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A Breath of Snow and Ashes | [Diana Gabaldon]

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But from his wife, Jamie knows that three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence, with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. And there is also the matter of a tiny clipping from The Wilmington Gazette, dated 1776, which reports Jamie's death, along with his kin.
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Publisher's Summary

Since the initial publication of Outlander 15 years ago, Diana Gabaldon's New York Times best-selling saga has won the hearts of readers the world over, and sold more than 12 million books. Now, A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the extraordinary story of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century wife, Claire.

The year is 1772, and on the eve of the American Revolution, the long fuse of rebellion has already been lit. Men lie dead in the streets of Boston, and in the backwoods of North Carolina, isolated cabins burn in the forest.

With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But from his wife, Jamie knows that three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence, with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. And there is also the matter of a tiny clipping from The Wilmington Gazette, dated 1776, which reports Jamie's death, along with his kin. For once, he hopes, his time-traveling family may be wrong about the future.

Great Scot! Don't miss the rest of the Outlander series:
Outlander
Dragonfly in Amber
Voyager
Drums of Autumn
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
An Echo in the Bone
The Fiery Cross

©2005 Diana Gabaldon; (P)2005 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Triumphant....Her use of historical detail and truly adult love story confirm Gabaldon as a superior writer." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1001 )
5 star
 (536)
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.4 (330 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (332 )
5 star
 (210)
4 star
 (57)
3 star
 (30)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Theresa Pevely, MO, USA 03-15-09
    Theresa Pevely, MO, USA 03-15-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    79
    ratings
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    7
    3
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    Overall
    "disappointing"

    I, like some of the others purchased this book and "The Fiery Cross" not realizing that they were abridged and also a different narrator. The fact that it is abridged leaves you feeling like you are missing a lot of the story. The narrator is terrible at doing different voices and accents, does sound out of breath, and always seems rushed. At times it is difficult to tell when the scene or character changes. I wish I had realized the abridgement and change in narrator prior to purchasing, I DEFINITELY would not have purchased it and would have found an unabridged version elsewhere. Why would audible provide the first three books unabridged and then change it for the last two?

    29 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly Burlington, VT, USA 10-29-07
    Beverly Burlington, VT, USA 10-29-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
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    34
    2
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    "Abridged ... ARGH!"

    I love Diana Gabaldon and have read all her Claire/Jaime novels multiple times; I decided to listen to them on audio tape and did not realize that Breath of Snow and Ashes was abridged! I was totally disappointed in it! Too much was left out; Gabaldon NEEDS to be read or listened to in its entirety!! I hope Audible will be getting the last three novels, Voyager, Fiery Cross and Breath of Snow and Ashes in unabridged; I would definitely add them to my library!

    42 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather seabrook, TX, USA 04-24-09
    Heather seabrook, TX, USA 04-24-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    3
    1
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    "breath of snow and ashes"

    I read this book when it first came out and it is an incredible finale to Diana Gabaldons 6 book series the other books Outlander, Dragon fly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, and The Fiery Cross all unabriged and all read by Davina Porter and they are all Brilliant I think the author needs to have Breath of Snow and Ashes redone unabriged and with Davina Porter it left a bad taste in my mouth it was so disjointed I kept going back thinking I'd missed something then I realized it was the whole book please for your diehard fans sake redo this book properly thx

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamara Sandy, UT, USA 05-31-08
    Tamara Sandy, UT, USA 05-31-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
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    Overall
    "Not worth the download"

    I too am a fan, and did not realize the last two books were abridged! What a disappointment! As well as a waste of money. Don't bother with this download. After listening to Davina Porter in the first few books, this narrator was a found lacking. But I will attribute this to the chopped up work she was working with. Come on Audible-get us the full books and we will happily buy them!

    39 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Colorado Springs, CO, United States 06-26-08
    Cynthia Colorado Springs, CO, United States 06-26-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    801
    14
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    0
    9
    Overall
    "Read reviews before buying"

    This is a terrible abridgment. The other books in the series are well written and delightful. This is choppy at best and completely confusing at worst. The narrator is, one hopes, simply incapable of making this very sad project any better, and will improve with the unabridged version. Still, I miss Davina Porter!

    Had I realized this was an abridged version, I would NOT have purchased it. Mea culpa. Don't forget to read the reviews, and ascertain whether it is abridged or unabridged, before buying.

