Sunday, 22 October 2017

Review - Seven Stones To Stand Or Fall by Diana Gabaldon

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Delacorte Press; 530 pages; $30.00; Amazon
Tonight marks the return of Outlander: Season Three on STARZ after having a brief one-week break, in which we'll finally see the reunion between the characters Jamie (played by Sam Heughan) and Claire (played by Caitriona Balfe) after being apart for nearly twenty years. To get everyone ready for tonight's episodes, I thought it would be the perfect time for me to post my review for the recently released Seven Stones To Stand Or Fall by Diana Gabaldon.

No, this isn't the sequel to Written In My Own Heart's Blood, but instead it's  "A Collection of Outlander Fiction," featuring seven short stories/novellas that are all set in the Outlander universe. Five of the stories have appeared in other anthologies over the years, while the other two are appearing for the very first-time in print. Many of the stories centers on Lord John Grey, a character that debuted in Outlander: Season Three; however, Jamie Fraser does get his very own story called "Virgins."

The short fiction titles in this collection are:

"The Custom Of The Army" (originally published in Warriors) - Set in 1759 in London, the novella centers on Lord John Grey attending an electric-eel party, which eventually leads him to get involved in the Battle of Quebec.

"The Space Between"(originally published in the anthology The Mad Scientist's Guide to the World Domination) - Set in 1778, the novella centers on Michael Murray (second son of Ian and Jenny Murray) escorting Joan MacKimmie to France, so she can become a nun.

"A Plague Of Zombies" (originally published in Down These Strange Streets) - Set in 1761, the story centers on Lord John being sent to Jamaica to lead a battalion to take down a slave rebellion.

"A Leaf On The Wind Of All Hallows"(originally published in the anthology Songs of Love and Death) - Set in 1941-1943, the story tells the tale of what happened to Roger MacKenzie's parents.

"Virgins" (originally published in the anthology Dangerous Women) - Set in 1740 in France, the story centers on a nineteen-year-old Jamie Fraser and a twenty-year-old Ian Murray becoming mercenaries.

"A Fugitive Green" (New Story) - Set between 1744-1745 around Paris, London and Amsterdam, the story mostly focuses on Lord John Grey's elder brother, Hal, and his future bride, Minnie. Jamie Fraser makes an appearance in the story.

"Besieged" (New Story) - Set in 1762 around Jamaica and Havana, the story centers on Lord John leaving his post in Jamaica, so he can travel to Havana, Cuba to save his mother from the British Navy siege.

Final Thoughts

Yes, five of these stories in this collection are available individually as eBooks and have appeared in other anthologies, but for those of you who haven't already read those stories, then I would recommend reading Seven Stones To Stand Or Fall. Plus, there are two brand-new stories!

I own all the Outlander books, but I wasn't aware of the Lord John spinoff books until I read the introduction in this collection, as the author as nicely put together a chronology of all the Outlander & Lord John stories. Most of the stories are centered on Lord John, but a young Jamie Fraser gets one story to himself, as well as appearing briefly in "A Fugitive Green."

Overall, I enjoyed reading Seven Stones To Stand Or Fall. All the stories are well-written with interesting characters, realistic dialogue, and wonderful descriptions. My favorite out of the seven stories is "Virgins" (aka - the Jamie Fraser story).

*Note - I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Diana Gabaldon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the wildy popular Outlander novels - Outlander, Dragonfly in the Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (for which she won a Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize), An Echo in the Bone, and Written in My Own Heart's Blood - as well as the related Lord John Grey books Lord John and the Private Matter, Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade, Lord John and the Hands of Devils, and The Scottish Prisoner; two works of nonfiction, The Outlandish Companiion, Volumes 1 and 2; and the Outlander graphic novel, The Exile. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband.

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