Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel by Diana Gabaldon

Title: The Exile
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Release Date: September 21st, 2010
Publisher: Del Ray
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover
Acquired: Library
Interest: Series/Companion Novel
Others in the Series: Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, and A Breath of Snow and Ashes
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 5 Stars

After too long an absence, Jamie Fraser is coming home to Scotland—but not without great trepidation. Though his beloved godfather, Murtagh, promised Jamie’s late parents he’d watch over their brash son, making good on that vow will be no easy task. There’s already a fat bounty on the young exile’s head, courtesy of Captain Black Jack Randall, the sadistic British officer who’s crossed paths—and swords—with Jamie in the past. And in the court of the mighty MacKenzie clan, Jamie is a pawn in the power struggle between his uncles: aging chieftain Colum, who demands his nephew’s loyalty—or his life—and Dougal, war chieftain of Clan MacKenzie, who’d sooner see Jamie put to the sword than anointed Colum’s heir. And then there is Claire Randall—mysterious, beautiful, and strong-willed, who appears in Jamie’s life to stir his  compassion . . . and arouse his desire. But even as Jamie’s heart draws him to Claire, Murtagh is certain she’s been sent by the Old Ones, and Captain Randall accuses her of being a spy. Claire clearly has something to hide, though Jamie can’t believe she could pose him any danger. Still, he knows she is torn between two choices—a life with him, and whatever it is that draws her thoughts so often elsewhere.

As most of you know I am completely and utterly in love with Jamie Fraser. I envy Claire because she gets to have him and I don't, and he is just a fine piece of work. So when I heard this book was coming out I flipped out. I was going crazy. I didn't like the concept of it being a graphic novel at first because I don't typically read graphic novels (nor am I going to start just so people know) but this book was my one exception.

For those who have read Outlander like five thousand times (guilty!) already know the story through Claire's eyes, but this story tells the story of Jamie and his godfather Murtagh, who I was really missing. Why I decided to read this book is because throughout most of the series I always wondered what Jamie thought, and later on she switches narratives away from Claire and to the other characters, but still there was so much I wanted to know about Jamie, and these were things that only he could give someone, not the other way around.

It was an interesting approach and it really is a different story line told from the same base of characters. There is apparently a lot that happened that Claire didn't know of, obviously, but the way that Diana presented them fits well with the original novel, which is my favorite out of all the books.

The way it ends is sweet, but I feel like after she writes book eight Diana will need to write like a second half to the graphic novel, because there is so much that happens afterwards, super intense scenes, but still I feel like that will make the connections with these characters stronger.

I will say that for those that fear that they will just be reading the same story I just want to disprove that right now. It is a different story with characters we've never seen and just the fact that the reader would get to see the story from a different point of view should be addictive enough.

I am no artists professional, but I did love the work that was given. Everything was in beautiful colors and the characters had all these distinct features. Diana wanted to focus mainly on facial expression with the characters and I feel like that was achieved through this book. It is a work of art.

Fans of the novel should pick it up, even if you are like me who hates graphic novels, this is well worth the hour. And it's not as long as the other monstrous novels! Think of the time saved.

Highly recommend reading this book.

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