Book Reviews, Favourites

Outlander Series Overview

 

 

One of my reading goals for this year was to read the entire Outlander series (which I did). I wanted to read the books after watching the first two series of the TV show. I have loved all the books and Jamie and Claire have become one of my ultimate OTPs.

 

Reading this series took commitment and is definitely the longest book series I’ve read. Most of the main series books are over a 1000 pages and on average took me a week to a week and a half to read. Plus there were all the novellas and  the Lord John Grey series. I know that when I read this series I wanted to read it properly, so I read everything.

 

However is you are interested in the story but your not sure if you want to read the entire series (I get it, it is pretty hefty). I think reading just the first book is great as it ends on a happily for now scenario and not really in a cliffhanger (of course I recommend reading the whole series).

 

I have compiled all my reviews in the one place to make it all easy to find.

 

 

Rating: 5+ ‘Sassenach’ stars

 

One of my new favourite books and new favourite series!

 

I remember when I first joined Goodreads in 2013 and I was exploring the website and in particular Listopia I kept seeing this book with a blue cover appearing on all the best lists and I was curious to see what it was about. Fast forward to 2014 and I started watching the TV and I absolutely loved it. After the end of season two, and gaining first place as my favourite show. I made it one of my reading goals of 2017 to read the series and now hear I am.

 

I am more than happy I started this series and am pleased to say I absolutely LOVED IT. Welcome to Jamie and Claire to my favourite OTPs and welcome Jamie Fraser to the realm of book boyfriends. As much as I love Claire, Jamie has become a new favourite and is completely swoon worthy. Words cannot describe my feelings when reading about Jamie and Claire.

 

Claire is on a second honeymoon in Inverness, Scotland with her husband Frank after the end of the war in 1945. They have been married for eight years but with the war, they have been apart for most of those years. Frank is a historian, focused on researching his ancestor Captain ‘Black Jack’ Randall and Claire is researching medicinal herbs. On one of her trips she comes across this stone formation, Craigh na Dun. On one of these visits to the stones, Claire hears a weird bzzing noise and ends up getting transported to 1743 Scotland.

 

Claire first sees someone she thinks is Frank but turns out it’s Black Jack Randall who lives up to his bad reputation. Claire also comes across of highlanders who end up taking her with them. Among this group of man is Jamie. Claire with her medical experience helps Jamie who has been injured. This establishes a kind of camaraderie between the two although Claire is still confused as to her circumstances.

 

As the story progresses Claire finds herself needing to be protected against Black Jack, who as an English Captain holds some rank. Claire is a suspected spy and has no friends or family and as an outsider is considered unprotected. So the idea is proposed that she marry Jamie who although an outlaw will give her protection.

 

“Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone,
I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.
I give ye my Spirit, ’til our Life shall be Done.”

 

I love the formation of Jamie and Claire’s relationship. They built a great foundation of friendship, love and understanding. I love how their love grew over a long period of time and the passion was one of its kind.

 

“Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you’re mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own.”

 

The book is filled with love, romance, adventure, drama and emotion. I love learning about Scottish historyand now I want to know about any Scottish history that I have myself (both parents have Scottish last names, so I know I’m from there, somewhere!).

 

This is a truly amazing book and a great start to a an epic series that’s well worth a read. Give me man in a kilt any day.

 

Rating: 4 stars

 

This is a novella about Jamie and Ian set before the time in Outlander. The story begins in October, 1740 near Bordeaux, France. Jamie has just come from Scotland, delivered by Murtagh, urging him not to and not to return to Scotland. To earn their way, Jamie and Ian work as mercenaries, protecting and delivering goods and people safely to destinations for payment.

 

It was really interesting seeing Jamie just after his ordeal with Black Jack and coping with the recent loss of his father. I loved getting that further insight into his thoughts.

 

Jamie’s knowledge of Hebrew has them included in an assignment to take a young Jewish woman from her home in Bordeaux to her prospective husband in Paris. But the trip does not go according to plan, and Jamie sees the young, innocent-looking Rebekah for what she really is: a dangerous woman.

