I have to say that I liked Outlander much better than Dragonfly in Amber. That being said, there were some good aspects to the book. Namely, the historical bits of the novel. It was scandalizing to read about the debauchery of the French court (I mean, women with see-through tops and nipple rings...whoa)! Also, it was fun to read the characterizations of historical figures such as "Bonnie Prince Charlie" and the "beloved" King Louis XV. However, in my opinion, the bad aspects of the novel outweigh the good.
To come right out with it, the book was wayyy to long (this from a person who loves big, chunky books). I don't mind length as long as it is necessary, and in the case of Dragonfly in Amber it definitely was not. My hardcover copy from the library was a whopping 743 pages...at least 200-300 of which was crap. There's nothing I hate more than having my time wasted by an excessively and unnecessarily long book! The story was compelling, but you had to wade through so much indulgent description and plot tangents that it was hard to stay interested. Another issue I had with the novel is that some of the plot elements were becoming redundant, tired and a bit ridiculous...whaddya know, sex scenes, rape scenes, and the evil tortuous man comes after the good guys again, and again and AGAIN. Lastly, I had to read garbage like this: [after some Scottish men were making deceptive plans]
"'I always thought there was some reason why 'Scot' rhymed with 'plot,'' I remarked"
Seriously, SERIOUSLY?? I about had a conniption after reading this ridiculous line.
Okay, phew! Finished with my rant...overall, it was an okay book. I did like it, I just wanted the book to be better. It definitely convinced me that I will not be continuing with the series (despite the fact that my interest is peaked about a few loose ends). I just can't handle wading through another mediocre tome simply to satisfy my curiosity. I went looking around on the interwebs to see other reviews of this series or these books specifically. It seems that for the most part, people love it or they are completely turned off by the sex and violence. I did find one review that said if you like the first 2 novels...maybe you'll want to read the third...but after that it's utter crap.
I have to say I'm quite disappointed by these books. It seems that so many people love them and the "genre" of historical fiction/romance/fantasy is utterly fascinating...so, I had high hopes. Oh well, I'm going to try a few other series (as I adore them...no need to think about what to read next)! First is George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series beginning with A Game of Thrones and then I'm going to try out Jean M. Auel's Earth Children series starting with The Clan of the Cave Bear.