The Outlander series includes three kinds of stories:
1. The Big, Enormous Books, (aka the nine major novels published so far in the Outlander series) that have no discernible genre (or all of them). These are numbered from I through X (Roman numerals) in the chronology. Here is a quick list of them in order:
- DRAGONFLY IN AMBER
- DRUMS OF AUTUMN
- THE FIERY CROSS
- A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES
- AN ECHO IN THE BONE
- WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD
- GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE
- Book Ten (As Yet Untitled)
Note that the major novels should be read in order.
2. The Shorter, Less Indescribable Novels that are more or less historical mysteries (though dealing also with battles, eels, and mildly deviant sexual practices). And…
3. The Bulges—These being short(er) pieces that fit somewhere inside the story lines of the novels, much in the nature of squirming prey swallowed by a large snake. These deal frequently—but not exclusively—with secondary characters, are prequels or sequels, and/or fill some lacuna left in the original story lines.
The Big Books of the main series deal with the lives and times of Claire and Jamie Fraser. The shorter novels focus on the adventures of Lord John Grey but intersect with the larger books. (THE SCOTTISH PRISONER, for example, features both Lord John and Jamie Fraser in a shared story). All of the novellas feature people from the main series, including Jamie and/or Claire on occasion. The description below explains which characters appear in which stories.
Most of the shorter Lord John novels and novellas (so far) fit within a large lacuna left in the middle of VOYAGER in the years between 1756 and 1761. Some of the Bulges also fall in this period; others don’t.
So, for the reader’s convenience, the detailed listing here shows the sequence of the various elements in terms of the storyline. However, it should be noted that the shorter novels and novellas are all designed suchly that they may be read alone, without reference either to each other or to the Big, Enormous Books—should you be in the mood for a light literary snack instead of the nine‐course meal with wine‐pairings and dessert trolley.
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The description of each story includes the dates covered in it. The original anthology title and years of publication are also given for each one as applicable.
“Virgins” (novella): Set in 1740 in France. In which Jamie Fraser (aged nineteen) and his friend Ian Murray (aged twenty) become young mercenaries. [Originally published in the anthology DANGEROUS WOMEN, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, 2012. Included in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL.]
I.OUTLANDER (first main novel in the Outlander series): If you’ve never read any of the series, I’d suggest starting here. If you’re unsure about it, open the book anywhere and read three pages; if you can put it down again, I’ll give you a dollar. (1946/1743) In the U.K., this book was originally titled CROSS STITCH.
II.DRAGONFLY IN AMBER (second major Outlander series novel): It doesn’t start where you think it’s going to. And it doesn’t end how you think it’s going to, either. Just keep reading; it’ll be fine. (1968/1744-46)
“A Fugitive Green” (novella): Set in 1744-45 in Paris, London, and Amsterdam, this is the story of Lord John’s elder brother, Hal (Harold, Earl Melton and Duke of Pardloe), and his (eventual) wife, Minnie—at the time of this story a seventeen-year-old dealer in rare books with a sideline in forgery, blackmail, and burglary. Jamie Fraser also appears in this one. First published in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL.
III.VOYAGER (third major novel in the Outlander series): This won an award from EW magazine for “Best Opening Line.” (To save you having to find a copy just to read the opening, it was: “He was dead. However, his nose throbbed painfully, which he thought odd, in the circumstances.”) If you’re reading the series in order, rather than piecemeal, you do want to read this book before tackling the the novellas. (1968/1766-67)
“Lord John and the Hellfire Club,” a short story in LORD JOHN AND THE HAND OF DEVILS. Just to add an extra layer of confusion, THE HAND OF DEVILS is a collection that includes three novellas. The first one, “Lord John and the Hellfire Club,” is set in London in 1756, and deals with a red‐haired man who approaches Lord John Grey with an urgent plea for help, just before dying in front of him. [Originally published in the anthology PAST POISONS, edited by Maxim Jakubowski, 1998.] “Lord John and the Hellfire Club” also appeared as a special, stand-alone paperback edition. The cover is shown at right.
LORD JOHN AND THE PRIVATE MATTER (novel): Set in London in 1757, this is a historical mystery steeped in blood and even less savory substances, in which Lord John meets (in short order) a valet, a traitor, an apothecary with a sure cure for syphilis, a bumptious German, and an unscrupulous merchant prince.
