• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor


Now, if you don’t want to know _anything_ about this book before reading it–stop right here. {g} This is the original catalog-copy for THE SCOTTISH PRISONER; the general description of the book that I wrote for use by editors (who write the flap-copy and back-cover copy), agents (who write descriptions for their own catalogs for use at international book-fairs), and publishers (who write brief descriptions of new books for the catalogs their sales reps use when describing new books to their accounts). This is the basic description of the book, on which all those things are based. So, for those of you who want to know just what SCOTTISH PRISONER is…read on!

There are only two compensations to Jamie Fraser’s life as a paroled Jacobite prisoner-of-war in the remote Lake District: he’s not cutting sugar cane in the West Indies, and he has access to William, his illegitimate (and very secret) son, otherwise known as the ninth Earl of Ellesmere. His quiet life comes suddenly apart with the appearance of Tobias Quinn, an Irishman and an erstwhile comrade from the Rising.

Some Jacobites were killed; others, like Jamie, imprisoned or transported. Others escaped. And many of them didn’t give up. Quinn still burns with passion for the Stuart Cause, and he has a Plan. A singularly dangerous plan, involving Jamie Fraser and an ancient relic of Irish kingship—the sacred cup of the Druid King.

Jamie has had enough of politics, enough of war—and more than enough of the Stuarts. He’s having none of it.


In London, Lord John Grey has brought home from Quebec a packet of papers that might as well have come equipped with a fuse, so explosive are their contents. Material collected by a recently deceased friend, the papers document a damning case of corruption and murder against a British officer, Major Gerald Siverly. For the sake of his friend, and his own honor as a soldier, John is determined to bring Siverly to justice.

John’s brother Hal, the Duke of Pardloe, takes this cause as his own, and enlists the help of his wife, Minnie, a retired spy in her own right. The Greys show Minnie a mysterious document from the dangerous docket—what appear to be verses, written in a language they don’t recognize. Minnie does recognize the language. It’s Erse, she tells the brothers. The language spoken by Irishmen and Scottish Highlanders.

Erse. The word gave Grey a very odd sensation. Erse was what folk spoke in the Scottish Highlands. It sounded like no other language he’d ever heard—and barbarous as it was, he was surprised to learn that it existed in a written form.

Hal was looking at him speculatively.

“You must have heard it fairly often, at Ardsmuir?”

“Heard it, yes. Almost all the prisoners spoke it.” Grey had been governor of Ardsmuir prison for a brief period; as much exile as appointment, in the wake of a near-scandal. He disliked thinking about that period of his life, for assorted reasons.

“Did Fraser speak it?”

Oh, God, Grey thought. Not that. Anything but that.

“Yes,” he said, though. He had now and then overheard James Fraser speaking in his native tongue to the other prisoners, the words mysterious and flowing.

“When did you see him last?”

“Not since last spring.” Grey spoke briefly, his voice careful.

Not careful enough; Hal came round in front of him, examining him at close range, as though he might be an unusual sort of Chinese jug.

“He is at Helwater, is he not? Will you go and ask him about Siverly?” Hal said mildly.



“I would not piss on him, was he burning in the flames of hell,” Grey said politely.

One of Hal’s brows flicked upward, but only momentarily.

“Just so,” he said dryly. “The question, though, is whether Fraser might be inclined to perform a similar service for you.”

Grey placed his cup carefully in the center of the desk.

“Only if he thought I might drown,” he said, and went out.

But needs must when the devil drives—and Lord John and Jamie are shortly unwilling companions on the road to Ireland, a country whose dark castles hold dreadful secrets, and whose bogs hide the bones of the dead.

158 Responses »

  1. hooked, line and sinker…..reel me in.

  2. I cannot wait for SP to come out. I have always been an avid reader but all your books are always wonerful. I too feel like there can NEVER be enough about Jamie in your stories. He and John are wonderful foils for each other and I enjoy both.