 

It was great getting to know more about Jamie’s time in France and helped to better understand his character. I loved seeing Jamie before Claire and overall this was a great novella and a must read for any Outlander fan.

 

Rating: 3.5 stars

 

I have never read a graphic novel before so the format and everything else is very new to me. Therefore I cannot comment about how it stands up to other graphic novels but overall I did find the experience enjoyable.

 

The story of Outlander was shown more through Murtagh and Jamie’s point of view which I really enjoyed and found interesting. However, because there were lots of male characters I felt that a lot of the illustrations blended together a bit and I had troubles distinguishing who was who.

 

Sometimes the story got a bit confusing (this could also be the fact that I am not used to the format) but overall I liked it well enough. I don’t think I will be reading too many graphic novels in the future (probably only if it part of a series I liked).

 

This was a nice edition to the series but by no means an essential part of Outlander. I know people have mixed feelings about this graphic novel but I did enjoy it and it was very different to what I am used to reading, so it was a nice change.

 

Rating: 5 stars

 

“We are bound, you and I, and nothing on this earth shall part me from you.”

 

Jamie and Claire are off to Paris in an attempt to stop Bonnie Prince Charlie in his campaign for Scotland. I loved seeing Jamie and Claire interact with Parisian high society. They are staying with a cousin of Jamie’s and he will be looking after the shipping business while Jared is away.

 

Jamie finds him self holding court with Charles Stewart and building up friendships in high places to avoid the avoid the Jacobite uprising. Meanwhile Claire volunteers at a makeshift hospital run by Mde Hildegard as a way to be useful while she’s not part of other official business.

 

Jamie comes across a boy around ten years old, Fergus and offers him a position with him. Jamie uses him for his pick-pocketing skills in offer for food and board. However both Jamie and Claire get attached to Fergus and Fergus to them and he ends up staying. I really loved the addition of Fergus and he became quite endearing.

 

Jamie and Claire grow stronger in their relationship but they also suffer heartbreak  and conflict but they manage to pull through. However their time in Paris comes to an abrupt end and they must leave back to Scotland without having achieved their initial goal.

 

Back in Scotland Jamie, Claire, Murtagh and Fergus return to Lallybroch and to Ian and Jenny. Things settle there but the threat of uprising is ever present and both know what is coming.

 

However everything is foreshadowed when Claire and her daughter Brianna return to Scotland in 1968 a few years after the death of her husband Frank. They meet Roger Wakefield who becomes an integral part in finding out about what happened at the Battle of Culloden.

 

This was a great sequel and can’t wait to continue with the rest of the series. Especially since from now on everything is new as the TV series is only two seasons in.

 

Rating: 5 stars

 

“It has always been forever, for me, Sassenach”

 

Claire and Jamie have been separated twenty years after the battle of Culloden. Claire went back to her life in the 1940s to raise her and Jamie’s daughter Brianna and back to her life with Frank. Her relationship with Frank is estranged and the only thing keeping them together is their love for Brianna. Claire spends her time between the hospital where she has become a surgeon and as a mother.

 

When Claire finds herself back in Scotland with proof that Jamie is alive, she knows she has to go back.

 

Jamie, after Culloden finds himself in tough situations for many including hiding out in a cave and in prison. Twenty years later he finds himself in Edinburgh where he owns a print shop. This is ultimately how Claire finds him and they reunite.

 

Jamie and Claire are instantly thrown into a whirlwind of adventure while they try and reconnect as they get use to being back in each others life. They both need to reconcile their pasts as so much has happened in their lives.

 

“Do ye not understand?”he said, in near desparation. “I would lay the world at your feet, Claire-and I have nothing to give ye!”

He honestly thought it mattered.”

 

Jamie and Claire are one of my favourite couples and nothing made me happier then when they were able to reconnect. Their relationship strengthens as they come to rely on each other but they do overcome many obstacles to get there.

 

However there were some circumstances and choices that I didn’t like or that I didn’t like reading but overall it was still an amazing book and an amazing series. I just love Jamie and Claire so much and their story is truly epic and unique.

 

“Then kiss me, Claire,” he whispered, “And know that you are more to me than life, and I have no regret.”