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“Lord John and the Succubus” (novella): This story finds Lord John in Germany in 1757, having unsettling dreams about Jamie Fraser, unsettling encounters with Saxon princesses, night‐hags, and a really disturbing encounter with a big, blond Hanoverian graf. [Originally published in the anthology LEGENDS II, edited by Robert Silverburg, 2003. Is also the second novella in the LORD JOHN AND THE HAND OF DEVILS collection ]
LORD JOHN AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE BLADE (novel): The second full‐length novel focused on Lord John (though Jamie Fraser also appears) is set in 1758, deals with a twenty‐year‐old family scandal, and sees Lord John engaged at close range with exploding cannon and even more dangerously explosive emotions.
“Lord John and the Haunted Soldier” (novella): This tale is set in 1758, in London and the Woolwich Arsenal, in which Lord John faces a court of inquiry into the explosion of a cannon, and learns that there are more dangerous things in the world than gunpowder. Written for and first appeared in the LORD JOHN AND THE HAND OF DEVILS collection.
“The Custom of the Army” (novella): Set in 1759. In which his lordship attends an electric‐eel party in London and ends up at the Battle of Quebec. He’s just the sort of person things like that happen to. [Originally published in WARRIORS, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, 2010. Included in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL.]
THE SCOTTISH PRISONER (novel): This one’s set in 1760, in the Lake District, London, and Ireland. A sort of hybrid novel, it’s divided evenly between Jamie Fraser and Lord John Grey, who are recounting their different perspectives in a tale of politics, corruption, murder, opium dreams, horses, and illegitimate sons.
“A Plague of Zombies” (novella): Set in 1761, in Jamaica, when Lord John is sent in command of a battalion to put down a slave rebellion and discovers a hitherto unsuspected affinity for snakes, cockroaches, and zombies. [Originally published in DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS, eds. George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, 2011. Included in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL.]
“Besieged” (novella): Set in 1762 in Jamaica and Havana. Lord John, about to leave his post as temporary military governor of Jamaica, learns that his mother is in Havana, Cuba. Which would be fine, save that the British Navy is on its way to lay siege to the city. Attended by his valet, Tom Byrd, an ex-zombie named Rodrigo, and Rodrigo’s homicidally inclined wife, Azeel, Lord John sets out to rescue the erstwhile Dowager Duchess of Pardloe before the warships arrive. First published in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL.
IV. DRUMS OF AUTUMN (major novel): The fourth novel of the main series, this one begins in 1767, in the New World, where Jamie and Claire find a foothold in the mountains of North Carolina, and their daughter, Brianna, finds a whole lot of things she didn’t expect, when a sinister newspaper clipping sends her in search of her parents. (1969-1970/1767‐70)
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V. THE FIERY CROSS (major novel): The historical background to this, the fifth novel of the main series, is the War of the Regulation in North Carolina (1767‐1771), which was more or less a dress rehearsal for the oncoming Revolution. In which Jamie Fraser becomes a reluctant Rebel, and his wife, Claire, becomes a conjure‐woman. Something Much Worse happens to Brianna’s husband, Roger, but I’m not telling you what. This won several awards for “Best Last Line,” but I’m not telling you that, either. (1770-1772)
VI. A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES (major novel): The sixth novel of the main series, this book won the 2006 Corine International Prize for Fiction, and a Quill Award. (This book beat novels by both George R. R. Martin and Stephen King, which I thought was pretty entertaining; I mean, how often does that happen?) All the books have an internal “shape” that I see while I’m writing them. This one looks like the Hokusai print titled “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa.” Think tsunami—two of them. (1773-1776/1980)
VII. AN ECHO IN THE BONE (major novel): Set in America, London, Canada, and Scotland, this is the seventh novel in the main series. The book’s cover image reflects the internal shape of the novel: a caltrop. That’s an ancient military weapon that looks like a child’s jack with sharp points; the Romans used them to deter elephants, and the Highway Patrol still uses them to stop fleeing perps in cars. This book has four major story lines: Jamie and Claire; Roger and Brianna (and family); Lord John and William; and Young Ian, all intersecting in the nexus of the American Revolution—and all of them with sharp points. (1776‐1778/1980)
VIII. WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD (major novel): The eighth of the main series, BLOOD begins where AN ECHO IN THE BONE leaves off, in the summer of 1778 (and the autumn of 1980). The American Revolution is in full roar, and a lot of fairly horrifying things are happening in Scotland in the 1980s, too.
