Written in My Own Heart's 2021 Blood 2021 (Outlander) sale

Written in My Own Heart's 2021 Blood 2021 (Outlander) sale

Written in My Own Heart's 2021 Blood 2021 (Outlander) sale
Written in My Own Heart's 2021 Blood 2021 (Outlander) sale__below
Written in My Own Heart's 2021 Blood 2021 (Outlander) sale__front

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Product Description

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The eighth book in Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed Outlander saga, the basis for the Starz original series. Don’t miss the new Outlander novel, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, available November 23!

“Features all the passion and swashbuckling that fans of this historical fantasy series have come to expect.”—People

 
1778: France declares war on Great Britain, the British army leaves Philadelphia, and George Washington’s troops leave Valley Forge in pursuit. At this moment, Jamie Fraser returns from a presumed watery grave to discover that his best friend has married his wife, his illegitimate son has discovered (to his horror) who his father really is, and his beloved nephew, Ian, wants to marry a Quaker. Meanwhile, Jamie’s wife, Claire Randall, and his sister, Jenny, are busy picking up the pieces.
 
The Frasers can only be thankful that their daughter Brianna and her family are safe in twentieth-century Scotland. Or not. In fact, Brianna is searching for her own son, who was kidnapped by a man determined to learn her family’s secrets. Her husband, Roger, has ventured into the past in search of the missing boy . . . never suspecting that the object of his quest has not left the present. Now, with Roger out of the way, the kidnapper can focus on his true target: Brianna herself.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BOOKLIST

Review

“[ Written in My Own Heart’s Blood] features all the passion and swashbuckling that fans of this historical fantasy series have come to expect.” People
 
“Another breakneck, rip-roaring, oh-so-addictive page-turner from Gabaldon . . . Take a deep breath, jump aboard, and enjoy the ride.” Library Journal

“With her Outlander series, [Diana] Gabaldon . . . successfully [juggles] a sizable and captivating cast of characters; developing thrilling plotlines that borrow equally from adventure, history, and romance; and meticulously integrating a wealth of fascinating period details into the story without slowing down the pace. The result is a sprawling and enthralling saga that is guaranteed to keep readers up long past their bedtimes.” Booklist (starred review)

About the Author

Diana Gabaldon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels— Outlander, Dragonfly in 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, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, and Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone—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 Hand of Devils, and The Scottish Prisoner; a collection of novellas, Seven Stones to Stand or Fall; three works of nonfiction, “I Give You My Body . . .” and The Outlandish Com­panion, Volumes 1 and 2; the Outlander graphic novel The Exile; and The Official Outlander Coloring Book. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with her husband.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

1

 

 

A Hundredweight of Stones

June 16, 1778

The forest between Philadelphia and Valley Forge

I

an Murray stood with a stone in his hand, eyeing the ground he’d chosen. A small clearing, out of the way, up among a scatter of great lichened boulders, under the shadow of firs and at the foot of a big red cedar; a place where no casual passerby would go, but not inaccessible. He meant to bring them up here—the family.

 

Fergus, to begin with. Maybe just Fergus, by himself. Mam had raised Fergus from the time he was ten, and he’d had no mother before that. Fergus had known Mam longer than Ian had, and loved her as much. Maybe more, he thought, his grief aggravated by guilt. Fergus had stayed with her at Lally­broch, helped to take care of her and the place; he hadn’t. He swallowed hard and, walking into the small clear space, set his stone in the middle, then stood back to look.

 

Even as he did so, he found himself shaking his head. No, it had to be two cairns. His mam and Uncle Jamie were brother and sister, and the family could mourn them here together—but there were others he might bring, maybe, to remember and pay their respects. And those were the folk who would have known Jamie Fraser and loved him well but wouldn’t ken Jenny Murray from a hole in the—

 

The image of his mother in a hole in the ground stabbed him like a fork, retreated with the recollection that she wasn’t after all in a grave, and stabbed again all the harder for that. He really couldn’t bear the vision of them drowning, maybe clinging to each other, struggling to keep—

 

“A Dhia!” he said violently, and dropped the stone, turning back at once to find more. He’d seen people drown.

 

Tears ran down his face with the sweat of the summer day; he didn’t mind it, only stopping now and then to wipe his nose on his sleeve. He’d tied a rolled kerchief round his head to keep the hair and the stinging sweat out of his eyes; it was sopping before he’d added more than twenty stones to each of the cairns.

 

He and his brothers had built a fine cairn for their father before he died, at the head of the carved stone that bore his name—all his names, in spite of the expense—in the burying ground at Lallybroch. And then later, at the funeral, members of the family, followed by the tenants and then the servants, had come one by one to add a stone each to the weight of remembrance.

 

Fergus, then. Or . . . no, what was he thinking? Auntie Claire must be the first he brought here. She wasn’t Scots herself, but she kent fine what a cairn was and would maybe be comforted a bit to see Uncle Jamie’s. Aye, right. Auntie Claire, then Fergus. Uncle Jamie was Fergus’s foster father; he had a right. And then maybe Marsali and the children. But maybe Germain was old enough to come with Fergus? He was ten, near enough to being a man to understand, to be treated like a man. And Uncle Jamie was his grandsire; it was proper.

 

He stepped back again and wiped his face, breathing heavily. Bugs whined and buzzed past his ears and hovered over him, wanting his blood, but he’d stripped to a loincloth and rubbed himself with bear grease and mint in the Mohawk way; they didn’t touch him.