    36 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy United States 01-19-08
    Kathy United States 01-19-08 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    295
    ratings
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    1436
    53
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    7
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    Story
    "Clan Ire"

    Man oh man! If Gabaldon finds out how badly they've butchered her book in the abridgement, I expect Jamie Fraser and every dirk carrying Scot to seek justice!

    It's so chopped up, it makes no sense. The narrator is all wrong. Man oh man,,, Jamie's gonna be in a right rage! Even Capt Randall won't be amused. I'm just sick.

    36 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Santa Clarita, CA, USA 10-02-06
    Pat Santa Clarita, CA, USA 10-02-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    4
    1
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    0
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    "Good Story--Bad Abridgment"

    At 14 hours 36 minutes, I didn't notice I was getting an abridged version. It wasn't until I kept getting lost in the story that I realized my mistake. If they were going to take parts out, they should have put in some transitions. It got very confusing. I really liked Outlander and was thrilled to get more of the story. Now that I see only Outlander is unabridged, I bought the rest of the series in paperback. I never want the abridged version.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie Phoenix, AZ, United States 05-20-09
    Jackie Phoenix, AZ, United States 05-20-09 Member Since 2008

    I am a child of the 50's, love kids, animals, plants. I adopted a Sulphur mustang mare (desendant of the warhorses of the Conquistadors).

    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
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    "I want to hear the unabridged version"

    I teach and am working on a Master's degree so I don't have much time to read. I was so looking forward to this book but was disappointed by two things: the abridged version; the narrator. I just don't think Geraldine James really 'gets' this story, doesn't project the humor with which Claire and Jaime view the world ( as Davina Porter does so well), is in a real hurry to finish each sentence, and make Brianna sound like a guy in drag. The story is great, but I'd like to hear the whole thing, in all the complexity and fullness with which Diana Gabaldon writes so well and still paired up with Davina Porter for the richness narration.

    30 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brianne Morgantown, PA, USA 06-24-09
    Brianne Morgantown, PA, USA 06-24-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    After enjoying the previous books in the series I was excited to see this one become available. Maybe if Davina Porter hadn't done such a wonderful job this narrator wouldn't bother me,but with high expectations this was a real let down. My advice, hold out until an unabridged version is released with the original narrator.

    29 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Salinas, CA, USA 11-17-08
    Anne Salinas, CA, USA 11-17-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    118
    ratings
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    88
    9
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    0
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    Overall
    "The good, the bad, the verbose."

    Having read other listener's warnings about this and the previous audiobook (The Firey Cross), I decided to find it in unabridged form. To that end, I went directly to the publisher (Recorded Books), and rented it from them. The good thing about this version was Davina Porter's always engaging narration. The bad thing? A lack of editing, and yes, abridgement.

    Gabaldon, in the last 2 installments of this wonderful series, is unfocused and wordy, a fault which her editors sadly failed to correct. Points which could be made in 10 minutes' reading time took an hour. I found myself constantly fast-forwarding through the 46 (yes, 46) compact disks, muttering to myself "Geez, woman! Get to the POINT!"

    By contrast, the abridged version offered by Audible has the following advantages: a narrator who pronounces the Gaelic more accurately than Porter (if that matters to you...it does to me), and a distinct lack of the annoying prolixity of the unabridged version. The disadvantages? First, the listener often gets the sense that too much has been edited out of the production, leaving the uncomfortable sensation of having missed something important. Second, the narrator (you didn't seriously think I'd give her a complete pass, did you?) reads too quickly, often sounding as if she is out of breath. Finally, the music at the beginning of the recording is truly annoying...a small point to be sure, but starting the out the production by causing the listener to envision toothless hillbillies slouching around the old homestead? Not good.

    The bottom line? Two things: rent the unabridged version from Recorded Books (Google it), and fast-forward through the slow parts. Second, make sure you let Audible know that you want them to make the unabridged versions of both "Firey Cross" and "A Breath..." available to subscribers.

