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A Breath of Snow and Ashes (2005)

by Diana Gabaldon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Outlander (6)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,184122882 (4.28)191
In 1772, the rift between Britain and its American colonies has put a frightening word into the minds of all concerned: revolution. Violence has already reared its ugly head in rural North Carolina, as cabins have been burned to the ground. To preserve the colony for King George III, the governor pleads with Jamie to bring the people together and restore peace. But Jamie has the privelege, although some might call it a burden, of knowing that war cannot be avoided. Claire has told him that the colonies will unite and rebel, and the result will be independence, with all British loyalist either dead or exiled. And there is an additional problem. Claire has discovered a newspaper clipping from 1776 that tells of Jamie's death.… (more)

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» See also 191 mentions

English (118)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  All languages (122)
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
When the story comes together it really works. Mulva was a bit overdone and Tom Christy falling for Claire even more far fetched than the dude whistling yellow submarine in 1775 ;) Fun though... ( )
  ReneeNL | Jun 29, 2020 |
I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads giveaway program.

This is book 6 of the Outlander series, more of the same old problems and vices, none of the thrill of newness of the first books of the series. The author piles on chapter after chapter as if she is being paid by the page, with no overarching story or character development or purpose to any of it. Characters from old books are recycled. The main characters are thrown into historical events without much logical reason for them to be there. This book was a disappointment. I stopped reading 200 pages before the end and couldn't bring myself to finish it off for weeks. I finally forced myself to pick up the books and finish it because I felt I really ought to finish it before writing a review in exchange for this giveaway. I used to think of the first book as having set up a frame story for the subsequent books, but that stopped working as an excuse for the fragmented writing and weak-to-non-existent storyline by book 3.

Not recommended.

~bint ( )
  bintarab | May 24, 2020 |
91 points/100 (4.75 stars/5).

We're at the eve of the American Revolution, and Claire and Jamie are right in the thick of it. Lines are being drawn across the country. Plus, there is the matter of the Death Announcement that Brianna and Roger found in the future to deal with.

This was a difficult book for me to read. I read it faster than a lot of the others in this series. I mostly enjoyed it. I didn't physically have troubles reading it. But, I disliked a fair amount of the biggest drama in the book. There are certain plot points in this series I've really grown.. angry about.

This is the most depressing book in the series, and I say that after I caused myself mild dehydration crying in [b:Dragonfly in Amber|5364|Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2)|Diana Gabaldon|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1456114344s/5364.jpg|2866304] and [b:Voyager|10987|Voyager (Outlander, #3)|Diana Gabaldon|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1483278195s/10987.jpg|1131570]. There is so few good things that happen in this book, it is unbelievable. Every book prior to this, the good things outweighed the bad. There are random moments, random days, where they're happy and together and just living. This book is all bad things happening. One thing after the other after the other. It is like nothing goes right! Even the good parts in this book somehow go bad. It is amazing.

There is a lot of time skipped in this book, mostly because of the above paragraph. Everything in this book had to be dramatic, so all the little moments aren't around in the middle of notime. This book covers four years of time, some very dramatic four years for the Colonies. Yet, almost every bad thing in the book happens to them personally. Enemies come back or come forward. Things get destroyed. People get hurt.

I feel like most of the lead-up to the War in the Colonies is skipped over in this book. I was looking forward to this part, because while I don't really care about the Revolutionary War, it is an interesting time to cover. I figure in little Fraser's Ridge, there isn't much they can come across here. It was just a bit disappointing. I suppose the next book will be the actual War itself, since it is just starting up in this book. It has barely even reached the colony of North Carolina by the end of the book.

I've said it before, I'll say it again because it is especially relevant to this book. I'm super fucking tired of the rape. The attempted rape. The having it come up at the most random, and sometimes worst, moments. This book did not need a gang rape section. This book did not need two abductions with intent. After the last book, [b:The Fiery Cross|10967|The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5)|Diana Gabaldon|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1407366842s/10967.jpg|1189893], had basically no rape, I really thought this series was going in a better direction. I was really looking forward to this book because of it. Bleh, why did she have to do this again??

At times, Claire's steadfast need to be a doctor can get irritating. While I understand that in today's world, the idea of not helping those in need no matter what side they are on is a difficult one to stomach. In the last book, I didn't care she wanted to doctor the other side's army when she was with the Militia. It is a different idea entirely to be fighting instincts to help someone who has kidnapped you, or done harm to your family. Especially when you know they would only continue to hurt you and your family if they're left around and in good health, and that they have no desire to change.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, her being a doctor led to some interesting parts in this book. There is a lot of focus on babies this book - not about the birthing process, but how things can go wrong in development. There is also a big focus on what kind of life the new life would have as an adult when they are otherwise challenged. Previous books primarily focused on trauma - stitches, broken bones, gunshot wounds, things of that nature, plus pregnancy. The other big health related incident was an epidemic that Claire fought to save people from. It created a good story arc.

In the middle of this book, I started to not feel safe at home in Fraser's Ridge. Too many people didn't like Claire and Jamie, too many people wanted them hurt. By the end of the book, I felt strongly in need to get away from that place for good. It sucks. This was my home. I felt safe here. I became accustomed to it after Scotland. Now I can't trust anyone I used to, I can't trust anyone new. I can't trust anything. It sucks. It really sucks. I was so depressed reading this in part because of this reason.

Similarly depressing, the relationships in this series so far have crumpled by the end of this book. Except for Claire and Jamie, and Brianna and Roger, that is. Friends move away, die, or there is some kind of betrayal. Jacosta's storyline in this book made everyone involved dislike everyone else. Family has to leave for their own reasons. At the end of the book, we're left alone.

However, Brianna is a bit better this book! She doesn't seem as selfish. However, that may be because she is barely in it. The heavy focus on Brianna in the last books is thankfully drawn back in this book for the most part. Roger is in this book more, and as always, I adore him. He finds his calling in this book, and it is a better book for it. Brianna seems to still be searching for hers, which is why I'm kind of glad she isn't around as much.

I love the book, but I'm depressed because of it. I'm sad, I'm disheartened. But, I have to continue. My mind won't let me stop.
( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
I cannot get enough of this series. This book did not disappoint with the discovery and adventure at almost every turn.
( )
  untitled841 | Jul 24, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 118 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Diana Gabaldonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schnell, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
De mensheid ziet in vele dingen de hand van God, tijd is daar één van. Leven volgt op een volgend leven, daar is geen einde aan. Men is doordrongen van zijn macht, want niets immers - bergen nog legers - kan het opnemen tegen tijd?
Natuurlijk, tijd heelt alle wonden. Geef iets genóég tijd en alles komt goed: pijn wordt geabsorbeerd, ontberingen vergeten, verlies krijgt een plaats.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Onthoudt dat gij van stof zijt, mens, en tot stof zult hij wederkeren.
En als Tijd verbonden is met God, moet Herinnering gelijk staan aan de Duivel
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This Book is Dedicated to Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, Dorothy L. Sayers, John D. MacDonald and P.G. Wodehouse
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The dog sensed them first.
Prologue: Time is a lot of the things people say that God is.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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