 

Rating: 4 stars

 

This is a short novella introducing Lord John Grey as a main character. Lord john is first introduced in the Outlander series in Dragonfly in Amber as an impetuous teen. In Voyager Lord John ends up the eventual friend of Jamie Fraser and is an interesting character.

 

Lord John witnesses the murder of one Robert Gerald, the cousin of Grey’s friend and colleague, Harry Quarry. Grey had vowed to find the murderer, a search which brings Grey to the Hellfire Club, where he must protect his life.

 

Sometimes the story felt a little rushed and a little hard to follow but overall it was entertaining and really helped set the scene to this new series.

 

Rating: 4 stars

 

Fans of Outlander are taken on a journey of mystery and intrigue as Lord John, a nobleman and high ranking officer in His Majesty’s Army, weaves his way through 18th Century British society. After leaving his club, he witnesses something shocking involving the man set to marry his cousin. But another pressing matter comes to his intention that he has to attend to. He is to investigate the brutal murder of a comrade in arms who may of been a traitor.

 

Gabaldon weaves two intersecting stories as Grey is forced to pursue two inquires at the same time. Grey finds himself in embroiled in London’s night-world and visiting the drawing rooms of nobility. Grey is following the trails of vanishing footman and chasing a woman in a green velvet gown.

 

You are given a great introduction to Lord John’s character and are taken on an adventure very different to Outlander. Lord John seems to be one of those characters who is always involved in some kind of imbroglio (not at all dissimilar to Jamie Fraser who always finds himself in the middle of the action.

 

I really enjoyed getting to know Lord John Better and find out more about what happened in the interim of Voyager and his relationship with Jamie Fraser. I really enjoyed watching Lord John unravel the mystery and putting all the facts together. This is a different read for me as there is basically no romance but I enjoyed reading something new and original. I am really liking the spin-off series and all the characters introduced are all interesting, especially those who appear in the Outlander series.

 

Rating: 4 stars

 

Lord John continues his adventures in Prussia, serving as the English liaison officer to he First Regiment of Hanoverian Foot. While stationed at the town of Gundwitz reports reach him of a local succubus who is said to have visited a number of townsfolk and is blamed for the death of a Prussian soldier.

 

Skeptical, yet curious, Grey goes to the graveyard to investigate and stumbles upon an English soldier with whom he is acquainted. While attempting to solve the mystery, Grey finds himself fighting his attraction to Hanoverian Captain Stephan von Namtzen, as well as deflecting the advances of the beautiful young widow Louisa, Princess von Lowenstein, at whose castle both men are staying.

 

While Grey seeks to solve the case logically, something sinister keeps him from completing the task. All around him the battle is raging on and the Seven Years War has only just begun. I really love Lord John’s character and enjoy watching as the mysteries unfold. Gabaldon is gifted storyteller and keeps fans wanting more.

 

Rating: 4.5 stars

 

This story joins Lord John on a journey through finding out more about a scandalous family history, a love affair with potentially disastrous consequences all during a time of war. Seventeen years earlier, Lord John’s late father, the Duke of Pardloe, was found dead, a pistol in his hand and was accused of being a Jacobite agent.

 

Now, pages from his late father’s diary are mysteriously turning up to members of the family presenting a potential threat for danger. As a way to find out more about these accusations, Grey turns to James Fraser, the convicted Scottish Jacobite. However, Jamie has his own secrets that he is unwilling to share but he may hold the key that will solve the mystery and clear his fathers name thus restoring the family’s honor.

 

Meanwhile, his mother is to remarry thus providing Grey with a new step-brother, Percy. The two become romantically entangled, but feelings become complicated and things are not always as hey seem. Lord John is a fascinating character and Gabaldon gives a rich history of military life and of a life of a gay man in the 18th Century.

 

Rating: 4 stars

 

The story picks up right after the events of Brotherhood of the Blade. The gun crew to which Lord John belongs is brought before a board of inquiry to answer for their actions involving a cannon explosion that cost Lt. Phillip Lister his life. The explosion injured many men, including Grey, who possesses the shrapnel extracted by the surgeons.

