By Ashly Moore Sheldon • November 09, 2021
Fun fact: When Diana Gabaldon began writing the first book in her Outlander series, she initially viewed the historical fantasy as a "practice novel" and never planned on showing it to anyone. The very thought of it leaves us breathless! In the three decades since then, the sprawling and enthralling saga has sold more than 28 million books worldwide and the newest installment comes out later this month.
Season six of the hit Starz show based on the series is scheduled to premiere in 2022. But, as fans of the books will tell you, there's a lot you're missing if you haven't read the novels (they're huuuge). As always, if you want the complete story, the book is always better. But there's lots of material to wade through! Here we provide a guide to the elaborate Outlander universe.
The story centers on embattled lovers Claire and Jamie. The main obstacle to their steamy, saucy passion? They were born centuries apart. Each book contains A LOT of action (wink!) and the sexy pair's globetrotting, time-traveling adventures, paired with rich historical details, will keep you thoroughly gripped. Here, we review the books in chronological order:
Introduced in the second Outlander novel, Englishman Lord John Grey is one of the most complex and interesting characters in the series. Secretly gay, he lives in conflict with the expectations of society. Gabaldon's spinoff series about him started as a single short story and has grown to include multiple novels, novellas, and short stories. These historical mysteries stand alone and can be read in any order, but here is an approximately chronological list of the books, which generally take place during the time period covered in Voyager:
For the diehard fans, here's all the bonus material to complete your Outlander collection:
The Outlandish Companion: This beautifully illustrated compendium of all things Outlander covers the first four novels of the main series, including synopses, character lists (along with family trees and genealogical notes), and more. And The Outlandish Companion 2 covers the next four books in the series.
Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook
From cook and food writer Theresa Carle-Sanders comes a cookbook celebrating the delectable flavors of the Scottish Highlands, including dishes like Beer-Battered Corn Fritters, Peppery Oyster Stew, and Conspirators' Cassoulet. A second installment draws inspiration from novels set in the American colonies with recipes like Benedicta's Steak and Mushroom Pie and Cornbread and Salt Pork Stuffing. "It's culinary time travel—and it works."
Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon's work. Her sweeping tale has earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans—us included!