 

“Look over them, O spirit of red cedar,” he said softly in Mohawk, gazing up into the fragrant branches of the tree. “Guard their souls and keep their presence here, fresh as thy branches.”

 

He crossed himself and bent to dig about in the soft leaf mold. A few more rocks, he thought. In case they might be scattered by some passing animal. Scattered like his thoughts, which roamed restless to and fro among the faces of his family, the folk of the Ridge—God, might he ever go back there? Brianna. Oh, Jesus, Brianna . . . 

 

He bit his lip and tasted salt, licked it away and moved on, foraging. She was safe with Roger Mac and the weans. But, Jesus, he could have used her advice—even more, Roger Mac’s.

 

Who was left for him to ask, if he needed help in taking care of them all?

 

Thought of Rachel came to him, and the tightness in his chest eased a little. Aye, if he had Rachel . . . She was younger than him, nay more than nineteen, and, being a Quaker, had very strange notions of how things should be, but if he had her, he’d have solid rock under his feet. He hoped he would have her, but there were still things he must say to her, and the thought of that conversation made the tightness in his chest come back.

 

The picture of his cousin Brianna came back, too, and lingered in his mind: tall, long-nosed and strong-boned as her father . . . and with it rose the image of his other cousin, Bree’s half brother. Holy God, William. And what ought he to do about William? He doubted the man kent the truth, kent that he was Jamie Fraser’s son—was it Ian’s responsibility to tell him so? To bring him here and explain what he’d lost?

 

He must have groaned at the thought, for his dog, Rollo, lifted his massive head and looked at him in concern.

 

“No, I dinna ken that, either,” Ian told him. “Let it bide, aye?” Rollo laid his head back on his paws, shivered his shaggy hide against the flies, and relaxed in boneless peace.

 

Ian worked awhile longer and let the thoughts drain away with his sweat and his tears. He finally stopped when the sinking sun touched the tops of his cairns, feeling tired but more at peace. The cairns rose knee-high, side by side, small but solid.

 

He stood still for a bit, not thinking anymore, just listening to the fussing of wee birds in the grass and the breathing of the wind among the trees. Then he sighed deeply, squatted, and touched one of the cairns.

 

“Tha gaol agam oirbh, a Mhàthair,” he said softly. My love is upon you, Mother. Closed his eyes and laid a scuffed hand on the other heap of stones. The dirt ground into his skin made his fingers feel strange, as though he could maybe reach straight through the earth and touch what he needed.

 

He stayed still, breathing, then opened his eyes.

 

“Help me wi’ this, Uncle Jamie,” he said. “I dinna think I can manage, alone.”

 

2

 

 

Dirty Bastard

W

illiam Ransom, Ninth Earl of Ellesmere, Viscount Ashness, Baron Derwent, shoved his way through the crowds on Market Street, oblivious to the complaints of those rebounding from his impact.

 

He didn’t know where he was going, or what he might do when he got there. All he knew was that he’d burst if he stood still.

 

His head throbbed like an inflamed boil. Everything throbbed. His hand—he’d probably broken something, but he didn’t care. His heart, pounding and sore inside his chest. His foot, for God’s sake—what, had he kicked something? He lashed out viciously at a loose cobblestone and sent it rocketing through a crowd of geese, who set up a huge cackle and lunged at him, hissing and beating at his shins with their wings.

 

Feathers and goose shit flew wide, and the crowd scattered in all directions.

 

“Bastard!” shrieked the goose-girl, and struck at him with her crook, catching him a shrewd thump on the ear. “Devil take you, dreckiger Bastard!”

 

This sentiment was echoed by a number of other angry voices, and he veered into an alley, pursued by shouts and honks of agitation.

 

He rubbed his throbbing ear, lurching into buildings as he passed, oblivious to everything but the one word throbbing ever louder in his head. Bastard.

 

“Bastard!” he said out loud, and shouted, “Bastard, bastard, bastard!” at the top of his lungs, hammering at the brick wall next to him with a clenched fist.

 

“Who’s a bastard?” said a curious voice behind him. He swung round to see a young woman looking at him with some interest. Her eyes moved slowly down his frame, taking note of the heaving chest, the bloodstains on the facings of his uniform coat, and the green smears of goose shit on his breeches. Her gaze reached his silver-buckled shoes and returned to his face with more interest.

 

“I am,” he said, hoarse and bitter.

 

“Oh, really?” She left the shelter of the doorway in which she’d been lingering and came across the alley to stand right in front of him. She was tall and slim and had a very fine pair of high young breasts—which were clearly visible under the thin muslin of her shift, because, while she had a silk petticoat, she wore no stays. No cap, either—her hair fell loose over her shoulders. A whore.

 

“I’m partial to bastards myself,” she said, and touched him lightly on the arm. “What kind of bastard are you? A wicked one? An evil one?”

 

“A sorry one,” he said, and scowled when she laughed. She saw the scowl but didn’t pull back.

 

“Come in,” she said, and took his hand. “You look as though you could do with a drink.” He saw her glance at his knuckles, burst and bleeding, and she caught her lower lip behind small white teeth. She didn’t seem afraid, though, and he found himself drawn, unprotesting, into the shadowed doorway after her.

 

What did it matter? he thought, with a sudden savage weariness. What did anything matter?