 

When the cannon goes missing, Grey ends up with the only remaining evidence to substantiate poorly constructed weapons that could prove Grey of his innocence in the matter. Grey is determined to get to the bottom of the investigation and clear his name. Grey in turn, seeks out Lt. Lister’s fiance and child and investigates a black-market distribution of gun powder.

 

The novella is filled with mystery and intrigue and fills in many of the gaps between the full length novels. The story helps to build upon characters, and future storylines.

 

Rating: 4 stars

 

After an electric-eel party (involves connecting as many people as possible while someone holds onto the eel), Lord John finds himself in a little hot water over a lady’s honor. This results in a duel that ends badly and thus finds himself needing to lay low for awhile.

 

Before starting his new commission, Lord John receives a summons to act as a character witness for an old friend, Captain Charles Carruthers in Canada. So he travels to the New World and comes across many secrets and scandals that he finds himself getting involved in. Lord John is able to reunite with his new cousin-in-law but not is all as it seems.

 

Overall, there were parties, duels, family issues and wars fought plus much more. I am really enjoying the LJG series and the novella’s offer a nice interlude between novels.

 

Rating: 5 stars

 

This is very book of the Lord John Grey series, no surprises there as Jamie Fraser plays a major part. I loved getting to know Jamie better, his character is complex and it was great in understanding his thought process.

 

Jamie has been at Helwater, in England’s Lake District for three years. Sent originally to Ardsmuir Prison as a Jacobite traitor after Culloden, he has continued to serve out his time as a paroled prisoner working as a groom at the estate of Lord Dunsany. When Harold, Duke of Pardloe – Lord John Grey’s brother – needs help in the translation of verse written in Erse (Scots Gaelic) he sends for Jamie.

 

Lord John doesn’t know of Hal’s plan for Jamie and feels blindsided as some things were said on their last meeting (mentioned in Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade) that has made things awkward between them. However, they both set out to Ireland in an attempt to squash a possible Jacobite uprising.

 

It was heartbreaking to hear of Jamie’s memories of Claire and his unborn child , and his family in Lallybroch. But it was heartwarming to see his developing relationship with William and the happiness it brought him despite his circumstances.

 

I also liked watching the relationship between Lord John and Jamie as they build an understanding. The alternating points of view was a great way to get the full story. Out of all the books in the LJG series, a knowledge of the Outlander is beneficial as there are some pretty major spoilers from Voyager.

 

Rating: 4 stars

 

Lord John has recently arrived in Jamaica with orders from the Governor to suppress the slave rebellion that’s brewing in the mountains. However there is a much greater problem that Lord John soon discovers. According to a servant, the Governor is being menaced by Zombies.

 

Lord John investigates the situation and gets to the root of all the suspicions. He comes across Mrs Abernathy to find out more about how the ‘Zombies’ are made. Overall, I really liked getting a glimpse of Lord John’s time in Jamaica and helps to offer a bit more context to Voyager. 

 

Rating: 5 stars

 

After the ending of Voyager, Jamie and Claire find themselves unexpectedly in America, Georgia. Awhile later, after witnessing the death of one of Jamie’s acquaintances from Ardsmuir and seeing to proper burial they come across a man who escaped the same fate as Mr Hayes. After making sure he isn’t captured they make their way to North Carolina to get in contact with Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta. With young Ian (who is now staying with them after missing passage to Scotland), Fergus (later joined by Marsali).

 

Jocasta owns a plantation there and Jamie soon finds himself in a managerial role and looking after business. However both Jamie and Claire are uncomfortable using slaves (as a plantation of this size requires) and instead of becoming heir to the place as his Aunt wants, Jamie and Claire start their own place later to be known as Frasers Ridge. Jamie gets into contact with his fellow Scotsman who were with him at Ardsmuir, to settle on the land he has been given. Here they meet with some Native Americans and young Ian becomes quite involved with their culture. Claire becomes quite known for her medical skills and becomes of use in the area and Jamie and Claire become busy with daily life and building a sustainable place to live.