“A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” (short story (no, really, it is)): Set (mostly) in 1941‐43, this is the story of What Really Happened to Roger MacKenzie’s parents. [Originally published in the anthology SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH, eds. George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, 2010. Included in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL.]
“The Space Between” (novella): Set in 1778, mostly in Paris, this novella deals with Michael Murray (Young Ian’s elder brother), Joan MacKimmie (Marsali’s younger sister), the Comte St. Germain (who is Not Dead After All), Mother Hildegarde, and a few other persons of interest. The space between what? It depends who you’re talking to. [Originally published in the anthhology THE MAD SCIENTIST’S GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION, edited by John Joseph Adams, 2013. Included in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL.]
Book IX (major novel) – GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE. The past may seem the safest place to be… But it is the most dangerous time to be alive… Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall were torn apart by the Jacobite Rising in 1743, and it took them twenty years to find each other again. Now the American Revolution threatens to do the same. This book is shaped like a snake, and it starts from the tail.
In the Works:
Novels that are not finished or published yet, and so are not reflected in the chronology at present:
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Book X (major novel) – Book Ten (No Title Yet): This novel may be be the last book in my series of major novels focussing on the story of Jamie and Claire. It will take me a few years to write this book and do the research for it.
I have a few other ideas for projects after Book X is off to the publisher, including a prequel featuring Jamie’s parents and a book about Master Raymond. Stay tuned!
NOW REMEMBER . . .
You may read the short novels and novellas by themselves, or in any order you like.
As stated above, I would strongly recommend reading the Big, Enormous Books in order, though.
LORD JOHN AND THE HAND OF DEVILS is not a novel, but rather a collection of three novellas: “Hell-Fire Club,” “Succubus,” and “Haunted Soldier.” In these tales, Lord John vows to avenge a murder, investigates a terrifying “night-hag” on the battlefields of Europe, and discovers treason in His Majesty’s ranks. The first two of these novellas were originally published in anthologies, while “Haunted Soldier” was written expressly for this book.
SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL features seven novellas, all written by me, and all dealing with the interesting side-stories and lacunae of the Outlander universe. Five of these novellas were originally published in various anthologies, and in the U.S./Canada have also been published singly as ebooks. (Not, however, in the UK/Australia/NewZealand, Germany, etc.) Two of the novellas were first published in this collection.
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Drums of Autumn. The Fiery Cross. A Breath of Snow and Ashes. An Echo in the Bone.
Does the Outlander series follow the Outlander books? So far, the show does follow the main plotlines of the book, although there are some smaller changes, including one character who’s kept alive in the show after he dies in the novels (Spoiler: It’s Murtagh).
The first book of the series – titled Outlander – was published in 1991, and was the inspiration behind Outlander season 1. Each subsequent season of Outlander also follows one book in the series. Here’s everything you need to know about Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed book series and how to read them in order.
Claire Fraser was born on October 20, 1918.
That would make her 27-and-a-half at the time she and Jamie meet in the books, while Jamie’s barely 22. This would make Claire five and a half years older than Jamie.
Claire is about four years older than Jamie in Outlander
She was born on Oct. 20, 1918. It was 1945 when she fell through the stones, and she would have been turning 27 that year. In the show, she has already turned 27 by the time she falls through the stones as the series is set in October rather than May at first.
Author Diana Gabaldon, who wrote the book series upon which the Starz TV show is based, has confirmed that it is Jamie’s ghost that Frank saw, but she’s also stated repeatedly that Jamie cannot travel forward in time.
Blood of My Blood will follow the love story of Jamie Fraser’s parents, Ellen MacKenzie and Brian Fraser.
Is each season of Outlander one book? Yes, each season of Outlander follows one book in the series, although of course there are some changes made in the adaptation process. The first season of Outlander is adapted from the first novel in the series, also entitled Outlander.
One of the most shocking moments from the Outlander novels comes in the seventh novel An Echo In The Bone when Claire has sex with Lord John Grey (David Berry).
For instance, Lord John Grey learns the truth about Claire, Brianna, and Roger… though he has a hard time believing it. And speaking of Roger and Brianna, they get into their own time-travel trouble — Roger with his ancestor Buck and Brianna with Rob Cameron.
The new season is based on the 2005 Outlander novel A Breath of Snow and Ashes.
