Winner of the Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize, Diana Gabaldon is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Outlander series. This fourth novel featuring popular character Lord John Grey is told both from Lord Grey’s perspective and from that of Jamie Fraser, the star of the Outlander series.
©2011 Diana Gabaldon (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
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Stop me if you've heard this one before - An Englishman, a Scotsman, and an Irishman walk into a conspiracy...
If you haven't read "Lord John and the Custom of the Army" you might want to catch that first (from the Warriors anthology of short stories) to understand the full scope of the events that catapult Lord John Grey into a quest to bring a fellow soldier who committed atrocities in Canada during the Seven Years War to justice.
Even before his parolee, once and future friend Jamie Fraser, is pressed into helping him by his brother the duke, and the squirrelly Toby Quinn tags along as a guide, Grey knows that he's about to unearth a hornet's nest. When he stumbles across an old family rival, Twelvetrees, events take on a different twist and subtly begin spinning out of control, and in such a way that Grey, Fraser and Quinn won't realize until it's far too late that the price for the secrets they uncover will be paid in blood.
However, it takes a Jacobite to know a Jacobite, and Fraser, already full of distrust and misgivings, and harried by his old friend Quinn, finds himself walking a tightrope between helping the Greys and betraying old allegiances, until both men find themselves in the center of a political storm of conspiracy and betrayal.
Underneath it all, John Grey juggles his family and personal relationships, from the warmth of his relationship with Hal's family, Bird, Quarry and Von Namtzen, to the open hostility of Edward Twelvetrees, to the often fractious odd half-friendship with the suspicious Fraser. When that friendship goes wrong, it's horribly, horribly wrong, but when they recover the common ground that once made them friends, even as bittersweet as it is, it shines.
While the Lord John series can be read independently of the Outlander series where he is a "guest star", knowing the full story of why Jamie reacts the way he does is best learned from the first three (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager) of these novels. I always recommend reading the Lord John series in the correct order, since these novels and short stories build neatly upon one another. They are, in order:
Lord John and...
The Hellfire Club (Hand of Devils)
Private Matter (Novel)
Succubus (Hand of Devils)
Brotherhood of the Blade (Novel)
Haunted Soldier (Hand of Devils)
Custom of the Army (Warriors, Anthology)
The Scottish Prisoner (Novel)
A Plague of Zombies (Down These Strange Streets, Anthology)
While Gabaldon is more known for the heftier Outlander novels, Custom of the Army and Scottish Prisoner are an excellent read, and I kind of consider them a continuation of the same story. I would not be surprised to find these two works made into a movie.
Yes, It's a must have for Outlander fans. However, if you are used to Davina Porter's excellent narration, you might be better off getting this book in print.
Jeff Woodman's narration of Lord John has always struck me as lacking in personality, but I can deal with him. Rick Holmes's performance of Jamie made me cringe every time he opened his mouth and butchered Jamie's lines. His accent was atrocious, his voice entirely too high pitched, and to make it even worse, he added an actual lisp (!) to Jamie's lovely Scottish accent. Whoever hired this guy as narrator should be fired.
To those who are die hard Outlander Series fans, you'll want and need the additional history of things Jamie did while Claire was gone. However, I advise you to save yourself the pain of this narration and get it in print form!
I have read all of Diana Gabaldon's books and have longed for another. This book is a prequel to Voyager. I didn't even wait until the download of the second part was completed before I started listening. I hurt myself listening to this until 2AM two nights in a row and have no regrets. If you love or even like John Gray you will love this book. Though Claire is not in this story, her absence is a character itself. Throughout there is this thread of longing. It makes me want to read Voyager again.
I’m a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon in all her guises, and this melding of her Lord John and Outlander novels is irresistible for fans of either. I enjoyed having the story told in two voices, but frankly, the choice of Rick Holmes for the Jamie narration was a poor one. I imagine he’s a fine narrator for other material, but his voice is simply Not Jamie. I also question why all the Jamie sections weren’t narrated in a Scottish accent; after all, the point is that they’re from his (Scots) perspective. And, under no circumstances should he ever again do a child’s voice!
Jeff Woodman, on the other hand, did an outstanding job, as he always does with the Lord John books. I’m not especially crazy about his Jamie either, which lacks the warmth and humor that Davina Porter infuses into her Jamie voice, but he is the definitive John Grey and I was very happy listening to him.