 

“You are my courage, as I am your conscience,” he whispered. “You are my heart—and I your compassion. We are neither of us whole, alone. Do ye not know that, Sassenach?”

 

Meanwhile back in 1969 Brianna is having to deal with her mother leaving she goes back to America leaving Roger back in Scotland. However the feelings between the two grow stronger and they finally admit that they are in love. Brianna is interested in finding out if she can find anything in history that tells her what might have happened to her parents and enlists the help of Roger. But when Roger comes across an article from 1776 telling of the deaths of Jamie and Claire he doesn’t know what to do. However Brianna makes the decision for him once he discovers she has disappeared, knowing straight away that she has gone to Craig nu dun to warn her parents about the future. Roger makes the decision to follow Brianna to Scotland and goes through the stones a month or so later after doing a lot of research about the appropriate times to travel.

 

They both find their way to America and end up meeting with each other. But due to misunderstandings they go their separate ways for a while and Brianna continues with her mission of meeting her father.

 

One of my most anticipated moments in this book that I was looking forward to the most was the meeting of Jamie and Brianna and I loved seeing their relationship grow even though there were many obstacles to overcome. Jamie and Brianna are both really stubborn and there were clashes of opinion due to the different ideals of the time they grew up in.

 

Overall I really enjoyed this book and the love between Jamie and Claire is epic. I also like the developing relationship of Roger and Brianna and I really like seeing the two together and always looked forward to their time in the story.

 

However sometimes I did feel that some parts of the book were unnecessarily long and didn’t move the story forward. I find that the first couple of books are my favourite but I am absolutely loving this story and cannot get enough of Jamie, Claire, Brianna, Roger and Lord John is quickly becoming a favourite (especially after reading the Lord John Grey spin-off series).

 

I am interested to know where these characters will go next and how everything interconnects. I love learning more about the history of the time and it was interesting to learn about the Native Americans (which my knowledge of is limited).

 

Rating: 5 stars

 

The book starts off with the Gathering where all the Scots come together and catch up with all the goings on. Roger and Brianna are set to get married but it may prove more complicated when the priest goes missing. However things are able to come to a resolution and Roger and Brianna are able to get married even if it wasn’t in the way they originally planned.

 

As following the rest of the books, The Fiery Cross offers lots of drama, adventure and romance. Jamie and Claire’s relationship is my favourite part of the whole series and I love watching them go through the daily trials of life and watch their bond grow stronger together.

 

“I love you, a nighean donn. I have loved ye from the moment I saw ye, I will love ye ’til time itself is done, and so long as you are by my side, I am well pleased wi’ the world.”

 

I also liked watching Brianna and Roger’s relationship develop, especially since they go through some very trying times this book. And Jemmy is such a cutie.

 

I also liked getting to see Roger and Jamie get closer and the respect between the two continues to grow.

 

The history is very rich in this series which is something I really enjoy. I like getting to know what day to day life looks like in the Eighteenth Century. Diana also goes into a lot of detail about medicines and herbs and other medical practices. There are many Highland superstitions and large variety of both savory and unsavory characters.

 

Along with the day to day living it also goes into detail about the lead up the American Revolution (which I know very little about) and politics and battles of the time. However the book was definitely on the big side but I remain dedicated to the series.

 

Rating: 5 stars

 

A Breath of Snow and Ashes is filled with intrigue, adventure, drama and romance. There is murder and kidnappings and secrets abound. Some are kept and some are revealed with surprising results.

 

Some sections are filled with lots of action and keeps you on the edge of your seat where other sections of the book go more slowly but no less interesting as the Frasers live their daily lives.

 

Claire is always coming up with new and ‘modern’ ways of treating her patients. It is really interesting to see her modern medical knowledge applied to 18th century medicine. However some people on the Ridge are still skeptical of the existence of germs and vitamins and other modern phenomena. Claire is still having to be careful as there are still those who are suspicious and those who would brand her as ‘witch’.

 

“All I want, is for you to love me. Not because of what I can do or what I look like, or because I love you – just because I am.”

