Why you should all be reading Outlander

9780752898490Calling all Outlander fans, we’ve got a special guest post from our sister imprint, Orion. If you’re a fan of the series you know that the next installment Written in my own Heart’s Blood is due out on the 10th June. Not sure what  Outlander is about? We’ve got a blog post from non-fiction editor, Jillian Young who loved these series long before she joined Orion! Here are the reasons why you should be reading Outlander right now! 

In my interview at Orion I was asked my favourite Orion author. Let me state here that I work in non-fiction, so anyone with any sense would have said Antonia Fraser, Antony Beevor or the Hairy Bikers, but without hesitation (and very unashamedly) I said Diana Gabaldon. This is very possibly why I got the job; because anyone who has ever read Outlander knows that this book is awesome.

Outlander is, hands down, one of the books I recommend most. It has action, it has history, it has romance, it has time travel and it has lots and lots of sex! Everything that everyone should have in their lives (in books of course – not all of us can be so lucky to time travel). This epic tale begins immediately following the end of WWII, with Claire, an ex-nurse, on a strained second honeymoon in Scotland with her husband Frank Randall. While there she is drawn to a circle of standing stones that transports her to 1743 Scotland and where she is quickly taken hostage by a clan of Highlanders for being an ‘outlander’ and an English rebel. Trapped in this completely different world, she begins to win the trust of the clan as a healer by using her 20th century medical skills and becomes friends with the dangerous and politically astute clansman Jamie Fraser. Her contentment with the clan begins to wane when she is accused by British soldiers of being a spy. In order to protect herself she marries Jamie, and although reluctant to do so as she is already married, she soon falls in love with him. Many battle scenes ensue and Claire is forced to make the decision between returning to the 20th century and to her first husband Frank, or staying with Jamie.

From the moment Claire stepped through the stones I was instantly engrossed in her and Jamie’s story. None of the characters are who you think they would be: Claire is no simpering damsel in distress and Jamie is certainly no soft-hearted romantic. From witches, fellow clansmen and British soldiers, even the smallest of characters are well-rounded. The Outlander series also offers a magnificent sense of place and historical detail, and it takes the reader through time, place and history: the Jacobite uprising, the French court of Louis XV (Dragonfly in Amber) and the American Revolution (A Breath of Snow and Ashes and An Echo in the Bone).

This obviously isn’t just a book with romance, time travel, action or fantasy – it actually doesn’t have any discernible genre – it’s just good old-fashioned storytelling at its best. In fact, I think I may have to read it again before the show starts (2.5 months and counting)…

Watch the epic Outlander TV series trailer.

Can’t wait until the 10th of June? We’ve got an exciting competition to win the entire Outlander series! Fill in the form below to enter. Good luck!