Fiction: I like Paranormal, Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy, Romance, Classics. Non-Fiction: I like Historical, Military, Memoirs.
I'm a big fan of Davina Porter's narration of the Outlander series, so I expected a similar high quality from the Scottish Prisoner. I was apparently expecting too much. In the Scottish Prisoner, Jamie's accent doesn't even sound Scottish, let alone that of a Highland Scottish hero. They've managed to make Jamie sound like an effete bore from Ulster. It was so distracting that I couldn't finish listening to the audiobook, and I bought the hardcover instead. John Grey's voice isn't remarkable, but isn't bad.
If you don't know the difference between Belfast and Inverness, then this irritating distraction probably won't make much difference to you, but for me, Jamie's
Yes, I enjoy the Outlander series, and the Scottish Prisoner is a good transition between the two series.
Jeff Woodman, yes. Rick Holmes, probably not.
Very disappointed in the choice of narrator for Jamie's parts.
I wish I'd waited to read the reviews before paying for this.
I find it interesting that they have used two narrators in the audiobook version; neither of whom can do a decent Scottish accent. It's almost embarrassing how bad they are. I was so looking forward to the release of this book, but I'm sad that I wasted a credit on the audio version. I bought the actual book and am glad of that because the story is great, filling in some details of Jamie's life after he sent Claire back to her own time. However, the narrators are so bad at Scottish and Irish accents (and, in the case of Rick Holmes, even an English accent) that it became very distracting and took away from my enjoyment in listening.
As usual Diana Gabaldon has outdone herself with this latest in the Lord John series. I have enjoyed all of her books in the series as well as the Outlander series. This book ties them together nicely and I highly recommend READING it. Don't waste your time with the audiobook.
Very much enjoy Jeff Woodman's Lord John narrations as he is a great storyteller. Still, Davina Porter is the voice of these characters for me, and the main Outlander series books are my very favorites.
I would have preferred Jeff Woodman do the entire book. It was too jarring to change narrators often, particularly because their main characters did not even sound similar. Jeff's Jamie has a very deep voice, where Rick's Jamie has a much higher pitched voice (not like Jamie at all in my opinion.) Their accents were completely different so it was difficult to tell who was speaking, particularly when Rick was narrating. Rick, unfortunately, did not meet my expectations, and I found myself switching over to reading the book during his parts.
Either listen to or read in one sitting yes. But I did switch back and forth, as stated above.
Anything written by Diana Gabaldon is worth the time and money--every time.
A great story from a different point of view, and more insight in to those lost years without Claire.
no ...................or maybe if they got better with more practice.
I could not quite past the poor narration
they.. the narrators should have listened to Ms Porter's reading of any part of the Outlander series. This would have given them some in sight into what the readers would be expecting. It's a shame a good book was down graded by the reading. The narrator made Jamie seem like mindless Scott.
I just could not see the people in the story like I could with Ms Porter's reading of the original series. If you like this book you need to listen to the complete unabridge Outlander series with a GREAT narrator, Diana Porter.
I just LOVE this book! It is my favorite Lord John story yet and he is one of my most loved Outlander characters, plus there is lots of Jaime as well. It's one of those rare treasures that bears re
ELLE aka PlantCrone of the Great Pacific Northwest. I enjoy almost every genre-S/F, Action, Biographies and Histories & Romance
Diana Galbedon can do no wrong. That is all.
OK there really more. Loved Jamies voiced done by eitherJeff Woodman or Rick Holmes whoever did his voice...it was great. Got the sound and phrasing and tone just like it's in my mind (same as the Highland (Heiland he says)accent my wiskey guru Ian Ramsey has as he talks about the oaken barrels from france or comments of the various fruity tastes different wiskeys have..great classes-makes you a much better whisky consumer. Oops off track again. So what I meant to say is that Woodma and Holmes are both excellent choices for Scotish Prisoners and /or Lord Grey.
The story flows quickly with intrigue, deals with the period of time where Jamie is at Helwater and is getting to spend more time with his 2 year old son. Goes up to the time where John Grey is thinking about marrying Isobel so he (Grey) can care for Jamies son.
I do enjoy quite a bit pieces focused on brief periods of time in these lives that I've come to know so well over the past 20+ years. I began reading Outlander the week it was published -bought it in Hardbound. Passed it on to my daughters, my sister and now a niece is reading it. Since I'm pushing the big 70 next month, I hope Diana Galbeldon finishes the next 2 books prior to my kicking off. I think I'll be really pissed if I die before she finishes the series!
