November 12, 2007

Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade: Review

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If you’ve read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, then you know who Lord John is. If you need a reminder, he’s a Major in the British Army who was once the jailer of Jamie Fraser. They eventually become friends but it’s a rocky road. For, you see, Lord John is in love with Jamie and the feelings are not mutual.

Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade takes place while Jamie is an indentured servant to friends of John. Jamie makes a few brief (but memorable) appearances. Lord John is on the hunt for answers surrounding his father’s death, an apparent suicide. When pages from John’s father’s missing journal start appearing, old wounds are once again opened up. What exactly was his father involved in? What secret is his mother hiding? John makes it his mission to retrieve the honour of his father and his family.

Lord John isn’t really my favorite character in the Outlander series but his situation makes for some interesting reading. A military man with a high sense of honour, he puts a great deal of effort into hiding his homosexuality from friends and family. (Although I suspect his family have an idea). Not only would revealing his secret ruin his career, in this time period, it might end his life. This is only all too apparent towards the end of the novel, when he finds himself in a difficult moral dilemma.

Now, if you are still reading this, then it’s obvious John likes the mens. Diana never shies away from the sex in her books. I’ve read other bloggers refer to her Outlander series as the “Scottish sex books.” Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade is the same, except it’s two dudes. As always, she goes into the..err..gory details that have me thinking ‘TMI.’ But the bigger issue for me was that John would go for a guy like Percy at all. He is, in my opinion, a pretty boy and not really who I would think of with John. I mean, he’s in love with Jamie. Ja-mi-e! Not in quite the same ballpark.

Some of my favorite parts of the book were the interactions between John and his family. Despite the fact that they all are hiding secrets from each other, it’s obvious that they love one another. They don’t have to hold hands and sing Christmas carols but it’s there. They would do what had to be done to protect one another.

Although it lagged a bit in the middle, the last chapters flew by. Always well written and entertaining, Diana Gabaldon’s books don’t disappoint.

4/5

4 comments :

  1. You know....one of these days I really have to read the Outlander series. So many people just love them!!

    Great review, by the way!

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  2. I gotta tell you, the first time Lord John made an appearance in the Outlander series (which I haven't finished yet), I couldn't have been more surprised. You just don't run into gay characters in romantic historical fiction. Gabaldon really earned my respect by taking that risk.

    That being said, I have a copy of the first Lord John book, but I haven't read it yet (like I said, I'm still reading the Outlander series). Great review of this one.

    "Lord John like the mens." Har!

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  3. The Private Matter is really good and not the monstrous 1000 pager that some of her other books are. Even this one was heftier than the first Lord John.

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  4. I much preferred this book to the LJ and the Private Matter. I thought that she handled the sex scenes pretty tastefully, and I think that Lord John ended up thinking pretty much the same thing as you did!

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