This starts out much slower than I remembered. Like, a lot slower, and I found myself not really caring very much about anything that happens in Paris. Knowing the outcome, I just wanted to get the political intrigue over with, because who really cares about a clueless wannabe monarch who's barely in the story anyway, and just get back to Scotland already. I loved Fergus's introduction though, but all the stuff with Jack Randall was just...not necessary at all. And of course, this wouldn't be a Diana Gabaldon book without explicitly described rape scenes. =/ What is her obsession with rape?
The bookends with the stuff in the future wasn't very interesting either. I didn't like Bree much when she was first introduced and never really warmed up to her over the course of the series; that continues to be the case. Roger's an all right chap though. Every time he shows up, I want to give him a lozenge. ;)
Seeing Scotland again and seeing the campaign for independence take such a violent nosedive was as well done as I remembered though. You could feel the despair of these characters and cringe at the inevitability of it all. Knowing the future doesn't save you from it.
Davina Porter does as great a job here as the first one, though her voice for Roger was way too much like her voice for Jack Randall and was pretty distracting. I wish she'd have softened it up a little bit, to go along with his gentle nature.