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John Grey, a seemingly minor character encountered by the main protagonists of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, becomes a central character on his own in a series of short stories and books. He is a soldier, a gentleman, a noble man (in the original sense of the word), a sodomite, and an altogether human hero - often dragged into the heart of 18th century intrigues during the time surrounding the 7 Years War (French and Indian War to the Americans) in the years between the Scottish Jacobite Rising of 1745 and the American Revolution in 1776.
Readers of this series might give the Outlander series a miss, but you will lose out on serveral interactions between John and the Frasers that give a richer view of the character. The Outlander novels are a whopping 40 hours each on average, where LJ reads range between 1 and 14 hours.
You should definitely not read the Lord John series out of sequence to itself, which is easy to do accidentally since chronologically it alternates between shortstories and full length novels. Hand of the Devils contains three of the four current short stories, and while they are in order in this collection, make references to events in Private Matter and Brotherhood which leave the reader wanting to know what the heck happened though it does not have an immediate impact on the story.
As of October 2010, the order to read Lord John in is:
Hellfire (Hand of Devils); Private Matter (novel); Succubus (Hand of Devils); Brotherhood of the Blade(novel); Haunted Soldier (Hand of Devils); Custom of the Army (Warriors, Anthology); Scottish Prisoner (novel not yet released).
119 of 119 people found this review helpful
You should read all the other Lord John stories before this one or the frequent references will just confuse. Also note that the the first two stories ( Hellfire and the Succubus) are available also on audible so if you are a big Gabaldon fan you will only be getting this book for the third story.
47 of 49 people found this review helpful
I must admit it was my own fault that I found this listen most disappointing. I must be Diana's number one fan, but I did not pick up on the point that this was a collection of short stories.
As I have said my own fault.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful
For some reason the recording was very unstable. It faded in and out a lot. I’m not sure whether it was an editing issue, however, there were a few places where the narrator repeated the same sentence.
The Narrator has a lovely voice, and his accent talent is amazing.