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21 Books like Outlander

books like outlander

With its blend of romance, adventure, and time-traveling intrigue, it’s no wonder fans are often left craving more stories that evoke similar emotions and experiences like Outlander. 

If you’re seeking tales that whisk you away to different eras while entwining passionate love stories, then you’re in for a treat. 

Join us as we explore a selection of books that share the spirit of Outlander, promising to transport you to richly imagined worlds where love knows no bounds and history comes alive. 

Whether you’re drawn to the Scottish Highlands, enchanted by time travel, or simply crave epic romances against historical backdrops, these books are sure to satisfy your cravings for captivating storytelling. 

Books like Outlander

1. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

Set against the backdrop of World War II Leningrad, “The Bronze Horseman” follows the intense and passionate love story between Tatiana Metanova and Alexander Belov, a Red Army officer. As the siege of Leningrad unfolds around them, their love is tested by the brutal realities of war and the complexities of their own personal conflicts and secrets. The narrative weaves a rich tapestry of history, romance, and the enduring human spirit.

Major Similarities: Like “Outlander,” “The Bronze Horseman” combines a deeply engaging romance with a vivid historical setting, placing the love story against the backdrop of significant historical events. Both novels explore themes of survival, the complexities of love in times of turmoil, and the impact of history on personal lives.

2. Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati

This novel tells the story of Elizabeth Middleton, who arrives in the remote New York wilderness of 1792 to start a new life. Here, she meets Nathaniel Bonner, a man with ties to the Native American community. As Elizabeth navigates the challenges of her new environment, she and Nathaniel develop a deep and compelling connection, against the backdrop of the American frontier.

Major Similarities: “Into the Wilderness” shares the themes of adventure, romance, and historical depth with “Outlander.” Both novels feature strong, independent female protagonists who find love in challenging, unfamiliar settings and times, blending historical events with personal drama and cultural clashes.

3. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This novel explores the unconventional love story between Clare, an art student, and Henry, a librarian with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably. Their romance transcends time and space, as they try to navigate the complexities of Henry’s condition and the impact it has on their lives together.

Major Similarities: Both “Outlander” and “The Time Traveler’s Wife” explore time travel as a central theme, focusing on how it affects relationships and the concept of enduring love across different times. The novels delve into the emotional and psychological effects of being displaced in time on both the individuals and their relationships.

4. The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

After suffering from the loss of her husband, Faye Barlow finds herself drawn to a lighthouse in South Carolina, where she is mysteriously transported back to the 1920s. There, she meets a man who bears a striking resemblance to her late husband. As Faye navigates this new old world, she uncovers truths about herself and what love really means.

Major Similarities: “The Night Mark” shares with “Outlander” the theme of time travel as a mechanism for healing and self-discovery. Both novels feature strong female protagonists who, through their journeys in time, explore themes of love, loss, and the possibility of second chances.

5. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

Dougless Montgomery is heartbroken and alone in England when she suddenly finds herself face-to-face with Nicholas Stafford, an earl from the 16th century. As Dougless helps Nicholas to solve the mystery of his untimely demise, their time together draws them closer, challenging the boundaries of time and space.

Major Similarities: Like “Outlander,” “A Knight in Shining Armor” combines elements of historical fiction with time travel and romance. Both books explore the idea of soulmates found across different centuries and the challenges they face to be together, blending rich historical detail with compelling love stories.

6. The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Carrie McClelland hopes to use the ruins of Slains Castle in Scotland as the setting for her next novel, but she becomes inexplicably linked to her ancestor, Sophia, who lived there in the early 1700s. As Carrie writes, she starts to remember Sophia’s memories as if they were her own, uncovering a past filled with love, loss, and intrigue.

Major Similarities: “The Winter Sea” and “Outlander” both feature strong connections to Scotland, incorporating historical events into their narratives. They explore themes of memory, history, and love, with protagonists who find themselves deeply connected to the past in personal and profound ways.

