Monday, November 27, 2017

Seven Stones to Stand or Fall

Seven Stones to Stand or Fall, Diana Gabaldon

No, this is not the long awaited ninth Outlander book, but rather a series of novellas which fit into the Outlander universe. There are seven in all, five of which have been published previously in other anthologies. So, if you are a fan and have followed up all of Gabaldon’s writing over the years, you will already have read many of these. As I worked through them, I recalled I had read several before, but couldn’t remember the details. However, it’s always nice to return to this series for I do enjoy Gabaldon’s writing and the world she has created.

She claims they are all standalone novellas which anyone could pick up, but you would want to have read at least the first three Outlander novels to have a sense of what is going on. Particularly when they focus on Lord John, there are so many characters that I still struggle to connect them all.

This is an enjoyable collection. Three of the novellas cover Lord John and where he is based at the time, including Havana, Quebec and Jamaica. They are close to the timeline of Voyager. “Virgins” is a prequel to the whole series, with some of Ian and Jamie’s adventures in their late teens. I particularly enjoyed “A Fugitive Green” covering how Minnie and Hal (Lord John’s older brother) end up together. There is the account of Roger’s father and what really happened to him, and also a side story including Jamie’s nephew Michael, Marsali’s sister Joan and the Comte St. Germain in Paris.

For those already existing fans, this is another addition to the collection which adds depth to the story as a whole.

For those who do not know the series yet, this is the brief summary I wrote ten years ago, in the first month of starting this blog:
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander Series. There are 6 books so far in this historical fiction series. I discovered them when I was pregnant with #3 and bedridden for about 7 weeks with morning sickness. They are huge and completely draw you in to the story. The premise is that an English woman in 1945 manages to travel back in time 200 years in Scotland and gets caught there (don't worry about the physics of it!). However, she knows what is to come in the future (eg. Culloden). There is (as to be expected) a love story wound through it all. They are very detailed, enjoyable and interesting. If you don't like overly descriptive love-making scenes, you may be put off, but even then I think they are worth the read. I have just downloaded all her podcasts off her website to listen to how she writes, for some listening while I exercise. I am eagerly waiting for books 7 & 8 to be released.

Other posts on this blog include this one about An Echo in the Bone (book 7), and after reading the Lord John novels.

I am eagerly awaiting the publishing of #9, but her blog suggests it won’t be for a while yet!

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