Victoria Hess's Reviews > The Scottish Prisoner

The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon
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Feb 14, 2012

it was amazing
Read in December, 2011

In many ways I find Lord John to be a more interesting character than Jamie or Claire. So I am delighted to have read this book, which features both John and Jamie, during a period that is not covered by any of the other books, and develops their relationship into one of friendship, rather than one of mistrust.

Of course, John is gay, and that is definitely one of the things I love about him. When I first read a Lord John book, I was shocked (in a good way) to find a gay character in a historical novel, when I expected, and usually would, find simpering girls ISO "true love" combined with a title and money. John is gay, without apology, but with an under layer of concern that if he was found out, things would not go well for him.

But the fact that he is gay is not what this story is about, except to the extent that he has to remember not to scare Jamie off, because he needs Jamie for this mission, and to the extent that Jamie has to live with his knowledge that John is very much attracted to him, but won't take advantage of it of it because of the sense of honor they share. Jamie's past experience with a gay man did not include that sense of honor, and Jamie was badly used.

Jamie is summoned to assist John in a mission that requires both Jamie's warrior skills and his knowledge of Gaelic. There is a trip to Ireland, a lot of doings in London, including a dual, and plenty of chances for Jamie to escape from his continued imprisonment (and otherwise behave badly), but Jamie chooses not to take advantage, because it would dishonor him. Jamie and John come to understand one another better, and develop a friendship that could not have occurred otherwise.

There is one love scene between John and a minor character, which is tastefully done, but if you object to this sort of thing, could easily be skipped over. I think Gabaldon must have added it in to remind us of who John was, and to further develop another plot line that was presented in an earlier book.

I enjoyed this book greatly, and an glad to have read it because it filled a hole in the development of John and Jamie's relationship and answered a question raised in one of the books set in America.
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