Read A Trail of Fire by Diana Gabaldon Online

a-trail-of-fire

Four extraordinary stories featuring characters from the bestselling OUTLANDER series.In Lord John and the Plague of Zombies Lord John Grey is posted to Jamaica to assist the Governor as he faces a most unusual kind of uprising among the colony's slave population. In The Space Between Jamie Fraser's step-daughter Joan is on her way to an abbey in Paris to become a nun -Four extraordinary stories featuring characters from the bestselling OUTLANDER series.In Lord John and the Plague of Zombies Lord John Grey is posted to Jamaica to assist the Governor as he faces a most unusual kind of uprising among the colony's slave population. In The Space Between Jamie Fraser's step-daughter Joan is on her way to an abbey in Paris to become a nun - but when she meets the Comte St Germain, a wealthy French aristocrat rumoured to to deal in the occult - she discovers her destiny lies on a quite different path.In The Custom of the Army Lord John Grey is summoned as a witness in a court martial in the wilds of Acadia, only to find himself playing a crucial role in the Battle of Quebec. In A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows a WW2 Spitfire pilot called Jerry MacKenzie crashes near a stone circle and wakes up in the eighteenth century. Can the strange man he meets - who impossibly seems to know him - help him return to his wife and baby son before a terrible fate overtakes them?...

Title : A Trail of Fire
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781409144489
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 374 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Trail of Fire Reviews

  • Jackleen
    2019-04-04 22:10

    Happily, A Trail of Fire arrived a week earlier than what I had been told to expect by Amazon.uk. A very welcome surprise for the weekend as I was feeling a need for a really good story in these short dark November days. A collection of 4 previously published short stories and novellas, A Trail of Fire is not yet available in Canada or the US, hence, the UK order. My husband kindly birthed the book from the cardboard packaging with extra glue placed there, I am sure, by a concerned Brit to protect the book from the wilds of Canada. With brute force and sharp knife, giving new meaning to the words difficult delivery, both book and receipt were freed from their bondage. Being the quick man that he is, my husband notices that payment of said parcel was in pounds. As I had to explain away the postage paid in pounds to my husband with his quick frowning mathematical skills - never marry a man with a finance degree - I was not waiting for another year or 2 for this book; I needed my Diana Gabaldon fix. As hoped, Diana Gabaldon did not fail to deliver the goods. I had not read any of Gabaldon's books for possibly more than a year. Within 2 pages of the first story, A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows, I was yet again gloriously entangled in that fantastical historical time travelling world that is uniquely Diana Gabaldon. This is the poignant story of Roger's parents and gives a small hint of the direction of Roger's story thread in the upcoming 8th book, In My Own Heart's Blood. The next 2 stories are Lord John mysteries, The Custom of the Army and Lord John and the Plague of Zombies. Diana Gabaldon brings a nice crisp writing style and excellent historical detail to these quirky mysteries, with the addition of a very funny lead character and generous sprinkles of esoteric nuggets. While scaling cliffs in Quebec City and battling zombies in Jamaca, Lord John remains a funny (mostly) unflappable character. Personally, I love Lord John and would be very happy to see more of his longer historical mystery novels.The last novella in the collection - yes, sadly all good things must come to an end - is the Outlanderesque The Space Between. This is an excellent example of Diana Gabaldon's talent for story telling. Although a novella and not nearly long enough for this reader, (let's face it even her chunkies at the end feel not long enough; I want more, please,) a whole world is created with memorable characters, excellent historical detail of Paris in 1778, and, a satisfying plot with an astonding revelation that will send Outlander fans back to reread Voyager and rethink the consequences for book 8.All in all, even considering the extra postage costs, a very worthwhile read. Diana Gabaldon never fails to please. Now, I have to track down the new anthology Dangerous Women by George R R Martin which includes the short story Virgins, a tale of a younger Jamie and Ian in France. And, if not yet available, there is always the Outlander series to reread. It never gets old; more like an old friend. Highly recommend.