More than I ever wanted anything in my life.” But though he was interested in her during their first interaction when she mended his shoulder, Gabaldon says the actual falling in love came when they got to Castle Leoch. “He fell in love when she broke down and wept in his arms and let him comfort her,” the author says.
The simple answer is no. Claire and Jamie don’t have any more children after Brianna. Claire heads through the stones while pregnant with Brianna at the end of the second season/book. She spends 20 years in the 20th century, and she and Frank don’t have any children together.
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood is the eighth book in the Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Centered on time travelling 20th century doctor Claire Randall and her 18th century Scottish Highlander warrior husband Jamie Fraser, the books contain elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure and fantasy.
Director Brendan Maher told Vulture that while both Menzies and Heughan had stunt doubles for the physically demanding sequence, neither used them much. “We had people for safety, just in case, but the nature of the work is that you want the actors to do as much as they possibly can,” Maher said.
Jamie has a son named William Ransom with Geneva Dunsany, who died during William’s birth. Jamie also has two stepdaughters, Marsali MacKimmie Fraser and Joan MacKimmie, from his marriage to his second wife, Laoghaire MacKenzie.
Claire and Jamie only have two biological children together: Faith and Brianna. Faith was the stillborn baby in France. Mother Hildegarde baptized the child despite it being against the law, and Jamie never got to see her. He was in the Bastille at the time, and Claire almost died of childbed fever.
While on a second honeymoon in Scotland with her husband, Frank Randall, Claire inadvertently travels two hundred years into the past, where she meets and eventually marries Jamie Fraser.
It helps to remember the whole timeline, which is easier when you read the books. When Jamie met /married Claire, he was a 23 year old virgin, and they were together three years before she went back through the stones pregnant with Brianna in 1746.
Only those with the “travel gene” can go through the stones. Jamie doesn’t have it. And ghosts don’t even need stones!
Jamie’s Secret is a story about a nine-year-old who loves soccer, playing with her best friend Sadie, and collecting crystals. She loves hugging and climbing trees, watching butterflies, and soaring on her swing. Jamie loves life and everything that points to it.
“I curse you. I curse you with knowledge, Jack Randall. I give you the hour of your death. Jonathan Wolverton Randall, Born Sept 3rd, 1705, dies…” she whispers in his ear, and suddenly he knows that she’s telling him the truth.
“The ghost is Jamie–but as for how it fits into the story, All Will Be Explained—in the last book,” Gabaldon writes in the FAQ section of her website. She’s also revealed that the Outlander series will likely have ten books total, and the ninth, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, debuted in 2021.
Author of the original books Diana Gabaldon has confirmed the ghostly figure is indeed the spirit of one Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan).
Outlander fans have not seen Laoghaire since the season 4 episode “Down the Rabbit Hole.” Not long after, the Frasers moved to America and haven’t been back to Scotland since. But, Laoghaire is still connected to Jamie and Claire through her daughter Marsali, who is married to their adopted son Fergus (César Domboy).
Outlander season 6 picks up right after season 5 ends (on the brink of the American Revolution) and is based on Gabaldon’s book, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, which spans the years of 1773-1776. Claire and Jamie are therefore still in their 50s, with Claire starting Outlander season 6’s story at age 57 and Jamie at 52.
In the final three episodes of season five, storylines (including Claire’s kidnapping and Stephen Bonnet’s death among others) stemmed from Diana Gabaldon’s sixth novel, A Breath of Snow and Ashes. The plot moved quickly, shifting the timeline of the original story, and leaving out certain elements found in the book.
Which book is the new season based on? Season 7 will be based on the seventh (out of nine) book in the Outlander series, An Echo in the Bone.
Outlander Season 6 is based on A Breath of Snow and Ashes
However, it is worth noting that some of this book was used for the story in Outlander Season 5.
Grey falls in love with Jamie, who rejects his advances. Still, Grey cannot dismiss his feelings.
Jamie denies having slept with her, but the damage to his and to Claire’s reputation is done—and the bond between the Frasers and Malva is severed, until just a few weeks later, when Claire finds Malva murdered in the garden.
When it was eventually revealed Roger was missing and Jamie and Claire were dispatched out across the American states to rescue him, Brianna and Lord John married to protect her from Aunt Jocasta’s (Maria Doyle Kennedy) determination to pair her niece off.