 

3

 

 

In Which the Women,  As Usual, Pick Up the Pieces

Number 17 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

The residence of Lord and Lady John Grey

W

illiam had left the house like a thunderclap, and the place looked as though it had been struck by lightning. I certainly felt like the survivor of a massive electrical storm, hairs and nerve endings all standing up straight on end, waving in agitation.

 

Jenny Murray had entered the house on the heels of William’s departure, and while the sight of her was a lesser shock than any of the others so far, it still left me speechless. I goggled at my erstwhile sister-in-law—though, come to think, she still was my sister-in-law . . . because Jamie was alive. Alive.

 

He’d been in my arms not ten minutes before, and the memory of his touch flickered through me like lightning in a bottle. I was dimly aware that I was smiling like a loon, despite massive destruction, horrific scenes, William’s distress—if you could call an explosion like that “distress”—Jamie’s danger, and a faint wonder as to what either Jenny or Mrs. Figg, Lord John’s cook and housekeeper, might be about to say.

 

Mrs. Figg was smoothly spherical, gleamingly black, and inclined to glide silently up behind one like a menacing ball bearing.

 

“What’s this?” she barked, manifesting herself suddenly behind Jenny.

 

“Holy Mother of God!” Jenny whirled, eyes round and hand pressed to her chest. “Who in God’s name are you?”

 

“This is Mrs. Figg,” I said, feeling a surreal urge to laugh, despite—or maybe because of—recent events. “Lord John Grey’s cook. And, Mrs. Figg, this is Mrs. Murray. My, um . . . my . . .”

 

“Your good-sister,” Jenny said firmly. She raised one black eyebrow. “If ye’ll have me still?” Her look was straight and open, and the urge to laugh changed abruptly into an equally strong urge to burst into tears. Of all the unlikely sources of succor I could have imagined . . . I took a deep breath and put out my hand.

 

“I’ll have you.” We hadn’t parted on good terms in Scotland, but I had loved her very much, once, and wasn’t about to pass up any opportunity to mend things.

 

Her small firm fingers wove through mine, squeezed hard, and, as simply as that, it was done. No need for apologies or spoken forgiveness. She’d never had to wear the mask that Jamie did. What she thought and felt was there in her eyes, those slanted blue cat eyes she shared with her brother. She knew the truth now of what I was, and she knew I loved—and always had loved—her brother with all my heart and soul—despite the minor complications of my being presently married to someone else.

 

She heaved a sigh, eyes closing for an instant, then opened them and smiled at me, mouth trembling only a little.

 

“Well, fine and dandy,” said Mrs. Figg shortly. She narrowed her eyes and rotated smoothly on her axis, taking in the panorama of destruction. The railing at the top of the stair had been ripped off, and cracked banisters, dented walls, and bloody smudges marked the path of William’s descent. Shattered crystals from the chandelier littered the floor, glinting festively in the light that poured through the open front door, the door itself cracked through and hanging drunkenly from one hinge.

 

Merde on toast,” Mrs. Figg murmured. She turned abruptly to me, her small black-currant eyes still narrowed. “Where’s his lordship?”

 

“Ah,” I said. This was going to be rather sticky, I saw. While deeply disapproving of most people, Mrs. Figg was devoted to John. She wasn’t going to be at all pleased to hear that he’d been abducted by—

 

“For that matter, where’s my brother?” Jenny inquired, glancing round as though expecting Jamie to appear suddenly out from under the settee.

 

“Oh,” I said. “Hmm. Well . . .” Possibly worse than sticky. Because . . . 

 

“And where’s my Sweet William?” Mrs. Figg demanded, sniffing the air. “He’s been here; I smell that stinky cologne he puts on his linen.” She nudged a dislodged chunk of plaster disapprovingly with the toe of her shoe.

 

I took another long, deep breath and a tight grip on what remained of my sanity.

 

“Mrs. Figg,” I said, “perhaps you would be so kind as to make us all a cup of tea?”

 

 

 

We sat in the parlor, while Mrs. Figg came and went to the cookhouse, keeping an eye on her terrapin stew.

 

“You don’t want to scorch turtle, no, you don’t,” she said severely to us, setting down the teapot in its padded yellow cozy on her return. “Not with so much sherry as his lordship likes in it. Almost a full bottle—terrible waste of good liquor, that would be.”

 

My insides turned over promptly. Turtle soup—with a lot of sherry—had certain strong and private associations for me, these being connected with Jamie, feverish delirium, and the way in which a heaving ship assists sexual intercourse. Contemplation of which would not assist the impending discussion in the slightest. I rubbed a finger between my brows, in hopes of dispelling the buzzing cloud of confusion gathering there. The air in the house still felt electric.

 

“Speaking of sherry,” I said, “or any other sort of strong spirits you might have convenient, Mrs. Figg . . .”

 

She looked thoughtfully at me, nodded, and reached for the decanter on the sideboard.

 

“Brandy is stronger,” she said, and set it in front of me.

 

Jenny looked at me with the same thoughtfulness and, reaching out, poured a good-sized slug of the brandy into my cup, then a similar one into her own.

 

“Just in case,” she said, raising one brow, and we drank for a few moments. I thought it might take something stronger than brandy-laced tea to deal with the effect of recent events on my nerves—laudanum, say, or a large slug of straight Scotch whisky—but the tea undeniably helped, hot and aromatic, settling in a soft trickling warmth amidships.

