Scottish history, time travel, romance, a villain you love to hate, moral conflicts, ingenious schemes, and witch craft: Outlander has all this and more. Imagine waking up and realizing you’ve been transported 200 years into the past. That’s what happens to Claire Randall in the first season of Outlander.
Claire and her husband Frank had just started to rekindle their relationship after the end of World War II. Claire had been serving as a combat nurse and had only seen her husband a mere 3 times during the war. The two decide to take a second honeymoon by traveling to Scotland. Frank is a historian and expert on Scottish history. On one outing together, Frank proposes the two go to see one of the ceremonial witch dances at Craigh na Dun, an ancient stone circle. Quite curious, Claire returns the next day to investigate further, touches one of the ancient stones, and is transported from 1945 to 1743. Claire is immediately chased by “red coats” and this is only the first of many struggles she’ll face as an English woman from the 20th century in 18th century Scotland. She falls in love with another man from another time, and encounters a sadistic doppelgänger that happens to be her husband Frank’s great ancestor. I won't spoil the rest for you, but Claire needs to be careful not to expose her modern knowledge of medicine lest she be accused of being a witch!
Outlander exceeds in combining fantasy with history to create a series that is captivating and believable. The series has just enough historical elements to be compelling without feeling like you’re being given a history lesson. It does a great job of revealing information as it goes, setting up plot twists and surprises along the way, and the costuming and scenery is definitely aesthetically pleasing.
I would recommend Outlander to fans of shows such as Game of Thrones and Poldark; both volumes of the first season of Outlander are available now at Cecil County Public Library.
Recommended by Alysia Van Looy