  3. OH MY LORD!!!!! I’ve just discovered this book was coming! I’ve squealed and ran in circles in my office, clapped like a seal, and frightened my cat! And I can’t stop with the exclamation points apparently! LOL Diana, may I express my total love for you for writing another Lord John Grey novel?! I came late to the Outlander series, and while I really enjoyed them all, I was really there for John and Jamie. (Feels like a sacrilege saying that on this board! No offense intended. I have turned so many people on to these books. That pays my dues, doesn’t it? lol) I adore Lord John and all that angst and bravery in his story- and the humor. But seriously, ever time he and Jamie are even in the same country together, my heart beats a little faster. I know some things can never be, but still…sigh. Somebody get me a spoon for all that delicious angst!!!

  4. Hi, Diana. I’ve been a long-time fan, almost from the very beginning. I think I originally read Outlander at about the point that Dragonfly in Amber was being published. Of course, I was instantly hooked! Anyway, I love your books and writing, and always highly anticipate any new stories. Over the years I’ve become addicted to books “on tape” and have read many of your works, including the Lord John stories, through Recorded Books’ excellent recordings (at first by directly renting them from Recorded Books and later via Audible.com). I’ve noticed there’s no mention so far of a recorded version of The Scottish Prisoner. Is there going to be one? Am I going to have to wait long after initial publication? And will it be available on Audible? I hope, I hope, I hope….

    Thanks for giving me so many hours of enjoyable respite from modern life!


    • Dear Deborah–

      There will certainly be an audiobook of THE SCOTTISH PRISONER! (And I’m sure it will be available through Audible.com–though produced by Recorded Books.) Jeff Woodman will of course be reading–he just -is- Lord John –but there will be a second reader, too, since the book shifts viewpoints back and forth between Jamie and Lord John. A new actor named Rick Holmes will be reading Jamie’s scenes. I think it’ll be Really Good; looking forward to hearing it!


  5. Hang on. You left us at the end of An Echo in the Bone with Brianna’s son hurtling through the darkness in a mine tunnel in Scotland. I have been wondering for two years what was going to happen to that little boy. And now we are going back in time to see what happened to Jamie when Claire was back in the future in Boston? What about the little boy?!

  6. I’m with you Juliet!! I have been so worried about Jemmy and about how Jamie is going to react to Claire having slept with Lord John!! I hope he understands like he has in the past. I can’t wait for the sequel. I haven’t read any of the Lord John books and haven’t been interested until I read some of you saying they were interesting. I’ll have to give one a try..I’d rather read about Claire and Jamie though.

  7. I’m really looking forward to this. I see that I need to really re-read and I say that with much enthusiasm!

  8. so we may go into the gloam of 12-21-2012 never knowing the rest of the story that comes with WIMOH’sB

    i guess i will write my own next part of the story ~Thanks Diana for such entertaining and informative reading these last decades. I love Claire, her strong warrior heart and her healing methods and i think the one she used to correct a shoulder out of place – an ol timey remedy is now a very popular one used to correct rotator cuff impingement and i have wondered if they picked it up from this book; it made so much sense …..

    for you time travel story lovers, please check out the updated version of Jude Devereaux’s A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR. it should give you some much needed peace – it is truly lovely story.

    peace and light be with you all

  9. DG is so far above other authors that it has made it very difficult for us readers. But, I also found Paullina Simons trilogy and LOVED IT! In reading the reviews on Goodreads.com, I never thought I would, but I’m happy to say I was completely mistaken. Outlander and Tatiana&Alexander (The Bronze Horseman) are my 2 favorite series and recommend them often.

    My third favorite is the Fever Series (5 books) by Karen Moning which is quite a ride. Again, I would never have thought I would like paranormal, but Karen Moning is also an excellent author.

  10. i am so happy its in ireland i have all of your books and think its great you live out here in arizona as do i thanks mary henderson

  11. is this ideal for a chritmas gift

    • It *was* an ideal Christmas gift! So glad my parents took my months’ and months’ worth of whining, obnoxious hints and got me a copy. …I spent the past few days gobbling it down at my desk at work – thank goodness for the slow season giving me time to properly obsess over John Grey (Who has had an interesting affect on my imagination while attending the yearly Seven Years’ War reenactment over the course of the past few books…). So awesome. Thanks for continuing to write of his adventures (and other assorted you-know-whats)!

