‘The Exile’ review
By Brittney MacDonald, Senior Columnist
The Exile is a historical romance set in Scotland during the 18th century that is based off the award-winning Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. The graphic novel takes a unique approach of transitioning from literary work to narrative comic. A plot filled with romance and humour drives this intriguing and exciting novel, making up for the less than stellar artwork.
Written by series author Gabaldon, The Exile switches the perspective from leading lady Claire Randall to her roguish love interest Jamie Fraser. After some time spent away, Jamie returns to Scotland with more than his share of problems. He’s stuck in the middle of a power struggle between his two uncles, who are leaders of the influential Clan MacKenzie, and he has a bounty on his head courtesy of the English.
Enter Claire. She’s beautiful, mysterious, and half-naked most of the time. Plus, she swears like a sailor and happens to be able to doctor any wound an 18th century Highlander could wind up with. As the pair becomes closer, their secrets are brought out in the open—including one that Claire has been hiding that’s a doozy!
The change in narration between Claire and Jamie allows Exile to be read by fans of the original series without the plot feeling too repetitive. However, enough of the backstory is explained that newcomers will be able to read and understand the graphic novel even if they aren’t familiar with the original book.
Illustrated by Hoang Nguyen, many of the panels appear muddy because of over-blending and sometimes the characters appear too stiff or out of proportion. The panel layout is also a problem because it lacks any dynamics and instead appears overly simplistic.
I’d recommend this book for any friend you’re trying to get interested in reading graphic novels.