Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Exile by Diana Gabaldon Illustrated by Hoang Nguyen


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:
I discovered this book last weekend when I was looking around at our local Borders which is going out of business.  Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series is one of my favorite series.  They are books that I keep in my collection, even though I've already read them, which is rare for me.  I only hold onto my favorites or books I haven't read yet.  While I do not hold the record for having read the first book the most times (Gababldon has a blurb on her blog that one of her readers wrote to tell her she has read the book 23 times!) I have read it more than once over the years and foresee reading it again sometime in the future.

It was interesting to see the tale from Jamie's point of view instead.  This graphic novel covers about a third of Outlander.  I looked on the author's website to see if there is a release date for a second book, but if it was there I couldn't find it.  I hope another one is published because I enjoyed reading this one.  This weekend my youngest was sick and was so congested that he needed to sit up while napping.  So during his nap I was essentially trapped on the couch and I used that time for some guilt free reading!  This was close at hand, and I was excited about giving it a try.

I'm not sure how close either Jamie or Claire are to how I pictured them and Murtagh is much different than he has been in my mind.  One thing that bothers me when a book is made into a movie is that I lose the character as I've created him or her in my mind, but that didn't happen with this.  I am able to look at them both ways and not lose my own version, which is nice.

Because of the page constraints in the graphic novel, some of the aspects of Jamie and Claire's personal relationship seem to be missing.  Some because they might be too graphic and others because there is less time in this format.  I missed some of the passages where Jamie and Claire are sharing their history.  When Claire tells Jamie the truth about where she is from it is just one panel.  I guess since the reader saw her come through the stones and knows she is from the future there is no need to go into more detail but I missed her explanations.

I saw on Barnes and Noble's web site that this book didn't get very good reviews, but I enjoyed it.  I am still new to graphic novels, manga and comic books.  For a very long time I thought they were more geared towards a male audience and I have a feeling that a lot of female readers feel the same way, so it is nice to see authors writing and creating books that appeal to women and might bring them into a whole genre that may be new and exciting for them.  I know it has been for me!   

Product Details

Pub. Date: September 2010
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Format: Hardcover , 224pp
Series: Outlander Series
ISBN-13: 9780345505385
ISBN: 0345505387

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