Review by Ryder Islington
First published in 1991, Outlander is the story of Claire Randall and her trip back in time. A combat nurse married to Frank Randall, Claire and her husband are visiting the British Isles as a sort of second honeymoon, after both of them return from active duty in WWII. But while visiting one of the big stone circles similar to Stone Hinge, suddenly Claire is pulled into the past and finds herself in Scotland in 1743.
Outlander is the first of a series in which Claire lives through Scottish history, where she meets James Fraser, a man whose strength, power and honor, captivate her heart. And she also meets Jonathan Randall, her husband Frank’s ancestor. Her life becomes entwined in the lives of these two men, while memories of Frank torture her. Claire uses her knowledge of medicine to be a healer to the people of the countryside, but her knowledge, more than once, names her a witch.
The history of this story is brilliantly told, with warring lords, diabolically evil military men, and women whose power only comes through deceit. The characters are strong and well motivated, and the description is sometimes elegant and sometimes gory.
This is a beautifully written historical romance, as much as it is a history of the Clan Wars of Scotland. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the old sagas with plenty of characters, action, and emotion. It feels like an old classic, though not written in the hard to understand Old English of Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre.