Series: Lord John Grey #2
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date Published: 2007
Audiobook Length: 15 hours 31 minutes
Audiobook Narrator: Jeff Woodman
Description: In her much-anticipated new novel, theNew York Times bestselling author of the Outlander saga brings back one of her most compelling characters: Lord John Grey—soldier, gentleman, and no mean hand with a blade. Here Diana Gabaldon brilliantly weaves together the strands of Lord John’s secret and public lives—a shattering family mystery, a love affair with potentially disastrous consequences, and a war that stretches from the Old World to the New. . . . In 1758, in the heart of the Seven Years’ War, Britain fights by the side of Prussia in the Rhineland. For Lord John and his titled brother Hal, the battlefield will be a welcome respite from the torturous mystery that burns poisonously in their family’s history. Seventeen years earlier, Lord John’s late father, the Duke of Pardloe, was found dead, a pistol in his hand and accusations of his role as a Jacobite agent staining forever a family’s honor. Now unlaid ghosts from the past are stirring. Lord John’s brother has mysteriously received a page of their late father’s missing diary. Someone is taunting the Grey family with secrets from the grave, but Hal, with secrets of his own, refuses to pursue the matter and orders his brother to do likewise. Frustrated, John turns to a man who has been both his prisoner and his confessor: the Scottish Jacobite James Fraser. Fraser can tell many secrets—and withhold many others. But war, a forbidden affair, and Fraser’s own secrets will complicate Lord John’s quest. Until James Fraser yields the missing piece of an astounding puzzle—and Lord John, caught between his courage and his conscience, must decide whether his family’s honor is worth his life.
I was pleasantly surprised by Brotherhood of the Blade. Granted, my expectations weren’t very high, but still, I enjoyed it.
I was never a huge fan of Grey in the Outlander books. I never found him very interesting. When he “married” Claire at the end of Echo (or was it MOBY, I can’t remember), I was more irritated with him than ever. I also did not really enjoyed the last two Outlander books. Gabaldon’s style of linking up different scenes is starting to grate on my nerves, especially when the scenes don’t really go anywhere. Brotherhood had a clear primary plot, even a secondary plot which made sense, and concluded at the end. All of which I liked.
The primary plot of Brotherhood concerned Grey searching for Jacobite traitors and trying to discover if his later father was one of them. Of the two major plot lines, I was most interested in this one. Solving the mystery, searching for father’s missing journal, learning about his mother’s machinations after his father’s death. Grey makes an excellent sleuth. The secondary plot concerned Grey and his illicit affair with his step-brother. Yes, brother. Hopefully that revelation isn’t too spoilery if you aren’t familiar with Grey from the Outlander books. And interestingly, Grey is threatened by the same spy-master who threatened his late father. Gabaldon did a great job tying this two plots together.
One thing stood out though. Gabaldon used the phrase “She’s not heavy, she’s his sister.” It seemed completely out of place for 1758 London. And the only reference I could find on Wikepedia is from 1853. Maybe Gabaldon knows something that Wikepedia doesn’t. But I’m skeptical. I would also like to know why Grey was referred to as “Lord John” and not “Lord Grey”. I think Lord Grey would be a more appropriate, formal address?
The narrator was no Davinia Porter, but not bad in his own right. Mr. Woodman was especially good at the pauses. And yes, that may seem weird for a narrator, but listening to the audio felt like listening to a conversation. Not simply someone reading outloud.
If you enjoyed reading the Outlander series, I can recommend Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade. Heck, I might even read the first book in the series!