 

“So, then. We’re fettled, are we?” Jenny set down her own cup and looked expectant.

 

“It’s a start.” I took a deep breath and gave her a précis of the morning’s events.

 

Jenny’s eyes were disturbingly like Jamie’s. She blinked at me once, then twice, and shook her head as though to clear it, accepting what I’d just told her.

 

“So Jamie’s gone off wi’ your Lord John, the British army is after them, the tall lad I met on the stoop wi’ steam comin’ out of his ears is Jamie’s son—well, of course he is; a blind man could see that—and the town’s aboil wi’ British soldiers. Is that it, then?”

 

“He’s not exactly my Lord John,” I said. “But, yes, that’s essentially the position. I take it Jamie told you about William, then?”

 

“Aye, he did.” She grinned at me over the rim of her teacup. “I’m that happy for him. But what’s troubling his lad, then? He looked like he wouldna give the road to a bear.”

 

“What did you say?” Mrs. Figg’s voice cut in abruptly. She set down the tray she had just brought in, the silver milk jug and sugar basin rattling like castanets. “William is whose son?”

 

I took a fortifying gulp of tea. Mrs. Figg did know that I’d been married to—and theoretically widowed from—one James Fraser. But that was all she knew.

 

“Well,” I said, and paused to clear my throat. “The, um, tall gentleman with the red hair who was just here—you saw him?”

 

“I did.” Mrs. Figg eyed me narrowly.

 

“Did you get a good look at him?”

 

“Didn’t pay much heed to his face when he came to the door and asked where you were, but I saw his backside pretty plain when he pushed past me and ran up the stairs.”

 

“Possibly the resemblance is less marked from that angle.” I took another mouthful of tea. “Um . . . that gentleman is James Fraser, my . . . er . . . my—” “First husband” wasn’t accurate, and neither was “last husband”—or even, unfortunately, “most recent husband.” I settled for the simplest alternative. “My husband. And, er . . . William’s father.”

 

Mrs. Figg’s mouth opened, soundless for an instant. She backed up slowly and sat down on a needlework ottoman with a soft phumph.

 

“William know that?” she asked, after a moment’s contemplation.

 

“He does now,” I said, with a brief gesture toward the devastation in the stairwell, clearly visible through the door of the parlor where we were sitting.

 

Merde on— ­I mean, Holy Lamb of God preserve us.” Mrs. Figg’s second husband was a Methodist preacher, and she strove to be a credit to him, but her first had been a French gambler. Her eyes fixed on me like gun sights.

 

“You his mother?”

 

I choked on my tea.

 

“No,” I said, wiping my chin with a linen napkin. “It isn’t quite that complicated.” In fact, it was more so, but I wasn’t going to explain just how Willie had come about, either to Mrs. Figg or to Jenny. Jamie had to have told Jenny who William’s mother was, but I doubted that he’d told his sister that William’s mother, Geneva Dunsany, had forced him into her bed by threatening Jenny’s family. No man of spirit likes to admit that he’s been effectively blackmailed by an eighteen-year-old girl.

 

“Lord John became William’s legal guardian when William’s grandfather died, and at that point, Lord John also married Lady Isobel Dunsany, Willie’s mother’s sister. She’d looked after Willie since his mother’s death in childbirth, and she and Lord John were essentially Willie’s parents since he was quite young. Isobel died when he was eleven or so.”

 

Mrs. Figg took this explanation in stride but wasn’t about to be distracted from the main point at issue.

 

“James Fraser,” she said, tapping a couple of broad fingers on her knee and looking accusingly at Jenny. “How comes he not to be dead? News was he drowned.” She cut her eyes at me. “I thought his lordship was like to throw himself in the harbor, too, when he heard it.”

 

I closed my own eyes with a sudden shudder, the salt-cold horror of that news washing over me in a wave of memory. Even with Jamie’s touch still joyful on my skin and the knowledge of him glowing in my heart, I relived the crushing pain of hearing that he was dead.

 

“Well, I can enlighten ye on that point, at least.”

 

I opened my eyes to see Jenny drop a lump of sugar into her fresh tea and nod at Mrs. Figg. “We were to take passage on a ship called Euterpe—my brother and myself—out o’ Brest. But the blackhearted thief of a captain sailed without us. Much good it did him,” she added, frowning.

 

Much good, indeed. The Euterpe had sunk in a storm in the Atlantic, lost with all hands. As I—and John Grey—had been told.

 

“Jamie found us another ship, but it landed us in Virginia, and we’d to make our way up the coast, partly by wagon, partly by packet boat, keepin’ out of the way of the soldiers. Those wee needles ye gave Jamie against the seasickness work a marvel,” she added, turning approvingly to me. “He showed me how to put them in for him. But when we came to Philadelphia yesterday,” she went on, returning to her tale, “we stole into the city by night, like a pair o’ thieves, and made our way to Fergus’s printshop. Lord, I thought my heart would stop a dozen times!”

 

She smiled at the memory, and I was struck by the change in her. The shadow of sorrow still lay on her face, and she was thin and worn by travel, but the terrible strain of her husband Ian’s long dying had lifted. There was color in her cheeks again and a brightness in her eyes that I had not seen since I had first known her thirty years before. She had found her peace, I thought, and felt a thankfulness that eased my own soul.