  • Sandy
    2019-04-10 21:10

    I am a huge fan of The Outlander series. It is currently my top rated series I have ever read (with Harry Potter a very close second). Diana Gabaldon refers to the Outlander series as BEB's - Big Enormous Books - which they are. A Trail of Fire, Four Outlander Tales is a "Buldge", stories that take place between and are interwoven and connect to BEB's. Given that fans have been waiting for MOBE (MOBY) for close to 2 years now, many of us covet any stories we can get about Jamie & Claire. I read the Scottish Prisoner (also a Buldge)and enjoyed it so I thought I would give "A Trail of Fire" a chance although I prefer to read complete novels instead of books of short stories. I liked all 4 shorts. Each has it's own unique connection to Outlander. My favourite 2 were what I would call the "true" Outlander Buldges- A Leaf on the Wind of all Hallows- a story of Roger Mac's parents which I found very touching and enlightening - filled in some blanks, and The Space Between, a story of Jamie's step daughter Joan MacKimmie and his nephew Michael Murray which takes place right after Ian sr has died and Joan travels to France with Michael as he returns home to work with Jared Fraser in their wine import business. I gave this book 4 stars on the basis of these 2 strong stories. The other 2 (The Army and The Zombies) I consider Lord John Bulges. LJ is a primary character in the Outlander series but I've never been able to get into the Lord John series - I miss the intense connection between Jaime & Claire that is the essence of Outlander - however, both of these stories were exciting, had good drama and suspense - and Lord John's sense of humor. I would rate these 2 stories 3 stars.Similar to The Scottish Prisoner, A Trail of Fire is essential reading for Outlander Fans so you can get a little fix of something new and learn some things you didn't know instead of rereading a book from the Outlander series, but neither books are in the same category as Outlander for me. Still waiting for MOBY.

  • Lisa Wolf
    2019-04-16 21:52

    It probably goes without saying that this book is essential reading for fans of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series and related works. I really have no idea whether the stories contained in A Trail of Fire would be at all interesting for newcomers to her work -- certainly, there's some well-researched and written historical fiction here, but I have a hard time seeing it being meaningful to anyone who hasn't read her other books and isn't familiar with the characters.That said, what a delight it is to have the four novellas contained in A Trail of Fire all in one volume! Three stories have appeared previously in other anthologies, but the new one, The Space Between, won't be published in the US until spring of 2013. It's plain and simple: If you love the Outlander world, read these stories. Updated to add: A more detailed review is now posted on my blog.

  • Sally
    2019-04-11 22:17

    A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows - ★★★☆☆ (2.5 rounded up).I'm torn with this first novella in the collection. It wasn't awful but there wasn't anything really that new. There was surprise!Frank which no one asked for EVER (although I kind of get why he was included). Apart from that the only really new thing was a change at the end and I think I'd kind of guessed that before getting to that part. Most of the stuff was already included in Echo (I could have sworn before reading this that the Jerry stuff was mentioned in MOBY but the later books do tend to merge together. I guess Roger's parents were cute and I suppose it was sad (if you don't have a cold, dead heart like me) but I think that a lot more could have been done with this story. I know it's a novella but there could have been more depth, it could have been a little bit longer. I did spend times confused about when this was taking place. I knew that Roger had to be old enough to remember his mother and that she'd died in the Blitz (which I thought was around 1940 - 1942) but then Roger was only a baby when Jerry went on his mission, and he'd already been injured a year beforehand and it frustrated me trying to work out when it was taking place but then maybe it was just me not knowing my way around a library. Authors note on chronology at the very end tells that this takes place in 1940 and 1942. So we now know that Roger was born in 1940 although this is subject to change between books. The Custom of the Army ★☆☆☆☆ YAWN. I don't know why I try with the LJG books and novellas. The only one I've even halfway liked was The Scottish Prisoner and that was because it was half Jamie. I've never really warmed to Lord John. He's had his moments, and I have enjoyed some of his interactions with various characters in the main books, but I just can't bring myself to care about him as a main character. This was pretty boring. I'm not even sure what really happened. An eel party, near death experience, and then that resulting in him going to Canada and getting caught up in the Battle of Quebec. Oh and the first meeting of Manoke. A Plague of Zombies ★☆☆☆☆YAWN. Another LJG novella. This time he's in Jamaica and there's something going on with live Zombies. Or something. I did get a little confused because I thought LJG went to Jamaica BECAUSE he was the governor of Jamaica but there seemed to be a different governor there. My brain can't handle it when I'm so not interested in the characters. There was a bit that I did quite like involving a meeting with a certain Mrs Abernathy. Mostly, I do not care. Edit: Okay, just found out this was set in 1761 not 1766 so 5 nearly 6 years before Voyager. So that explains the governor thing but in Voyager, Mrs Abernathy/Geillis had only been there 2 years? I think? And her husband died 6 months later. And so he would have been alive in 1761. (I honestly don't know why I bother trying to work this out.) The Space Between ★★★★☆I actually really liked this novella. It interested me and I'd love to read more! It didn't even matter that I was spoiled for one of the revelations about le Comte St Germain due to a really stupid article a couple of months ago for Season 2 of Outlander. Poor Michael Murray. He's the one Fraser-Murray kid I always forget about. I really felt bad for him with the grief he was going through. I don't understand the timing. It's June 1778 but the times off. Ian happened in March so this is 3 months later but Jamie would have already been in France by then, it would have made more sense to this being set in April. I've mostly given up on timelines and such in the books and can mostly ignore and go about with my own timeline in my head but it's much more irritating in a little novella. I really liked Joan. Not sure how Leoghaire ended up with two likeable daughters but I won't complain. Le Comte - I'm not sure what to think. He's so strange. I want to read more. AND I HAVE EVEN MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT MASTER RAYMOND NOW. I love this time travel stuff. And Mother Hildegarde is amazing. She must be approaching 150 by now. How does she do it?!