    87 of 92 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 77 results PREVIOUS128NEXT
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  • Stephanie
    Woking, United Kingdom
    1/14/12
    Overall
    "Something of a let down"

    I downloaded this books as I have been enthralled by books 1-4 narrated by Davina Porter. I'm afraid to say that I'm finding this book very slow going - the narration is dull, almost monotone and all life and spirit has been sucked from the characters. Clare sounds depressed and Jamie is a shadow of his younger self. This is an abridged version of the book. Initially I thought that if it cut out some of the more rambling descriptive scenes it wouldn't be so bad, but it does seem to be jumping forward rather jerkily. That said the story is still very enjoyable, and I wanted to see what happened before moving on to book 7, which I'm thrilled to see is another Davina Porter narration - I'm just puzzled why she hasn't done books 5 and 6.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Liz
    Bracknell, United Kingdom
    8/14/12
    Overall
    "Wonderful continuation but why no Davina Porter?"

    The Outlander series is simply wonderful. These characters have come to life for me in such a totally recognisable way. The way Claire has brought all her modern day medical knowledge to the 17 hundreds is fascinating and the love between her and Jamie continues in its enchanting way.

    But I cannot understand why, when Davina Porter has narrated 5 books in the series, and done it so beautifully, there has been the decision made for this book to be narrated by someone else.

    In comparison to Davina Porter, Geraldine James has non of the passion and ability to make these characters come to life. No criticism of Geraldine as a narrator, she has a lovely voice, but it's not the same Claire, Jamie, Breanna, Roger and even baby Jem, without that lovely lilting story telling that takes you right into the heart of the story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Carol
    Peterborough, United Kingdom
    8/31/12
    Overall
    "ok"

    This is my third time of listening to the outlandish series but my first for this book. I avoided it before because of it being abridged mainly but also because ofthe different narrator and negative comments.
    Ok so the book is amazing , this version left me feeling cheated ! I felt constantly like I've missed huge parts which if course I have .
    As for the narrator , well yes it's not good , the Scottish accents make me cringe its so far from having porters beautiful narration it's unbelievable ,
    However between having to actually read the book myself (lazy !) Or listening to this , I guess this will do

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Jane
    Sheffield, United Kingdom
    11/6/12
    Overall
    "ABRIDGED!"

    I am enjoying this series of books very much, imagine how disappointing it is to listen to A. A different Narrator (although Geraldine James does a very good job) from the rest of the series and B. Abridged! Diana Gabaldon writes in such detail allowing the listener to "feel" the development of the story and be with the characters. I hate not knowing what the rest of the story could have told me as great chunks of it were missing! No choice really there is not an unabridged version on Audible. Very annoying. Is it just me or do you get used to the characters "sounding" the way they should from the first narrator? Like Stephen Fry - No one else can read Harry Potter to my mind it would just not be the same!! This is how I feel about this recording of the 6th book in this series - very poor Audible!! I have given it 4 stars as what I did listen to was up to scratch with the rest of the books. I look forward to listening to the 7th book which I can get at midnight tonight and is unabridged with the original narrator - can't wait.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Linda
    BROUGH, United Kingdom
    9/30/12
    Overall
    "diabolical switch of narrators"

    What a great disappointment this 6th book of the outlander series was . After reading 1-5 of this great series, I was so looking forward to listening to this next instalment of Outlander. I was bitterly disappointed when i discovered that the remarkable narrator Davina Porter was replaced by Geraldine James . Her voice was so boringly dull and monotone. She had none of the panache and ability to throw her self into the part, it was hard to distinguish male from female . I had learned to love the strong Scottish lilt of Jamie Fraser and the autocratic voice of his wife Claire, even Steven Bonnet had the soft lilting voice of the Irish even though he was a vagabond . What on earth possessed the powers that be, to think they could switch narrators 3/4 of the way through a fantastic , compelling series such as outlander and think they could get away with it.. !!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    READING, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Claire & Jamie Saga Book 6"

    This is book 6 of the time travel Outlander series of adventures of Claire Randall and highlander Jamie Fraser. I have read all seven books and listened to them on disc and via Audible as well. Only gave this 4 stars because it was abridged! Read the book! Can't wait for book eight!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • miss
    newark, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Another brilliant Outlander book"

    I have really enjoyed the outlander series, my only issue with this one is that it is narrated by someone different than the previous audio books, which is a shame as i dont think she quite has the accents that Davina Porter has and it does take a bit of getting into. I had to try and imagine that they were the same characters. I hope that there one is available my Davina Porter at some point. Overall good story in the outlander series, i enjoyed it despite the change in Narrater.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results

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