7. The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

Eva Ward returns to Cornwall to find solace after her sister’s death but finds herself transported back to the 18th century. There, she becomes entangled in the lives of smugglers and the local community, as well as a blossoming romance with a man who challenges everything she knows about love and loyalty.

Major Similarities: Both “The Rose Garden” and “Outlander” utilize time travel to explore historical settings and the impact of the past on the present. They weave together elements of romance, adventure, and historical intrigue, with strong female leads who navigate love and life in different times.

8. Lady of Hay by Barbara Erskine

Jo Clifford, a successful journalist, participates in a hypnosis experiment that unexpectedly sends her back in time to the 12th century, where she lives as Matilda, Lady of Hay. With her knowledge of the future, Jo/Matilda navigates the dangerous political intrigues of medieval England, while also dealing with complex relationships in both her past and present lives.

Major Similarities: Similar to “Outlander,” “Lady of Hay” combines historical fiction with a touch of the supernatural to explore the concept of time travel and reincarnation. Both novels feature strong, resourceful women who must adapt to the challenges of living in the past while trying to maintain connections to their present-day lives.

9. The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Diana Bishop, a reluctant witch, discovers a bewitched manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, thrusting her into a world of magic, vampires, and daemons. Alongside vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont, Diana embarks on a journey to understand her heritage and the manuscript’s secrets, falling into an forbidden love that transcends time and species.

Major Similarities: While not featuring time travel as centrally as “Outlander,” “The Discovery of Witches” shares the theme of a strong, intelligent female protagonist navigating a complex world where history, romance, and supernatural elements intertwine. Both series explore the tensions between different worlds and the power of love to bridge those divides.

10. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

In this sequel to “A Discovery of Witches,” Diana and Matthew time-travel to Elizabethan England in search of a teacher to help Diana control her magic and to find the elusive Ashmole 782 manuscript. Their journey introduces them to historical figures, deepens their relationship, and challenges their understanding of themselves and their powers.

Major Similarities: Like “Outlander,” “Shadow of Night” combines the allure of time travel with a rich historical setting, as the protagonists navigate the complexities of life in the past while working towards a goal that impacts both their futures and the world at large. The blend of romance, historical intrigue, and the supernatural mirrors “Outlander’s” successful formula.

11. The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

Nicola Marter possesses the gift of psychometry, allowing her to touch an object and see glimpses of its past. When she comes across a small wooden carving called the Firebird, she is led to Anna Moray, a young girl who lived in Russia 300 years ago. With the help of a man who can also travel through time, Nicola embarks on a journey to trace the origins of the Firebird, uncovering a story of love, courage, and sacrifice.

Major Similarities: “The Firebird” shares with “Outlander” the element of historical depth, intertwined with a touch of the supernatural. Both novels feature strong female leads who are connected to the past in unique ways, exploring themes of love, destiny, and the interweaving of history with personal narratives.

12. Green Darkness by Anya Seton

This novel tells the story of Celia Marsdon, who finds herself inexplicably drawn to a period of her ancestral past in Tudor England. Through a journey of self-discovery and reincarnation, Celia uncovers a tragic love story that has continued to affect her present life, leading her on a path to healing and understanding.

Major Similarities: “Green Darkness” and “Outlander” share themes of historical romance and the supernatural, with both novels exploring how the past influences the present. The use of historical settings to frame a complex love story, along with elements of mystery and reincarnation, draws a parallel between the two narratives.

13. The Perilous Gard by Elizabeth Marie Pope

Set in the 1550s England, this novel follows Kate Sutton, who is banished to the remote estate of the Perilous Gard. There, she becomes embroiled in the mysteries of the local folklore, including the Fair Folk and their ancient rites. Kate’s intelligence and courage lead her to a deepening relationship with the enigmatic Christopher Heron and into the heart of the Fair Folk’s secrets.

Major Similarities: Like “Outlander,” “The Perilous Gard” combines historical fiction with elements of folklore and romance. Both novels feature strong, capable heroines who confront the challenges of their environments and uncover deep, enduring loves that defy the expectations of their times.