  • Ferdy
    2019-03-25 22:06

    SpoilersI only read two of the short stories - Jerry's (aka Roger's dad) and Comte/Joan/Michael's story. Lord John has always bored me, so I didn't bother reading any of his.Jerry's story (A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows) started of quite slow. There was a fair amount of dull monologue about the war, Jerry's planes and his training — and none of it held my attention. Thankfully, it picked up once Jerry went into the past, and I very much enjoyed reading about his confusion and realisation about where when he was. I was a bit unsure about the two guys he met that helped him… was one of them Roger? I don't really remember much of the seventh book. Anyway, I was positive that Jerry would end up stuck in the past, forever lost to his family but he actually managed to get back to his own time. I never expected him to return because I knew from the novels that Roger ended up being raised by a relative. I was curious as to how Gabaldon was going to 'get rid' of Jerry so that he wouldn't get the chance to be a father to Roger. I thought he might die before he was able to reunite with his family but that didn't happen… he did actually manage to reunite with them but only for a very short time… And their 'reunion' turned out tragic, sad and bittersweet. At the end, I was more moved by Jerry's short story and romance than I ever was with Jamie and Claire's… and that's shocking because Jaime and Claire have had seven huge books to effect me compared to Jerry's one short story. Maybe, it's because Jamie/Claire have lost their magic and after seven books I've become immune to their nonstop ups and downs. I hope at some point in one of the future books there's a scene where Roger somehow gets to be with both his parents again… I know it'll be cheesy but I still want them to have a little mini HEA together.Joan and Michael's story (The Space Between) was pretty decent. They were both immensely likeable characters. Joan was surprisingly charming… I don't know how she turned out to be such a good person since her mum was a selfish delusional cow. Michael was really sweet, his grief for his wife was written really well and it was hard not to feel sorry for him.I wasn't too keen on the hint of romance between Michael and Joan though, only because it was obvious that Michael's first wife was the love of his life. And if should something more should happen between Joan/Michael then it would mean that Joan would end up being second best. She deserves to be the love of someone's life rather than just someone's new love. I didn't really understand Joan's powers — can she travel to the stones or just see auras and hear voices… What the hell was she?I wasn't impressed with some aspects — mainly the whole Comte and Master Raymond thing. What was going on? What the hell was Raymond talking about at the end? Who were his children? Why was he interested in Comte? Was Comte his son? Where did Comte and Raymond disappear to? I was just really confused by Raymond and Comte's mumbo jumboAll in all, both stories were entertaining.

  • Lisa
    2019-04-25 04:12

    If you follow the Outlander series, you need to read A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows and The Space Between - two of the novellas in A Trail of Fire. If you follow the Lord John series, along with the Outlander series, you might enjoy The Custom of the Army and Lord John and the Plague of Zombies. I read and liked them all but liked the first two I mentioned best.A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows is the story of what really happened to Roger MacKenzie's parents, Jerry and Dolly and takes place during WWII. It's also in the anthology Songs of Love and Death.The Space Between takes place towards the end of An Echo in the Bone, in 1778, Paris. Michael Murray (Young Ian's older brother) escorts Joan MacKimmie (Marsali's younger sister) to a nunnery (is that a real word?) in France. There's a few favorite characters from earlier Outlander books who reappear (I won't give away any surprises). This novella will be in the new anthology The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination.The Custom of the Army takes place in London and Quebec, in 1759. It makes more sense if you read this after Hand of Devils, in particular the novella within called Haunted Soldier. Gabaldon mentions that it follows the novel Brotherhood of the Blade and precedes the novel The Scottish Prisoner.Plague of Zombies takes place in 1761, when Lord John is sent to Jamaica as commander of a battelion to suppress a revolt of escaped slaves (before he became Governor in 1766). It follows The Scottish Prisoner.Gabaldon included a chronology of the Outlander series at the end of this book which was very helpful.

