Review: The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel by Diana Gabaldon



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.

I haven’t read a graphic novel in a very long time (or even a comic book, for that matter), so I had forgotten just how enjoyable something like this can be to read. There is a downside, though. I read through the first five chapters so quickly I decided it was best to set it aside for a bit and read something else, so as not to finish it too quickly. (If you’re a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, you can easily understand why I would wish to linger a bit before finishing the story!)

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I will simply say that reading the story from Murtagh’s and Jamie’s perspectives and being able to see things through their eyes, rather than Claire’s, was quite interesting. I was horribly disappointed to reach the final panel and see that dreadful phrase… “the end”. I wanted to see more, for the story to go on, to perhaps reveal something that was known only to Jamie and never revealed to Claire! Ah, well. All good things must come to an end, I suppose. (But there’s no harm in wishing for more, right?)

The story itself was, of course, very well written. I was very impressed with Ms. Gabaldon’s ability to condense the many events that happened and make it fit within the framework of a graphic novel. Of course, this would not have been possible without the beautiful artwork of Hoang Nguyen. Mr. Nguyen is incredibly talented, and his illustrations truly made the story come alive. His artwork combined with Ms. Gabaldon’s writing made The Exile enjoyable to look at, as well as enjoyable to read.

I highly recommend this to fans of the Outlander series… it is definitely a must-have addition to your Outlander collection!

Author: Diana Gabaldon and Hoang Nguyen (Illustrator)

Title:The Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel

Series: Outlander #1.5

Published: 9/21/2010 by Del Rey

Rating: ★★★★★


This review was originally posted on Goodreads on March 18, 2012.