2012: #46 – The Exile (Diana Gabaldon)

exile

Title: The Exile
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Series: Outlander
Format: Hardback
Pages:  224
Release Date: September 21, 2010
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: library
★★★☆☆ 

Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant storytelling has captivated millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga. Now, in her first-ever graphic novel, Gabaldon gives readers a fresh look at the events of the original Outlander: Jamie Fraser’s side of the story, gorgeously rendered by artist Hoang Nguyen.

After too long an absence, Jamie Fraser is coming home to Scotland—but not without great trepidation. Though his beloved godfather, Murtagh, promised Jamie’s late parents he’d watch over their brash son, making good on that vow will be no easy task. There’s already a fat bounty on the young exile’s head, courtesy of Captain Black Jack Randall, the sadistic British officer who’s crossed paths—and swords—with Jamie in the past. And in the court of the mighty MacKenzie clan, Jamie is a pawn in the power struggle between his uncles: aging chieftain Colum, who demands his nephew’s loyalty—or his life—and Dougal, war chieftain of Clan MacKenzie, who’d sooner see Jamie put to the sword than anointed Colum’s heir.

And then there is Claire Randall—mysterious, beautiful, and strong-willed, who appears in Jamie’s life to stir his compassion . . . and arouse his desire.

But even as Jamie’s heart draws him to Claire, Murtagh is certain she’s been sent by the Old Ones, and Captain Randall accuses her of being a spy. Claire clearly has something to hide, though Jamie can’t believe she could pose him any danger. Still, he knows she is torn between two choices—a life with him, and whatever it is that draws her thoughts so often elsewhere.

Step into the captivating, passionate, and suspenseful world of The Exile, and experience the storytelling magic of Diana Gabaldon as never before.

My thoughts:

Surprisingly, I didn’t care for this. I’m a big fan of Gabaldon’s Outlander series (I think it’s one of the greatest love stories in fiction), but The Exile just didn’t do much for me.

I knew that there wouldn’t be many surprises in the story. It’s basically the first book, Outlander, from Jamie’s point of view. There are a few new things, but nothing earth-shattering. So that wasn’t the problem.

Really, I think it was the artwork. The style didn’t resonate with me. I found Claire to be a bit too much on the buxom side. Her boobs are hanging out all over the place. And all of the men looked too much alike — shaggy hair, sharp noses, kilts. I had a difficult time telling them apart.

But, it’s a short read, so it wasn’t too painful. Though I love the Outlander world, I don’t think I would read a second graphic novel set in it. Unless it was a different artist.

Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | WorldCat

Other reviews:

  • “‘The Exile’ proved to be a very entertaining read; one of those books that has me thinking that I really should go back and try the earlier works if I ever get a spare second.” Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review
  • “For readers like myself, unfamiliar with the original narrative, it is confusing web of scenes whose chain of events takes a significant amount of time to catch hold of, and which is explained only by often cryptic dialogue or command statements, that the artwork does nothing to clarify. “Grasping for the Wind
  • “The illustrations left me cold, particularly when it came to depicting the face and body language of the characters.”A Book Blogger’s Diary

One single comment

  1. I was pretty violently opposed to this one when I first heard about it, and your reaction aligns with that. I just don’t want to *see* the Jamie or Clare that an artist thinks up. I have a pretty vivid picture of my own, and I like it that way. In fact, you’re making me want to go back and re-read these. Love this series.

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