When I started this book, I quickly became annoyed at the Scottishisms in the writing - not in the dialogue, but the way they cropped up in the descriptive text. They felt rare and out of place and smacked of shouting "look at me! I've done my research!"
stopped noticing them. But there is a bit of the self-conscious
researcher about this book. It's well written, interesting, and mostly
the details don't overwhelm the story, but on occasion, that line is
This is also the first Diana Gabaldon I've read, which
may be an odd place to start, given the fervour of the following of her
Outlander books. (Screw you, spellcheck, I'm Canadian, we spell it
fervour.) Based on this, I will probably go on to read those books, but
I'm not in any particular hurry. It made me interested, without making
Also, for a book that started out with desperate
masturbation, and went on to a sex scene shortly thereafter, the rest of
the 500 pages were remarkably devoid of sexy times. After that
beginning, I was looking forward to it being more of a bodice-ripper.
Or...what's the male equivalent of a bodice?
At any rate, the
first 50 pages notwithstanding, this is more a political intrigue,
following Jamie Fraser and Lord John Grey on their quest to bring a
military monster to court-martial, and then later, to foil a Jacobite
They travel to Ireland, find their quarry, find themselves
hunted, return to England, and fight a duel. The narrative sometimes
lacked urgency, but it was entertaining to read.