One of the reasons I wanted to get this book is because there is a preview of Written in My Own Heart's Blood, the eight installment of Outlander, in the back of the book. I wanted to read this excerpt badly because the seventh book, An Echo in the Bone, ended with a triple cliffhanger!
The Scottish Prisoner is a book about an episode that happened while Jamie was serving out his term as prisoner of war at Helwater when his illegitimate son, William, was a "wee bonnie lad." Of course Claire was still in the future after the failure at Culloden, so I spent most of the book feeling sorry for Jamie as he deals with his grief over the loss of his beloved wife and unborn child. Lord John Grey is a major character in this book, but this is not strictly a Lord John Grey novel like others Gabaldon has written. Lord John's elder brother Hal, the Duke of Pardloe, needs help in a possible court martial case. A manuscript written in Erse, or Scottish Gaelic, needs translating, and Hal sends soldiers to Helwater to retrieve Jamie and bring him to London so he can help with the translation. The translation was included in several documents written about Major Gerald Siverly; the documents are proof of corruption and of a possible future plot.
But before the soldiers arrive at Helwater, Tobias Quinn, a Jacobite who eludes capture, appears to inform Jamie of a scheme to rally the Irish Jacobites to fight for the cause. The plan includes an ancient Druid relic, and Jamie wants nothing to do with the cause, politics, or Irish Jacobites. He has recently been allowed to give young William riding lessons, and he is so grateful for the opportunity that he does not want anything to interfere with spending time with his son.
The manuscript Jamie translates is a story of the Wild Hunt straight from Celtic folklore, yet it is also a coded missive about a new Jacobite rising: a plot that would endanger King George II. Soon Jamie and Lord John set sail for Ireland to question Siverly. Jamie and Lord John have had a very volatile relationship since Outlander, and the trip to Ireland proves to be a difficult task for the two of them. Plus Quinn arrives on the scene as a travel companion to further complicate their mission.
My favorite aspect of the book is the Celtic mythology and supernatural elements woven throughout the plot. It was fun for me to read about Jamie's brush with the mystical realm rather than Claire. I have a sneaking suspicion that we might see more of this side of Jamie and perhaps an ancient Druid or two in future Outlander books. Lord John was his usual honorable self, and I enjoyed the parts of the book written from his point of view. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has read the Outlander and/or Lord John Grey series. It is a nice Jamie Fraser (and Lord John Grey) fix while waiting for Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
I must say that this year has not been a good reading year so far. I have read a few good nonfiction books, but I have been in terrible reading slump when it comes to fiction. Please, if you have any good fiction recommendations, please share them with me. PLEASE!!!
Until next time...