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Outlander Reading Order: An historical fantasy romance by Diana Gabaldon

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“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.”

There are different ways to travel in time in literature. For example, Claire, a married nurse from the 1940s, finds herself in the Scottish Highlands in the 1740s after having touched a stone at Craigh na Dun.

This is how the story began in Outlander, a series of historical fantasy novels written by Diana Gabaldon since 1991. In the past, Claire finds romance and adventures with Jamie Fraser, warrior, and member of the Clan Fraser of Lovat. Their stories are at the center of the main series. The Outlander series also contains several short stories, a few novellas, a spin-off series, but also a graphic novel.

The popularity of the books series led to a television series airing on Starz since 2014 with Caitríona Balfe and Sam Heughan in the title roles.

Outlander Books in Order

Where to start reading Outlander? There is more than one way to read the series.

  1. You can read by series: by that, I mean you can choose to read the main series, without interruption, and then discover the spin-off series and the short stories, as  Diana Gabaldon herself told us that “shorter novels and novellas are all designed suchly that they may be read alone”.
  2. You can opt for a chronological order of the events (you will find this reading order a little bit below on this page).

Outlander main series in order

Outlander – Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach – an ‘outlander’ – in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord … 1743. Published in the UK and Australia as Cross Stitch.

Dragonfly in Amber – For twenty years, Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to the mysteries of Scotland’s mist-shrouded Highlands.

Voyager – Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and the pain awaiting her … the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland … and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite – or forever doom – her timeless love.


Drums of Autumn – Brianna, Claire’s Daughter, has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the stone circle and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history … and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past … or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong…

The Fiery Cross – Claire’s unique view of the future has brought Jamie both danger and deliverance in the past; her knowledge of the oncoming revolution is a flickering torch that may light his way through the perilous years ahead – or ignite a conflagration that will leave their lives in ashes…

A Breath of Snow and Ashes – With chaos brewing, the governor calls upon Jamie Fraser to unite the backcountry and safeguard the colony for King and Crown. But from his wife Jamie knows that three years hence the shot heard round the world will be fired, and the result will be independence – with those loyal to the King either dead or in exile. And there is also the matter of a tiny clipping from The Wilmington Gazette, dated 1776, which reports Jamie’s death, along with his kin. For once, he hopes, his time-traveling family may be wrong about the future.

An Echo in the Bone – Jamie is already certain of three things about the American rebellion: The Americans will win, fighting on the side of victory is no guarantee of survival, and he’d rather die than have to face his illegitimate son – a young lieutenant in the British army – across the barrel of a gun. Claire knows that the Americans will win, too, but not what the ultimate price may be. That price won’t include Jamie’s life or his happiness, though – not if she has anything to say about it.

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood – 1778: France declares war on Great Britain, the British army leaves Philadelphia, and George Washington’s troops leave Valley Forge in pursuit. At this moment, Jamie Fraser returns from a presumed watery grave to discover that his best friend has married his wife, his illegitimate son has discovered (to his horror) who his father really is, and his beloved nephew, Ian, wants to marry a Quaker. Meanwhile, Jamie’s wife, Claire, and his sister, Jenny, are busy picking up the pieces.

Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone – It is 1779 and Claire and Jamie are at last reunited with their daughter, Brianna, her husband, Roger, and their children on Fraser’s Ridge. But, the Revolutionary War creeps ever closer to Fraser’s Ridge. And with the family finally together, Jamie and Claire have more at stake than ever before.

Lord John Grey main series in order

Lord John and the Private Matter – The year is 1757. On a clear morning in mid-June, Lord John Grey emerges from London’s Beefsteak Club, his mind in turmoil. A nobleman and a high-ranking officer in His Majesty’s army, Grey has just witnessed something shocking. But his efforts to avoid a scandal that might destroy his family are interrupted by something still more urgent: The Crown appoints him to investigate the brutal murder of a comrade-in-arms who may have been a traitor. Obliged to pursue two inquiries at once, Major Grey finds himself ensnared in a web of treachery and betrayal that touches every stratum of English society—and threatens all he holds dear.

Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade – It’s been seventeen years since Lord John’s father, the Duke of Pardloe, was found dead, a pistol in his hand and accusations of his role as a Jacobite agent staining forever a family’s honor. Now unlaid ghosts from the past are stirring. Lord John’s brother has mysteriously received a page of their late father’s missing diary-and John is convinced that someone is taunting the Grey family with secrets from the grave. So he turns to the only man he can trust: the Scottish Jacobite James Fraser. But war, a forbidden affair, and Fraser’s own secrets will complicate Lord John’s quest-until James Fraser yields the missing piece of an astounding puzzle and Lord John must decide whether his family’s honor is worth his life.

The Scottish Prisoner – London, 1760. For Jamie Fraser, paroled prisoner-of-war, life is coming apart at the seams. In the remote Lake District, where he’s close enough to the son he cannot claim as his own, Jamie’s quiet existence is interrupted first by dreams of his lost wife, then by the appearance of an erstwhile comrade still fighting to rally the Irish. But Jamie has sworn off politics, fighting, and war. Until Lord John Grey shows up with a summons that will take him away from everything he loves—again. Lord John is in possession of explosive documents that expose a damning case of corruption against a British officer. But they also hint at a more insidious danger. Soon Lord John and Jamie are unwilling companions on the road to Ireland, a country whose dark castles hold dreadful secrets, and whose bogs hide the bones of the dead.

Collections (of short stories and novellas)

All four of the stories in Trail of Fire were later included in the collection Seven Stones to Stand or Fall.

  • Seven Stones to Stand or Fall
    → Buy from: Amazon, BookDepository, Wordery

    • A Plague of Zombies (2011), a Lord John Grey novella
    • The Space Between (2013)
    • The Custom of the Army (2010), a Lord John Grey novella
    • A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows (2010)
    • Virgins (2013)
    • A Fugitive Green (2017)
    • Besieged (2017)
  • Lord John and the Hand of Devils
    → Buy from: Amazon, BookDepository, Wordery

    • Lord John and the Hellfire Club (1998)
    • Lord John and the Succubus (2003)
    • Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (2007)

Related Works

Several types of books have been released around the Outlander series. From guides with synopsis, character guides and notes, to a coloring book, a graphic novel, and short stories, you can continue to go deeper in that universe with those books:

Outlander Books in Chronological Order

Outlander Series Quotes

“I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have.”
― Outlander

“You are safe,” he said firmly. “You have my name and my family, my clan, and if necessary, the protection of my body as well. The man willna lay hands on ye again, while I live.”
― Outlander

“I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower’s stem.”
― Dragonfly in Amber

“Blood of my Blood,” he whispered, “and bone of my bone. You carry me within ye, Claire, and ye canna leave me now, no matter what happens, You are mine, always, if ye will it or no, if ye want me or nay. Mine, and I wilna let ye go.”
― Dragonfly in Amber

“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.”
― Voyager

“The most irritating thing about cliches, I decided, was how frequently they were true.”
― Voyager

“Forgiveness is not a single act, but a matter of constant practice.”
― Drums of Autumn

“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?”
― Drums of Autumn

“Mo Nighean donn,” he whispered,” mo chridhe. My brown lass, my heart.”
Come to me. Cover me. Shelter me. a bhean, heal me. Burn with me, as I burn for you.”
― The Fiery Cross

“While the Lord might insist that vengeance was His, no male Highlander of my acquaintance had ever thought it right that the Lord should be left to handle such things without assistance.”
― The Fiery Cross

“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.”
― A Breath of Snow and Ashes

“Why d’ye talk to yourself?’
‘It assures me of a good listener.”
― A Breath of Snow and Ashes

“When God closes a door, he opens a window. Yeah. The problem was that this particular window opened off the tenth story, and he wasn’t so sure God supplied parachutes.”
― An Echo in the Bone

“Perhaps it was only that the sense of reaching out to something larger than yourself gives you some feeling that there is something larger – and there really has to be, because plainly you aren’t sufficient to the situation.”
― An Echo in the Bone

“Thy life’s journey lies along its own path, Ian,” she said, “and I cannot share thy journey—but I can walk beside thee. And I will.”
― Written in My Own Heart’s Blood

“And I don’t recommend murder as a way of settling difficult situations. It tends to lead to complications—but not nearly as many as marriage.”
― Written in My Own Heart’s Blood

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