Sorry but for once I was disappointed in Audio books. Not in the story which was great but the narrator. The hero Jamie Fraser is a Scot however he had a Belfast accent which totally ruined the book for me. Davina Porter would have been much better!
"Narrator very poor"
Dear me....I wish the Jamie narrator could tell the difference between an Irish and a Scottish accent! Very hard to listen without being irritated.
"Good book shame about the narrator"
The narrator spoils this book and makes it boring to listen to,which is a shame as I have enjoyed the whole of the outlander series. I believe it as well written and I did want to know more about Lord John but it has put me off getting any more of these books.
The narrator is good for other works but nothing with a Scottish accent as it all comes out Irish and Jamie no longer sounds like Jamie. Lord John should sound very English with the old plumb in the mouth type in this book it just doesn't happen.
"O K but the narration lets it down badly"
Not really, because if they were fans of the Outlander series they would be so disappointed
I have listened to everything already.
Nothing, the accents were dreadful.
No, Story told.
Please if you are recording for audible please use Davina Porter
"Disappointing rendition of Diana's work"
I am passionate about all of Diana Gabaldon's books, the John Grey one's don't quite match my enjoyment of the main Outlander books, but they do give a lot of background information to one of the main Characters, namely Lord John Grey. I'd expected to enjoy this one more as it is about an adventure he has with Jamie Fraser, but unfortunately the narrators have spoiled it somewhat for me. I'd gotten used to Jeff Woodman reading the John Grey novels. His Cornish accent in one was somewhat off-putting, and his Scottish one in this is somewhat unpredictable, for want of a better word. The book may have sounded better if the 'Jamie' parts had been read by a Scottish actor, but Mr Holmes has a very English accent. He manages the Irish accent very well, but sometimes when reading as Jamie he can sound fairly credibly Scottish, but at other times he makes him sound Yorkshire, or, more often, Irish, which I've found rather disappoining and frustrating, to the point that I have decided to put aside the ipod and pick up my hardback instead. In this instance I shall have to enjoy Diana's hard work the old fashioned way
"If only they had used Davina Porter"
DG fills in some gaps
The anticipation (then unfortunately the realisation the narration was painful)
Yes as part of the current Outlander series
Ask people before you change Narrator. You have really made a mess of this.
A good story But let down by atrocious accents are audiobooks not taken serious by their producers
"Great Lord John story - shame about the accent"
Really enjoyed this Lord John story. A must for Jaime Fraser fans too. Jeff Woodman's performance is eloquent and as ever fits Lord John's tales very well. However I remain unconvinced by the 'Scottish' accents portrayed by Holmes, which is more like Irish most of the time and barely Scottish let alone Highland Scots. But if you can ignore this then you'll enjoy, the shared and switching narratives between characters is done well.
"so annoying !"
i am so glad i listened to all the main books first before this one, otherwise i would likely not have bought them
certainly not unless the story called for irish characters
well it could be tacked on to outlander i guess. i think its interesting enough for the fans
I was so excited to begin listening to this, and so disappointed about ten minutes in to it. I kept thinking (forlorn hoping rather) that the damn accent was going to settle down to being scottish....nope, not a chance im afraid. I mean, since when was Jamie irish? come on Diana, did you not know about this at all?? if the book was re-done i would actually pay good money to have another, SCOTTISH voiced narrator, and complete my collection properly.
"Filling in the Gaps"
Having been a member of the audible family for approximately seven years (ever since I was diagnosed with macular degeneration), and purchased many books during this time, this one rates towards the top of my library. I resisted it at first thinking it was just a re-hash of the story that had already been told, but eventually could no longer resist it and found that it did as I suspected, revisite parts of the story in book three of the of the Outlander series, However, I unexpectedly thoroughly enjoyed the book, and found that it fills in gaps in the story that I had not realized were there, and actually embellishes it, rounding it out and providing lots more detail.
I don't think I have ever read a book that revisited a previously told story and not felt let down by the author, but this book was the exception.
When Jamie escaped from prison but eventually gave himself up again much to the confusion of Lord John Grey
When Jamie had to leave his place of parole to protect his son's identity.
Whereas in the Outlander series the story is mostly told from the perspective of Jamie's wife Clare, this time it is told from the perspective of Lord John Grey & James Frazer which gives it a totally different view point
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