I loved the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. It’s so well done with such relatable, real characters, I find it’s impossible not to get sucked into the story and feel like you’re living it right there with them. So I was a little nervous to branch out and try any of Gabaldon’s Lord John Grey series, a parallel series to Outlander with some of the same characters, covering events in the same time frame as the original series. But, like pretty much all my reads lately, it was a dollar at a used book sale. (Hey, at least I’m actually reading all the books I bought, instead of adding them to the bookshelf full of to-be-read books.)
If you haven’t read Voyager, book three in the Outlander series and season three of the show, be aware that this blog post will contain spoilers.
The Scottish Prisoner, while a Lord John Grey story in name, is also prominently (I’d almost even say mostly) a story about Jamie Fraser. It opens at Helwater in 1760, where Jamie is a paroled prisoner working in the stables as a groom. He is visited by an old friend from the uprising who wants Jamie to get involved with another uprising– but because of Claire’s knowledge of the future, Jamie knows any such venture can only end is more death and heartache.
Soon after, Jamie is spirited away to London, where he finds himself in the presence of Lord John Grey and his brother, Harold Duke of Pardloe. The unwilling participant in a mission to bring a corrupt and treasonous British officer to justice puts Jamie right in the middle of the very rebellious company he was so desperate to avoid. Jamie finds himself with an impossible choice– betray his friends and countrymen to the British in order to protect them, or leave them to their doomed cause.
I was pleased to find that, at least in this book, Gabaldon proves herself capable of creating equally compelling stories outside the scope of her original series. While missing some of the wit and humor that Claire’s character brings to the series, The Scottish Prisoner was still and enjoyable, quick read that definitely made me anxious for the next season of the show (and for the next book, but that might be a little longer in coming). If I didn’t have all these other books physically on hand to read, and another list of books to get from the library, I’d definitely be tempted to reread the Outlander series again.
Instead, I’ll content myself with this little snippet, and maybe pursue some of the other Lord John books when my reading list shortens a little bit.