14. The Highlander’s Touch by Karen Marie Moning

Lisa Stone is a modern-day woman who is transported back to medieval Scotland, where she encounters Circenn Brodie, a powerful Highlander. As they struggle to find a way to send Lisa back to her time, their mutual attraction grows, leading them to question where they truly belong.

Major Similarities: “The Highlander’s Touch” shares the theme of time travel romance with “Outlander.” Both stories are set in Scotland and feature strong, independent female protagonists who fall in love with Highland warriors. The blend of historical setting, romance, and the challenges of time travel link these novels closely.

15. The Outlandish Companion by Diana Gabaldon

Though not a novel, “The Outlandish Companion” is an essential guide for fans of the “Outlander” series, providing detailed synopses, character descriptions, and background information on the history, science, and folklore behind the novels. It also includes commentary from Diana Gabaldon about the writing process and insights into the characters’ development.

Major Similarities: This companion book deepens the reader’s understanding and appreciation of the “Outlander” series, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the similarities between the novels and the historical and cultural research that inspired them. It’s a must-read for fans interested in the intricate details that make the series so compelling.

16. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

The first book in the Sevenwaters series, this novel blends history, mythology, and romance. Sorcha, the youngest child of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters, must save her brothers from a curse that has transformed them into swans. Her journey is fraught with challenges, including her capture by an enemy lord, but it also leads to love and understanding.

Major Similarities: Like “Outlander,” “Daughter of the Forest” is set against a richly detailed historical backdrop and weaves together elements of folklore and magic. Both novels feature strong, determined female protagonists who face immense challenges and find love in unexpected places.

17. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

This retelling of the Arthurian legends from the perspective of the female characters, primarily Morgaine (Morgan le Fay), offers a unique view of the mythos. It delves into themes of power, religion, and the clash between paganism and Christianity, all while telling a compelling story of love, loss, and destiny.

Major Similarities: While “The Mists of Avalon” does not involve time travel, it shares “Outlander’s” deep engagement with historical and mythological settings. Both books explore the strength and complexity of their female characters, set against the backdrop of significant cultural and historical shifts.

18. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

In the final installment of the All Souls Trilogy, Diana and Matthew’s adventures continue as they seek to uncover the secrets of the Book of Life and the truth about creatures’ origins. Their journey takes them through time and around the globe, facing old enemies and discovering new allies.

Major Similarities: “The Book of Life” concludes a series that, like “Outlander,” blends elements of history, romance, and the supernatural. The themes of family, loyalty, and the quest for knowledge are central to both series, as is the exploration of the bonds that transcend time.

19. Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman

Set in the 13th century, this novel tells the story of the historical figures Llewelyn, the Prince of North Wales, and Joanna, the daughter of King John of England. Their arranged marriage turns into a genuine, deep love that must navigate the turbulent political landscapes of England and Wales.

Major Similarities: “Here Be Dragons” shares with “Outlander” a commitment to historical accuracy and detail, framing a powerful love story within the context of political and historical events. Both novels offer insights into the complexities of loyalty, love, and leadership in times of conflict.

20. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

This epic novel is set in the 12th century and focuses on the building of a magnificent cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England. Through the lives of its characters, it explores themes of ambition, power, and struggle, weaving together personal stories with the historical events of the time.

Major Similarities: Though not centered on a romance like “Outlander,” “The Pillars of the Earth” shares the rich historical setting and attention to detail that fans of “Outlander” appreciate. It provides a deep dive into the period, with complex characters whose lives intersect with the broader sweep of history.

21. The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox

In the wake of scandal, Lydia Montrose and her family move to the old, secluded estate of Willow Hall. There, Lydia discovers she has a connection to witchcraft, which she must come to terms with while navigating love, loss, and the secrets that haunt her family.

Major Similarities: “The Witch of Willow Hall” combines elements of historical fiction, romance, and the supernatural in a manner reminiscent of “Outlander.” Both novels feature strong female protagonists who discover hidden strengths as they confront the mysteries and challenges of their environments.

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