 

“. . . so Jamie taps on the door at the back, and there’s no answer, though we can see the light of a fire comin’ through the shutters. He knocks again, makin’ a wee tune of it—” She rapped her knuckles lightly on the table, bump-ba-da-bump-ba-da-bump-bump-bump, and my heart turned over, recognizing the theme from The Lone Ranger, which Brianna had taught him.

 

“And after a moment,” Jenny went on, “a woman’s voice calls out fierce, ‘Who’s there?’ And Jamie says in the Gàidhlig, ‘It is your father, my daughter, and a cold, wet, and hungry man he is, too.’ For it was rainin’ hammer handles and pitchforks, and we were both soaked to the skin.”

 

She rocked back a little, enjoying the telling.

 

“The door opens then, just a crack, and there’s Marsali wi’ a horse pistol in her hand, and her two wee lasses behind her, fierce as archangels, each with a billet of wood, ready to crack a thief across his shins. They see the firelight shine on Jamie’s face then, and all three of them let out skellochs like to wake the dead and fall upon him and drag him inside and all talkin’ at once and greetin’, askin’ was he a ghost and why was he not drowned, and that was the first we learned that the Euterpe had sunk.” She crossed herself. “God rest them, poor souls,” she said, shaking her head.

 

I crossed myself, too, and saw Mrs. Figg look sideways at me; she hadn’t realized I was a Papist.

 

“I’ve come in, too, of course,” Jenny went on, “but everyone’s talkin’ at once and rushin’ to and fro in search of dry clothes and hot drinks and I’m just lookin’ about the place, for I’ve never been inside a printshop before, and the smell of the ink and the paper and lead is a wonder to me, and, sudden-like, there’s a tug at my skirt and this sweet-faced wee mannie says to me, ‘And who are you, madame? Would you like some cider?’ ”

 

“Henri-Christian,” I murmured, smiling at the thought of Marsali’s youngest, and Jenny nodded.

 

“ ‘Why, I’m your grannie Janet, son,’ says I, and his eyes go round, and he lets out a shriek and grabs me round the legs and gives me such a hug as to make me lose my balance and fall down on the settle. I’ve a bruise on my bum the size of your hand,” she added out of the corner of her mouth to me.

 

I felt a small knot of tension that I hadn’t realized was there relax. Jenny did of course know that Henri-Christian had been born a dwarf—but knowing and seeing are sometimes different things. Clearly they hadn’t been, for Jenny.

 

Mrs. Figg had been following this account with interest, but maintained her reserve. At mention of the printshop, though, this reserve hardened a bit.

 

“These folk—Marsali is your daughter, then, ma’am?” I could tell what she was thinking. The entire town of Philadelphia knew that Jamie was a Rebel—and, by extension, so was I. It was the threat of my imminent arrest that had caused John to insist upon my marrying him in the wake of the tumult following Jamie’s presumed death. The mention of printing in British-occupied Philadelphia was bound to raise questions as to just what was being printed, and by whom.

 

“No, her husband is my brother’s adopted son,” Jenny explained. “But I raised Fergus from a wee lad myself, so he’s my foster son, as well, by the Highland way of reckoning.”

 

Mrs. Figg blinked. She had been gamely trying to keep the cast of characters in some sort of order to this point, but now gave it up with a shake of her head that made the pink ribbons on her cap wave like antennae.

 

“Well, where the devil—I mean, where on earth has your brother gone with his lordship?” she demanded. “To this printshop, you think?”

 

Jenny and I exchanged glances.

 

“I doubt it,” I said. “More likely he’s gone outside the city, using John—er, his lordship, I mean—as a hostage to get past the pickets, if necessary. Probably he’ll let him go as soon as they’re far enough away for safety.”

 

Mrs. Figg made a deep humming noise of disapproval.

 

“And maybe he’ll make for Valley Forge and turn him over to the Rebels instead.”

 

“Oh, I shouldna think so,” Jenny said soothingly. “What would they want with him, after all?”

 

Mrs. Figg blinked again, taken aback at the notion that anyone might not value his lordship to the same degree that she did, but after a moment’s lip-pursing allowed as this might be so.

 

“He wasn’t in his uniform, was he, ma’am?” she asked me, brow furrowed. I shook my head. John didn’t hold an active commission. He was a diplomat, though technically still lieutenant colonel of his brother’s regiment, and therefore wore his uniform for purposes of ceremony or intimidation, but he was officially retired from the army, not a combatant, and in plain clothes he would be taken as citizen rather than soldier—thus of no particular interest to General Washington’s troops at Valley Forge.

 

I didn’t think Jamie was headed for Valley Forge in any case. I knew, with absolute certainty, that he would come back. Here. For me.

 

The thought bloomed low in my belly and spread upward in a wave of warmth that made me bury my nose in my teacup to hide the resulting flush.

 

Alive. I caressed the word, cradling it in the center of my heart. Jamie was alive. Glad as I was to see Jenny—and gladder still to see her extend an olive branch in my direction— I really wanted to go up to my room, close the door, and lean against the wall with my eyes shut tight, reliving the seconds after he’d entered the room, when he’d taken me in his arms and pressed me to the wall, kissing me, the simple, solid, warm fact of his presence so overwhelming that I might have collapsed onto the floor without that wall’s support.

 

Alive, I repeated silently to myself. He’s alive.

 

Nothing else mattered. Though I did wonder briefly what he’d done with John.

