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Missing ‘Outlander’? 11 Books to Read While You Wait for Season 7

Book covers for "The Scribe of Siena", "The Vanished Days," and "A Witch in Time"
Gallery Books/Sourcebooks Landmark/Redhook

The dreaded droughtlander is once again upon us, Outlander fans, and you know what that means: time for a reading list to get you through the long hiatus until season 7.

The final episode of the sixth season of Outlander is now available on Starz, so it could be a while before we see Jamie, Claire, Roger, Brianna, and the rest of our favorite characters again. In the meantime, though, we’ve put together a reading list of some books that have a few things (or more) in common with the epic, historical, time-traveling romance we all love.

The Scribe of Siena

Time travel, epic romance, and a heroine desperately using her knowledge to forestall an historic tragedy—it’s all here in Melodie Winawer’s novel. When modern-day researcher, Beatrice, stumbles upon some old papers about a mysterious Renaissance artist, she’s intrigued—even more so when she somehow winds up in the past and meets him. What starts as a star-crossed love affair soon reveals the truth behind a centuries-old conspiracy.

The Winter Sea (Slains Book 1)

The Jacobite Rebellion that played such a large role in earlier seasons of Outlander is at the center of Susanna Kearsley’s historical novel with a magical twist. In the present day, best-selling author, Carrie, visits a castle where a key moment in the rebellion took place, hoping to get some inspiration for her next novel. She has her own connection, too: an ancestor who played a lesser-known role in the ill-fated rebellion.

The Woman at the Front

Claire’s time as a nurse in WWII plays a crucial role in her backstory and character development when she lands in the past. Lecia Cornwall’s historical novel focuses on a different war, but features another woman trying to prove her worth via her medical skills. Eleanor dreams of becoming a doctor, but is held back by the biases of the early 20th century. When she seizes a chance to work on the frontlines in WWI, she sees things she never could have imagined, forms a connection with a Scottish officer, and discovers more about her capabilities than she ever thought possible.

When a Scot Ties the Knot: Castles Ever After

Want a Scottish setting with more epic romance, but less violence and tragedy? Tessa Dare’s historical romance is just what you’re looking for! Maddie, a London heiress, impulsively invents a fictional Scottish fiancé to ward off the many suitors after her fortune. However, when she writes her betrothed fake letters to maintain the ruse, the very real Captain Mackenzie shows up on her doorstep with some questions.

A Discovery of Witches

Like Outlander, this book (and its sequels) by Deborah Harkness takes you on a romantic adventure that spans centuries. Diana is a professor who is mystified by the strange circumstances surrounding a rare book she finds in her university’s collection. She soon crosses paths with Matthew, a vampire and scientist. He lets her in on a big secret: the book is the key to a centuries-old war between different factions of magical beings—and Diana might be one of them.

A Witch in Time

Epic, time-spanning romance gets a supernatural twist in this novel by Constance Sayers. In 1895 France, Juliet has a secret affair with Auguste, a married painter. When her powerful mother botches a curse on Auguste, Juliet is doomed to reincarnate along with him, reliving their affair (and its tragic end) through time. Also along for the ride is Luke, a demon stuck keeping tabs on the damaged curse, who is also falling more in love with Juliet in every lifetime.

The River of No Return

Time travel plays a major role in this twisty, centuries-hopping love story by Bee Ridgway. In 1815, Lord Nicholas Falcott is nearly killed on the battlefield and wakes up in the 21st century. He’s then inducted into a mysterious order and sent back to his own era on a mission. While there, he finds himself drawn, once again, to Julia, the woman he loved and left behind, but things aren’t the same as they were when he disappeared.

The Lost Queen

You’ll travel much further into Scotland’s past in this magical epic by Signe Pike. Languoreth, a powerful queen in medieval Scotland, is ruling at a time when the conflicting forces of paganism and Christianity lead to bloodshed and myth. She and her brother find themselves inextricably entwined with the quests of heroes and warriors—some of whom will become incredibly famous figures in both history and myth.

The Vanished Days

The Jacobite rebellion serves as a backdrop in this dual-timeline tale from Susanna Kearsley. As tensions grow and the rebellion gains steam, the Queen tries to calm the waters by sending her commissioners to investigate and repay debts to the families of Scottish adventurers who died in an ill-fated expedition. When one such widow comes forward, her claim is challenged and one investigator must uncover what’s true and what isn’t, all while struggling with his own feelings.

Anticipation

Widowed and burnt out, scientist Helen agrees to take her son Alexander on a trip to Greece. While there, they befriend Elias, a tour guide who seems to know more than he lets on about the strange history of the city of Mystras. What they don’t know is that Elias has experienced that history firsthand. Due to a supernatural bargain his mother made, Elias has lived for nearly 800 years. For all that time, he’s been fighting a dangerous enemy who’s keen on using Elias to unlock a cure for another curse.

Lady of the Glen

Jennifer Robinson’s love story is also set in Scotland, but half a century before Jamie and Claire’s tale. Catriona is raised from birth to know who her clan’s enemies are: the MacDonalds. That’s what makes it so difficult when she and Alasdair MacDonald meet and fall in love. As a brutal rebellion rages, Cat and Alasdair struggle to stay alive and protect their love.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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