Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Book and a Cuppa - Drums of Autumn

*Flips through thesaurus*

Magnificent. Superb. Amazing. Fantastic. Brilliant. Romantic.

All the above words fit when describing the fourth book in the Outlander series, Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. As a writer, I sit in awe of Ms. Gabaldon. How does she do it? How does she pen such breathtaking romance? How does she weave dry, boring, historical fact so remarkably into her story? How does she write such vibrant, loving, strong characters? The woman is amazing, and so are her books.

This fourth novel is just as strong as the other three that I`ve read so far. This time we not only have the tale of Jamie & Claire Fraser, we have the story of their daughter, Brianna and her love, Roger.

Oh. My. Gosh. I adore the two youngest lovers almost as much as I do Claire and Jamie! How does she do it? I was compelled to turn each of the one thousand and seventy pages as quickly as possible. In this book Roger makes a discovery that he tries to hide. Of course, Brianna also discovers this disturbing bit of information. The knowledge of what lies ahead for her mother and Jamie sends Brianna through the stones and into the unknown past. Roger follows a few weeks later.

Brianna has no idea of what risks to her own future she is taking. All she knows is that she must find her mother and the father she has never met. Can she change history? Claire and Jamie couldn`t when they tried to avert the tragedy of Culloden. Brianna faces her own heartbreaking situations as she faces being forever trapped in the past, possibly without the man she loves.

I truly adored this book. There were a two little things that I felt could have been handled differently, and I`ll chat about them to ensure I`m as fair as I can be.

One was how things ended with Ian, Jamie`s nephew. I won`t say exactly what happened but I will say I was rather disappointed. It felt to me like this very important character was sort of shuffled off to make room for new ones. As a writer I fully understand this. We can really only balance so many secondary characters in one story well. Maybe it was just me but I felt Ian could have been given a bit more of a fulfilling ending. And please, do not think that it has anything to do with the girl he chose to stay with. It did not. It felt convenient is all, perhaps a tad too convenient.

The second tiny nitpick is towards the end the book drug a bit. Since we`re talking about a book of well over a thousand pages, it`s bound to drag in parts. I think that Ms. Gabaldon could have compressed the last five chapters into one pretty easily. It`s not a good thing when the reader is mumbling to themselves ‘Really? There`s five more chapters?!’ and I confess, I was doing that. But, we did get lots of detail in those last five chapters so it wasn`t all for naught. As I said, two teeny little niggles in a book filled with sweeping romance, humor, adventure, action, and time travel.

A solid five star read. The picked nits may very well just be me so please, don`t think this book isn`t up to par with the rest, it is. I have my copy of book five, The Fiery Cross sitting in my to-be-read stack. I`ll be leaping back through the stones after I read a few different books, rest assured! Nothing will keep me from Jamie and Claire and the extraordinary love they share.


Rose said...

Drums of Autumn is one of my favorites in the Outlander series. I love when the story has multiple levels of time going on with Brianna in the present and Clare in the past. The only one I like better that Drums of Autumn is An Echo in the Bone. It's chock full of multiple timelines. LOVE IT!

V.L. Locey said...

It surely was a superb read, Rose. I also enjoyed the mulitple levels of time that Ms. Gabaldon balanced so very well.