  • Joana
    2019-04-23 21:03

    #The Custom of the Army The world is chaos and death and destruction. But people like you - you don't stand for that. If there is any order in the world, any peace - it's because of you, John, and those very few like you."I couldn't agree more with this sentence about John, his sense of honor and justice are one of the things I love about him.There is never a boring time in John's life, after an electric eel party that ended up with a proposal of marriage, a duel and a death. So when he receives a letter from an old friend, requiring him as a witness for a court martial in Acadia, Canada, John says yes and embarks in a new adventure. And ends up in the Battle of Quebec.Like all the previous books, besides featuring John (one of my fave characters), it have the historical details that I love in all Diana's books.#Lord John and The Plague of Zombies He'd been a soldier most of his life; he'd killed.He'd seen dead on battlefields. And one thing he knew for a fact. Dead men don't bleed. Since I already read Voyager, this one was even extra special and an interesting add to that story.John is on Jamaica to assist the governor in what it seems a plague of the undead. But there aren't such things as zombies, right?***

  • Shelly
    2019-03-26 01:49

    This book consists of four, DG short stories. I had read three of them already in other places but bought the book for the fourth and new short story, "The Space Between." I am basing this review on that story.I liked reading about these secondary characters from the Outlander series, Joan and Michael. Just like we got to know young Ian in the main books, this gives a nice glimpse into Michael's life, another of Jenny and the elder Ian's children. And it's great to be back in France, in Uncle Jared's household, with all the intrigue Paris has to offer. Joan -- with her sudden desire to become a nun explained (I figured it wasn't just pious devotion), her hilarious and typical Scot commentary on life and France, and her viewpoint of Claire Fraser explored -- is a fascinating character I enjoyed getting to know.Also wonderful to read more about Master Raymond and Mother Hildegrade, and, of course, the Comte everyone thought was dead! Thicken the plot with mentions of Melisande (aka Mrs. Abernathy, aka Geillis Duncan) and you've got something deliciously mysterious. Did that woman conspire with everyone?!I finished the story with some of my long-lingering questions still half answered, and many new questions. So, if the goal of the story was to explain matters (I suspect the answer is no), then... not so much. I'm certain the love spark between Joan and Michael will be further explored in the larger novels; the ending left the door wide open for that, and when that year ends, I expect to read about their engagement.But what will become of Joan's voices? How long will Michael (and Jared) stay in France, and what will become of them during the fast-approaching revolution? What was the Comte trying to accomplish by getting Madeline pregnant, and ... did she get pregnant? Does he take her back in time, and is the resulting child the one we've read about years later, Fergus? Will we finally find out how the mother died? What does Master Raymond mean about his "sons and daughters" with the blue aura? Did he somehow create travelers like Claire and the Comte, and are those two related by blood somehow? Which "daughter" was he protecting in this story -- Claire? And why would he think she is back in Paris? Has he been able to track her movements through time? Where did Raymond and the Comte disappear to at the end of this story -- backward, forward? Will we see them again?Lots of things to chew on until the next big novel arrives in about a year... In the meantime, I look forward to DG's next short story, "Virgins."

