|Dragonfly in Amber|
|Publication date||July 1, 1992|
|Published by||Delacorte Press|
| Chapter Guide|
| Preceded by|
| Followed by|
Her books are difficult to classify by genre, since they contain elements of romantic fiction, historical fiction and science fiction. The story centers around a time-travelling 20th cenutry nurse (Claire Fraser) and her 18th century Scottish husband (Jamie Fraser), and are located in Scotland, France, the West Indies and America.
Dragonfly in Amber opens when Claire returns to Scotland with her twenty-year old daughter, Brianna, hoping to find out what happened to the men of Lallybroch after the battle of Culloden. After discovering Jamie Fraser's gravestone in an abandoned churchyard, Claire ends up breaking the news of Brianna's true paternity to her and Roger Wakefield.
The story then flashes back in time to when Claire and Jamie lived in Paris after leaving the abbey at the end of Outlander. As the story develops, we learn about Claire and Jamie Fraser's fight to stop the 1745 Jacobite rebellion and the bloody battle of Culloden- and also why Claire returned to the future.
At the end of Outlander, Claire convinced Jamie that they should do everything possible to stop the Jacobite rising and the slaughter that would follow. After learning that Charles Stuart is trying to get money from the French King, Louis XV, they travel to Paris. In Paris Jamie agrees to work with his cousin Jared, running his wine business and since many of his French relatives are Jacobites and are well placed in society, secures meetings with Charles Edward Stuart (also known as Bonnie Prince Charlie) and many well-to-do members of the French aristocracy and bourgeoisie. So while running Jared Fraser's wine business, Jamie and Claire begin to plot against the Bonnie Prince.
However their lives are soon interrupted by the arrival of Jack Randall, a character that Jamie and Claire thought had died at Wentworth Prison. Jamie, in spite of promising Claire that he would spare Randall's life in order to spare Claire's previous husband, Frank, challenges Randall to a duel in the Bois de Boulogne. Though he doesn't kill the men he does wound him and renders hum impotent. And after she witnesses the duel Claire loses the child she was carrying, Faith and is taken away to l'Hopital des Anges, where they believe she will not recover. And Jamie is sent to the Bastille for the crime of dueling.
Scotland, 1745 and the RisingEdit
After recovering from her illness (and depression), Claire manages to free Jamie from prison. A condition of his release is that they must leave France, so they sail to Scotland (with Jamie pardoned for his crimes). Once in Scotland Claire and Jamie settle in to farm life at Jamie's home at Lallybroch with his sister, Jenny and her family. However Jamie receives a letter from Charles Stuart announcing his attempt to retake the throne of Scotland. There is no escape as Charles has had Jamie's name on the letter as one of his supporters. The Rising has begun.
Seeing no option but to fight for the Stuarts, Jamie gathers the men of Lallybroch to join the Stuart army. They fight and win at the battle of Prestonpans, but the tide soon turns against the Jacobites. The Rising culminates in the disastrous battle of Culloden. While Jamie and Claire are discussing if they should kill Charles to save the soldiers, Dougal overhears them and tries to kill Claire, which ends in Jamie killing him instead. Knowing he will be killed either by the British or the MacKenzies, Jamie takes Claire and heads for Craig na Dun, where he forces her to travel back to her own time, to spare her the battle's aftermath. Before she goes however Jamie tells Claire that he knows she is pregnant again. After sending her through the stones, Jamie returns to Culloden intending to die.
The lengthy flashback ends and the reader learns that the child Claire was carrying through the stones is Brianna. Claire explains that Frank asked Claire where she had been during her absence but refused to believe her, thinking she was mentally unstable. Claire told him to leave her but suspecting he was sterile and desperate for a child, he asked Claire to allow him to be father to her baby and only tell Brianna the truth after his death. The novel ends with Roger informing Claire that Jamie didn't die at Culloden. The reason why Claire wanted Roger to be present while revealing to Brianna her true parentage, is also covered.