look at it.

RuneE said...

A relative unknown form of literature for me, but maybe I should change?

Thank you for the comment!

LG said...

Have you read anything else by Diana? I have read one or two novels ( I think different names though, but also about Calir and Jamie, right in the very bginning when she 'went' through to Scotland as it were (back in time) around 1280's or something (the big Scottish war?) and have one or two other ones where they then went to USA - her stories are lengthy but interesting...

Rick said...

I've never read a graphic novel,
Barbara, but based on your recommendation I'll read this one.