Rated Reads

Drums of Autumn (Outlander, book 4)

by Diana Gabaldon

Rated: High

Claire and Jamie Fraser have landed in the New World and already had a number of adventures in the Indies, as shown in Voyager. Now, they’re in the American colonies and on their way to settling down at last. At the same time, readers find out how their grown daughter, Brianna, is doing in the “present” (future?). She is still interacting with Roger Wakefield, who helped Claire to find out more about the past and to return there. Brianna and Roger fall in love, but Brianna ends up looking back to the past, to the mother she misses and the father she’s never known.

Readers who have fallen in love with the Frasers will feel rewarded as they keep up with them in their new life. The story of Brianna and Roger teases throughout the first half and then blends with the story of Claire and Jamie, and I found that I simply couldn’t put the book down during that second half. There was just one “cliffhanger” after another, and I had to know what would come of each one.

Diana Gabaldon undoubtedly has a way with words and with history. She makes it come alive better than many other authors I’ve read, making it vibrant and real. And her characters are just as real and fleshed-out; their fates matter to me. I will assuredly have to read this entire series to be able to continue my friendship with these characters.

Rated: High, for about 10 uses of strong language (more than any of the other books; there are more “modern” characters), a rape scene, and a few detailed sex scenes. The first book in the series had probably the highest number sexual scenes in the series, but Gabaldon still puts in a few scenes here and there in her long and very detailed books. As with the other books, there are also scenes containing moderately detailed violence and some detail about Claire treating some varied medical problems. Gabaldon doesn’t skip over anything; she dives right in with all the “gory” details.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Drums of Autumn (Outlander, book 4)
  • by Diana Gabaldon
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: