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Book Review: Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER Series

Over the past 18 months I have read all 7 of Diana Gabaldon’s books at the recommendation of my history loving daughter.

Most I have read on my KINDLE , which is great because they are long and the print is small.   Once one begins to read one of the books, you simply disappear from this world until you are done.

…described by Salon.com as ‘the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting Scrooge McDuck comic books.

I find it impossible to put the book down and I love to learn history, and these books have exceptional detail, through a fictional character.

The books are:

Dragonfly in Amber


Drums of Autumn

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

The Fiery Cross

An Echo in the Bone

The author also writes for the Scotland online newsletter Panalba.

You can find her signing books on YouTube

Of course she’s on Amazon.com  reviews.

The joy of having my children love to read such amazing books and learn history this way is the marvelous discussions that follow and comprehension of what living in those times must involve.

The funniest thing I ever heard, is my Kindle 2’s computer speak voice attempting the Scottish terms and words of endearment!     You see the tomatoes were ready for sauce and I could not put the book down….so…..

OK!  Now share with me if you have read these books? Or a series that you just love and teaches history, or any series that makes for so much discussion and abandonment of duties!!?   Are you inspired?

Warning:  there is considerable romance in the first couple of books and these may not be suitable for the juvenile reader.    I read Chesapeake by James Michener at 12 and that was a bit early for the battling and romance details found here.

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18 Responses to “Book Review: Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER Series”

  1. Mama Zen Says:

    These really sound like something I’d like. I’ll definitely check them out.
    .-= Mama Zen´s last blog ..Another Milestone =-.

  2. Tess The Bold Life Says:


    What a gift to be able to share books with your daughter. Mine arent’ big readers and they don’t like self-help books or spiritual books. That’s what I like to read.

    Gee wiz do you think that comes from having a psychologist for a mom! I’m reading a book by Micheal Beckwith and I also have a bunch of his CD’s I’m listening to in my car. I love that man and spiritually he takes me to an entire different level!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..Bold Colors and Bold Fun With Family =-.

  3. Jannie Funster Says:

    “Once one begins to read one of the books, you simply disappear from this world until you are done.”

    I live for those kinds of books!! So glad to have your lead.

    Want to check out Michael Beckwith Tess mentions too, sounds great.

    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..Rose DesRochers: Just how Great IS She? =-.

  4. Geek Girl SF Says:

    Just FYI – If you are going to read these it is a really good idea to read them in order! The stories build on each other.

    Diana Gabaldon is my favorite contemporary author. I love her writing style. Classic adventure, stuff that makes you stop and think and a little romance all tossed into one.

    I am so sad that the next book will be the last one in the series.

  5. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    Thank you for the review. Sounds interesting!
    .-= vered | blogger for hire´s last blog ..Outrageous Photoshopping: Why We Should Keep Talking About it =-.

  6. Talon Says:

    Great review. You’ve definitely caught my interest and I’ll have to check out her work. Thanks, Patricia.
    .-= Talon´s last blog ..Anything they can do, =-.

  7. Patricia Says:

    Mama Zen,
    Just be forewarned they are hard to put down!

    This series just might do the trick…I do not like romance or straight history – it has to be novels…This series has something for everyone and the understanding of relationships in a novel form…I would think your girls would love discussing these with you – even my finicky reader is getting into these – they are long for her, but so was Harry Potter!
    I too am reading a Michael Beckwith…my favorite stuff too!

  8. Patricia Says:

    I think you would love this series and the role folks played in the history of the USA, England, Canada and France.

    Geek Girl SF,
    Thank you for the introduction to Diana Gabaldon and her writing and for encouraging me to keep going on books that were not quite my cup of tea….

    I know you read SU and blogs, but I think you might want to read at least one of these books and decide when your girls are old enough – it is very bonding. Very unique premise and information sharing.

    Thank you and you are welcome – yes! do check them out I do not think you will be disappointed.
    .-= Patricia´s last blog ..Book Review: Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER Series =-.

  9. Julie Says:

    Diana’s at the top of my list of favorite people to read!

    A friend suggested “Outlander,” the first book, right after it was published, and from that point on I was as gonner. Richly imaginative, historically fascinating, humorous, romantic, thoughtful, loving, adventurous, dramatic, and very very human, this story (one great big long interwoven story) is one I never want to end. (Geek Girl SF, you didn’t need to tell me that.) I even have “The Outlandish Companion,” a gift from another girlfriend (whose husband was reading the “best parts” to her in the evenings!).

    I had the opportunity to meet Diana (a local gal) at a Highland games festival, but was too chicken. Watching her, though, as she interacted with others was a delight. I can see where she and the story are truly one. :)

    This is one of those stories that’s meant to be your treat for the day, your own break from “now” and “have-to’s”, your escape to a completely different world…only I dare anyone to be able to put it down to start dinner! I’m laughing about your tomato chopping; I pulled a couple all-nighters, taking the book to bed at night, then getting back out of bed to get ready for work.
    .-= Julie´s last blog ..Simply Divine =-.

  10. Patricia Says:

    Yep they are that good…I am glad you know them too! Gabaldon did a piece on Panalba about how you can figure out if you are English or Scottish by the shape of your feet! and whether or not you should go to the Highland Gathering – it was so funny!

    Thank you for sharing more about these books. One more to go…

  11. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. they sound really interesting .. and I must check them out ..

    The Brother Cadfael series .. reflecting herbs, and murder in this historical series .. set in the Middle Ages .. is another, possibly similar ..

    Thanks – good to know parents share with their teenagers’ books .. always interesting to know about ..

    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Provender Hedgerows with Autumn Colours =-.

  12. Patricia Says:

    I will add your suggestion to the list…these are a powerful way to learn history…and well written….I had more understanding of UK too…even France…and yes! I love sharing books and discussions with my kids

  13. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. now I must find a child! or the library down the road to get hold of one of Diana’s books .

    I used to love the Angelique books .. too soppy and romantic – but full of mystique, Frenchness, magic and alchemy (lovely word!) .. when I went to Paris as a 16 year old for the family to tie in with my pen pal and her French family .. apparently I impressed them with my knowledge of Paris .. all due to ‘dear’ Angelique ..

    All the best – Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Provender Hedgerows with Autumn Colours =-.

  14. Patricia Says:

    More books Hilary – this is wonderful!

    I ran a Mother-daughter book group from my children when they were in middle school…I bet a local school would love a kids reading club that could meet at the school…would need to start with younger books than these but it was so fun…and it helped so many of my kids friends learn to love reading…

    We read many international books, which the girls had to discover on their own because US schools aren’t so open – they are just desperate to get kids to read…

  15. betty duckworth Says:

    i am now reading the series for the second time. I can’t get enough.

  16. Patricia Says:

    betty duckworth
    Thanks for your comment…I know they are just a great read. I think it is a bit like the Harry Potter series for my kids, they re-read the books before each movie and one just reads them when she is feeling ill…and needs to lay low and think about other things!

  17. Teri Says:

    The outlander series is like taking a vacation… without leaving home. I was introduced to Outlander from a friend, and like others, was hooked! In fact our “group” was very select who we shared our beloved Jamie with. No history class in school ever captured my attention like this series. It combines history, romance, real life and the pain that sometimes accompanies it, and the victories, especially of love.
    This is one series you will never regret reading. Be prepared to have it become part of your life.

  18. Patricia Says:

    I can not agree with your more – “Hooked” is a good description. I also learned more US History reading Mitchner’s Chesapeake, Hawaii, and the Alaska series than I every memorized in the classroom – though I had several exquisite teachers. Thanks for dropping by and making such enthusiastic comments :)
    .-= Patricia´s last blog ..Sparkling Tour with Bubbly Celebrations in Mind =-.