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Stop me if you've heard this one before - An Englishman, a Scotsman, and an Irishman walk into a conspiracy...
If you haven't read "Lord John and the Custom of the Army" you might want to catch that first (from the Warriors anthology of short stories) to understand the full scope of the events that catapult Lord John Grey into a quest to bring a fellow soldier who committed atrocities in Canada during the Seven Years War to justice.
Even before his parolee, once and future friend Jamie Fraser, is pressed into helping him by his brother the duke, and the squirrelly Toby Quinn tags along as a guide, Grey knows that he's about to unearth a hornet's nest. When he stumbles across an old family rival, Twelvetrees, events take on a different twist and subtly begin spinning out of control, and in such a way that Grey, Fraser and Quinn won't realize until it's far too late that the price for the secrets they uncover will be paid in blood.
However, it takes a Jacobite to know a Jacobite, and Fraser, already full of distrust and misgivings, and harried by his old friend Quinn, finds himself walking a tightrope between helping the Greys and betraying old allegiances, until both men find themselves in the center of a political storm of conspiracy and betrayal.
Underneath it all, John Grey juggles his family and personal relationships, from the warmth of his relationship with Hal's family, Bird, Quarry and Von Namtzen, to the open hostility of Edward Twelvetrees, to the often fractious odd half-friendship with the suspicious Fraser. When that friendship goes wrong, it's horribly, horribly wrong, but when they recover the common ground that once made them friends, even as bittersweet as it is, it shines.
While the Lord John series can be read independently of the Outlander series where he is a "guest star", knowing the full story of why Jamie reacts the way he does is best learned from the first three (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager) of these novels. I always recommend reading the Lord John series in the correct order, since these novels and short stories build neatly upon one another. They are, in order:
Lord John and...
The Hellfire Club (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)
The Scottish Prisoner (Novel)
A Plague of Zombies (Down These Strange Streets, Anthology)
While Gabaldon is more known for the heftier Outlander novels, Custom of the Army and Scottish Prisoner are an excellent read, and I kind of consider them a continuation of the same story. I would not be surprised to find these two works made into a movie.
90 of 91 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Yes, It's a must have for Outlander fans. However, if you are used to Davina Porter's excellent narration, you might be better off getting this book in print.
What didn’t you like about Jeff Woodman and Rick Holmes ’s performance?
Jeff Woodman's narration of Lord John has always struck me as lacking in personality, but I can deal with him. Rick Holmes's performance of Jamie made me cringe every time he opened his mouth and butchered Jamie's lines. His accent was atrocious, his voice entirely too high pitched, and to make it even worse, he added an actual lisp (!) to Jamie's lovely Scottish accent. Whoever hired this guy as narrator should be fired.
Any additional comments?
To those who are die hard Outlander Series fans, you'll want and need the additional history of things Jamie did while Claire was gone. However, I advise you to save yourself the pain of this narration and get it in print form!
109 of 111 people found this review helpful
Sorry but for once I was disappointed in Audio books. Not in the story which was great but the narrator. The hero Jamie Fraser is a Scot however he had a Belfast accent which totally ruined the book for me. Davina Porter would have been much better!
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Dear me....I wish the Jamie narrator could tell the difference between an Irish and a Scottish accent! Very hard to listen without being irritated.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
I was disappointed with the narration as Jamie's accent wavered between Irish and Scots. Having loved the Davina Porter readings of the Outlander series I was amazed that she was able to bring to life a tall male Scot and I did not feel the same sympathy with this Jamie. Ms Porter was able to animate a male fictitious character voiced by a woman to be thoroughly believable and dare I say loveable!..
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I have struggled to get through this book due to the poor narration. I, like so many, have fallen head over heels for Davina Porter's version of Jamie Fraser, and in this book even though it is read by an actual man, I am constantly cringing from what seems to be a mix of Irish and Scottish accents. The narrator does not handle the switch between characters well and is some points there is clear one liners read in completely the wrong accent.
For myself the story got lost in the fight to enjoy the characters.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful