To say I approached The Exile with trepidation is an understatement, since Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorite novels. I was afraid that a graphic novel might interfere with my mental images of Jamie and Claire and that it might not be able to do justice to the story. But from the first pages, The Exile brought the characters to life and gave a new dimension to my enjoyment of my favorite literary supercouple. If anything, The Exile reminded me of why I fell in love with Outlander so many years ago.
The Exile gives us a bit of background on Jamie’s early life and shows us his first encounters with the time-traveling Claire. As with any graphic novel, the pictures are the main attraction, but the dialogue and thought bubbles provide even a newcomer with plenty of substance to keep the story flowing. The illustrator, Hoang Nguyen, does a terrific job giving visuals to the story, and while Claire is often shown as more buxom than I’d imagined, all the characters are very similar to those living in my imagination. Nguyen captures Jamie’s delightful sense of humor in his features while managing to keep him realistic. The author also includes a chatty section at the end that describes the journey of The Exile into print, all of which adds to the enjoyment.
The book stays true to the story of Outlander, though it ends with Claire’s decision to stay with Jamie rather than returning to her own time. Overall, while adding no additional insight to the series, this is a fun supplement and can be highly recommended from this fan.