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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't understand the title...
... but this is the only serious complaint I have about this book: there are minor flaws (therefore the four stars) but they are just that, minor, only quoted for the sake of a thorough review and full information.

Many reviewers have complained about the explicit -homo-sexual content of this novel; such remarks left me flabbergasted: how prudish can some...
Published on 17 Oct. 2011 by Furio

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Had me gripped
I was in the middle of reading "Drums of Autumn" from the Outlander series and realised that I wanted to read more about Lord John & Jamie's history. After reading various reviews and comments I started reading "Brotherhood of the Blade". I couldn't put it down, I love the writing style of Diana Gabaldon and she creates such a vivid picture in your mind while reading her...
Published 20 months ago by DBee


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't understand the title..., 17 Oct. 2011
By 
Furio (Genova - Italy) - See all my reviews
... but this is the only serious complaint I have about this book: there are minor flaws (therefore the four stars) but they are just that, minor, only quoted for the sake of a thorough review and full information.

Many reviewers have complained about the explicit -homo-sexual content of this novel; such remarks left me flabbergasted: how prudish can some readers be? Ms Gabaldon has clearly made a point of creating a main character who is likeable, honourable AND gay. The plot includes this character having an affair (not exactly love but neither a one night stand) and the physical side of this affair is not only relevant to the story but also logical: Lord John is not yet 30, after all. Moreover, the author does not go into fine detail: she mentions sex, physical attraction, she shows her characters in between the sheets but her scenes are first and foremost sensual, not pornographic. This book can be read, in my opinion, by older teens as well.

The plot, spun within a timespan of a couple of months, is fairly complex and engaging but not convoluted and everything is clearly explained in good time (except the title). The ending is perhaps a little hurried (one of the minor flaws I was writing above) but no cliffhanger mars a satisfying storyline.
Characterization is excellent in the case of the mains, good nearly everywhere else. The "nearly" could be due to the POV of the story being that of Lord John and not that of an omniscient narrator.
I was not boundless happy about the character of Fraser: I understand he is the main of a successfull serial (most of the complaints for the gay content seem to come from fans of this serial which, I hear, is rather graphic but "straight"), but here he is just stiff, prudish, unmoveable and unchanging.

I am not sure whether it was intentional or not, but thanks to her researches, Ms Gabaldon also manages to convey a believable reproduction of XVIII century England and it is an appalling reproduction. Far away are the cosy drawing rooms of romance authors where prim ladies chat about lace and balls: in this author's pages England (and its drawing rooms) is first and foremost a dangerous place where one risks one's life every day. A place which is filthy, horrid. Said drawing rooms are full of scheming, despicable figures. Life is cruel and people are generally little better than murderous savages pestered by hypocrisy and silly, damaging mores. They are also arrogant, prone to believe themselves far more civilised and god-fearing than the rest of the world.

Homophobia comes to mind of course as a target of the author's disgust -and the hypocrisy of a society that condemns as perverts people who do no harm whatsoever while it accepts disgusting crimes as "natural"- but I think another theme might have been close to Ms Gabaldon's heart: the cleft between REAL honour and honour as it was perceived then (and perhaps even now).

My comments should not let you think of this work as a morality play: it is action packed, plot and character driven, there is no time to get bored. It has more depth than the usual stuff but such depth is no hindrance to a satisfying fun.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last few Jamie & Clare books..., 16 May 2008
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
At the risk of upsetting all the fanatical Jamie & Clare fans out there, I'll dare to say that this is a far better read than the last of the Outlander series (Drums of Autumn, Fiery Cross, Breath of Snow and Ashes) where I felt Gabaldon has written herself into a corner and simply run out of imagination hence recycling old plots (how many times can members of the same family get actually or nearly raped, for goodness sakes?!). At last she's given herself an exit and I felt her imagination has been revitalised and refreshed.

To be honest I didn't remember much about Lord John from J&C but that's really not a problem as the important stuff from the back story is fleshed out here. I also haven't read the first Lord John book, but again that's really not a problem for first-time readers.

Set some years after the 1745 Jacobite rebellion this is a multiple-standed novel following Lord John Grey as he untangles the mystery of his father's disgrace and suicide; gets embroiled in a steamy homosexual affair with his step-brother and fellow army officer; and deals with his relationship with Jamie Fraser.

Lord John is an interesting character with far more going on beneath his surface than at first appears, and the relationships between him and his family are portrayed with a light but profound touch. Similarly his affair with Percy and his unrequited love for Jamie are lightly-brushed but no less deep for all that. Gabaldon does best in refusing to indulge in histrionics and the drama is no less moving for being hinted at rather than spelled out at length.

For J&C fans, this oppositional portrait of Jamie is a fascinating one: at his most dour, we see his dark, powerful and cruel side which is far more repressed in the J&C series, but this adds an important dimension to the earlier books.

