Lord John and the Hand of Devils (Lord John Grey Series)

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Overview

Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the celebrated Outlander series, delivers three mesmerizing tales of war, intrigue, and espionage that feature one of her most popular characters: Lord John Grey.
 
In Lord John and the Hellfire Club, Lord John glimpses a stranger in the doorway of a gentleman’s club—and is stirred by a desperate entreaty to meet with him in private. It is an impulse that will lead Lord John into a ...

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New York, NY 2007 Hard cover First edition. New-Mint Condition New in new dust jacket. First Edition in Mint ConditionFirst Edition New in New jacket A very nice New & Unused ... hardcover first edition, first printing, with pristine tight white pages. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 302 p. Lord John Grey Novels. Audience: General/trade. Ay. Caramba! We pride ourselves in bringing only the very best to the table! Exceptional Quality! Unbeatable Service! @ Ay Caramba! You will find Rare and unusual books in the very best condition. If we don t have what you re looking for we ll do our best to locate it. All our books are in "MINT" condition unless otherwise noted We ship all our books immediately from our location in Southern California! We specialize in quality, rare and collectible First Editions Read more Show Less

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Lord John and the Hand of Devils (Lord John Grey Series)

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Overview

Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the celebrated Outlander series, delivers three mesmerizing tales of war, intrigue, and espionage that feature one of her most popular characters: Lord John Grey.
 
In Lord John and the Hellfire Club, Lord John glimpses a stranger in the doorway of a gentleman’s club—and is stirred by a desperate entreaty to meet with him in private. It is an impulse that will lead Lord John into a maze of political treachery and a dangerous, debauched underground society. In Lord John and the Succubus, English soldiers fighting in Prussia are rattled by a lethal creature that appears at night. Called to investigate, Lord John soon realizes that among the spirits that haunt men, none frighten more than the specters conjured by the heart. In Lord John and the Haunted Soldier, Lord John is thrust into the baffling case of an exploding battlefield cannon that ultimately forces him to confront his own ghosts—and the shattering prospect that a traitor is among the ranks of His Majesty’s armed forces.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The indefatigable Gabaldon, who has made the British 18th century her own, offers a trio of novellas about Lord John Grey, whose minor role in the Outlander novels (concerning Jacobite Jamie Fraser and including A Breath of Snow and Ashes) has become a major fictional spinoff (Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, etc.). The three mystery-adventure novellas of this volume span 1756 to 1758, in settings packed with dark secrets-and therefore dangers-for the soldier-hero with secrets of his own. The first novella finds Lord John swearing vengeance in London for a murdered government official, leading him to a deconsecrated abbey where members of the political elite indulge their basest desires. The second pits Lord John against a succubus that plagues his Prussian encampment, and combines humor with military strategy and supernatural myth. The third, most complex narrative finds Lord John investigating the cause of a cannon explosion in the English countryside that results in a fellow officer's death. Gabaldon brings an effusive joy to her fiction that proves infectious even for readers unfamiliar with her work or the period. A foreword and introductory notes add background on the book's evolution. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Gabaldon's latest Lord John Grey offering is a collection of three novellas. In "Lord John and the Hellfire Club," John is asked for help by a distressed diplomat, but the man is murdered before they can meet to discuss the particulars. John's investigation into the murder leads to a debauched secret society. John must search out a night-hag and solve a murder while dealing with a treacherous gypsy in "Lord John and the Succubus." Back in England, in "Lord John and the Haunted Soldier," our hero faces an inquiry into why the cannon he manned while fighting abroad mysteriously exploded. Gabaldon again proves she has mastered the English 18th century: the flowery elegance of its aristocratic language, elaborate social customs, and darker sexual underside. She makes the novella format-called by Stephen King in Different Seasons, "an ill-defined and disreputable literary banana republic"-work here, depicting both a man's private sexual demons and his bland public countenance. Actor Jeff Woodman brings an experience of dialects and accents to this narration; his elegant diction for Lord John is a clever contrast to his Cockney-flavored rendering of John's valet. Recommended for historic mystery collections. [Gabaldon won the 2006 Quill Award for A Breath of Snow and Ashes.-Ed.]
—David Faucheux

