The Dragonfly in Amber is the second volume in the series Outlander, written by Diana Gabaldon and published by our partner Publisher Arqueiro.
***Attention! Do not read further if you have not read the first volume of the series, it may contain Spoilers. ***
The Dragonfly in Amber it starts by punching the stomach of the poor readers in love with the Frasers. In the first few sentences we found out that Claire went back to her time and spent twenty years apart from Jamie. As if that were not enough, she had the child she expected from Jamie, but next to Frank. After the initial shock, we discover that we will spend the entire second volume understanding the reason for this separation.
I confess that I read this book suffering from beginning to end. Diana wrote the first volume in a way that ensured that all readers finished reading completely in love with the couple, it was not difficult to suffer imagining that Jamie lost not only his beloved wife, but the opportunity to raise his daughter.
It all starts with Claire, who after Frank's death returns with her daughter Brianna, now almost 20 years old, to Scotland in order to find out what happened to his 18th century acquaintances and tell his daughter who his real father is. It is not an easy task and that is why she decides to count on the help of Roger, son of the reverend Reginald Wakefield, who used to help Frank in his research as a historian.
When Claire finally manages to tell her daughter the truth, we are taken by the narrative of previous events around Claire's return to her current time. In the past, Jamie has been involved in the Jacobite cause, approaching Prince Charles to find information and using a wine sales business to help with his spy mission. Of course it is all very dangerous and, as always, Jamie and Claire need to use all their strength and wiles to survive.
The big difference from this second volume to the first is the focus on the real history of Scotland. In The Time Traveler we immerse ourselves in a love story full of details about its location, already The Dragonfly in Amber gives us a real history lesson.
The maturation of the characters is also very prominent. The work takes place over three years and in that time Jamie and Claire demonstrate a beautiful difference in their behavior. Jamie is no longer an innocent and kind boy, now he is an intelligent warrior who does not hesitate to use every possible trick to save his family. Claire, already more accustomed to the strange customs of the time, no longer makes so many mistakes and shows all her personality helping the cause and working in the hospital. At the same time, we see Claire's dilemma in trying to save the hated Jack Randall Jamie's revenge, in an attempt to save Frank, a direct descendant of him.
It is breathless reading, almost impossible not to obsessively read, oscillating between feelings of curiosity to know what brought Claire back and the despair of not wanting to see it happen. At the same time, we see how the fact that Claire's return may not only have affected her love, but perhaps the course of history.
Personally, I liked the first book more. Not that the second is not wonderful, but the customs of the time and the despair of the events of the first volume were better, for me, than the story of the war and suffering of the second. Still, the saga Outlander whole is a wonder, one that cannot fail to be read in full.
- Check out the review of the first volume, The Time Traveler, clicking on here.
- Check out the review of the third volume, Rescue at Sea part 1 by clicking on here.