  • Lori McD
    2019-04-10 04:12

    This book has it all! Four short stories by Diana Gabaldon - all wonderful in their own way. And while it might not be obvious why these stories were grouped together in one book, as you get to the new story (A SPACE BETWEEN), you can see the pieces come together... but only if you've been paying attention to the names and characters from the previous short stories and have a background with the Outlander series. (Doesn't hurt to have a background with the Lord John Grey series, either.)BEWARE - there might be unmarked spoilers in this review! If you haven't read all the Outlander books, you might want to skip this; if not, you were warned!1. A LEAF IN THE WIND OF ALL HALLOWS: The story of Roger Wakefield MacKenzie's parents, Jerry (Jeremy) and Dolly (Marjorie) MacKenzie. Jerry is a WWII pilot who just happens to be in the right place at the right time when British Intelligence officer Frank Randall needs another pilot to fly over Poland and take pictures of the German concentration camps.But when Jerry is practicing with the new cameras over Northumberland, his Spitfire goes down... in a ring of standing stones... near All Hallow's Eve. Jerry finds himself in a strange place and time, where there are no roads or buildings where they ought to be and suspicious folk who'd rather beat him and steal from him than help him. Could that be because he can't understand a word they say, and vice versa?After wandering around for awhile, stealing food and clothing where he can, he ends up captured and locked into an outbuilding. But 2 mysterious men - 1 of whom seems to know him quite well - rescue him and send him back to his wife and son through the same stones.Jerry makes his way to London, only to discover it's two years after the day he went through the stones. While trying to find his wife, Dolly, and their small son, Roger, another bombing attack starts. Jerry hurries into the subway - one of the bomb shelters - only to see his wife with wee Roger in her arms on the stairs above him... and the stairs are collapsing. Dolly, smiling through her tears and radiant as ever, throws the wee boy into his arms, just as the stairs finally crumble from another fierce shake of bombs...================This is such a beautiful, bittersweet story. It makes me cry every time. Jerry and Dolly obviously love one another very much, despite being separated by war. You get the sense that they have the same kind of fiery-fierce love that Jamie & Claire have, just in another place and time. Which is brought home all the more when it turns out that Frank Randall is the British Intelligence officer who meets Jerry and recruits him. Frank has to visit Dolly to tell her of Jerry's death... And wee Roger, who reminds me so much of Jem!The ending of this story is so sad, and yet, it's hopeful and happy, too. (view spoiler)[Because we see Dolly & Jerry together again, at last! And we know that the grown-up Roger has had the chance to see his father and know him, even if for only a day. The hug that Roger gives to Jerry is bone-crushing, in more ways than one. (hide spoiler)]2. THE CUSTOM OR THE ARMY (A Lord John Grey story): This story takes place just after Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, "Lord John and the Haunted Soldier", during Voyager before Jamie & Claire are reunited, and just before Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner. In it, Lord John Grey finds himself in Canada, after a party incident with electric eels and a challenge to a duel! But there, Lord John finds an old friend (and lover) who needs his help to bring charges against another officer. This is important, because the crux of this story is finished in Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner; in that book, Lord John continues his crusade to get the culprit, while dealing with his feelings and need for Jamie Fraser. Lord John is mixed up in a court martial and somehow, in the amazing Battle of Quebec, where soldiers scale the impossible walls of the Quebec cliffs to surprise the French general and win the day. Lord John also makes the "acquaintance" of an Indian who becomes rather important to him... and is even mentioned in latter Outlander books. (Hoping for more info about Manoake and Lord John, either in MOBY book 8 or in another Lord John story. Lots left there to explore.)3. LORD JOHN AND THE PLAGUE OF ZOMBIES (A Lord John Grey story): This story takes place during Voyager, after Jamie is in Helwater and after their adventure in Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner. Lord John is sent to Jamaica to deal with a slave revolt. Or is it? The soldiers and locals claim that zombies are causing the revolt. What part does the mysterious Mrs. Abernathy play in all of this? As he digs deeper, Lord John discovers there's more than meets the eye at work here.... 4. THE SPACE BETWEEN: This is the NEW story. All the others have been published as either solo works (now) or as part of an anthology. But this story is brand-spanking new. It's the story of Michael Murray, Ian and Jenny's middle boy, who has been apprenticing with Cousin Jared in France at Fraser et Cie, the wine & spirits company. Michael has just lost his wife, Lilli, and had been home to Scotland for his father's funeral. Poor Michael is weighed down in grief. Luckily, he has a task to keep his mind somewhat occupied: he's escorting Joan Mackimmie MacKenzie to France to join a convent.Joan is Leoghaire's second daughter, and Jamie's step-daughter. Joan has wanted to become a nun all her life, despite never knowing or seeing a nun. But Joan has her own secrets... she's afraid she's got the same malady as Joan of Arc - she hears voices that tell her prophetic things to say to others... and she can tell when someone is going to die soon. Joan thinks that in joining a convent, perhaps she can get some perspective on this "gift": is it a curse from the devil, himself, or a gift of God? Is it angels or demons speaking to her? What is she to do with this gift?Joan's new order is headed by none other than Mother Hildegard, Claire's friend from Dragonfly in Amber. Joan has a letter to Mother Hildegard from Claire; but Joan's French isn't quite up to speed, and she inadvertently says that she's Claire's daughter, rather than step-daughter (of sorts).That small mistake leads the Comte St. Germain (no, he's not dead!) to mistake Joan as the daughter of La Dame Blanche - a woman he never wants to meet again. But the Comte (who's given name is important) has been madly pursuing his sorcery ever since his mysterious "resurrection". He teamed up with a female sorcerer (whose name is important) in France for awhile; she told him about time travel and stones... The Comte has discovered a type of "light" around people and things that tells him if they're like he is - can travel or not. And the Comte has been trying to travel into the future; he's traveled a bit into the far past and even into his own past. When the Comte hears that "the frog" or Master Grenouille (French for "frog" has been looking for him, he's afraid and excited. It was this man (Master Raymond) who gave him the Dragon's Blood that seemingly took his life in the court of King Louis XIV. But the Comte is intrigued by what Master Raymond might want of him and wants to ask his own questions. When Raymond tells the Comte that he's looking for "his lost daughter", the Comte thinks that she must be Joan - the daughter of La Dame Blanche.Thus starts an intriguing mystery that entangles Joan, Michael, Mother Hildegard, the Comte, and Master Raymond....=======My only nit is that THE STORY ENDED!!! I wanted so much more - but that's the way Diana Gabaldon's writing is - I always want more.This is a clever story that amazes me, especially the way that Diana says she writes - in scenes, not in outlines. Perhaps that gives her a wider range of freedom with her characters and new stories, but I have NO IDEA how she keeps things wrapped so neatly together!I caught her "hint" within this story, but even so, it was nice to have a not from Herself at the end to confirm it... just in case her readers didn't pick up on it.Also, pay attention to the Comte's dealings with a certain young whore... that answers a few questions that arose in my mind during Echo In The Bone - namely, how did the Comte have other heirs? (view spoiler)[I also found it delightful that Fergus's eldest is named Germain! Since I was paying attention to names, this one finally hit me. How ironic, right? (hide spoiler)]AN AMAZING BOOK!