Kirkus Reviews
A secondary character from Gabaldon's Outlander series steps out in three supernatural yarns. Conflicted raconteur Lord John Grey, last seen in Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade (2007), is back. This triptych includes two stories culled from historical anthologies and one original tale published here for the first time. Gabaldon's strengths are on full display. The short form forces her to curtail the sprawl evident in the recent Outlander novels, while the historical backdrop serves to showcase her exhaustive research. With his unrequited passion for the Scottish rebel Jamie Fraser still fresh in his mind, Grey stumbles into a secret society hidden in London in "Lord John and the Hellfire Club." Temptation, blackmail and murder ensue as Grey negotiates the minefields of the British class system. An old-fashioned ghost story lies at the heart of "Lord John and the Succubus," a companion story to the Prussia-set Brotherhood of the Blade. In the midst of the Seven Years' War, Grey must establish the connection between a murdered soldier and a towering gypsy temptress with a secret worth keeping. The last story, "Lord John and the Haunted Soldier," cagily incorporates a thrilling bit of detective work as the noble major ferrets out a traitorous cannoneer among a Royal Artillery Regiment. This last story is the freshest and most thorough portrait of Gabaldon's multifaceted leading man, so troubled by the events that overtake him. "God knows I am neither ignorant nor innocent of the ways of the world. And yet I feel so unclean, so much evil I have met tonight," he writes. Deftly written, pleasantly concise stories about the ghosts of desire, each with its own discrete merits.
From the Publisher
“Deftly written, pleasantly concise stories about the ghosts of desire, each with its own discrete merits . . . [Diana] Gabaldon’s strengths are on full display.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Gabaldon brings an effusive joy to her fiction that proves infectious even for readers unfamiliar with her work or the period.”—Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385311397
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/27/2007
  • Series: Lord John Grey Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.49 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana  Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels—Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize), and An Echo in the Bone; Lord John and the Private Matter, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, and The Scottish Prisoner; one work of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion; and the Outlander graphic novel The Exile. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband.

Biography

To millions of fans, Diana Gabaldon is the creator of a complex, original, and utterly compelling amalgam of 18th-century romantic adventure and 20th-century science fiction. To the publishing industry, she's a grassroots-marketing phenomenon. And to would-be writers everywhere who worry that they don't have the time or expertise to do what they love, Gabaldon is nothing short of an inspiration.

Gabaldon wrote her first novel while juggling the demands of motherhood and career: in between her job as an ecology professor, she also had a part-time gig writing freelance software reviews. Gabaldon had never written fiction before, and didn't intend to publish this first novel, which she decided to call Outlander. This, she decided, would be her "practice novel". Worried that she might not be able to pull a plot and characters out of thin air, she settled on a historical novel because "it's easier to look things up than to make them up entirely."

The impulse to set her novel in 18th-century Scotland didn't stem -- as some fans have assumed—from a desire to explore her own familial roots (in fact, Gabaldon isn't even Scottish). Rather, it came from watching an episode of the British sci-fi series Dr. Who and becoming smitten with a handsome time traveler in a kilt. A time-travel element crept into Gabaldon's own book only after she realized her wisecracking female lead couldn't have come from anywhere but the 20th century. The resulting love affair between an intelligent, mature, sexually experienced woman and a charismatic, brave, virginal young man turned the conventions of historical romance upside-down.

Gabaldon has said her books were hard to market at first because they were impossible to categorize neatly. Were they historical romances? Sci-fi adventure stories? Literary fiction? Whatever their genre (Gabaldon eventually proffered the term "historical fantasias"), they eventually found their audience, and it turned out to be a staggeringly huge one.

Even before the publication of Outlander, Gabaldon had an online community of friends who'd read excerpts and were waiting eagerly for more. (In fact, her cohorts at the CompuServe Literary Forum helped hook her up with an agent.) Once the book was released, word kept spreading, both on the Internet and off, and Gabaldon kept writing sequels. (When her fourth book, "Drums of Autumn," was released, it debuted at No. 1 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, and her publisher, Delacorte, raced to add more copies to their initial print run of 155,000.)

With her books consistently topping the bestseller lists, it's apparent that Gabaldon's appeal lies partly in her ability to bulldoze the formulaic conventions of popular fiction. Salon writer Gavin McNett noted approvingly, "She simply doesn't pay attention to genre or precedent, and doesn't seem to care that identifying with Claire puts women in the role of the mysterious stranger, with Jamie -- no wimp in any regard -- as the romantic 'heroine."'

In between Outlander novels, Gabaldon also writes historical mysteries featuring Lord John Grey, a popular, if minor, character from the series, and is working on a contemporary mystery series. Meanwhile, the author's formidable fan base keeps growing, as evidenced by the expanding list of Gabaldon chat rooms, mailing lists, fan clubs and web sites -- some of them complete with fetching photos of red-haired lads in kilts.

Good To Know

Outlander may have been Gabaldon's first novel, but she was already a published writer. Her credits included scholarly articles, political speeches, radio ads, computer manuals and Walt Disney comic books.

