This is book 5 in the Outlander series, and really NOT the place to start reading these books. By this point, some of the principal characters have grown to middle age and have children and grandchildren. If you’re interested, say because the TV series is coming to Starz in August, start at the beginning with Outlander. Standard spoiler-warning spiel applies. If you’ve not read the first four books in the series, I cannot be held responsible for any spoilers you may or may not find in this review.
So – the plot. There really is rather a lot of it, but possibly not as much as you’d think for a book this huge, spanning years worth of story. It’s 1771 and Jamie Fraser along with his family are at the Gathering, a huge, well gathering of Scottish clansmen in North Carolina. Jamie Fraser’s family at this point consists of his wife Claire, his daughter Brianna, Brianna’s fiancee Roger (all three of the afore-mentioned time-travellers born originally in the 20th Century), Brianna’s son Jem (paternity as of yet uncertain), his adopted son Fergus, a former French street urchin, Fergus’ wife Marsali (also Jamie’s step-daughter) and their children. Bree and Roger are to be wed at the Gathering, as is Jamie’s aunt Jocasta. However, the priest is arrested and carted off, leading to Jocasta’s wedding being postponed, and Bree and Roger’s being performed by a Protestant minister, much to the chagrin of the very Catholic Fraser-patriarch.
Once there have been weddings and christenings and servants have been acquired, the Frasers all travel back to their homestead and Jamie and Claire set their affairs in order before going to gather up volunteers. There are Regulators protesting against the rule of the British, and Jamie has been tasked with the Governor to fight them as the Colonel of the local Militia. Initially, they avoid any direct fighting, but later on, there is a battle, with very dire effects for some of the extended Fraser family. Over the course of the massive book, Jocasta Cameron finally gets married on her lavish plantation at River Run, but the festivities is marred by a murder, and Jamie and Claire play amateur detectives when they’re not busy getting it on in the shrubberies. Seriously, they might be middle aged, but there is certainly nothing wrong with their libidos. There’s a whole bunch of other stuff too – see the rest on my blog.