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So Boring!
Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2018
I am an avid fan of the Outlander books and tv series. I first read the books over 25 years ago or so. For heavens sake, I''ve even been to Scotland 3 times and on one of the tours, visited several of the Outlander castles. This book is one of most boring books I have ever... See more
I am an avid fan of the Outlander books and tv series. I first read the books over 25 years ago or so. For heavens sake, I''ve even been to Scotland 3 times and on one of the tours, visited several of the Outlander castles. This book is one of most boring books I have ever read in my life. There are thousands and thousands of words and hundreds of pages SAYING NOTHING. Where is the editing on this? There is so much about John Grey and his brother! Does anyone care about John Grey? He should be relegated to minor status and yet a huge part of the book is about him DOING NOTHING. I am unbelievably disappointed and disgusted with this book. Shame on you, Diana Gabaldon! You have stooped to writing uninteresting things about uninteresting characters in what was once an exciting story line. Did you do it for the money? This is just a crushing disappointment.
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TJM
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hello the House!
Reviewed in the United States on July 9, 2017
First of all, let me say that the Outlander series is a saga, a time-traveling saga, a historical saga, a romantic saga, a generational saga but a saga in the broadest sense. This, the eighth and the latest book published (one being written and one promised) is huge in... See more
First of all, let me say that the Outlander series is a saga, a time-traveling saga, a historical saga, a romantic saga, a generational saga but a saga in the broadest sense. This, the eighth and the latest book published (one being written and one promised) is huge in scope dealing mainly with the American Revolution and the part the Frasers and the Greys played in it. But that is essentially too simplistic because nothing Diana writes is simple since concurrent to the that time, Bree, Roger, Jem and Mandy are in the present time trying to make a life for themselves and running into difficulties because of their unique abilities.

Most of American Revolution takes place in and around Philadelphia which was occupied in turns by the British and the Continentals. There is great detail about what life was like under each occupying army and how Claire, in particular, used her skills to survive. Fergus and Marsili found themselves by turns under suspicion or welcomed depending on the occupation. Lord John Grey is forced to marry Claire when it''s thought that Jamie perished at sea returning from Scotland and she''s accused of carrying information for the Rebels. Claire uses her skills as a surgeon to save Lord Grey''s brother and his son from death, skills unknown in that time. She also goes to Valley Forge and works with Dr. Denzel Hunter to save wounded Continental soldiers and they each teach one another surgical skills. Ian serves as a scout for the army and meets Denzel''s sister, Rachel, falls in love with her but she''s a Quaker and may not be able to marry a man who''s both a Highlander and a Mohawk. When Jamie returns to Philadelphia, his bastard son from Hellwater, William who looks just like Jamie walks in and discovers his natural father, doesn''t take it well since he is a duke by default and leaves. The scene moves to the Battles of Saratoga and Monmonth with Jamie being conscripted as a general and Claire again using her skills as a surgeon until she''s seriously wounded and nearly dies except for Denzel Hunter whom she tell how to save her before her surgery.

Meanwhile in the present time, Bree gets a job at hyro plant as a supervisor while facing a lot of prejudice from her male employees, especially one of them. Roger also starts working at a church as a choir director. Jem discovers an old man living in the broch who is actually Roger''s ancestor. When Jem is kidnapped by the man threatening Bree, Roger and Brock go back in time looking for them but Jem has escaped his kidnapper and has hidden out in the dam. Now the two parallel stories begin to converge through various adventures until the two families are reunited on the Ridge.

I was born in Philadelphia and grew up in York, PA which claims to be the First Capitol of the United States as the Article of Confederation where signed there when the Second Continental Congress met there while the British held Philadelphia; they predate the Constitution. This story really interested me because of the vivid detail of life during that time. The main characters of the story are as vivid as always: Jamie, Claire, Roger, Bree, Ian, Fergus, Marsili, Jenny, Jem, Mandy, Lord John Grey, William; their lives are so interesting and you can''t help becoming part of them. The famous people from the Revolution were also interesting to discover "in the flesh" so to speak rather than dry words on a page in a history book. The descriptions of the battle were sometimes hard to follow but then I imagine battles aren''t normally linear.

