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A Breath of Snow and Ashes
Cover of A Breath of Snow and Ashes
A Breath of Snow and Ashes
Outlander Series, Book 6
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BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Diana Gabaldon's An Echo in the Bone.This sixth novel in Diana Gabaldon's bestselling Outlander saga is a masterpiece of historical fiction from one of the...
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Diana Gabaldon's An Echo in the Bone.This sixth novel in Diana Gabaldon's bestselling Outlander saga is a masterpiece of historical fiction from one of the...
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Description-

  • BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Diana Gabaldon's An Echo in the Bone.
    This sixth novel in Diana Gabaldon's bestselling Outlander saga is a masterpiece of historical fiction from one of the most popular authors of our time. A Breath of Snow and Ashes continues the extraordinary story of 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century wife, Claire.
    The year is 1772, and on the eve of the American Revolution, the long fuse of rebellion has already been lit. Men lie dead in the streets of Boston, and in the backwoods of North Carolina, isolated cabins burn in the forest.
    With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But from his wife Jamie knows that three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence—with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. And there is also the matter of a tiny clipping from The Wilmington Gazette, dated 1776, which reports Jamie's death, along with his kin. For once, he hopes, his time-traveling family may be wrong about the future.
 

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Excerpts-

  • From the book

    DUTCH CABINMarch 1773

    No one had known the cabin was there, until Kenny Lindsay had seen the flames, on his way up the creek.

    "I wouldna ha' seen at all," he said, for perhaps the sixth time. "Save for the dark comin' on. Had it been daylight, I'd never ha' kent it, never." He wiped a trembling hand over his face, unable to take his eyes off the line of bodies that lay at the edge of the forest. "Was it savages, Mac Dubh? They're no scalped, but maybe--"

    "No." Jamie laid the soot-smeared handkerchief gently back over the staring blue face of a small girl. "None of them is wounded. Surely ye saw as much when ye brought them out?"

    Lindsay shook his head, eyes closed, and shivered convulsively. It was late afternoon, and a chilly spring day, but the
    men were all sweating. "I didna look," he said simply. My own hands were like ice; as numb and unfeeling as the
    rubbery flesh of the dead woman I was examining. They had been dead for more than a day; the rigor of death had passed off, leaving them limp and chilled, but the cold weather of the mountain spring had preserved them so far from the grosser indignities of putrefaction. Still, I breathed shallowly; the air was bitter with the scent of burning. Wisps of steam rose now and then from the charred ruin of the tiny cabin. From the corner of my eye, I saw Roger kick at a nearby log, then bend and pick up something from the ground beneath. Kenny had pounded on our door long before daylight, summoning us from warm beds. We had come in haste, even knowing that we were far too late to offer aid. Some of the tenants from the homesteads on Fraser's Ridge had come, too; Kenny's brother Evan stood with Fergus and Ronnie Sinclair in a small knot under the trees, talking together in low-voiced Gaelic.

    "D'ye ken what did for them, Sassenach?" Jamie squatted beside me, face troubled. "The ones under the trees, that is."

    He nodded at the corpse in front of me. "I ken what killed this puir woman."

    The woman's long skirt stirred in the wind, lifting to show long, slender feet shod in leather clogs. A pair of long hands
    to match lay still at her sides. She had been tall--though not so tall as Brianna, I thought, and looked automatically for my daughter's bright hair, bobbing among the branches on the far side of the clearing. I had turned the woman's apron up to cover her head and upper body. Her hands were red, rough-knuckled with work, and with callused palms, but from the firmness of her thighs and the slenderness of her body, I thought she was no more than thirty--likely much younger. No one could say whether she had been pretty.

    I shook my head at his remark.

    "I don't think she died of the burning," I said. "See, her legs and feet aren't touched. She must have fallen into the
    hearth. Her hair caught fire, and it spread to the shoulders of her gown. She must have lain near enough to the wall or the chimney hood for the flames to touch; that caught, and then the whole bloody place went up."

    Jamie nodded slowly, eyes on the dead woman.

    "Aye, that makes sense. But what was it killed them, Sassenach? The others are singed a bit, though none are burned like this. But they must have been dead before the cabin caught alight, for none o' them ran out. Was it a deadly illness, perhaps?"

    "I don't think so. Let me look at the others again."

    I walked slowly down the row of still bodies with their cloth-covered faces, stooping over each one to peer again beneath the makeshift shrouds. There were any number of illnesses that could be quickly fatal in these days--with no
    antibiotics to hand, and no way of administering fluids save by mouth or rectum,...

About the Author-

  • 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), An Echo in the Bone, and Written in My Own Heart's Blood—as well as a collection of Outlander fiction, Seven Stones to Stand or Fall; the related Lord John Grey books Lord John and the Private Matter, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, Lord John and the Hand of Devils, and The Scottish Prisoner; two works of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companion, Volumes 1 and 2; the Outlander graphic novel, The Exile; and The Official Outlander Coloring Book. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband.

Reviews-

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from September 15, 2005
    Anyone who has gotten this far in Gabaldon's popular "Outlander" saga knows to expect loads of steamy sex, kidnappings, medical miracles, and gritty period details. "Breath"'s 900-plus pages don't disappoint. With the threat of the American Revolution looming, 20th-century time traveler Claire Fraser and her 18th-century Scottish husband, Jamie, must finally choose sides and prepare for war. On the domestic front, Claire's and Jamie's daughter, Brianna, experiments with piping running water to their cabin while her husband, Roger, contemplates ordainment as a minister. But what about that newspaper clipping that says Claire and Jamie die in a house fire? Knowledge of the future clearly goes only so far. Enemies both old and new add to the continuing drama of the Fraser family's survival in the hinterlands of North Carolina. Gabaldon's enjoyable formula works, even if it's taken five previous novels and a few thousand pages to get to the year 1776. Essential for every fiction collection. [See Prepub Alert, "LJ" 6/1/05.] -Laurel Bliss, Princeton Univ. Lib., NJ

    Copyright 2005 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • The Toronto Star "The sixth instalment of the adventures of Claire and Jamie Fraser, already number one on the bestseller list, is a whopping 980 pages of action-packed escapism. It also has surprisingly melancholy and insightful views on the experience of growing old and dealing with the losses that entails.... One of the things that sets Gabaldon apart from other romance writers is exhaustive research of the times in which her characters live, so evident in her attention to period detail.... plot lines and stand-alone yarns are expertly woven together with the overall theme of impending doom and the question of predetermination."
  • The Gazette (Montreal) "Fans of Diana Gabaldon's popular Outlander series have another rousing historical-science-fiction-romance novel to savour in A Breath of Snow and Ashes.... For fans, this book is another slam-dunk hit. It's a massive, long-lasting source of entertainment."
  • The Globe and Mail
    Praise for Diana Gabaldon:
    "Riveting. Gabaldon has a true storyteller's voice."
  • Publishers Weekly "Triumphant. . . . Her use of historical detail and truly adult love story confirm Gabaldon as a superior writer."
  • Arizona Republic "Diana Gabaldon is a born storyteller. . . . The pages practically turn themselves."
  • Booklist "Readers will find every expectation fulfilled.... The large scope of the novel allows Gabaldon to do what she does best, paint in exquisite detail the lives of her characters."

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