The Exile is a graphic novel based on Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling Outlander series. I feel the first thing that I should state about this is novel is that it is not the entire story of Outlander by any means, in fact this graphic novel only covers approximately the first third of the Outlander novel. And even then it is a very, very condensed version of those chapters due to time and the format of this book – (remember this is indeed a graphic novel and is done in drawings and panels just like comic books). So for anyone that is wanting to get this with thoughts of getting a condensed and visual version of the entire Outlander novel that is not what this is and it isn’t going to happen. However that is not saying that this graphic novel isn’t worth the read…it is! It is very well written / drawn and though I didn’t care for the styles completely of the artist - I thought he had some very good renderings of Claire and the other characters at times. And overall I enjoyed it very much, actually much more than I thought I would when I got it and first flipped through it.
It is told mainly from the viewpoint of Jamie’s godfather Murtagh and it is a great addition to the story. As Diana states in the forward she shows us some things in Exile that she didn’t put in the original novel itself so you get more of the back story and see more of what happens to Jamie and Claire that she didn’t tell us before. So if you are like me and are a die-hard Outlander fan this book is a must buy and read for you. You have to add it to your collection for that alone! Now with all that being said here is a small condensed version of what Outlander is about…
Claire Randall was a combat nurse during World War II and at the end of the war she and her husband Frank Randall decide to take a second honeymoon to Scotland. Claire thought that it would be a wonderful and sleepy little vacation away with her husband in which they could reconnect after being apart so long during the war. Little did she know that her vacation would take her much farther than she ever dreamed was possible. When Claire pays a visit to the ancient stone circle of Craig na Dun she inadvertently slips through one of the stones and is thrust back through time itself and awakens to find herself in a very different Scotland – the Highlands of Scotland in the year of our Lord 1743 to be exact! In this much different - dangerous and savage landscape she meets a band of Highlanders that takes her for all intents and purposes prisoner. One of the band is a young man who is severely injured and Claire’s nurses training kicks in as she quickly jumps in and administers to the young warriors wounds. This young man is Jamie Fraser and Claire soon finds herself drawn to the handsome young man as he takes on the role of her protector. Through many twists and turns it comes about that Claire is forced into marrying Jamie to protect herself from the clutches of a very evil British Dragoon Captain Jack Randall. And though the marriage was one of necessity and not love Claire soon finds herself being drawn closer and closer to her new husband. They endure many hardships and trials together and Claire does fall in love with Jamie. (And once you read the book you will see how it would be almost impossible for any red blooded woman not to fall in love with Jamie!) But with them being from such different worlds could there be any hope for them at all even if they can survive the dangers and schemes of several villains along the way? Can she stay in this distant and so very dangerous past or is it even possible to make it back to her time and life in the present? When all is said and done will Claire decide to stay in the past with Jamie? Or will she risk everything to try to make it back to the stone circle and try to find a way back to her real home and back to her husband Frank? And how can a woman decide between two loves and times that both hold her heart?
As you can see Outlander is a very complex read and although it is a time travel it is very well written and not corny at all. It seems like you could literally go and fall through the stones yourself and wake up in 1743 Scotland. Diana Gabaldon is a master story teller and her attention to detail makes you feel like you have visited the Scotland of yesteryear yourself. It is one that will have you glued to the pages and laughing and crying right along with the characters. So I do encourage you to give Outlander a try and get Exile as well as a great companion book to the series! And for you Outlander fans that have read all of the books you will want to get this one to complete your Outlander collection! You will be glad you did!
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.