“We are alive.” – A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

Posted: November 14, 2010 in Books
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A Breath of Snow and Ashes is the 6th installment in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  Jamie must walk the fine line between Patriot and Loyalist, trying to keep his family safe from both sides but knowing which side would ultimately prevail.  As the political turmoil leading up to the Revolution intensifies, he is forced to declare himself as a Patriot; severing multiple friendships including Lord John Grey. Claire is kidnapped and during her time with the bandits discovers that one of the slimeballs is a time travellor like herself.  He was part of Robert ‘Ottortooth’ Springer’s group that tried to travel back to save the Native Americans from the European influence.  Instead, they were separated in time.  In the closing chapters of the book, Roger and Brianna were forced to make a decision to travel back to their own time to save the life of their new born daughter.

I must say, that after the first book, Outlander, I think this was my favorite.  I really enjoyed the pacing, the revelations, the events, the twists…it was a grand adventure.  But I have to ask…when did the group tell Ian that they were time travelers? I think I must have missed that conversation. Seems like it would have been something huge!

I also have to say that I have been a very uninvolved history lover throughout this series.  Oh sure, the major mile stones have been familiar, but Diana Gabaldon has integrated minor events and historical figures so flawlessly that I have just gone along for the ride; until something struck me in this novel.  A woman was going to be arriving at Cross Creek, and our 3 beloved time travelers were far more anxious to meet her than anyone else.  Which made me wonder who she is, er…was. Flora MacDonald; a real woman, born in 1722.  She was a Jacobite heroine, having saved ‘Bonnie’ Prince Charlie from the Hanoverian militia by disguising him as an Irish traveling companion named Betty Burke.  She immigrated to the colonies in 1774 where her husband served in the American Revolution as a British officer.  Looking up the name ‘Flora Macdonald’ really made me realize that after 5 and a half books, I have been missing out on a lot of Gabaldon’s research, and a lot of learning experiences.   

With only one more book in the series (so far), I am sad to think that my time with these characters is coming to an end.


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