Gabaldon gets 30 to 40 e-mails a day from her fans, who often meet online to discuss her work. "I got one letter from a woman who had been studying my book jacket photos (with a magnifying glass, evidently), who demanded to know why there was a hole in my pants," wrote Gabaldon on her web site. "This strikes me as a highly metaphysical question, which I am not equipped to answer, but which will doubtless entertain some chat-groups for quite a long time."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Diana Jean Gabaldon (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Flagstaff, Arizona
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 11, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Flagstaff, Arizona
    1. Education:
      B.S., Northern Arizona University, 1973; M.S., Scripps Oceanographic Institute; Ph.D., Northern Arizona University, 1979
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Lord John and the Hand of Devils


By Diana Gabaldon

Delacorte Press

Copyright © 2007 Diana Gabaldon
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780385311397

Part I

A Red-Haired Man

London, 1756 The Society for Appreciation of the English Beefsteak, a gentleman’s club Lord John Grey jerked his eyes away from the door. No. No, he mustn’t turn and stare. Needing some other focus for his gaze, he fixed his eyes instead on Quarry’s scar.

“A glass with you, sir?” Scarcely waiting for the club’s steward to provide for his companion, Harry Quarry drained his cup of claret, then held it out for more. “And another, perhaps, in honor of your return from frozen exile?” Quarry grinned broadly, the scar pulling down the corner of his eye in a lewd wink as he did so, and lifted up his glass again.

Lord John tilted his own cup in acceptance of the salute, but barely tasted the contents. With an effort, he kept his eyes on Quarry’s face, willing himself not to turn and stare, not to gawk after the flash of fire in the corridor that had caught his eye.

Quarry’s scar had faded; tightened and shrunk to a thin white slash, its nature made plain only by its position, angled hard across the ruddy cheek. It might otherwise have lost itself among the lines of hard living, but instead remained visible, the badge of honor that its owner so plainly consideredit.

“You are exceeding kind to note my return, sir,” Grey said. His heart hammered in his ears, muffling Quarry’s words—no great loss to conversation.

It is not, his sensible mind pointed out, it cannot be. Yet sense had nothing to do with the riot of his sensibilities, that surge of feeling that seized him by nape and buttocks, as though it would pluck him up and turn him forcibly to go in pursuit of the red-haired man he had so briefly glimpsed.

Quarry’s elbow nudged him rudely, a not-unwelcome recall to present circumstances.

“. . . among the ladies, eh?”

“Eh?”

“I say your return has been noted elsewhere, too. My sister-in-law bid me send her regard and discover your present lodgings. Do you stay with the regiment?”

“No, I am at present at my mother’s house, in Jermyn Street.” Finding his cup still full, Grey raised it and drank deep. The Beefsteak’s claret was of excellent vintage, but he scarcely noticed its bouquet. There were voices in the hall outside, raised in altercation.

“Ah. I’ll inform her, then; expect an invitation by the morn- ing post. Lucinda has her eye upon you for a cousin of hers, I daresay—she has a flock of poor but well-favored female relations, whom she means to shepherd to good marriages.” Quarry’s teeth showed briefly. “Be warned.”

Grey nodded politely. He was accustomed to such overtures. The youngest of four brothers, he had no hopes of a title, but the family name was ancient and honorable, his person and countenance not without appeal—and he had no need of an heiress, his own means being ample.

The door flung open, sending such a draft across the room as made the fire in the hearth roar up like the flames of Hades, scattering sparks across the Turkey carpet. Grey gave thanks for the burst of heat; it gave excuse for the color that he felt suffuse his cheeks.

Nothing like. Of course he is nothing like. Who could be? And yet the emotion that filled his breast was as much disappointment as relief.

The man was tall, yes, but not strikingly so. Slight of build, almost delicate. And young, younger than Grey, he judged. But the hair—yes, the hair was very like.

Lord John Grey.” Quarry had intercepted the young man, a hand on his sleeve, turning him for introduction. “Allow me to acquaint you with my cousin by marriage, Mr. Robert Gerald.”

Mr. Gerald nodded shortly, then seemed to take hold of himself. Suppressing whatever it was that had caused the blood to rise under his fair skin, he bowed, then fixed his gaze on Grey in cordial acknowledgment.

“Your servant, sir.”

“And yours.” Not copper, not carrot; a deep red, almost rufous, with glints and streaks of cinnabar and gold. The eyes were not blue—thank God!—but rather a soft and luminous brown.

