Yay yay yay!!!! OKAY so for those of you who aren’t familiar with Diana Gabaldon’s books, she’s the author of the Outlander series, AKA the best series EVER. The Outlander series is about the epic awesomeness that is Jamie and Claire Fraser. In that series is a secondary character named Lord John – an Englishman, and a friend of Jamie’s.
Diana Gabaldon also has another series, The Lord John series, that is based on him. They’re much shorter books than the Outlander novels, and they’re written as mysteries – basically little stories that give us glimpses into Lord John’s life when he’s not around in the Outlander series.
THIS book, The Scottish Prisoner, is the latest Lord John novel, but it’s different because it’s the only one that features so much of Jamie Fraser in it as well. The story takes place in 1760, so between the events of the second and third Outlander novels (Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager). Because this is written half in the voice of Lord John and half in the voice of Jamie, I definitely recommend reading the first three books of the Outlander series before reading this book. Most of the Lord John novels are written so that you can just kind of dive in anywhere, but not this one.
So anyways, Jamie is living as a paroled prisoner at Helwater – 14 years after The Rising – thanks to Lord John finding him the position as groomsman in the stables. His daily life is getting on fine until an old-time friend of his, Tobias Quinn, shows up wanting Jamie’s help in a new Jacobite plot. Lord John is in London and brings a packet of papers to his brother Hal - a packet of papers incriminating a member of the army of numerous serious crimes. Within that packet is a poem or verse in a language that they can’t quite make out until they learn that it is Erse – or basically, Irish. Knowing no one else that they can ask without drawing unwanted attention, Hal has Jamie dragged to London from Helwater to try to translate it.
A series of events leads to Jamie and Lord John being forced to travel to Ireland together, to bring justice upon a villainous man and to possibly prevent another doomed Jacobite rising.
So, for reasons that I won’t go into in case people haven’t read the books already, Jamie and Lord John are seriously pissed off at each other in the beginning of this book, and friendship seems impossible. Of course being thrown together against your will has a way of making people get along, and this book is really about how Jamie and Lord John start their friendship after such a rough and almost unforgiveable beginning.
This is definitely my favorite Lord John book, but that probably goes without saying since Jamie is in it so much. While I really like Lord John and think he’s a really fun character in the Outlander series, he actually comes off a little two-dimensional in his own series. We aren’t given enough glimpses into his past personal life, and they’re usually focused more on the mystery at hand that himself. Here, he definitely shines; he’s emotional and passionate and all action-y.
So, basically this is an awesome addition to both the Outlander series, and the Lord John series. PLUS it comes with a sneak peek preview to the next Outlander book, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, which will hopefully be out sometime in the next two years.
Sarah Says: 5 out of 5 stars and READ THE DARN SERIES!