Book Review: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

Title: Drums of Autumn (Outlander, #4)
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publish Date: October 26, 2004
# of Pages: 1088
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


(From Goodreads) In this breathtaking novel—rich in history and adventure—The New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued in Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager. Once again spanning continents and centuries, Diana Gabaldon has created a work of sheer passion and brilliance….

It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.

Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna….

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is 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….



Drums of Autumn picks up the story of Claire and Jamie Fraser as they build their new life in America. While Claire and Jamie are at the forefront of the novel, as to be expected, the main storyline is around their daughter Brianna and Brianna’s love interest, Roger. Intrigue abounds in this novel with unexpected twists and turns. Gabaldon is a master story teller, and she doesn’t let her reader down in this book.

I really enjoyed Drums of Autumn, just as I’ve enjoyed the last three books in the series. However, that said, Gabaldon’s books always leave me feeling exhausted. Reading a book in the Outlander series is not a sprint, or even a 10k, it’s a gosh darn marathon. At just over 1,000 pages (and tiny font!), this book is an endurance novel, but it’s a marathon I’m willing to do, because I love the story and characters so, so much.

Gabaldon does a lot of things right in this book. As always, I appreciate the history she inserts into her storyline. Slaves and Native Americans take a front and center role in this novel, and her handling of that time period and how these groups of people were treated is both accurate and thought provoking.

While some might find Gabaldon wordy, I love the details she weaves through her storyline. The depth of these novels is awe-worthy. Gabaldon makes you feel as though you’re sitting right next to the characters as you read the novel. I love knowing so much about each character. It makes me feel as though I know each and every one of them.

I also liked that Brianna had a bigger role in this book. I had wondered in the previous novels if she would have a bigger role in her mother’s story, and alas, she does. Roger frustrated me to no end, but even he’s a likable (and honorable) goofball. I am very, very interested to see how the story plays out in the next book!


  1. History. Gabaldon gets an A+ for including poignant moments in history into her storyline.
  2. It’s all in the details. If you’re a person who loves details and wants to know each and every thing about a character and the setting, then the Outlander books are perfect for you.
  3. Brianna. I enjoyed learning more about Brianna in this novel. She’s a spunky girl who is the mirror image of her father.


  1. Marathon. As I said, these books can be a slog to get through. I read Drums of Autumn on my Kindle, and sometimes I questioned whether or not the page count feature was broken because the page count moved so slowly. I’m not a slow reader by any means, but reading the Outlander series certainly makes me feel like a slow reader.
  2. Darn you, Roger! I wanted to strangle Roger in the novel. This wasn’t due to bad writing but I don’t necessarily like the direction his character has taken.


“Well, cleverness in a woman can be tolerated, my dear, so long as she is also pleasant to look upon. By the same token, a woman who has beauty may perhaps dispense with wit, so long as she has sense enough to conceal the lack by keeping her mouth shut.”

“You are my courage, as I am your conscience,” he whispered. “You are my heart—and I your compassion. We are neither of us whole, alone. Do ye not know that, Sassenach?”

“My Da says you’re never drunk, so long as ye can hold on to the floor.”

“My Da used to say ye werena drunk, so long as ye could find your arse with both hands.”

Buy It

Check this book out at your local library, or buy it here* on Amazon.

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

  1. I have only respect for those who can stay up to date on Gabaldon. I tried to read the first book and gave up one chapter in, then never returned to it because of how dang long those things are. (And there are like ten of them now?) How long did it take you to read it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It took me just under two weeks, which for me is a very long time to read one book. I have to space her books out. I can’t do them back-to-back. So it’ll be another month or two before I start the next one. My mother-in-law, on the other hand, has re-read them all multiple times. 😳


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