Series that grip you, grab you, consume you – heck, take over your life – don’t come around all that often. Luckily for you, my chickens, I’ve been reading since I was but a wee bairn. Long enough to come up with a list for you when you’re suffering from a bad case of droughtlander.
You. Are. Welcome.
And if you’ve been living under a rock, the Outlander series of novels is seven, soon to be eight we hope, books series by talented best-selling author, Diana Gabaldon. Already hugely popular, it gained a whole new fanbase when Starz picked it up as their new baby. The Outlander fandom is a force to be reckoned with. We know our kilts from our porritch, ye kin?
What To Read Next If You Love Outlander
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1. The Wilderness Series
By Sara Donati
The Wilderness book series starts off with Into the Wilderness, and has five sequels. Blending fact and fiction, Sara Donati’s epic novel invites the reader into a bygone era with a story of love and survival in a land of savage beauty.
December of 1792. Elizabeth Middleton leaves her comfortable English estate to join her family in a remote New York mountain village. It is a place different from everything she’s known before. And – guess what! – she meets a man unlike any she has ever encountered. He’s Nathaniel Bonner, a white man dressed in Native American garb, known to the Mohawk tribe as Between-Two-Lives.
With a desire to start a school for the village children, Elizabeth soon finds herself in conflict with the local slave owners as well as with her own family. Intertwining the history of the Mohawk Nation with the compelling story of the two lovers, the book is strong in history and has some sexy scenes to boot.
Hahaha, her nickname is Boots. See what I did there?
This is the perfect series if you’re missing Jamie and Claire. Elizabeth and Nathaniel are scrappy, brave, romantic, and fearless. In fact, Diana Gabaldon is a fan of Donati’s and gave her permission to mention Jamie and Claire in Book 1….
Here’s Nathaniel, describing his encounter with Claire (known as “The White Witch”) and Ian at Saratoga in 1777:
“No, a white woman, and English by the sound of her. Ian fetched her, and then it turned out she was his Auntie Claire. Brought her into camp just when I was thinking we couldn’t do much for the boy. And she hunkers down next to him and listens to his chest and then she forces something down his gullet, and she bundles him up.”
Jamie is also mentioned:
“A big red-haired Scot, wounded at Freeman’s farm. I ran into him later again on the Heights, and I was glad of it, too. I’ve thought of them many times since that day.”
All in all, if you’re desperate for some adventure and romance in big tomes (we like big books and we cannot lie, sassanach), this series will fan your flames.
2. The Tea Rose Series
By Jennifer Donnelly
The Tea Rose series is three large books, set in England in the late 1800s. Full of crazy good suspense, heartbreak, lost love, and revenge, this novel is such a page turner, I can’t even.
I didn’t love Book II, The Winter Rose, as much, but thought Book III, The Wild Rose, was strong. And if Starz wanted to option this book series next for the telly, I wouldn’t object in the slightest.
By Sarah Waters
Fingersmith is a stand-alone, not a series, but I just had to include it. Also, it’s really ginormous, so maybe that will calm your ruffled feathers.
There are some plot twists in this book (one bombshell halfway through) that seriously rocked my world. Clever writer, Sarah Waters is.
Be advised, there is sexual intrigue between women in this novel. It’s been called ‘Dickensian for lesbians’ for a reason. Heh heh.
4. His Fair Assassin
By Robin LaFevers
The His Fair Assassin series is technically shelved as a YA, and I guess it would be less of your garden variety historical novel and more of your alternative history book.
But assassin nuns, you guys! Assassin nuns.
The first novel centers around 17 year old, Ismae, who escapes a brutal arranged marriage to the respite of a convent. Here she learns how to be a handmaiden to Death, and becomes an adept pupil when she is given her first target.
I know, I had you at assassin nuns, huh?
These books are not just for the teens; they’re full of well-crafted language, history, violence, adult themes, and LaFevers does it all perfectly.
5. The Sarah Agnes Prine Series
By Nancy E. Turner
This three-book series starts with These Is My Words, the Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine.
Okay, it’s a mouthful, but the rest of the book is written gorgeously. It’s the diary of Sarah Prine, a pioneer on the wagon train in the Arizona Territory from 1881-1901. Just read it.
6. Mark of the Lion Series
By Francine Rivers
The Mark of the Lion trilogy holds a special place in my heart: it was the first fiction book I picked up in the fuzzy days of post-partum after baby #2, and after I had had it up to my ears with parenting how-to books.
Yeah. It was like that.
The city was silently bloating in the hot sun, rotting like the thousands of bodies that lay where they had fallen in street battles.
With this opening sentence, A Voice in the Wind transports readers back to Jerusalem during the first Jewish-Roman War, some seventy years after the death of Christ.
Following the prides and passions of a group of Jews, Romans, and Barbarians living at the time of the siege, the narrative is centered on an ill-fated romance between a steadfast slave girl, Hadassah, and Marcus, the brother of her owner and a handsome aristocrat.
Written by one of the most beloved Christian novelists of all time, this series isn’t in your face religious, weak/meek/turn the other cheek. It’s frightening, suspenseful, full of romance (but no sex), and something you won’t be able to put down… or forget.
7. The Lost Trilogy
By Melyssa Williams
Inspired in part by Outlander, my trilogy deals with time traveling and all that the travelers leave behind, including – in Sonnet’s case – a little sister.
If you’d love to share your love for Outlander with your preteen or teen daughter but don’t want her reading all that violence and sex, try this! It’s part ghost story, part love story, with humor, adventure, and maybe a murder or two sprinkled throughout.