It is 1758, and the flames of the Seven Years' War are burning hotter than ever. The rigors and dangers of battle are actually a welcome respite for Lord John and his brother Hal, who feel the constant strain of their family's troubled history. Blending war, family secrets, and forbidden love, Gabaldon crafts a suspenseful novel that loyal fans and newcomers alike with find irresistible.
©2007 Diana Gabaldon; (P)2007 Recorded Books LLC
First of all let me say I am on my fourth listen to this book. Jeff Woodman voices Lord John Grey with tremendous wit and style, he does a fine job with the other characters as well (although Davina Porter fans may find fault with his Jamie Fraser). The story is intriguing on it's own (ahem, yes he's gay, yes there is sex, it doesn't get graphic until 4 or 5 hours into the book with plenty of foreshadowing - those who claim to be shocked at this remind me of Claude Rains in "Casablanca"). Beyond that there is social and political intrigue, great battle scenes and a family mystery.
If you are a Gabaldon fan and plan to read/listen to "Echo in the Bone" this is a must for many reasons. Chacters and story lines come back to haunt us, but most critically this book shows us Lord John Grey in depth. He's no longer a 'minor character' in Echo, and I for one am glad.
If you want more detail into Voyager (Oulander series) this is Lord John's story during some of those years. The other Lord John books remembers Jamie but does not interact with him. The other LJ books have NOTHING to do with Outlander. Keep in mind this book is about Lord John and his military career and Jamie is a small part of it. It does give a little more insight into their relationship where the others do not.
I really enjoyed this book. Even having read An Echo In The Bone, I hadn't experienced Lord John as a fully realized character. Here, he is complex, commanding, sexy and sexual, and the narrator is fantastic. My only complaint was with the plot complexities, which left me baffled at the end. I couldn't remember who some characters were, and didn't understand their motivations. I also didn't care about the storyline involving John's father much. I was far more interested in Percy and John. Really liked Jamie's cameos and John's perspective on Hellwater and Geneva, which were far different than Jamie's in the Outlander series. In my opinion, the Outlander series has gotten better and better as the books have continued, with the characters gaining depth and shadows. This Lord John tome adds to the mix. Gabaldon has created a world I love dipping into vicariously!!
I hurt myself trying to finish this book. The characters are believable. Lord John is a great character. I think she really gave us a lot about his family, the era and what motivates him.
Lord John is a soldier, a brother and a son. He is also gay and he becomes involved with another man. This is NOT a homosexual love story. Over simplifying it by saying it is, does it a great injustice. I respect many people are bothered by that. As good as I think this book is, I would recommend skipping this book if it will bother you.
I have always enjoyed the character of Lord John and Diana Gabaldon does not disappoint in this newest, for me, story of him.
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The Lord John short stories get woven into the places between the Lord John novels, and tie them together. Both short stories and novels tie the gap in the Outlander novels between Dragonfly in Amber where John first appears, and Claire disappears and Voyager where Claire/Jaime's story continues. This is ~1745 to ~1773.
In that nearly 30 year gap, John has been off on journeys of his own, and it's wonderful how Diana Gabaldon weaves history and research into a story in such detail without detracting from the characters or their situations. While I enjoyed Private Matter very much, Brotherhood is still my favorite, and you see John at his best, and his worst, sometimes funny and always enjoyable. There's a couple of battles, which are always my favorite parts when reading Lord John, and interaction between him and his family, and a mystery.
In this novel John is searching for answers about the death of his father, but the plot is woven with other subplots that converge neatly (or messily) when John has to face a crisis of honor, and finds the clue to both answers in Jamie Fraser.
There are plot pieces and characters here that find their way into other Lord John stories (Haunted Soldier, Custom of the Army) or Outlander (Breath of Snow and Ashes, Firey Cross, Echo in the Bone), but resolve themselves nicely for the time being within this book. I think, however that "Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner" (not yet released as of this review) will be the one to watch, and carry the events of Brotherhood and Custom forward to fill in a large gap in the rocky evolution of John and Jamie's friendship.
Yes, there are a couple of graphic sex scenes - if graphic sex of either hetero or homosexual participants troubles you, I suggest you back quickly away from any book in the Outlander/Lord John universe by Gabaldon.
The narrator, Jeff Woodman, does all the work in this series and does a great job, especially with John, Harry and Tom.
I love Lord John. I think he is a wonderful character. I've listened to all the books and wish there were more. It was interesting to hear his perspective on Jamie Frasier but he can definitely carry his own story.
I enjoyed this book, but, not as well as other Gabaldon books. I do enjoy the Lord John character. However, I had trouble with the graphical male to male sex. If you are comfortable with that then I expect this would be a good listen. At 63 years old I still have trouble fully embracing the idea that homosexuality is OK.
As always the period facts and history are educational. Excellent job of intertwining several story lines. The limited inclusion of Jamie was fun.
I did think the story ended abruptly and left something more that should have been told. Perhaps I just did not want it to end?
I rate it lower than "Lord John and the Private Matter" (4 stars) and the "Outlander" series which are five stars plus.
If you are a big Gabaldon fan and are as frustrated as I am with the wait for new releases from her then I would definitely listen to it.
This was a much better book than the Lord John, private matter book. Admittedly the male sex scenes were a little to much for me but that is why you can forward the book ahead. I enjoyed it but much prefer the voyager series.
The first half of this book was full of dreadful soppy romanticism that intefered with the plot. Of course this is just my opinion, and I presume Gabaldon generally writes such romances, but I was expecting more mystery and less lovey-dovey!
"not up to Diana's standard"
I have considerable respect for this author, and beguiled by a new perspective into the lives of Jamie I expected somethimg complimentary regarding the story line.
I was very disappointed, and will now have to read between the lines.
I respected the way she built her characters, but this was too far for my tastes.
"Good story, narrator has odd accent"
enjoyed the story but not sure about the narration. looking forward to the next book
"Lord John second only to Jamie Fraser"
Excellent as always, narrator keeps you in the time, with a good range of voices and accents for each character it plays almost like a movie in my mind. Now on to the Scottish Prisoner!
"Easy to listen to but a bit x rated"
I think Jeff Woodman is the perfect voice for Lord John, he's very English but has a slight naughtiness in his manner. I listen to these books in the car and they're very suitable for listening to a chunk and then stopping without losing the sense of the story or its ideas.
I think Lord John is a great character, very well written and interesting
This is definitely the voice of Lord John!
Slightly racy but plenty of excitement too.
Don't listen with children in the car!
I love diana gabldon books and this gives a more in-depth into the character 's we know and love
I liked getting to know more of the character lord john better and his life
The performance was okay but not very animated quite flat
It made me giggle at some parts
"A believable hero with a hidden core..."
As a fan of Diana Gabaldon's 'Outlander' series I was ready to enjoy this book and was not disappointed. Lord John is a believable character set in the 1700's and is backed up with lots of historical detail and an engrossing storyline. Am looking forward to the next instalment.
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