Other reviewers have complained about the lack of plot, but one of Gabaldon's strengths I think is her ability to draw the reader right in her character's world; so yes, this isn't a page-turner in the thriller sense where you desperately need to know what happens next, but it is quietly compelling. I'm glad to see Gabaldon move on from her most famous series at last and look forward to more Lord John.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The secret of Lord John's past lies in Jamie Fraser's hands, 4 Mar. 2010
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade: 3 (Lord John series) (Paperback)
This is the third of the Lord John books, but not having read the first two wasn't an impediment as Gabaldon fills the reader in on previous events very naturally and succinctly. This is a ripper - of breeches rather than bodices - and it's tremendous fun. It is 1758 and Lord John Gray is set to join his regiment fighting in the Seven Years War, attached to Prussian and German forces at the Battle of Krefeld. The real glory would be with the regiments fighting in France, but Lord John and his older brother Hal have had to curb any protest because of the death of their father at his own hand. Hal has let the Dukedom he inherited at his father's death relapse, rather than face any further loss of honour.

Before Lord John can set off, however, he meets Percy Wainwright, who is to be their step-brother on the marriage of their mother, Benedicta, Dowager Countess of Melton, to Wainwright's step-father, General Sir George Stanley. The various relationships and titles are quite confusing at first, but the characterisation is very good and soon solves these trifling problems.

The attraction of Lord John to Percy soon resolves into a full-blooded sexual liaison - well depicted and empathetically unambiguous. Lord John retains a deeper attachment to a Scottish prisoner, Jamie Fraser, though his feelings are not reciprocated. A rip-roaring tale ensues as Lord John sets out to resolve the dishonour of his father's death. The violent antipathy of the time to any taint of homosexuality lends an added sense of danger. This novel has battle-scenes of unremitting realism and a plot dealing with murky manoeuvring, not only in the corridors of power, but also in the coffee houses, the gentlemen's clubs and in the clamorous slums of early-Georgian London. This addictively authentic historical shocker is full of energy, well-paced and most enjoyable.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing Adventure, 25 Sept. 2007
I am a big fan of Diana Gabaldon and just read this in hospital whilst recovering from a major op. It's wonderful. John Grey is one of my favourite characters so it's great to find out more about him. The story is complex and absorbing (I had to read the end three times) and is written in Gabaldon's usual dry and amusing style. Wonderful ! I can't wait to read it again !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Had me gripped, 14 Sept. 2013
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I was in the middle of reading "Drums of Autumn" from the Outlander series and realised that I wanted to read more about Lord John & Jamie's history. After reading various reviews and comments I started reading "Brotherhood of the Blade". I couldn't put it down, I love the writing style of Diana Gabaldon and she creates such a vivid picture in your mind while reading her books. This book takes place at the same time as "Voyager" and I enjoyed reading the scenes between Lord John & Jamie, although there's really not many of them. Saying that, I found that the story line in this book hooked me, even though I got a little bit lost with all of the characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Background to Lord John, 26 Aug. 2009
By 
S. Price "historyholick" (Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade: 3 (Lord John series) (Paperback)
I had avoided the John books from Diana Gabaldon for some time being more interested in the Jamie/Claire saga. What a mistake! This book is a good yarn that fleshes out the background of Lord John and his family giving the character his own personality as a skilled fighter as well as aristocrat, who like many fights against the sins of the flesh but eventually succumbs. Maybe not to the taste of most men but an eye opener. The plot had some surprising twists with only a slight reference to Jamie and stands up well in its own right. I am looking forward to reading more of this character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!!, 15 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade: 3 (Lord John series) (Paperback)
Loved this more meaty tale of Lord John and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him better. As always, Diana's research is meticulous and she transports us easily back to those times in history. I would recommend reading the Lord John books in order - however it does not spoil the enjoyment if this is not possible.

Patricia M.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonably diverting, 24 Jan. 2008
Lord John is a minor character in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander/Through the Stones series, and she has developed him further and created a series of short stories and novels around him. He is a homosexual English officer in the 18th C. This tale has Lord John investigating the death of his father in disgrace 17 years before, while also fighting in a campaign in Prussia, and taking part in several important family events. Jamie Fraser, the main character in the Outlander series has a small role to play, but I personally found this unsatisfactory. There was a bewildering array of characters introduced to us in the story, and I lost track a few times, and the occasional character I was familiar with, didn't seem to be very recognisable.

It was a reasonably diverting book. I didn't absolutely hate it, but I didn't love it either. It was an ok book, but if this had been my first taste of the author I would never have read another of her books. (Which would have been a shame because I really enjoy the Outlander series.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lord John Series, 2 Dec. 2012
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I enjoyed the storyline of this book but could have done without the explicit love scenes. I was glad I had read it as The Scottish Prisoner was the next in the series and it was an excellent read which I would highly recommendand I would give it Five Stars.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord |John and the brotherhood of the blades., 4 Mar. 2008
By 
Mrs. Barbara yeo (England) - See all my reviews
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As usual with this author the history had been throughly researched and the plot fast paced. I am not an obsesive fan of Dianah Gabaldon but I feel that this book was so gripping and the content so different that I felt that other lovers of excellent historical fiction would appriciate it.Yes John is gay, but a hero nevertheless full of honour bravery and like most, full of human frailties.You have to concentrate and know a little of Dianas main story. This is no lightweight novel and you have to concentrate on the plot but its glorious and the only thing that would improve your read is someone to discuss it with after. Brilliant
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Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade: 3 (Lord John series)
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade: 3 (Lord John series) by Diana Gabaldon (Paperback - 4 Sept. 2008)
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