Review: Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon

Posted April 15, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews, Sweet Delight / 0 Comments

Review: Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall

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two-flames

Series: Outlander/Lord John Grey #.5 #.75 #2.75 #3.5 #3.75 #7.5 #8.5
Genres: Historical Romance, Time Travel Romance
Published by Dell
Released on June 27, 2017
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: Library

Get it at: add to goodreads

The Delight

A collection of seven novellas from the Outlander universe with five previously published and two newly published. I’m eager to read this one for the newly published ones and Virgins, the only published one I’ve missed ’til now.

Review

I was thrilled when I got the email from the library that it was my turn for this book.  I’ve been on the waiting list for months.  Woohoo!  My turn!

This is an anthology, but instead of reviewing thoroughly all the stories in it, I’m going to focus on the three that I have previously not read and reviewed.  Though, yes, I couldn’t help myself and re-read all the ones I’ve read from prior releases.

And, that reminds me, speaking of prior releases, this collection is seven novellas, but only two were brand new when it released.  Just to help respond to any confusion, four were previously published separately, but also together in the UK only release of Trail of Fire.  A fifth, Virgins, was released separately and in the Dangerous Women anthology.  The only two new ones are: A Beautiful Green and Besieged, both from the Lord John side of the Outlander universe.

For reference, here are the ones included showing series/time order:
“A Fugitive Green” (Lord John #0.25, Outlander #2.5; 1744) Hal Grey and Minnie
“The Custom of the Army” (Lord John #2.75; 1759) John Grey
“A Plague of Zombies” (Lord John #3.5; 1761) John Grey
“Besieged” (Lord John #3.75; 1762) John Grey
“Virgins” (Outlander #0.5; 1740) Jamie Fraser, Ian Murray
“The Space Between” (Outlander #07.5; 1778) Michael Murray, Joan MacKimmie, Master Raymond
“A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” (Outlander #8.5)  Jerry and Dolly MacKenzie

Here are my thoughts on the three, I had not read to this point:

Virgins
An Outlander prequel adventure for a young Jamie Fraser and Ian Murray
Just after Jamie’s lashing at Ft. William and the death of his father, Jamie escapes with the help of Dougal and Murtagh to join Ian in France for mercenary work protecting valuables being shipped from place to place. They encounter exiled Jews and a coming of age adventure. Both Ian and Jamie learn a thing or two about women.

My heart went out to Jamie as he grieves and tries to work through his guilt, but I also was highly amused to see this pair of young men come of again with curiosity about being with a woman.  Jamie and Ian’s brotherhood was a heartwarming best part.

A Fugitive Green
I always wanted to get Hal and Minnie’s story after all the hints in the Lord John and the Outlander series books.
I wasn’t disappointed with what I got. I enjoyed getting Minnie’s early history and being alongside as she displayed her amazing brains and talent. My heart nearly broke for Hal when the situation with Nathaniel Twelvetrees, Hal’s first wife Esme, the affair, and Hal’s grief after. The excitement of seeing the conniving Reginald Twelvetrees going against this younger Hal and the raw time after Hal’s father’s death, his wife’s death, and the duel. So much! Wanted a little more of Hal and Minnie at the end, but that was just me being greedy. I was definitely riveted.

Beseiged
A John Grey novella
Lord John is finishing up his stint as military governor of Jamaica when his step-father, General Stanley arrives to solicit his help in retrieving his mother and his cousin’s family from Cuba since the British are planning to attack Havana Harbor and the Spanish would likely take prisoner any British subject still on the island when that happened. Naturally, difficult becomes even more complicated when he finds himself in the midst of a slave revolt, yellow fever, and some luck to keep his family safe.

This one needs to be read after A Plague of Zombies for some elements to make sense, and it also has strong connections to A Custom of the Army, as well because of the return of Malcolm Stubbs.  I loved the update on the Azeel and Rodrigo (might have the name wrong, there) as well as seeing Tom Bird assisting Lord John to rescue his mother and his cousin, Olivia’s family.
It was exciting and poignant and left things with strings still dangling for what is to come in the rest of the Outlander world.

All in all, this collection was just what I wanted it to be. Those looking for updates on Jamie and Claire between larger novels might be disappointed, but those looking for any part of the Outlander world particularly Lord John Grey’s adventures and those of his family and friends will see more to love. The rereads of novellas I got before was fun, but the three new to me stories were amazing and will become their own re-reads in time. Definitely worth it for fans though probably not a good place to start for new Outlander world readers.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #121 HF
Library Love #7
Outlander #1
Literary Pickers #92 Africa

Recommendations

Review Sweet Release by Pamela Clare  

Preview

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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