Minor spoilers ahead.
As is my habit, I went in search of the Outlander books after the first series started on TV a few weeks ago. It was only out of curiosity that I watched it, but I’m six episodes in and actually quite like it, so I joined the waiting list at my local library to get my hands on the first book in the series.
I’m finally, finally about to start reading it, but while I was waiting, I gave one of the novellas a go, so here’s my review of Virgins.
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Genres: Scottish, General, Adventure stories & action
Buy From: Amazon
Blurb: 1740: Young Jamie Fraser has left Scotland and, with his best friend Ian Murray, is running with a band of mercenaries in France.
Both men have good reason not to go back to their homeland: both are nursing wounds, and despite their best efforts to remedy the situation, both are still virgins.
So when a Jewish doctor hires them to escort his granddaughter to Paris, they readily agree. Both men are instantly drawn to the beautiful young lady.
What neither know is that their lives and their friendships are about to become infinitely more complicated – and a lot more dangerous …
An interesting look at what Jamie was getting up to before Claire came along, but I know I would have struggled to keep up with this if I hadn’t seen the show or read spoilers online.
Alternates between Jamie and Ian’s POV, and kept the tone of the show. There was plenty of Scottish slang, which made me quite happy, and the occasional helping of Gaelic, but again, I’d imagine it would have been hard to follow if you don’t have a Scots dictionary lying around or haven’t heard the word ‘oaksters’ used in everyday conversation.
There were plenty of characters in this novella, but it didn’t feel crammed or overloaded. Jamie and Ian were fun to read, and I liked that they tried to do the right thing by fixing the mess they’d made instead of trying to cover it up or make Rebekah go back with them.
Interesting enough. It felt like a deleted scene or something from the main books, but it was a great way to get introduced to the Outlander world before starting the first book.
Jamie and Ian make things right, and set off in search of more work.
Recommend: If you’re needing an Outlander fix while waiting for series three.
The opinions expressed in this review are mine and mine only. I have not been paid for this review