  • Heather Hyde
    2019-04-25 03:55

    Disappointed! Gabaldons BEB's ( Big Enormous Books) are my favourite series of books but her novellas leave me cold. Lord John Grey is a weak and boring character and having tried Lord John and the Private Matter, I should have know better. I don't think the short stories achieve anything. Some of the lesser known characters have by this time become so faded in memory I couldn't tie them in with what I can remember from the big books. The story lines are just plucked almost out of thin air to me and unfortunately just didn't hold my attention and the authors notes at the beginning of each of the four stories didn't help me very much either. Sorry Diana!

  • Brita
    2019-04-23 01:51

    Gillade första och sista novellen bäst.

  • Debbie
    2019-04-13 04:10

    This book contains four novellas from Diana Gabaldon, three of which I had read before when they were first published in anthologies. However, as the cost of buying the anthologies was quite prohibitive, I had to borrow the books from the library in order to read those stories. It is fabulous to be able to own a physical copy of them all, plus one brand new one!The four novellas all fit within the Outlander/Lord John universe. There are two Lord John stories, a story about Roger's parents which predates the events in Outlander, and a story about Michael Murray (one of Jenny & Ian's sons) and Joan McKimmie (Laoghaire's younger daughter and Marsali's sister).It was that last story, The Space Between that I rushed to read, as it has never been published before, and in fact due to the vagaries of the international publishing system, will not be published in the USA until 2013. This is probably the first time ever that people in the Southern hemisphere have been able to get their hands on a Gabaldon book before people in the US and that is a moment to be savoured and cherished!The Space Between ***** This story takes place in 1778 after Ian Snr's death in Echo. When Echo finished we knew that Michael had returned to France to resume his career as a liquor merchant with his uncle Jared Fraser, and that Joan had travelled there with him to enter a convent and begin her life as a nun.It was a surprise therefore to find that this story begins, not with Joan and Michael, but with the Comte St Germain, who was last seen dying in King Louis's Star Chamber in Dragonfly in Amber after being handed a cup of poison by Claire.After a beginning like that there was never any doubt that this was going to be a great tale and it didn't disappoint. There are three separate threads to this story that interweave to form a single strand. Each separate strand is told from the first person point of view of the character concerned, so we have three quite distinct voices which just adds to the interest.We have Michael - desperately trying to cope with the overwhelming grief caused by the loss of his wife Lillie while continuing to function on a day to day basis. He also has the responsibility to get Joan settled into the convent and at the back of his mind is the warning that Claire gave him about what lies in store for France and Paris in ten years time.We have Joan whose real reasons for wishing to enter a convent are revealed. She has inner demons of her own to battle with and responsibilities and moral dilemmas that she struggles to deal with. Joan at least has the guidance of another old friend from the Outlander series - the convent she has entered is the one run by Mother Hildegarde - the Convent of our Lady Queen of Angels, attached to the Hopital des Anges.The third thread is the Comte. One of the best parts of this story is hearing his voice and seeing things through his eyes. In Dragonfly in Amber he was a straightforwardly evil character, and he is certainly not a pleasant man here, but there are far more layers to him and there are some breathtaking revelations revealed about him and others connected with him. The Comte's path crosses with that of Michael and Joan, and an erroneous assumption on the Comte's part spells danger for Joan. The story ends in dramatic fashion and in typical Gabaldon style raises more questions than it answers.I loved this story, but it has left me wanting a whole lot more of Michael, Joan, and the Comte. Fantastic storytelling. A Trail, of Fire It is now June 9th 2014, one day before MOHB is released for sale. I have just re-read Echo and with one more day to fill decided to read this story again as parts of it take place immediately after Echo ends.I did NOT like this story much when I first read it. It will be interesting to see if I feel more favourably disposed towards it this time round.Well I have to say it didn't annoy me quite so much. I still think the storyline is contrived and a really clichéd time travel meme with just too many convenient little events that allow it to happen. And I still didn't warm to either Jerry or Dolly. Will be interesting if we find out any more about this story in MOHB.