Claire, Jamie and Young Ian return from America to visit, just in time to be with him as he dies, and Jenny whoops and sheds tears at seeing her son again after so long. Claire tells the entire family her true identity of being a time-traveller from the future, but Jenny still views her as a ‘witch’ or ‘faery-woman’.
For now, though, it appears both Fergus and Marsali aren’t time travellers with actors Lyle and Domboy addressing this in an Instagram live Q&A from earlier this year.
Jamie notes that Claire has told Fergus and Marsali about when the Revolutionary War will come to an end. She’d need to have told them she’s a time traveler to be able to explain that one. Jenny does eventually find out.
Bree and Roger do eventually go back to their own time in the Outlander novels after Brianna gives birth to their daughter Mandy. Mandy has a heart condition that Claire can’t treat in the 1770s, so the MacKenzies head back to the 1970s at the end of A Breath of Snow and Ashes to attempt to save their daughter.
GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE (aka “BEES”) is the ninth book in my OUTLANDER series of novels which focus on Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser.
8) Is BEES the last book in the main OUTLANDER series? No, it’s not the last book! Diana answered that question on Twitter on April 15, 2021. No, there will be a Book 10.
In a shocking turn of events, Outlander season 6, episode 6 saw Claire’s apprentice Malva accuse Jamie of infidelity, claiming her unborn child is Jamie’s, but the aftermath forgets one critical detail from Outlander season 3.
Jamie can’t time travel in the world of Outlander
Jamie Fraser doesn’t have the time-traveling gene. In the books, we find out that Brianna and Roger’s daughter, Mandy, can see people as certain elements, and Jamie is water. Those she sees as water don’t have the ability to time travel.
Forgive me. In Gaelic. “I’m so sorry, Uncle.”
Season(s) Geneva Dunsany was the daughter of Lord and Lady Dunsany, who reside at the Helwater estate. She blackmailed Jamie Fraser into a one-night stand, which resulted in their illegitimate child, William Ransom.
This one stings.
The Fiery Cross
Claire and Jamie care for her and give her goat’s milk, keeping her warm as they bring her into Brownsville. Once in Brownsville, they find a nursing mother to feed the child, and Richard Brown makes the executive decision to take her in and raise her as his.
Claire Fraser was born on October 20, 1918.
That would make her 27-and-a-half at the time she and Jamie meet in the books, while Jamie’s barely 22. This would make Claire five and a half years older than Jamie.
An Echo in the Bone is the seventh book in the Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Centered on time travelling 20th century doctor Claire Fraser and her 18th century Scottish Highlander warrior husband Jamie Fraser, the books contain elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure and fantasy.
A Breath Of Snow And Ashes (Outlander, Book 6) – Kindle edition by Gabaldon, Diana.
Season Six of the Outlander premiered on March 6, 2022. It consists of eight episodes and adapts the content of the sixth book of the series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes.
No, this is not a new novel in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, but a collection of seven stories featuring characters from the series, written over a number of years.
William briefly meets Brianna MacKenzie in Wilmington in July 1776. He is unaware that she is in fact his half-sister. He enjoys her company and finds her a charming woman, with striking blue eyes – Brianna makes a lingering impression on him.
Because yes, Claire and Lord John end up married in book seven, and yes, they drunkenly (and full of grief for the loss of Jamie, whom they both love with all of their heart) consummate that marriage. And then Jamie shows up alive and well!
They settle in 20th century Lallybroch, following along somewhat with what Claire and Jamie are up to in the 18th century by reading a series of letters from Claire to Jamie.
This storyline is taken from the books. In A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Claire and Tom come down with the same sickness around the same time dysentery is traveling around the Ridge.
Diana Gabaldon has confirmed there is no possibility that Jamie Fraser will time-travel into the future and live out his life at Lallybroch.
It’s definitely happening. The first thing to point out is that season 7 is on – there’s no chance of a sudden cancellation. We know for sure that it started filming earlier this year when, on April 6, Starz posted on Twitter: “The cast and crew are back at it – #Outlander Season 7 is in production!”
These stones come into play time and again on Outlander: Claire travels through the stones at Craigh na Dun in 1746 when Jamie brings her back to them in order to keep their baby safe, and then one more time in 1968 when she travels back to be reunited with her one, true love in 1766.
She arrives in the same spot in Scotland on May 2, 1743. But that isn’t the last time she travels. Claire, pregnant with Brianna goes back through the stones on April 16, 1746 and reappears in Inverness in 1948, still expecting her first child with Jamie.
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