What will I do now for my Jamie and Claire fix!!!!!!!!
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ANON.
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
spoiler
Reviewed in the United States on June 18, 2017
SPOILER I really enjoy the Outlander series and was trying to read this slowly as Book 9 doesn''t even have a release date yet, so it''ll be some time before I can catch up with these characters again. The ending of the book literally gave me chills. I can''t wait for... See more
SPOILER
I really enjoy the Outlander series and was trying to read this slowly as Book 9 doesn''t even have a release date yet, so it''ll be some time before I can catch up with these characters again. The ending of the book literally gave me chills. I can''t wait for Book 9! However, and here''s a spoiler-Bree and Roger''s son, Jem, is kidnapped by a man that has discovered one of Bree''s parent''s letters referring to the lost Stuart gold hidden in the Spaniards Cave in NC; Jem being kid napped because he''s the only one that knows the location. Roger-and one of his time traveling relatives go back into the past with the notion of finding Jem and his kidnapper-while under the assumption the kidnapper is searching for the gold. Unfortunately, they end up in the wrong time-like, Jamie Fraser is approx. 19 in Paris and his father Brian is still alive. Regardless, they still think Jem is there and it doesn''t cross either of their minds that the Rising hasn''t even happened yet and therefore there''s no way the gold would even be in existence in NC at that time frame because Jamie and Claire haven''t even met yet. I don''t understand why this thought wouldn''t have occurred to them. I get he meets his dad-they were both thinking "Jem" going through the stones so naturally they''re placed in a time where Roger''s dad Jeremiah "Jerry" is...um, ok. Then, the kidnapper never actually left the present time with Jem-he''s just harassing Bree for some reason. I''m really not sure why...he wants to rape her? But ok, I can live with it bc luckily this plot line more or less resolves itself-thank goodness. Also, William is super annoying. I hope in Book 9 he becomes less whiny, incapable, and less prone to throwing tantrums all the time. Very glad, Ian got a happy bit.
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jrsygrl
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Tedious
Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2019
This book was 814 pages of boring, tedious minutiae. Way too much about William, who is such a twit, and it went off in all different directions introducing new characters for a few chapters that you won''t care about. And the ending? I almost threw the book. The author... See more
This book was 814 pages of boring, tedious minutiae. Way too much about William, who is such a twit, and it went off in all different directions introducing new characters for a few chapters that you won''t care about. And the ending? I almost threw the book. The author spent hundred of pages on garbage and then just ended it like she gave up. And she''s thinking of writing another book? No, just no. She needs to retire, period.
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Joyce H
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Waiting for Book 9
Reviewed in the United States on December 3, 2017
I have read all of the Outlander series and a few of the Lord John books. At the end of each, something happens that leaves me wanting and waiting for the next one again. Now that the family is reunited over time, there is much more story to tell. I have become so familiar... See more
I have read all of the Outlander series and a few of the Lord John books. At the end of each, something happens that leaves me wanting and waiting for the next one again. Now that the family is reunited over time, there is much more story to tell. I have become so familiar with the characters and their ability to adapt to different centuries in time is amazing. I can only hope Diana Gabaldon plans to lead us through yet another chapter in the lives of the Frazier''s. The historical accuracy is educational, well-researched and fitting to the story.
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Susan E. Furman
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
... In My Own Heart’s Blood By Diana Gabaldon I love historical fiction
Reviewed in the United States on August 4, 2017
Written In My Own Heart’s Blood By Diana Gabaldon I love historical fiction. I love historical fiction about the American Revolution. And I love historical fiction by Diana Gabaldon in her Outlander series. But I somewhat reluctantly love this work of... See more
Written In My Own Heart’s Blood
By Diana Gabaldon

I love historical fiction. I love historical fiction about the American Revolution. And I love historical fiction by Diana Gabaldon in her Outlander series. But I somewhat reluctantly love this work of historical fiction that meets all three of the above criteria. Let me tell you why.
All of the novels of the Outlander series qualify as historical fiction. But they have the unique addition of the characters’ ability to time travel through supernatural means. Each traveler must figure out the limits and rules that apply to this ability. This adds the hint of danger to each trip. Gabaldon weaves a tangled web of interrelationships between the 1700’s and the 1900’s. Willing and unwilling time travel through standing stones in the Scottish Highlands complicates many lives.
In this eighth volume of the Outlander series, the author brings us further into the American Revolution. Jamie and Claire have grown into middle age, together and apart. Claire has been living in the British-occupied city of Philadelphia. But that’s about to change with the king’s army hightailing it towards New York City.
Gabaldon has done her research well and presents the Battle of Monmouth in New Jersey pretty accurately. I just visited that site last year, so I loved how well I could feel the heat and the ebb and flow of an important day in our nation’s history. The one where Washington earned the love and respect of his troops.
Diana Gabaldon writes beautiful prose and tells absorbing stories. She has sustained her Outlander books over many years and through many characters. They face situations with grace, ingenuity, and craftiness (especially the villains). I’ve followed them through the Jacobite risings in Scotland, witch burnings, French court intrigues, hangings, prisons, colonial life in the Appalachians, and now traveling with Washington’s army during the American Revolution.
They never lack for plot. But in this book, I felt that there were too many characters, with too many things going on. Having been several years since I read the seventh book in the series, I found it difficult to pick up all the threads left hanging at the end of that one. I had to keep reminding myself who they were and what their parts in the various plots were.
By the time I finished reading this novel, I thought it could easily have been two separate books. Maybe it should have been. Claire and Jamie, along with their relatives and friends in North America, had many plots and subplots. They also had to make a lot of history. Their daughter, Brianna, and her husband, Roger, faced their own trials and dangers in Scotland, both 18th and 20th centuries.
But both groups existed in continuations of plots begun in the previous book. Plots that I, at least in some cases, didn’t remember. So I felt that Gabaldon should have spent a little more time encapsulating the loose ends. This might have caused the need for two books instead of one.
I still recommend this book to all who want to follow the further adventures of these marvelous characters. But if reading it over, I might skip chapters and read the two plotlines separately till they come together again. Juggling all the players at once was difficult for both the writer and the reader.
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Cathryn Conroy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hold on Tight! The Story That (Almost) Never Ends Just Got Even Better
Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2019
What a book! It''s smart and sassy AND big and bold. But most of all, it is a timeless (pun intended) love story. Taking place in 1778-1779 during the heart of the American Revolution largely in the Philadelphia area, this latest installment of our story finds our... See more
What a book! It''s smart and sassy AND big and bold. But most of all, it is a timeless (pun intended) love story.

