“Outlander’s” season two finale is just around the corner. Happily, the Starz hit has been renewed for seasons three and four but we all know what will follow after this weekend’s finale—major withdrawal for all things historical romance, fantasy, and court intrigue. To help with your symptoms, we’ve gathered together a list of books to make the long wait till season three all that more bearable.
If you’re still bereft, our previous “Outlander” list has even more suggestions.
Were you scandalized by Madame Nesle de la Tourelle’s costumes at Louis XV’s Versailles? Would you be surprised to learn that four of her sisters were also mistresses to the king? Sally Christie reimagines the lush Versailles court in all its excesses and offers up a complex exploration of power and sisterhood.
Contemporary and eighteenth-century Scotland are interwoven in this gothic and romantic novel. A writer is startled to learn that a story she thinks has sprung from her imagination is actually a factual account of her ancestors during the Jacobite rebellion. Complex Scottish history with a hint of time travel and gorgeous simmering romance? Check!
Really any Philippa Gregory novel will fill the “Outlander”-sized hole in your heart, but THE OTHER QUEEN will probably fit best, given that it centers around Mary, Queen of Scots. Set two hundred years before the events of “Outlander” (well, the parts featuring Jamie, anyway), THE OTHER QUEEN is filled with scheming, opulence, and lush historical detail.
A centuries-year-old witch looks back at her introduction to the craft in a small town in 1628 and through her various lifetimes as she struggles to evade the man who first taught her everything she knows.
Season two of “Outlander” is based on the second of Diana Gabaldon’s books, and what better way to relive the series than through the original source material? Be on the lookout for minor plot points and details that were modified in the adaptation from page to small screen.
This high-fantasy novel set in an approximation of the ancient Mediterranean region is replete with the conniving court politics and adventure-packed storytelling that makes “Outlander” so delicious. THE QUEEN OF ATTOLIA is technically part of a young adult series, and thank goodness for that, since you’ll want to stay in this world for some time.
A young Wall Street analyst encounters a man who claims they first met during the First World War in this time-traveling romance. “Outlander” fans will particularly love the swoony love interest whose chivalrous social mores clash with the protagonist’s modern sensibilities.
A deeply felt fantasy novel that engages with the politics of identity, refugee status, and the status of women in society—all within the strictures of a cursed nation in a traditional fantasy setting. Like Gabaldon, Melina Marchetta has managed to convey characters who, in their vulnerabilities and passions, are utterly recognizable even within a fantastical story.