Grey’s mouth had gone dry. To his relief, Quarry offered refreshment, and upon Gerald’s agreement, snapped his fingers for the steward and steered the three of them to an armchaired corner, where the haze of tobacco smoke hung like a sheltering curtain over the less-convivial members of the Beefsteak.

“Who was that I heard in the corridor?” Quarry demanded, as soon as they were settled. “Bubb-Dodington, surely? The man’s a voice like a costermonger.”

“I—he—yes, it was.” Mr. Gerald’s pale skin, not quite recovered from its earlier excitement, bloomed afresh, to Quarry’s evident amusement.

“Oho! And what perfidious proposal has he made you, young Bob?”

“Nothing. He—an invitation I did not wish to accept, that is all. Must you shout so loudly, Harry?” It was chilly at this end of the room, but Grey thought he could warm his hands at the fire of Gerald’s smooth cheeks.

Quarry snorted with amusement, looking around at the nearby chairs.

“Who’s to hear? Old Cotterill’s deaf as a post, and the General’s half dead. And why do you care in any case, if the matter’s so innocent as you suggest?” Quarry’s eyes swiveled to bear on his cousin by marriage, suddenly intelligent and penetrating.

“I did not say it was innocent,” Gerald replied dryly, regaining his composure. “I said I declined to accept it. And that, Harry, is all you will hear of it, so desist this piercing glare you turn upon me. It may work on your subalterns, but not on me.”

Grey laughed, and after a moment, Quarry joined in. He clapped Gerald on the shoulder, eyes twinkling.

“My cousin is the soul of discretion, Lord John. But that’s as it should be, eh?”

“I have the honor to serve as junior secretary to the prime minister,” Gerald explained, seeing incomprehension on Grey’s features. “While the secrets of government are dull indeed, at least by Harry’s standards”—he shot his cousin a malicious grin—“they are not mine to share.”

“Oh, well, of no interest to Lord John in any case,” Quarry said philosophically, tossing back his third glass of aged claret with a disrespectful haste more suited to porter. Grey saw the senior steward close his eyes in quiet horror at the act of desecration, and smiled to himself—or so he thought, until he caught Mr. Gerald’s soft brown eyes upon him, a matching smile of complicity upon his lips.

“Such things are of little interest to anyone save those most intimately concerned,” Gerald said, still smiling at Grey. “The fiercest battles fought are those where very little lies at stake, you know. But what interests you, Lord John, if politics does not?”

“Not lack of interest,” Grey responded, holding Robert Gerald’s eyes boldly with his. No, not lack of interest at all. “Ignorance, rather. I have been absent from London for some time; in fact, I have quite lost . . . touch.”

Without intent, one hand closed upon his glass, the thumb drawing slowly upward, stroking the smooth, cool surface as though it were another’s flesh. Hastily, he set the glass down, seeing as he did so the flash of blue from the sapphire ring he wore. It might have been a lighthouse beacon, he reflected wryly, warning of rough seas ahead.

And yet the conversation sailed smoothly on, despite Quarry’s jocular inquisitions regarding Grey’s most recent posting in the wilds of Scotland and his speculations as to his brother officer’s future prospects. As the former was terra prohibita and the latter terra incognita, Grey had little to say in response, and the talk moved on to other things: horses, dogs, regimental gossip, and other such comfortable masculine fare.

Yet now and again, Grey felt the brown eyes rest on him, with an expression of speculation that both modesty and caution forbade him to interpret. It was with no sense of surprise, though, that upon departure from the club, he found himself alone in the vestibule with Gerald, Quarry having been detained by an acquaintance met in passing.

“I impose intolerably, sir,” Gerald said, moving close enough to keep his low-voiced words from the ears of the servant who kept the door. “I would ask your favor, though, if it be not entirely unwelcome?”

“I am completely at your command, I do assure you,” Grey said, feeling the warmth of claret in his blood succeeded by a rush of deeper heat.

“I wish—that is, I am in some doubt regarding a circumstance of which I have become aware. Since you are so recently come to London—that is, you have the advantage of perspective, which I must necessarily lack by reason of familiarity. There is no one . . .” He fumbled for words, then turned eyes grown suddenly and deeply unhappy on Lord John. “I can confide in no one!” he said, in a sudden, passionate whisper. He gripped Lord John’s arm, with surprising strength. “It may be nothing, nothing at all. But I must have help.”

“You shall have it, if it be in my power to give.” Grey’s fingers touched the hand that grasped his arm; Gerald’s fingers were cold. Quarry’s voice echoed down the corridor behind them, loud with joviality.

“The ’Change, near the Arcade,” Gerald said rapidly. “Tonight, just after full dark.” The grip on Grey’s arm was gone, and Gerald vanished, the soft fall of his hair vivid against his blue cloak.