Taking place in 1778-1779 during the heart of the American Revolution largely in the Philadelphia area, this latest installment of our story finds our favorite time travelers, Jamie and Claire, reunited after news of his untimely death at sea proved blessedly false. But Jamie, never one for easy living, enlists in George Washington''s army and is soon promoted to the rank of general. And the plot is off and running.

Obviously, I''m an "Outlander" fan, or I would not have read all eight of these massive novels. And while the first in this incredible series is hands-down the best of them all, this one—book No. 8—is a close second, largely because of the riveting storyline about Brianna, Roger, Jemmy and Mandy. I have heretofore considered them to be the weak link in this time-travel series, but not this time. It''s hold-onto-your-chair reading!

That said, some parts of this book are a tad boring, but one never has to wait long for the action to pick up in some of the most remarkable and imaginative ways. Lord John Grey and his adopted son, William (who is really Jamie''s biological son), figure heavily in this book and add much adventure and human emotion to the plot. And soap opera. Ah, but that''s what makes it so good!

An important word of advice: You must begin with "Outlander," the first in the series, and read each book in the proper order. And while taking this on is quite a reading and time commitment as the books are very long, it is so worth it. If you''re looking for an escapist read that is so good it (almost) never ends, this is for you.
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Baseball Mom
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Diana Galbaldon is a wonderful story teller.
Reviewed in the United States on October 5, 2016
***No Spoilers****I have been hooked on this series since the original Outlander book, and have read every book, some more than once often in anticipation of the next book. Diana Galbaldon''s writing style is easy and flowing, she is extremely accurate with her historic... See more
***No Spoilers****I have been hooked on this series since the original Outlander book, and have read every book, some more than once often in anticipation of the next book. Diana Galbaldon''s writing style is easy and flowing, she is extremely accurate with her historic research. You cannot go wrong choosing any of the books in the series to read, or even the John Grey books, which I also read. I enjoyed Written in My Hearts Own Blood very much, I even paced myself to read it so that it could be savored. However, I do not care for the ending of this book and had rather hoped this book would be the conclusion. It will be years until the next book, and will have to wait patiently. I have to say that at some point with the aging of the key characters the series would need to come to an end, I was hoping that death would not be the end. I am still hopeful. :o)
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Top reviews from other countries

Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Better than last two books.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 24, 2019
I wasn''t going to read this book, I didn''t enjoy the last two, I felt as if the author got to bogged down in the history of the American Revolution and the characters came second, their story was slow paced and hardly moved. I actually found myself flicking through pages....See more
I wasn''t going to read this book, I didn''t enjoy the last two, I felt as if the author got to bogged down in the history of the American Revolution and the characters came second, their story was slow paced and hardly moved. I actually found myself flicking through pages. However I decided to give this one a go and I did enjoy it more, it was more in keeping with the first books and centred more on the characters. I''d still like to see their story being moved along a bit more. I feel as if the author is drawing the story out to get as much books as possible from it. Will be interesting to see what happens in book nine. Must admit I''m enjoying the TV series more!
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K. Langtree
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Feeling sad
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 17, 2018
I have adored all the Outlander books and I''m just sad that Jamie and Claire are coming to the end of their life adventure. I hope there will be more. I just love these two and their offspring. Sadly, I don''t find myself drawn to reading about Lord John Grey in the spin-off...See more
I have adored all the Outlander books and I''m just sad that Jamie and Claire are coming to the end of their life adventure. I hope there will be more. I just love these two and their offspring. Sadly, I don''t find myself drawn to reading about Lord John Grey in the spin-off series. What is the point without the focus on Jamie and Claire? I have been reading nothing else for the past year and not sure what life will be like without them. Write more Diana. I could read a spin-off about Bree and Roger.
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Very good one
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 21, 2019
I had been disappointed by the previous one but this tome was way better in my opinion. I was a little bit annoyed at first to have so many chapters about characters I didn''t care about (William and John Grey for instance) but things do mix together quite smoothly. This...See more
I had been disappointed by the previous one but this tome was way better in my opinion. I was a little bit annoyed at first to have so many chapters about characters I didn''t care about (William and John Grey for instance) but things do mix together quite smoothly. This opus was moving in many ways and I think, had the energy of the first books back.
6 people found this helpful
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Lyn
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The love story continues
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 3, 2020
The story of Claire and Jamie continues to enthralled and expands to include the wider family of characters. So hard to put down, the reader just needs more and can''t wait to find out what is happening in all the arenas the characters find themselves in. Excellent drawing...See more
The story of Claire and Jamie continues to enthralled and expands to include the wider family of characters. So hard to put down, the reader just needs more and can''t wait to find out what is happening in all the arenas the characters find themselves in. Excellent drawing of all the characters leads to high emotions and an investing in their lives by the reader. So many emotions; excitement, sorrow, joy and amusement to name a few. Can''t beat the wait for the next book and dreading the end of the story that must come eventually.
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Sarah Robinson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I cant believe that Diana Gabaldon can keep on doing ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2018
I cant believe that Diana Gabaldon can keep on doing this. Her story keeps going and stays just as exciting - dare I say even more exciting - as the first book Outlander. I do not want to finish this book as this story should not end. She is authentic in her character...See more
I cant believe that Diana Gabaldon can keep on doing this. Her story keeps going and stays just as exciting - dare I say even more exciting - as the first book Outlander. I do not want to finish this book as this story should not end. She is authentic in her character descriptions and true to history and medicine as far as I can tell. Enthralling reading, capturing the heart and the mind.
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