 

All this is going on and meanwhile with the knowledge from Claire, Brianna and Roger that war of Independence is coming. Although Jamie is informed and pre-warned of what will happen there is still so much he has to navigate. The political climate of the time was very complicated and once he declares for liberty, it causes great change.

 

For me, I find this all very interesting seeing the lead up to America no longer being a colony and the reasons for their independence. Diana gives you such vivid and detailed history of the time that I find fantastic. Not to mention, it follows the life of one of my favourite literacy couples. Claire and Jamie go through so much in this book and they are always there for each other and giving each other the strength they need.

 

“Ye’re mine, Sassenach. And I would do anything I thought I must to make that clear.” 

 

Meanwhile, Brianna is very industrious and is determined to bring some of the modern comforts to her current life at Fraser’s Ridge. She works at inventing matches and hopes to get running water to her and Roger’s cottage. My favourite is when she and Roger fashion a toy car, but having no way of explaining it to the others it becomes a ‘vroom’.

 

One of my favourite things about this series is how Claire, Brianna and Roger give a modern take on life in the 18th century. Plus it’s always cool when there is just this normal conversation and something modern is referenced. It always makes you take a double look and gives a new take on historical fiction.

 

Rating: 5 stars

 

This story brings in some new perspectives from William and Lord John, plus the continuing story of Ian who has a new love interest. Brianna and Roger are back in 1980 living at Lallybroch but have still managed to find a connection to the past. And of course we have Jamie and Claire (along with Ian) who find themselves travelling to Scotland but not without series of mishaps along the way.

 

Jamie and Claire are determined to make their way to Scotland to visit family while also picking up and bringing Jamie’s printing press to America. However not everything is smooth sailing (especially for Jamie) thus ensues a series of conflicts involving press-gangs and privateers and forces their return to America.

 

They find themselves embroiled in this affair and come across William and other interesting characters. As matters come to hand Jamie and Claire and Ian are summoned to escort a cousin of Jamie’s to Scotland- A General who has died fighting for the loyalists. This could be more fortuitous. And finally they make it safely to Scotland.

 

”Have ye ever in the slightest doubt that I need ye?”, he demanded.
“No, to the best of my knowledge, you needed me urgently the moment I saw you and I haven’t had reason to think you’ve got any more self-sufficient since.”

 

Brianna and Roger are back in the present and find themselves coming to terms with their situation. Mandy’s health is better and Jem is adjusting to life in modern times. Brianna finds herself a new job. And Roger is struggling to find his purpose but gets a visit from an unexpected guest.

 

William is a new soldier in the British armies and is trying to make his mark in the world. Lord John encounters someone from his past who is now a French spy who has some information that affects the Fraser family.

 

(this is where reading the Lord John Grey Series comes into play where relationships and characters are explained in a lot more detail). I found it very beneficial to have read this series and have heard others say that it helps to have read the series for this book in particular (plus it gives more detail to John and Jamie’s friendship).

 

Rating: 4 stars

 

Michael Murray helps escort Joan MacKimmie to Paris to seek her vocation of a nun where she meets Mother Hildegarde. Joan’s real reason for joining a convent is because she hears voices in her head that tell her certain things about people and thinks a convent is the best place for her.

 

Michael is recovering from the recent death of his wife and must deal with the schemes of his sister-in-law. But something may be beginning with him and Joan.

 

Meanwhile Paul Rokoczy, Comte St Germain (who isn’t dead) is looking for Master Raymond who knows something of his situation and his capacity for time travel. A mysterious blue light is involved as everything comes to a conclusion.

 

There are still many questions that have yet to answered from this short interlude. I need to find out more. However I have started reading Written in My Own Heart’s Blood where we come across the blue light again so I find this a necessary read in the series (I find every book in the series a necessary read though).

 

Rating: 5 star

 

This story takes up exactly where the story left off in book #7 An Echo in the Bone. It’s 1778 in Philadelphia and Jamie Fraser is back from the dead. Only he finds that his wife, Claire remarried to his friend, Lord John Grey. In another time- 1980, Roger Mackenzie is determined to find his son Jem after he was kidnapped and is preparing to go back through the stones.