Grey’s afternoon was spent in necessary errands to tailors and solicitors, then in making courtesy calls upon long-neglected acquaintance, in an effort to fill the empty hours that loomed before dark. Quarry, at loose ends, had volunteered to accompany him, and Lord John had made no demur. Bluff and jovial by temper, Quarry’s conversation was limited to cards, drink, and whores. He and Grey had little in common, save the regiment. And Ardsmuir.

Continues...

Excerpted from Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon Copyright © 2007 by Diana Gabaldon. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 103 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 104 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Lord John and the Hand of Devils is a different paced book for Gabaldon.

    Diana Gabaldon's newest "Lord John" book is totally out of the ordinary for her writings:
    a) It is an anthology of three short stories or novellas.
    b) Each has a haunting story line. The protagonist in each story
    is Lord John, but he plays avery different role in the first than
    the second and third stories. Gabaldon remains true to her accuracy
    in historic clubs and/or myths current in that time frame.
    The First "Hellfire Club" is a Black Mass parody on the Roman Catholic Mass. It is rich in blood and gore, with Lord John wondering if he will escape alive.
    The second and third are based on German "ghost" myths, in which he contends with the superstitions of the local folk, before coming up with very creative solutions for the various dilemnas.
    If you enjoy this type of suspense, you will be entranced by her interpretation and solutions. It's a "good read".
    Gina_Wichita

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 7, 2011

    Just read it........

    When you would rather read Diana Gabaldons stories as apposed to working, playing or spending time with other people, you know you have found a good writer. I can't seem to put the books down and I'm now re-reading the first 7, waiting for the next book. Amazing writing and story telling.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Three brilliant novellas

    ¿Lord John and the Hellfire Club¿. Lord John Grey is asked by Robert Gerald, the junior setetary of the prime minister, for help with a problem. He agrees seeing how upset Gerald is but later that day Robert is killed. The last word he spoke is Dashwood. That night he attends a Hellfire club invitation, not knowing that he is to be the murderer¿s second victim.---------- ¿Lord John and the Succubus¿. Rumors move swiftly through the troops that a succubus is on the loose. Lord John is persuaded to use his white horse to find the grave where the succubus inhabits a dead body. The horse moves to the grave of the man¿s mother who made the accusation. They also find the body of a dead English solder in the cemetery. The allies are nervous about the rumors, but John believes that someone secular has spread them and he plans to expose them before the upcoming battle in the long drawn out world war (1756-1763).------------ ¿Lord John and the Haunted Soldier¿. After being injured by a cannon that blew up during battle, Lord John answers his superior¿s inquiry re the incident. John later learns eight more guns blew up that the military wants kept quiet and he would make a good scapegoat. He needs evidence to prove he wasn¿t negligent help comes from an unexpected source. These three novella give insight into the character of Lord John Grey, an honorable man who has to hide his homosexual preference from the world since it is a crime punishable by death. He always chooses the most ethical cause of action even when silence would better serve him. Diana Gabaldon has written an exciting anthology of an eighteenth century solder at war in which don¿t tell means avoiding ¿friendly¿ fire.------------------ Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 8, 2012

    Excellent as all her books!

    I have only recently discovered Diana Gabaldon Outlander series and have become a real fan of her. I have always loved historical novels but her books are so much more that you just can't put them away. And I am enjoying re-reading them too while I wait for the next one.
    Being Lord John Grey a secondary character in the Outlander series, I was not particularly interested in him at first. But Ms. Gabaldon latest book - the Scottish Prisoner - featuring Lord John and James Fraser was highly enjoyable, so I decided to buy Lord John Grey series, and loved them too. Really great reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2011

    Wonderful as always

    Fast paced with lots of twists and turns that will surprise most of you. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope Ms. Gabaldon will continue with this series of Lord John's life, there is so much left to be "uncovered".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2009

    Diana Gabaldon does it again

    Great book - I love all of Diana Gabaldons works - they just don't come fast enough!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    good read

    as all her books it was great any one who likes history, advenure, love stories and just great wrighting would like this book

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    Good Read, Informative.

    This was a really good novella to learn more about Lord John's life. A definite read if you are an Outlander fan to get into the lives of the characters more in depth.I love seeing the logical side of Lord John being developed and it opens up the world that Jamie enters and gives more understanding to the time period.

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  • Posted March 1, 2013

    Great read!

    I really enjoy reading the Lord John Series as I wait for the new Outlander Series books. These books give you little snippets of Jamie as well! Lord John is a great character.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    Lexi sease Lexi

    Horses are amazing creachers

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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