Drums of Autumn is the fourth book out of a planned ten-book series by Diana Gabaldon. The Outlander series incorporates historical fiction, fantasy, time travelling, and an eighteenth-century romance in a perfect balance that many aspiring writers can only dream of. This book follows Jamie and Claire’s attempt to settle into their new life in America, all the while Brianna and Roger are working through issues of their own. The fourth series of the hit Outlander TV series follows this novel, so here’s all you need to know.
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Drums of Autumn
What if you knew someone you loved was going to die? What if you thought you could save them? How much would you risk to try?
Claire Randall has gone to find Jamie Fraser, the man she loved more than life, and has left half her heart behind with their daughter, Brianna. Claire gave up Jamie to save Brianna, and now Bree has sent her mother back to the mysterious Scottish warrior who was willing to give his life to save them both. But a chilling discovery in the pages of history suggests that Jamie and Claire’s story doesn’t have a happy ending.
Brianna dares a terrifying leap into the unknown in search of her mother and the father she has never met, risking her own future to try to change history . . . and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past . . . or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong.
“Forgiveness is not a single act, but a matter of constant practice.”Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn
Our Overview (Spoilers!)
After finding themselves shipwrecked in America, Jamie and Claire seek out relatives and friends of the Fraser clan. Finally finding a few, they settle in North Carolina. En route they face endless challenges: corruption, politics, robbery, wilderness, and American colonies.
Finally settling, the lovers fall into a domestic routine. Jamie and Ian are working to build a house,farm, and a clinic for Claire. Claire meanwhile, helps with delivering babies and making house calls to the poorly.
Claire’s daughter Brianna remains in Boston, Massachusetts. Claire asks her family friend from Scotland, Roger Wakefield, to watch over. Being the only two that knew of Claire’s time-travelling, the pair can hear the stones’ calling just as Claire had.
When Claire leaves again to the past, Brianna becomes overwhelmed with concern for her mother’s wellbeing and unquenchable desperation to meet her father. Brianna then finds an old newspaper claiming that her parents died in a fire less than ten years after her mother’s return.
Brianna decides to travel into the past to find her parents. Roger, who has fallen for Brianna, follows her into the 18th century to protect her from danger.
Tragically, Brianna is raped and falls pregnant. Roger is framed as the rapist and is sold by Jamie Fraser to a group of Native Americans. No one knows what Jamie has done and assumes that Roger is missing. It is too dangerous to attempt time travel with the baby after its born, so Brianna has nine months to decide which life to choose: the future, or the past.
By the time Jamie realizes his mistake with Roger, Brianna has chosen to stay. Roger, however, is torn, knowing that the baby may not be his. In the end, he chooses to stay with Brianna and the pair get married.
Drums in Autumn is yet another shining gem in the Outlander series. As always, this book is pumped full of fighting, betrayal, lust, bribery, deceit, and most of all – excitement!
With a more domestic approach, this novel has a nice fresh feel to the series. It’s like a palette cleanser between meals. We really appreciated that there was no need to go back and ‘recap’ previous storylines!
Drums in Autumn is a definite page-turner. The story jumped into gear straight away. The new angle of the story from Brianna and Roger’s perspective was refreshing and it was nice to get a better look at the other character’s we’ve seen for so long.
Overall, we think this novel, although a little different from the previous novels, is a refreshment in the series. A much-needed spice of something new! This book review scores a hefty 5/5!
Our rating: ★★★★★
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Drums in Autumn the forth Outlander book?
It is! Here are all the books in the Outlander series in order:
- Outlander (Cross Stitch in UK, NZ, and AUS)
- Dragonfly in Amber
- Drums of Autumn
- The Fiery Cross
- A Breath of Snow and Ashes
- An Echo in the Bone
- Written in My Own Heart’s Blood
- Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone
As you can see, the last book is still underway with no working title.
How many chapters are in Drums of Autumn?
Split across twelve parts, this epic novel has 71 chapters.
How does Drums of Autumn end?
Claire safely delivers Brianna’s son. Weeks later, at the Ridge, Roger makes a blood oath, claiming the baby as his own son in front of everyone.
Roger tells Jamie that the gravestone Claire saw in Scotland was actually placed there by Frank to hopefully give Claire closure and allow her to get closure.
Roger and Brianna get married.