A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Version: Unabridged (Abridged version available here)
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Narrator: Davina Porter
Genres: Romance
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published In: September 2005
# of Units: 48 CDs
Length: 47 hours
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Eagerly anticipated by her legions of fans, 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.

Since the initial publication of Outlander fifteen years ago, Diana Gabaldon's New York Times–bestselling saga has won the hearts of readers the world over -- and sold more than twelve million books. Now, 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.

Reviews (14)

Oh my God!

Written by Anonymous on September 8th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This was a long listen - 45 cds. I'm still not sure I've seen the last of it as the final scene didn't seem to do it for me, but maybe I just want it to go on forever. I felt almost a part of their lives by the time I was done and am wondering how the family is doing. Will definitely need to go back and read the other preceding books.

Couldn't get into it

Written by Anonymous on December 4th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I loved Gabeldon's early books; this one just didn't grab me. I returned the disks early.

a breath of snow and ashed

Written by elizabeth manuge from South Ohio RR 1, NS on December 1st, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

this was a satisfying book. the heroine has her revenge and the villan is arrested thanks to her efforts and those of the nice man she meets on the way. it had a few scary moments which added to the suspense. it is not however great literature, just an easy one to listen to with enough action to keep one interested.

Wonderful Romance

Written by Carol Smith on April 22nd, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This book continues the saga of Jamie & Claire. It's a great read!

Long Book but worth the read

Written by Anonymous on October 26th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

For those of us who have read all of the books in the series it is a necessary read about the only thing I found disappointing was the ending was wrapped up too quickly and "neatly"...but maybe I was just wishing that there was going to be another book in the series.

Breath of Snow and Ashes

Written by Mb on October 17th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 0/5

Could not get into this book. Found the dialect hard to understand,

A Breath of Snow and

Written by Anonymous on April 29th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I like this author very much and have read her other books before this one. Listening to it on tape was a bit daunting to me. I sent it back and chose to read it in person. I wanted to have more variety in my travels and this one was to long to allow me to read other authors. Otherwise I would have continued it as it sounds wonderful.

Breath of Snow & Ashes

Written by Anonymous on March 24th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Excellent book. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Outlander was one of my first book in the series by Gabaldon and I was hooked. I missed a lot of them in the series, but picked up with this one and remember now why I enjoyed her so much. The story is strong, the charactors believable and the narration excellent!

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Written by Erin A from Bartlesville, OK on February 26th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is a wonderful series that I can't get enough of. You'll fall in love with Jamie and Clair as I did throughout the 6 books that keep you on your toes! I want to marry a scotsman! ;) I cannot wait for the 7th book to come out sometime this year!

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Written by Anonymous on August 14th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

The "Outlander" series are the most enjoyed audiobooks I have ever listened too. The narrator is excellent! Diana Gabaldon's story about this wonderful love story between Jamie and Clara is refreshing and fun. I find myself often torn between laughter and tears.

Author Details

Author Details

Gabaldon, Diana

To millions of fans, Diana Gabaldon is the creator of a complex, original, and utterly compelling amalgam of 18th-century romantic adventure and 20th-century science fiction. To the publishing industry, she's a grassroots-marketing phenomenon. And to would-be writers everywhere who worry that they don't have the time or expertise to do what they love, Gabaldon is nothing short of an inspiration.

Gabaldon wrote her first novel while juggling the demands of motherhood and career: in between her job as an ecology professor, she also had a part-time gig writing freelance software reviews. Gabaldon had never written fiction before, and didn't intend to publish this first novel, which she decided to call Outlander. This, she decided, would be her "practice novel". Worried that she might not be able to pull a plot and characters out of thin air, she settled on a historical novel because "it's easier to look things up than to make them up entirely."

The impulse to set her novel in 18th-century Scotland didn't stem -- as some fans have assumed—from a desire to explore her own familial roots (in fact, Gabaldon isn't even Scottish). Rather, it came from watching an episode of the British sci-fi series Dr. Who and becoming smitten with a handsome time traveler in a kilt. A time-travel element crept into Gabaldon's own book only after she realized her wisecracking female lead couldn't have come from anywhere but the 20th century. The resulting love affair between an intelligent, mature, sexually experienced woman and a charismatic, brave, virginal young man turned the conventions of historical romance upside-down.

Gabaldon has said her books were hard to market at first because they were impossible to categorize neatly. Were they historical romances? Sci-fi adventure stories? Literary fiction? Whatever their genre (Gabaldon eventually proffered the term "historical fantasias"), they eventually found their audience, and it turned out to be a staggeringly huge one.

Even before the publication of Outlander, Gabaldon had an online community of friends who'd read excerpts and were waiting eagerly for more. (In fact, her cohorts at the CompuServe Literary Forum helped hook her up with an agent.) Once the book was released, word kept spreading, both on the Internet and off, and Gabaldon kept writing sequels. (When her fourth book, "Drums of Autumn," was released, it debuted at No. 1 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, and her publisher, Delacorte, raced to add more copies to their initial print run of 155,000.)

With her books consistently topping the bestseller lists, it's apparent that Gabaldon's appeal lies partly in her ability to bulldoze the formulaic conventions of popular fiction. Salon writer Gavin McNett noted approvingly, "She simply doesn't pay attention to genre or precedent, and doesn't seem to care that identifying with Claire puts women in the role of the mysterious stranger, with Jamie -- no wimp in any regard -- as the romantic 'heroine."'

In between Outlander novels, Gabaldon also writes historical mysteries featuring Lord John Grey, a popular, if minor, character from the series, and is working on a contemporary mystery series. Meanwhile, the author's formidable fan base keeps growing, as evidenced by the expanding list of Gabaldon chat rooms, mailing lists, fan clubs and web sites -- some of them complete with fetching photos of red-haired lads in kilts.