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Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade

(Lord John Grey #2)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  20,337 ratings  ·  962 reviews
In her much-anticipated new novel, the New York Times bestselling author of the Outlander saga brings back one of her most compelling characters: Lord John Grey--soldier, gentleman, and no mean hand with a blade. Here Diana Gabaldon brilliantly weaves together the strands of Lord John's secret and public lives--a shattering family mystery, a love affair with potentially di ...more
Hardcover, 494 pages
Published August 28th 2007 by Delacorte Press (first published 2007)
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,337 ratings  ·  962 reviews

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Sep 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: slash fans, particularly of Sharpe and Age of Sail fandoms
Recommended to Isis by: Iona Sharma
I dithered about this. I feel a little odd giving a guilty-pleasure just-for-fun book like this five stars, but when I compare it to what I have recently given four, well, I have no choice. Because I loved this so very, very much.

This is the kind of book I want to write, the kind of book I wish there was a whole lot more of. It's basically slash fanfic for her Outlander series, I gather, and it seems that whichever you read first, you prefer. (And oddly, the bits that involve Jamie Fraser are my
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lord John fans
I still don't understand why Gabaldon's Lord John books are not more popular than they are. Is the "gayness" of the main character really such a huge turn-off? Because I can't find any other reason to dislike these books. To me, "Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade" is another great historical novel, full of subtle wit and humor, details of 18th century London society and entertaining descriptions of military living during the Seven Year War, along with a nice mystery (this time directly ...more
Sep 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed this book very much. Lord John is an engaging, interesting character -- and he doesn't spend a whole lot of time in this book mooning over Jamie Fraser! This is set right after the death of Geneva Dunsany in the Outlander timeline, but the meat of the book is a mystery in Lord John's own family, and John's love affair with an attractive young man. Gabaldon writes men very well -- we get enough emotional revelation to let us cnnect with the characters, but they are most definitely men.

Paul E. Morph
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m continuing to enjoy the Lord John spin-offs more than the actual Outlander books. This one contains some of the most powerful scenes I’ve read by Gabaldon. Onward to the next one with the flash of a blade!
Sep 04, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: slash-interest
The one where Lord John's mother remarries, which sets in motion new dangers, new revelations about his father's disgrace and death, and a relationship with an attractive new stepbrother.

I like Lord John a great deal, but I don't like Lord John books very much. Partly this is just a book/reader mismatch. I don't enjoy mysteries, so I'm reading these particular mysteries for the character stuff and the historical-milieu stuff, which is like someone who doesn't like romance reading romantic-suspe
Sep 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: myfaves
I read this book after finishing Gabaldon's A Breath of Snow and Ashes. Thank goodness I found out it was out as it restored my faith in Gabaldon's skill as a writer and storyteller.

The plot mixes an important "whodunit" as well as insight into John's personal life as a man and a soldier. The pacing and story were spot on and refreshing after the near 1000 pages of meandering in ABOSAS.

I've always been fond of the character of Lord John -- even when he's painted as the bad guy. But this book t
I love Lord John Grey. I kind of want to be best friends with him. Or, at least take him out for drinks and commiserate about how he has absolute shit luck with romance. He seems okay with his life, but I just feel so bad for him, like, all the time.

Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade is the second novel in the Lord John spin-off series which takes place during the twenty year timespan of Voyager. You don’t need to have read the Outlander novels to enjoy these books, though. They stand ve
Oct 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
I've put off thinking about this one because I was so disappointed in it. At times, I downright hated it. Who the hell was this main character? I thought I knew, thought he was smarter, braver, funnier, more urbane than depicted here.