  • Chance Lee
    2019-04-23 02:57

    I read three of the four stories in this book before I had to return it to the library: "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows," "The Custom of the Army," and "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies.""A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows" tells the tale of Roger's parents. I vaguely remembered this story from Roger's perspective. According to a footnote, that is told in Echo in the Bone, but I thought it was in the most recent book, Written in My Own Heart's Blood. The sheer mass of all these novels has leaked from my brain, and that prevents me from enjoying these stories to their fullest. They cannot be read on their own, because Gabaldon doesn't contextualize the numerous characters for newcomers, or those who have forgotten. Still, this story is a good, if rushed, little yarn, filled with good dialog and interesting tidbits of history. The end has a nice, bittersweet twist to it. "The Custom of the Army" is a Lord John story. I like Lord John stories. Correction: I like Lord John. This story made me realize why I don't usually like the shorts involving him though. Here's the formula: interesting set-up (the first scene in this story is wonderful), a mystery unfolds, Lord John gets sidetracked by a real-world historical battle, mystery solves itself. I know Lord John is in the military, but I do not care about all his military malarkey. Lord John is supposed to help an old comrade through a military tribunal, or something, but The Battle of Quebec derails this story, and when Lord John returns, literally everyone is dead of smallpox, problem solved. There are interesting details about the old comrade's third hand -- which grew from his wrist and made him an expert in handjobs; and Lord John gets to go on a weeklong sexpedition with a hunky Native American. I didn't finish "Lord John and the Plague of Zombies," but I may return to it someday. The Custom of the Army wore me out. This one takes place in Jamaica, like the end of Voyager, my favorite Outlander novel. There seems to be a zombie-esque assailant on the loose. But again, the military mumbo-jumbo makes my eyes go blurry. In this one, Lord John has eyes for a hunky black servant. That seems to be the imperialistic theme of these two stories -- Lord John claims the New World by plunging his, erm, flagpole into, uhm, native soil. I'm not sure if Rodrigo was conquered or not.

  • Andrew
    2019-04-17 23:02

    A Leaf on the Wind is 4 long short stories and fills in a few gaps here and there in the Outlander saga. These sorts of linking books are good as they fill in gaps and give us a taste of Outlander whilst waiting for the next big novel to come out. The first story is on Roger's parents and what happened to them. Although I wasn't clear on who the 2 guys at the end were and had to go Googling to find out! The two Lord John stories were also good and I think I will have to go out and read the rest of the Lord John stuff. Zombies seem to be quite fashionable at the moment and no doubt, DG has done extensive research into their origins.In a previous review, I commented on DG's treatment of the character of the Comte de Saint Germain and how she could have done a lot more with him. Well, in the final story she does leaving me with a taste for more. Ditto with the Raymond the Frog character. Hopefully, we will see a lot more stuff on time travel from these two.

  • Emily
    2019-04-11 04:09

    Diana Gabaldon's Outlander world is so big and the characters so numerous that, since time isn't really an obstacle either, there are pockets of untold stories all over the place. She could write in this world for a very long time.I had already read 3 of the 4 novellas in other collections. Both of the Lord John novellas were quite good, as well as A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows (although that title always makes me think of the movie Serenity-oh, Wash).The Space Between was my least favorite. It was worth reading for a couple of the secrets it revealed, but I didn't really care much about the relationships, and the characterization wasn't up to her usual high standards. Still, on the strength of the other 3 novellas, I highly recommend this to Outlander fans to tide them over until the next giant block of a book comes out.

  • Sam
    2019-04-06 04:02

    My hardback copy of this issue ISBN 978 1 4091 4447 2 I ordered from the UK, and, although I had only read one of the short stories, I still Love this book. What a great way to get an idea for a new book, just follow a different friend or family member, and see what they are up to? Did I say I loved it? I am so glad Diana got the copy rights back so that I could have four of her "short stories" in one place. "A leaf on the wind of all Hallows" was so good, and so was "The space Between" and Raymond is back and Mother Hildergard... And we get to know Ian's oldest brother Michael, and I really like him. Another good man for us to love. But - Joan MacKimme - the best! Oh, this was a great fun read!

  • Erin Stevenson
    2019-04-11 04:47

    Another wonderful addition to the bulge! Diana Gabaldon's detail to historical fiction and ability to wind in actual historical figures with her characters never ceases to astound me. Huzzah!