 

There is a lot going on in this story and it’s a great blend of history, romance, adventure, drama and family saga. There is a great weave of fact and fiction with excellent attention to detail. I love the historical facts and storytelling is gripping. I have been learning a lot about American History as every detail is very well researched.

 

As always there are many and turns, told from multiple POV (much different to the earlier books in the series). It follows Jamie, Claire, Lord John, William, Ian, Brianna and Roger individually.

 

Many things were wrapped or came together very nicely in this book. I loved Jamie and Claire’s relationship in this book after they reunited. There were many trials but their love always prevails-

 

“I have loved ye since I saw you, Sassenach,” he said very quietly, holding my eyes with his own, bloodshot and lined with tiredness but very blue. “I will love ye forever. It doesna matter if ye sleep with the whole English army—well, no,” he corrected himself, “it would matter, but it wouldna stop me loving you.”

 

I just love these two. Along with Jamie and Claire, the story is deepened by the other main characters stories.

 

I loved Bree, Roger, Jem and Mandy’s story- I couldn’t read their part fast enough, it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. Roger, while looking for Jem, goes through the stones and ends up in 1739. I love how all this connected to to the series on a whole.

 

I loved seeing Ian and Rachel and Denny and Dottie as they establish their relationships. My heart goes out to William, he goes through so much during the story but I also think he becomes a better man for it. I can’ wait to see how his story develops (hopefully there’s a happy ending for him somewhere). Lord John is definitely tested and I enjoyed when Hal appeared.

 

There were some very sad and tragic moments in this book but there were also many happy moments. And that ending, I can’t wait to see what happened next. Bring on book number 9.

 

“I have loved others, and I do love many, Sassenach—but you alone hold all my heart, whole in your hands,” he said softly. “And you know that.”

 

Rating: 4 stars

 

This tells the story of what really happened to Roger’s father. Some of the happenings were hinted at in earlier novels, especially in Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. Jerry Mackenzie is a pilot in WWII and is asked to perform a special mission for MI6- enter Frank Randall.

 

During one of the test flights, his plane goes down near some standing stones in Northumbria, thus sending him back in the past.

 

I really liked getting to know more about Roger’s parents and understanding more about their relationship- even though we know how it ends.

 

There were some surprise twists and turns and a return of previous characters. I have enjoyed the way a lot of the stories are all connected together and joining together like a puzzle piece in the end.

 

Rating: 4 stars

 

There are two new stories in this collection. A Fugitive Green (about Hal and Minnie’s relationship- this should be read after The Scottish Prisoner) and Besieged (which follows the last installment of the Lord John series).

Plus here are my other reviews for the short stories in this collection in the order of reading.

 

#NOTE I have only added the books that haven’t been reviewed previously

 

A Fugitive Green- 4 stars 

I was intrigued by the backstory we got about Minnie in The Scottish Prisoner, so getting to see a more detailed telling of it was great. This tells the story of Minnie’s journey from France to England and the intrigue surrounding her actions and the family business.

 

Once arriving in England (after getting a brief appearance of Jamie Fraser in France), Minnie is determined to find out her who mother is involving intrigue and nunneries. Minnie is wonderful and resourceful and is involved in quite the intrigue. Minnie first meets Hal while she is rifling through his office, after some pertinent information. Hal is instantly intrigued with Minnie but unfortunately she disappears and he only discovers her while she is heavily pregnant and convinces her to marry him (something we know from The Scottish Prisoner).

 

Overall, I enjoyed this novella although I wish there was a bigger focus on Hal and Minnie’s relationship rather than all the other goings on.

 

Besieged- 4 stars

The story follows on from Lord John’s adventures in “A Plague of Zombies”. Lord John is getting ready to leave Jamaica when his step father shows up to tell him that his mother is Havana which will soon be invaded by the British to take Cuba from the Spanish.

 

Lord John makes his way to evacuate his mother, and his pregnant cousin and her children. Lord John, not managing to avoid conflicts, finds himself embroiled in a slave revolt while avoiding the yellow fever which is spreading through town. All this is done with only a smattering of Spanish.

 

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