10 Books for Outlander Enthusiasts
The Outlander series is one of those genre-busters that blends elements of romance, science fiction, and historical fiction into something altogether new. A romance novel for people who don't typically read romance, it appeals to a wide spectrum of readers, both male and female, and has even spun off into a popular television series.
Because it's made up of such disparate elements, finding a "perfect match" readalike is tricky. What's a readalike for a platypus, after all? But if you take the portions of the whole, identifying the aspects of Outlander to which readers are drawn, you can make some useful suggestions, even if they don't check every single box.
So, with that in mind, here is a list of historical fiction, Scottish romance novels, time travel love stories, and other books that would be excellent diversions while you're waiting for the next season of Outlander to air. Because you've already read all the Outlander books, right? If you haven't, my job is very easily done. If you have, check out this list and tell me what you think.
A time travel romance in which a woman living in 1960's England is transported 400 years back in time (for her health) to relive her previous life, including its doomed romantic entanglements. This giant-sized story of undying passion and reincarnated lovers, with plentiful historical details of the Tudor era, is a must for the Outlander fan who is as drawn to the history as the romance in their reads.
1 / 10
Outlander without the time travelly bits, this historical Highlander romance is also heavy on the historical elements, depicting the events leading up to the Massacre at Glencoe, and not as bodice-rippery as its cover would suggest. It's a romance of equally-matched partners from warring clans, and it's a slowly, realistically developed relationship whose historical details are as well-researched as in Outlander.
2 / 10
Karen Marie Moning
A more emphatically paranormal spin on the Outlander themes, this one has time travel, Scotland, saucy romance and also Fae. It also has all the awkwardness of a modern-day woman confronted with the gender inequality of feudal Scotland. This is the first in a series of eight books, so if you wanted even more otherworldliness in your Outlander experience, enjoy this sexy Scottish fairyland.
3 / 10
R. Garcia y Robertson
This book makes the hero do all the pesky legwork of the time travel meet-and-greet, as a modern and recently-betrayed woman encounters a handsome, armor-clad man on horseback at the English-Welsh border who's come straight from 1459. She follows him back to the 15th century, privy to all the political intrigue and challenges characterizing the era of the War of the Roses. History, romance, and witches. Many witches.
4 / 10
While there's no time travel, the physical relocation of a sheltered Englishwoman to the uncompromising wilderness of the American frontier of 1792 is just as dramatic and bewildering an experience as being shuttled back through time. A strong historical romance with a charismatic hero makes this a good match for Outlander fans, and bonus - it also directly references characters from the Outlander novels. Easter egg!
5 / 10
A time travel romance with more emphasis on the time-travel aspect than is typical: a member of a guild of time travelers is, at the moment of his death upon a Napoleonic battlefield in 1815, propelled 200 years into the future, leaving his beloved far in the past. It's an adventure story about a man manipulating time itself in order to regain his love, rich in historical detail and suspense, with plenty of romance.
6 / 10
A "straight" historical romance without any portals, this one takes place in Leningrad during the horrors and privations of wartime. Under these inauspicious circumstances, a romance develops between a soldier and an admirable heroine which has a tragic, forbidden angle to it. A story of sacrifice and passion, this 700-pager is the first in a series that puts the reader directly into the perils of its period.
7 / 10
Sharon Kay Penman
This is another book about the War of the Roses. What can I say, it was a dramatic time. There are no magical elements, but it's a massive, beautifully-written and detailed piece of historical fiction considered by many to be one of the best in the genre. If you were enthralled by the depth of the historical research in Outlander, you may want to check this one out. Reading it is pretty much exactly like time travel.
8 / 10
A time travel romance that does NOT involve the War of the Roses, this is about a woman who has recently lost her sister, and while in Cornwall scattering her ashes, slips back in time to 1715, where she falls for a man involved in the Jacobite Uprising. It's a more Gothic treatment of the time travel romance theme, and its emphasis is not only on the romance, but also on bereavement and the intrigue of the times.
9 / 10
Because I always need to throw in one wacky book. This isn't a true readalike, with similarities in tone, theme or overall reading experience, but it's a fun book for fans of Outlander because it's about a woman obsessed with Outlander-hero James Fraser, who travels to Scotland to find a hero of her own. A light romantic comedy in which characters from Outlander and Diana Gabaldon herself make cameo appearances.
10 / 10