1st Problem: We get to know his older brother much better here -- at the expense of camera time usually spent on his funny and insightful sidekicks Col. Harry Quarry and valet Tom. I didn't care for the focus on petulant sibling issues. I prefer Lord John in a light
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Lord John, who emerged from the Outlander series as a separate series of novels, has a few problems on his plate. For one thing, he's in love with his new stepbrother. For another, the bitter feelings surrounding his father's death are still very much alive after a period of several years, and his brother Hal won't bear his father's title. Then there's the matter of the pages from his father's missing journal that keep turning up. . . On top of which, as a professional soldier Lord John generall ...more
warning: spoilers follow!

I think this is definitely the best of the Lord John books so far. I'm really delighted to see a mainstream bestseller write a vividly sexual queer romance. Heaven knows we've seen Lord John show enough repressed desire, but it's lovely to see him with a lover and in more explicit detail than I expected.

The mystery plot was a bit more convoluted than I considered necessary, especially since I'd completely forgotten who the villain was by the time he arrived at the end --
I have read and enjoyed the Outlander series (to date), but Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade is the first of the Lord John books that I've read (it's actually the second in the series). Lord John is one of the more interesting but more peripheral characters in the Outlander series. This book explores the difficulties he faced in 18th century as a gay man, albeit a privileged gay man and a gay man who could "pass."

Relationships are complicated enough without a central issue being unable
Chance Lee
Nov 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-gay-old-time
The back of Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade goes into detail about the plot: the death of Lord John's father was surrounded in scandal and secrecy, and one of those secrets has resurfaced, forcing the family to confront the past. This plot drives most of the story's action, but the back of the book relegates the /emotional/ drive of the story to a mere few words, "a love affair with potentially disastrous consequences."

This "love affair" is Lord John's relationship with his soon-to-be
I dropped away from Diana Gabaldon's main (hetero) romance series after the second or third book, mostly because het romance isn't my thing, and possibly because she shifted the locale to the Americas, while my own initial interest was because of the Scottish setting. ("Outlander", the first book, owes a certain amount to an old favourite of mine, "The Flight of the Heron", though they are certainly very different in tone, detail and degree of graphic sex!)

Anyway, Lord John, a minor character in
Sep 17, 2014 rated it liked it
This vacation and the warm ocean water really get in the way of my reading!!! I guess this is what people mean when they talk about real life :-) The book is cool and I am almost done. John is a wonderful character and I love him as the story teller. I am also pleased with the heft of the book and it not being as ambitious as the "Outlander. " books ... We will see...
Lisa Wolf
Dec 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2014 update: After listening to the audiobook version, I'll just reiterate my earlier comments: This is a must-read for Outlander fans, and the more Lord John audiobooks I listen to, the more I love Lord John as a character! He comes to life via audio in a way that's just so magical (kudos to the narrator!). I completely enjoyed this re-read!

I would definitely say that "Lord John & the Brotherhood of the Blade" is the best of Diana Gabaldon's Lord John books and novellas. "Brotherhood" is a
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Fiction
Reviewed for THC Reviews
"4.5 stars" Unlike the first three stories in the Lord John Grey series which are primarily mysteries, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade takes a little different turn. The book is solidly in the historical fiction genre, covering approximately a year in John’s life and detailing all the things he does during that time which are widely varied. There’s still a mystery threaded throughout the book, but sometimes a few chapters can go by with little development takin
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Enjoyed this book. Good story about Lord John Grey as an addition to The Outlander.

** 4 stars**

"Dead is dead, Major," he said quietly. "It is not a romantic notion. And whatever my own feelings in the matter, my family would not prefer my death to my dishonor. While there is anyone alive with a claim upon my protection, my life is not my own."

It'a hard to pinpoint why I enjoy this series so much although I miss Jamie and Claire terrible. The thing is, John truly is such a fascinating character, that give us an unique view of the military life and of a life of a gay man in t
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade is another wonderful example of Diana Gabaldon's writing.

This time Grey doesn't have to solve some criminal mystery but the mystery of his father death. And besides doing his best to understand why his father did allegedly committed suicide and was a Jacobite and rumors made him also be an sodomite, he meets once again his half brother Percy Wainwright and now the Outlander series readers can find out why he is very reserved and untrustworthy toward him
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, listened-to
Unfortunately, the Lord John series is not nearly as satisfying as Gabaldon's Outlander series. I do love Lord John Grey as a main character but the plot-lines are rather difficult to follow and there are entirely too many characters to keep track of. As the second book in this series, I was disappointed in the lack of continuity between this book and the first in the series, Lord John and the Private Matter. The only similarity between them was Lord John as the main character. Not that I have t ...more
Erica Anderson
I know it's heretical, but I actually like the Lord John books better than the Outlander series.

I think Gabaldon must be channeling Grey, straight from Georgian England, because his voice is so authentic. Gabaldon's trademark historical detail is laced throughout, including an absolutely amazing scene involving leeches. [Incidentally, if you're a writer, I recommend you read this scene carefully. It's brilliantly done.] Here's an excerpt:


... Hal replied, bending over the table to peer at
May 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Since I stayed up until 4:30 this morning finishing this, I'd say it deserves 5 stars. I love Lord John. Lord John and the Private Matter was enjoyable, but I thought this one was even better, with more complications-family scandal, mystery, war and a new relationship keep John's story buzzing along, and showing him in these various situations really gives insight into his character that isn't there in the Outlander books, where he is eventually an important character, but still not the main one ...more
Christine (AR)
Sep 05, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the basic mystery -- the suicide or murder of the main character's father -- to be a little confusing, but no matter; I loved Lord John himself, found his world completely fascinating and sincerely hope Gabaldon writes twenty more in this series.
Vikki Vaught
So glad I read this book! It answered quite a few questions about Lord John's sub-plot that had always confused me. Happy reading!
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Gabaldon moves the Lord John series forward in this wonderful novel, which opens in 1758, as the Seven Years War continues pulling Britain into the fray, now fighting for Prussia. Lord John and his brother, Hal, enjoy life as soldiers. When the discussion turns to the death of their father, both begin to remember the events that led to that fateful day. Seventeen years earlier, Lord John's father, the Duke of Pardloe, died from a pistol shot and accusations of being a Jacobite sympathiser swirli ...more
keikii Eats Books
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it
60 points/100 (3.25 stars/5).

Lord John Grey's mother is getting remarried. With it brings up trouble from their past and his father's death, some dangerous situations, and a very handsome new step-brother.

Well, I certainly liked this book a hell of a lot better than the last one. The last one was some random story with a character that may or may not be Lord John. This book, however, is exactly what I was expecting out of a Lord John Grey novel. I have the character I enjoy back, I have somethin
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Diana Gabaldon never fails to deliver a well-researched and well-written novel. Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade is no exception.

While this is an enjoyable installment that gives us further background into John's family and personal history, something was missing for me. I didn't feel the same attachment to the characters and there were very few scenes that left me with 'the feelings' that Diana usually conveys through her writing. There were a few lighthearted moments - John's cousin
Oct 15, 2010 rated it liked it
I read the first couple of Outlander books about a decade ago, so I only retain a few foggy memories of them. Contrary to some of the other reviews, I enjoyed this book even without any detailed knowledge of the main series. The historical research felt strong and detailed; the characters felt appealing but not anachronistically modern; and the settings were vividly drawn - I felt like I was really in all those cold rooms with rain beating at the windows.

The story alternates between Lord John's
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Diana Jean Gabaldon Watkins grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and is of Mexican-American and English descent. She has earned three degrees: a B.S. in Zoology, a M.S. in Marine Biology, and a Ph.D in Ecology.

She currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona .

Other books in the series

Lord John Grey (3 books)
  • Lord John and the Private Matter (Lord John Grey, #1)
  • The Scottish Prisoner (Lord John Grey, #3)
“You cannot compel love," he said finally, "nor summon it at will. Still less," he added ruefully, "can you dismiss it.” 15 likes
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