Historical Graphic Novel
Diana Gabaldon’s brilliant storytelling has captivated millions of readers in her bestselling and award-winning Outlander saga. Now, in her first-ever graphic novel, Gabaldon gives readers a fresh look at the events of the original Outlander: Jamie Fraser’s side of the story, gorgeously rendered by artist Hoang Nguyen.
After too long an absence, Jamie Fraser is coming home to Scotland—but not without great trepidation. Though his beloved godfather, Murtagh, promised Jamie’s late parents he’d watch over their brash son, making good on that vow will be no easy task. There’s already a fat bounty on the young exile’s head, courtesy of Captain Black Jack Randall, the sadistic British officer who’s crossed paths—and swords—with Jamie in the past. And in the court of the mighty MacKenzie clan, Jamie is a pawn in the power struggle between his uncles: aging chieftain Colum, who demands his nephew’s loyalty—or his life—and Dougal, war chieftain of Clan MacKenzie, who’d sooner see Jamie put to the sword than anointed Colum’s heir.
And then there is Claire Randall—mysterious, beautiful, and strong-willed, who appears in Jamie’s life to stir his compassion... and arouse his desire.
But even as Jamie’s heart draws him to Claire, Murtagh is certain she’s been sent by the Old Ones, and Captain Randall accuses her of being a spy. Claire clearly has something to hide, though Jamie can’t believe she could pose him any danger. Still, he knows she is torn between two choices—a life with him, and whatever it is that draws her thoughts so often elsewhere.
Step into the captivating, passionate, and suspenseful world of The Exile, and experience the storytelling magic of Diana Gabaldon as never before.
Read: May 8, 2022
Diana Gabaldon's THE EXILE: AN OUTLANDER GRAPHIC NOVEL is not listed in the official Chronology of the Outlander Series, but I decided to include it in my read-through anyway. My integrity will be shot to hell for admitting it, but I didn't even bother to read the description before committing myself to this book. I simply enjoy graphic novels and couldn't resist the excuse to add another to my library.
My naïve enthusiasm is adorable in retrospect, but it didn't take long to realize it was grossly misplaced. THE EXILE lacks story structure, it is incoherent to anyone unfamiliar with the material, and the best of what it does offer (re: Kenneth's storyline) has virtually nothing to do with Jamie. After significant editing, you might call it a Murtaugh story or even a Geillis story, but it definitely doesn't live up to its description as a Jamie story.
That said, I don't think responsibility for this trainwreck rests with its author. Per the book's introduction, Gabaldon was tasked to write "a new Claire and Jamie story, set within the parameters of OUTLANDER." I'm no writer, but those parameters sound creatively suffocating. We don't want you to repeat yourself, but we don't want you to put out anything new either. I know editors are supposed to reign things in, but I can't help feeling that tightening the noose this far killed THE EXILE before Gabaldon drafted her first panel.
Rating: ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆Obtained: Purchased
Read: May 8, 2022