  • Kasia James
    2019-04-03 01:02

    Containing four short stories which 'bulge' from the main thread of Gabaldon's disturbingly addictive Outlander series, these vibrant short stories are delightful. I think they would still make sense to someone who has not read the other novels, but for those of us who have, they give playful little hints as to how they would fill out the world Gabaldon has created. Full of sensory details, they are a fun escape for the everyday, and prove again what a compelling writer she is.

  • Julie
    2019-04-07 01:48

    These four novellas were excellent. In my opinion, the author has gotten better and better at filling in some of the side stories with really strong shorts. Each one of these was long enough to feel like it was a complete side story, instead of some of the earlier ones that felt a little rushed in the end. For Outlander followers, these are a must read.

  • Larisa
    2019-04-17 00:17

    Thrilled to have the three previously released short stories from other disparate anthologies *and* the additional new story wrapping it up."A Leaf on All Hallow's" is even more poignant the second time."The Space in Between" is heart-breakingly gorgeous.

  • Suzanne
    2019-04-09 03:14

    I was lucky enough to pick this up on a recent trip to the UK as it's not out here in the US. Loved the first story about Roger's father in the Second World War. As for the rest, I really enjoyed being back in the Outlander world, even if the stories didn't include Jamie and Claire.

  • Brenda
    2019-04-24 04:13

    I like Diana Gabaldon's short stories that tie up small crevices in her "large" books. I am not that fond of the Lord John stories.This book contains 4 short stories, 2 Outlander related and 2 Lord John related. I really liked A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows, and the Space Between.

  • Amanda
    2019-04-26 01:14

    4 short stories - Enjoyed the two that were 'bulges' from the Cross Stitch storyline - particularly the one on Roger's parents. Hate how she promotes her Lord John stories as offshoots from Cross Stitch - they are written completely differently and i don't enjoy them at all.

  • Kathy
    2019-04-24 04:12

    Love me some bulges!! Wish a few of them would show up as full-fledged books someday ... all of the stories were worth the time to read them. This girlie is sure prolific!

  • Carlla
    2019-04-21 00:04

    Fun to read shorts from Diana regarding the Outlander series, not really about them but in between them. Involving characters you know from the books. I really enjoyed "The Space Between".

  • Janice
    2019-04-13 00:58

    Boring. I don't like her character John Grey

  • Prestoni
    2019-04-01 22:11

    Just love all her books, this one was an entertaining way to fill in a couple of afternoons.

  • Graceann
    2019-04-06 05:12

    The designation of short story is rather a misnomer here, as it is Diana Gabaldon, after all. There are four stories in Trail of Fire, a book of about 375 pages, so not quite short enough to be short stories, and not quite long enough to be novellas. At least one of these has been published previously, and these are what Gabaldon calls "bulge" stories - they fit in with characters who aren't doing anything in the novels with which they correlate, and thus can be sent on pretty much any errand. I had a lot of trouble with this one, mostly because the two middle stories featured a character who isn't all that interesting to me - Lord John Grey. However, the first story, about Roger's father, is a five-star read, and one you may have already gotten to enjoy if you've read the Stories of Love and Death compilation featuring Gabaldon and several other authors. I also (mostly) enjoyed the final story, featuring Jamie's step-daughter Joan, and Michael Murray, in Paris. But those two middle stories; well, I just couldn't get on board with them. If you're a Grey fan, I suspect you'll be in Outlander heaven, however.

  • Tiia
    2019-04-20 01:10

    She is a master when writing a long stories, hundreds of pages, absolutely brilliant with so many details. Unfortunately I cannot say the same with short stories. I liked that I got the chance to read more about characters that I haven't got the chance before. But my joy was as short as these stories were, they offered tiny bit of more information, but not enough and it's been cut off toi shortly and my mind is full of questions. Not exactly what I hoped for. And personally lord John character is too boring, and no matter where he is or what he does, I couldn't care less. In future I will stick on the main story.

  • Sanna
    2019-04-07 23:17

    Olen lukenut kaikki Matkantekijän ”pääsarjan” järkäleet. Tämä kokoelma rönsyjä oli ehdottomasti lukemisen arvoinen laajennus. Rakastin lukea Rogerin vanhemmista. Luiden kaiku jättikin tältä osalta asioita selvästi avoimeksi. Olen oppinut pitämään lordi Johnista. Varsinkin Jamaikalle sijoittuva zombitarina jätti minut kuitenkin miettimään kokonaisuuden aikajanaa. Oliko hän tuohon aikaan niin vapaa velvoitteista, kuin tässä kuvataan? Jännittävin on viimeinen tarina Välitila. Se herättää päätarinaan liitettynä monia uusia näkökulmia ja kysymyksiä.