THE SCOTTISH PRISONER
Lord John Series, Book 3
Written by: Diana Gabaldon
Published By: Recorded Books, Inc.
Narrated by: Jeff Woodman, Rick Holmes
Length: 15 hrs and 52 mins
Published by Bantam
May 29, 2012 | 560 Pages
Purchased by blogger. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
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.
I enjoyed a lot of this book although both Gray and Jamie find dead cockroaches in the same book which is a little strange in the way of coincidence.
But I think this story offers a complicated plot, and complex and nuanced characters facing difficult situations, and a code of honor that denies their personal truth. For Jamie the truth is of an honorable man who has had to make impossible decisions. Can he have his freedom and lose time with a child who may never know his identity? Could he champion a losing cause yet again? Also involved is the change in station from before Culloden and within the course of the novel. In London, staying with Grey’s family, he is a guest of his station; he is the Lord of Broch Truach. But, back at the Dunsany household he is a groom. It is puzzling. And Jamie is equally at home in either.
For Grey, he has to solve a mystery, and live in a society and the Army, which he loves, and both of which would deny him his sexuality. And, yet he loves it. And, he loves Jamie who will never love him and never, for all his decency, understand Grey’s sexuality.
I think Grey is one of the most complex characters in historical romance actually.
The plot, about a scheme to resurrect the Stuart cause is tied up with Druids, and the fae. There is a slight supernatural sequence in the book that threw me off a little bit, although I guess if I am going to accept time travel within the context of the series then what’s a little more paranormal activity?
Jamie has to tread a fine line between his own people and a cause he knows can not succeed. I didn’t feel like he was the same Jamie we get from Sam Heughan or in the Davina Porter readings of the Outlander series. And, Jamie without Clare is definitely strange.
Of course there are twists and turns in abundance.
The narration is strange. There’s one for Grey’s POV and one for Jamie’s POV. What confused me was when Lord John’s narrator delivers Jamie’s dialog in those sections of the book. I don’t know which narrator is which. They did a fine job but I think it would have been better to just use one.
I picked this up in a sale from Audible. I was looking for an Outlander fix and this provided it.
PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/57272/the-scottish-prisoner-by-diana-gabaldon/