  12. I am a avid fan Diana but confused over the “scottish prisoner.” I couldn’t wait to get my hands on what I thought was the latest of the Jamie/ Claire story.

    When I began reading it, William was a baby and I have read this before in another one of the novels.
    In the last book Echo of the Bone William is an adult.

    The Scottish Prisioner is not new ?
    Can you help me understand?


    • Dear Sheila–

      Er…well, I’ll do my best: a) you appear to have bought the book without reading either the back cover blurb or the flap-copy (both of which were carefully designed to explain to people _exactly_ what this book is and where it fits in the overall story), b) you seem to have not read either the first or second chapter, which would have told you in some detail the time, place, and situation of the characters. And c) while you’ve plainly found my website {g} (since you’re posting on it), you seem not to have looked at any of it–announcements, descriptions, and excerpts from THE SCOTTISH PRISONER have been posted here for the last several months.

      That would be my best guess as to why you’re confused.



  13. Please hurry up and complete the 8th book, WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD. I cant wait a whole year! Or post some more cliff hangers! I would like to know how Jamie confronts Clair about her marriage to John. Just a little clif hanger please!…..

  14. I noticed the publication date 2 months too late here in Finland. Just ordered this book in English and just can`t wait to get this in my hands….. I am waitin also 8th book, I started to read all seven again…. I have to say your books causes some kind of addiction in a good way!!! I usually read your books first in English ( they are published first) and then Finnish ( have to wait translation about year). But I dont mind, I always enjoy and get more addicted…

  15. Loved the book itself, but the audiobook narration…eesh!! The narration standards have been so high until now, did they switch producers or something?

  16. Diana,

    You should have considered giving Some kind of warning regarding your flap cover as to the true what we readers are getting into. I liked the subject matter, being a Scot-Irish lass me’self. However, halfway through the book a had to deal with male gay porn. Would have liked to not waste my time having started it. I’m a liberal and I’m glad you have so many loyal fans but for those of us who are reading you for the first time- I can tell you I won’t make that mistake a second time.


  17. Amanda, no response from Diana that I can see, I”m enjoying this book immensely thus far, (apart from the aforementioned gay porn; not necessary). BUT… I’m still waiting to find out whether Bree and Roger’s little girl (with the hole in the heart) survived the op in “our time” when the family, and Claire, returned through the stones for the op, not to mention what Jamie got up to during that period. The next book at that time was about William, again, during the War of Independence.

    • Dear Tootsicola–

      [cough] Actually, if you read the last part of ECHO, you do indeed know that Amanda’s surgery was successful. Though why you would think Claire returned through the stones with the family…hmm. Perhaps you _haven’t_ read AN ECHO IN THE BONE? (“As for the next book…was about William”–what are you smokin’, there? Did you read the first page of ECHO, see the name William, and quit? Has it not occurred to you that there are a _lot_ of characters in these books? William is one of them, but “the book” (whatever book you mean) certainly isn’t “about” him. Sheesh…)


      • If there is “gay porn” in scottish prisonners so I’m a gay porn addict ! Please, Diana, don’t change a word !!!!!

        John Gray is the perfect symbol of the readers. Like him we are in love with Jamie, and like him we know that sex is impossible between us. We can just be near him, listen to him, look at him, dream of him…and live our lives alongside. That’s why I like Lord John so much :-)

  18. There are complaints about ‘gay porn’? Oh please. This is as much, if not more, Lord John’s book, so why on earth shouldn’t we read of his sexual exploits. Why is it okay to read the other characters getting down and dirty, but heaven forbid we read of a man’s sex life with another man. God knows Lord John deserves all the happiness he can get and I for one love reading anything to do with him. I just hope he gets a ‘happily ever after’ at the end of the series, as he deserves it. Claire and Jamie are pretty much certain to get their happy ending, but I’d hate for John not to find happiness and love too.

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